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Plastic Jesus: Exposing the Hollowness of Comfortable Christianity Paperback – August 25, 2006

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Headline:A perfect lawn?a perfect spiritual life. Plasticity and suburbia go hand in hand.After all, without plastic there are no garage door openers,TIVO?hard drives, remote controls, Blackberries, plastic surgery, or anyother idol we hold so dear. Sadly, if Jesus came in plastic, wejust might find Him more to our liking. This needs to change.Suburbia might be a fine place to raise a family, but it's aterrifying and dangerous environment for our spiritual well being.Many of us have exchanged the challenge and vitality of Christ'splan for our lives for the ease of a plastic, soul-numbing,comfort-first mentality. Edgy and honest, Eric Sandras seeks toempower readers wherever they are-the suburbs, inner city, 10,000acre ranch-to live life as Christ intended: with a radical sense ofpurpose that only He can provide.

About the Author

Eric Sandras is author of Buck Naked Faith. He is part of the next generation of leaders whom God is using to “raise the bar” in the relationships, faith, and life decisions of today's church. Eric is the teaching pastor for the Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship and is well aware of the cultural challenges that face today's emerging and traditional churches. Eric and his family live in Lancaster, California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (August 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576839230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576839232
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,466,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gen-X, Postmodern, Emergent, and Next-generation are all labels that Eric Sandras has lived under, taught about, and tried to find identity in. As with every generation, labels soon fade away and what is left is the worn garment we call adulthood. What Eric has found his passions to truly be are: 1) Learning to build a cooperative friendship with Jesus, 2) Becoming a really good dad and husband, 3) Igniting a deeper love for God's kingdom in others regardless of generational or cultural boundaries and 4) Having extra butter on his popcorn at the movie theatre.

Eric received his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Relations from Oregon State University where he was also an instructor for Human Sexuality and various Child Development courses. Since graduating in 1998, Eric has taught for various universities and colleges in the Northwest. He is a frequent conference speaker and has been featured on 100 Huntley Street, Canada's largest Christian broadcasting program.
Eric lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with his wife, Cynthia, and their two children, Dakota Jasmine and Carter William. He is the head coach (senior pastor) of the Olympic Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Port Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Barrett on February 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Sandras goes after the shiny veneer we all have within North American Christianity. In the process he pulls no punches and weaves together his own failures and struggles with emptiness and Christian fakery. Something I can also identify with. It is rare to find a pastor throw himself 'under the bus' so often and with such humility, but Sandras does that with enough grace for himself and others.

Here are a couple of text grabs that I underlined in my copy:

Page 82: "The easy road of pat answers and pretend certainty lulls us into a catatonic spiritual stupor. Some of the most boring Christian I know are the ones who have every question answered, every behavior controlled, and every hardship glossed over with some pious Christian slogan. Spiritual suburbia has roads that are so smoothly paved and so straight and flat, that if we looked West we could see the back of our heads"

Page 153: He talks about American evangelicals as having a "...Wonderbra spirituality. We use whatever contraption we can to pump up what little substance we actually have..."

This is a great book for anyone who feels stuck in the routine of church life. This is an essential book for those who already know they live in Spiritual Suburbia.

Mike Barrett

Author, "The Danger Habit - Turning Your Love for Risk Into Life Changing Faith" (Random House/Multnomah)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Donnie Frisbee on September 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found the book an interesting read. The ideas proffered are sincere, direct and presented in a style that obliges interest. I believe Christianity needs to be revisited in the lives of Christians. This effort, in occasional overwraught and occasionally trite prose, draws us to that conclusion.

One observation given with the best of intentions: I might suggest that you reference your academic accomplishments less frequently. The focus on credentials (both here and in your first book) tends to place you squarely into the plastic surburbia you direct us to avoid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By revjfletcher on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
This (164) pager reads real easy; I actually felt like I was reading an extended devotional. Sandras brings up some great points on how easy it is for those of the CHRISTian faith to get caught in a system of doing rather than experiencing the ultimate love of our Lord.

There were several interesting points I made sure to highlight. I appreciated his description of God's prodigal nature:

"prodigal: One who extends money extravagantly, viciously, or without necessity; one that is profuse or lavish in any expenditure; a waster; a spendthrift.

If we apply this definition to the characters in the parable Jesus tells in Luke 15, then the story is not just about a prodigal son (who represents us), it is also a bout a prodigal father (who represents God). God and humanity both are lavish and wasteful. One in a lift-stealing way and God in a life-giving way."

Sandras seems very willing to allow his readers to share in some of his personal struggles; that is a characteristic of an author I always admire (when appropriate). That is actually a topic point later in the book--being willing to share our hurts and failures with others. The story he told of Budapest Frank was pretty affirming (page 91--read it!).

One last comment I underlined was towards the end. Speaking of trying to do the good that God wants us to, he talked about the difference between committing and surrendering (committing yourself to do, or not do, something and surrendering to God and allowing Him to make the change):

"The biggest difference between commitment and surrender is who you put in control: God or yourself. Give up trying to overcome your hurt, addiction, and brokenness. Surrender. It is the only way you will succeed."

I did feel like he went overboard trying to come up with as many illustrations, or quips as he could. Overall, I enjoyed the read and am considering reading his other advertised book Buck-Naked Faith.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Soohoo on December 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading "Plastic Jesus: Exposing the Hollowness of Comfortable Christianity" by Eric Sandras. What an awesome and easy read. Dr. Sandras described exactly the hollow lives of people who live in suburbia and who have been living comfortable Christian lives. People who live in suburbia have the facade of having everything all together yet are empty inside. This book exposed the posers and pretenders for who they really are, broken people. This was such a great book that I have recommended to my own pastor that everyone in our church read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laraine Larson on December 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Plastic Jesus helped me in my search for genuine faith. Raised in the 80's when nearly everything was plastic, I have sat in church for years looking for someone to pop the bubble of what Eric refers to as spiritual suburbia. Thank you, Dr. Sandras for risking your own reputation with your peers to help others experience God, not just read about Him.

Can't wait for the next insightful book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on March 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Nothing could be more honest about the struggles a Christian faces in America. I totally related to all he expressed about his own personal struggles making his faith in Christ real, experienced and deep. His humor and candor do not mask the truth that illuminates every page. I could not put this book down! And now that I have, I want to take it back up again because I don't want to have overlooked a single shred of insight. I am eager to read his first book as well.
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