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big questions…from a book i hate and definitely recommend

November 26, 2007


i’ve been reading a book that i hate. let me clarify that, i don’t hate the book, i hate the way the book makes me feel. the whole premise of the book is that a seasoned professional Christian (a pastor) and an atheist attend 12 churches together and have honest dialogue about what they see and what they feel. if you read reviews of the book, you’ll find out that this is a polarizing topic, and like any other polarizing topic the religious are the ones that get their feelings hurt the quickest. like my pastor says, if you throw a rock into a pack of dogs the one that yelps is the one that got hit.

the book takes a very real look at some monster churches. it looks at what we as Christians see as important and what someone like a confessed atheist reads from being there. the book is full of insight that at best steps on religious toes. quotes like

“What does that mean–just follow? Don’t you have to put something on the line? I know that when people followed Jesus in first-century Palestine, they were risking life and limb. When people followed Martin Luther King Jr., they were risking arrest. When they followed Ghandi, they risked bodily harm and even death. But what does just follow mean here and in this contest? Christianity can’t be just getting baptized or just following. you have to put something on the line, I think.”

can be found throughout the book. this particular quote is from a service @ Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois. The quote is in regards to the screens in the main worship center which featured the words, “Just Follow.”

i hate that the book made me really think about what i consider as ultimately important in the life of a Christian and a church. in fact, it lead me to a couple of pretty serious questions that i will leave with you and encourage you to think about:
1. what did Jesus command us to be about here on Earth?
2. what church do you know that is about those things only?

sure i have some ideas and i know some things to definitely be true. i know that we are supposed to be about LOVE and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, and serving others. i just don’t see a lot of churches that sell out to that.

is it possible that we (as Christians) really are clouding the water for those who don’t yet know Christ?

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