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Lord, Save Us From Your Followers: Why is the Gospel of Love Dividing America? Hardcover – March 11, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Television writer and producer Merchant believes that much damage has been done by the religious right and that the so-called culture war should not be the focus of the Christian faith. He's working on a documentary about loving the people one may disagree with, encouraging dialogue instead of harsh slogans. It's a fine idea, but this book of the same name as the film is a somewhat disjointed collection of transcripts. Merchant dons a suit plastered with bumper stickers to interview passersby in Times Square, and interviews notable faith-and-politics leaders including Tony Campolo, Rick Santorum, Al Franken and Michael Reagan. He sits down with a man who dresses as a nun in San Francisco, confesses his lack of love to homosexuals at the Pride Northwest festival and participates in a foot-washing for the homeless in Portland. The interviews and characters presented can be compelling and thought-provoking, though the book feels scattered and rushed, incorporating multiple outrageous, made-for-the-screen moments. Merchant reiterates popular themes but without the thoughtfulness of Jim Wallis or the research of David Kinnaman's unChristian, and the concluding list of questions is particularly unsatisfying. (Mar. 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Dan Merchant is an Emmy Award winning television writer/producer and oft-mocked youth basketball coach. He has been happily married for twenty years and is the Father of two.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849919932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849919930
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,005,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The kid who showed up at summer camp with typed scripts for talent night, Dan went on to create television projects for Fox, Warner Bros. and Paramount and now makes his debut as a feature documentary director with Lord, Save Us From Your Followers, the book is out now, the film hits theaters on September 25th, 2009.

Customer Reviews

It also includes a comic book type chapter and a "bumper sticker quiz".
Elizabeth M.
Like any author, he must be read with discernment, but I think you will be helped by this book.
William R. Bullerman
He asked her questions and listened to her answers (even though He already knew them!).
Sweet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By T. Weaver on April 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lord, Save Us From Your Followers will challenge your comfortable Christianity. Dan Merchant and Jeff Martin spent months traveling and interviewing a variety of people from all walks of life to get a picture of what the American culture thinks of Christians and of Jesus. What they found will likely offend many Christian readers...not because its untrue or offensive but because it is painful to see what the secular world's image of us really is.

In one of the most powerful chapters of the book Dan takes a page out of Don Miller's (author of Blue Like Jazz) playbook and sets up a confessional booth at Pride NorthWest...not to hear the confessions of the people there but to confess to them his sins and the sins of the church universal as it pertains to our treatment of the homosexual community. Reading that reminded me how much power honest confession and seeking forgiveness has to heal.

This is something that the church has forgotten. We claim we believe 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16 but we don't live as if we do. We hide behind our stained glass walls and we pretend to the world we have it all together. Its no surprise that one of the most commonly occurring answers to the question Dan poised, "Name something Christians are known for?" was "Hypocrisy."

The book is written as a series of collected experiences, much like an anthology of short stories, I liked that I could jump around and read what caught my attention and not lose the thread of the story. I can't wait to see the full version of the documentary. I hope Dan succeeds in sparking the conversations he hopes to...the Church needs to have them and this book is a great starting point.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Sweet on April 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book! The story of how it came into my hands follows,but since this is a review I'll lay that down first! I felt an almost weak- kneed relief while reading this book--the relief that comes when you discover that there is someone else out there that sees what you see, and has the courage and kindness to tackle the thing. The subject of the book--"why is the Gospel of love dividing America?"-- is a subject that has been at the forefront of my own experiences as an Evangelical believer, and a nagging distress that will not go away.

As I was reading, I kept remembering the scripture that tells the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4. He entered into a dialogue with her and they talked story. He asked her questions and listened to her answers (even though He already knew them!). Right away we see the ginormous generosity of God's heart, because He entered into conversation with, and listened to, this woman. I felt the same spirit of generosity in this book Dan Merchant has written. He approaches people, asks questions and listens to what they have to say. He is playful, good humored, and balanced, without hiding his own beliefs or his own shortcomings. I am so thankful that he has had the warmth of heart to write this book. It is a welcome respite from the (I am sorry to say) mean-spirited tone that seems to be prevalent in the monologues of so many believers. I expect there will be many in the conservative tradition who will dismiss this book, or perhaps boycott its reading from the pulpit, but i would encourage them to model the fearless generosity of Jesus and read and listen to all the voices speaking through this book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By William R. Bullerman on April 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I got this book last week and have, for the most part, thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a narrative of a series of trips that the author made around America with a novel painter's jump suit with several bumper stickers and other symbols that are being used in the culture war between Conservative Christians and Liberals.

There were three things that make this book particularly valuable to me. One is the interviews. He interviews Anthony Campolo, Al Franken, Michael Reagan, Rick Santorum, Sister Mary Timothy (a homosexual) and others in his quest to open a dialog between Christians (Followers of Jesus) and "them". The interview with Al Franken was a highlight to me. It reshaped my impression of Al Franken. All of the interviews were helpful and gave insight into some areas that I glance over and don't dig into.

The second thing that makes this book valuable to me is his approach to homosexuals (Sister Mary Timothy and The PRIDE festival in Portland). I, as a conservative evangelical have struggled greatly with how we approach them with Jesus' love and his approach resonated. I'm not building a confessional, but I do believe that I have an insight into how to glorify God in this.

The third thing the book did for me was take a lot of the bogey men that many ministries use in alarmist mail outs to generate funds. He exposes them to the light of day and they aren't daunting. In some of the cases, I had already figured it out. However, for the ones that I hadn't figured out, my response was "Of course!"

I could do without the chapters on how to make a bumper sticker man costume, his comic strip gospel, and his bumper sticker quiz.
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