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Too Christian, Too Pagan: How to Love the World Without Falling For It Hardcover – November 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310233151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310233152
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,367,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Should Christians be engaged in, or disengaged from, their world? This is the prevailing question that Staub, president of the Center for Faith and Culture, asks Christians who are commanded by Jesus Christ to participate fully in the world without falling for its subtle, yet destructive charms. Staub insists that modern-day Christians frequently resist partaking in the culture around them because they are "too Christian" or fear being labeled "too pagan" by other followers of Christ. This attitude, Staub claims, rejects Christ's edict to go into the world and share the Christian message. Masterfully told, Staub's 25 readings weave biblical principles of loving others as oneself from within the confines of workplace, school, neighborhood and family. Staub challenges Christians to fearlessly enter their world of influence and meet those of different beliefs at a place of common understanding. Specifically, Staub encourages readers to go to the movies, read current literature, listen to the latest music craze, attend a co-worker's party, check out a neighbor's interests and then discerningly look for the theological truth within each form of communication so as to converse intelligently and with caring grace. With deepening intensity, Staub's storytelling skill builds chapter by chapter until the dubious labels of either "too Christian" or "too pagan" are cast off in favor of a reckless love for a hurting world. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Jesus Didn’t Invite the World to Come to Church.
He Commanded the Church to Go into the World.

But do we really understand what he meant? Not if our actions mean anything. Instead of going into the world, we run from it. Some of us hold it at arm’s length, some of us fight it, some of us conform to it, and others of us grow complacent toward it. But few of us know what it means to actually love the world with the kind of passionate, visionary love that sent Jesus from the heights of holiness into the depths of a sin-sick culture.

In Too Christian, Too Pagan, Dick Staub calls us to communicate the Gospel in the most risky, satisfying, and compelling way possible: by living an unpretentious faith amid the perils and promise of our society. It’s not about handing out tracts or organizing rallies. It’s about following Christ out of our comfort zones into places we’d never expect, getting as close to sinners and their lives as Jesus himself wants to get.

Not everyone will approve. To some, we’ll seem too Christian; to others, too pagan. But the One whose opinion truly matters will be glorified as we enter not just into his ways and means, but his very heart.



More About the Author

Dick Staub is an engaging, broadly informed listener who consumes a vast amount of information each day and then communicates his observations and insights as a broadcaster, writer and public speaker. He enjoys learning about people's ideas and the personal journey that shaped their views. While he is a man of far reaching interests and curiosities, Staub is particularly fascinated with America's creative, ideological and spiritual quest, which today is often unlinked from organized religion. He believes there is a vibrant ongoing conversation about ideas and beliefs going on in today's popular culture through movies, books, theatre and music. Part of his mission is to listen to and facilitate that cultural conversation.

"The Dick Staub Show" first appeared locally in Seattle at King Broadcasting (an NBC affiliate) in 1987 and in 1991 moved to Chicago as a nationally syndicated, afternoon drive, radio talk show. After years of interviewing the shapers of American culture - authors, filmmakers, musicians, trend-watchers, educators, business leaders, theologians, politicians and futurists - Dick Staub is emerging as one of today's most experienced and thoughtful observers of people, beliefs & ideas driving contemporary culture. His award winning signature interviews have resulted in numerous honors including the Cardinal's Award for excellence in broadcasting.

In May 2006 Dick launched the Seattle-based The Kindling's Muse an intelligent, imaginative, hospitable exploration of ideas that matter most in contemporary life as sparked through our personal journeys and through our shared cultural experience in art, movies, books, music and events. Inspired by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien who met weekly in a pub for lively conversation with friends they called 'The Inklings,' The Kindling's Muse features a live audience and round-table of thoughtful creatives and gadflies discussing ideas, beliefs and values shaping life today. The Kindling's Muse originates from a variety of locations in the public square: Hales Ales Brewery & Pub' in the Fremont District, The Windrider Forum/Sundance film festival, Experience Music Project and the CS Lewis Centre. Listen at www.thekindlings.com

Staub has served on the board of North Park University, Martin Marty's ecumenical Public Religion Project and Image Journal (A Journal of Art, Faith & Mystery). He is a frequent conference keynote speaker and has appeared on dozens of college and graduate school campuses in the US and abroad and is also an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University.

Staub graduated cum laud from Simpson University and Gordon-Conwell Seminary and his done additional graduate level coursework at Harvard Divinity School and University of Washington. His academic concentrations include Philosophy, Communications, Religion and Cultural History

Customer Reviews

In the closing chapters of the book, Mr. Staub addresses the areas in which the church is currently failing.
NotATameLion
You may not like everything you hear and you may feel that a lot of Staub's suggestions are downright dangerous, but perhaps it's time for a little danger!
"brian65"
Words like "challenging" and "compelling" and phrases like "difficult issues" and "penetrating insight" are all aptly applied to the book.
Prime Meridian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "brian65" on February 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dick Staub's insights go against the grain of what Christians are usually taught about evangelism. Often it appears that we are encouraged to shout out the Gospel message from our safe Christian subculture across the great divide to the rest of the world. We talk to people in our language, from a perspective that has little to do with the way most people think and act and then we wonder why their hearts are "hardened" to our message. Staub poses an interesting theory. Maybe it's we who need to change. Maybe we need to start seeing God in places we didn't think he would appear, such as popular movies and music. Instead of separating ourselves from the rest of the world, maybe it's time to find commonalitites and go from there. He uses numerous antecdotes and stories, many from his own life, which help prove his point. I highly recommend this book. You may not like everything you hear and you may feel that a lot of Staub's suggestions are downright dangerous, but perhaps it's time for a little danger! Staub encourages the Church to come out of hiding and participate in our world and present culture without compromising who we are as believers. This is a delicate balance but the author navigates through this tough task deftly and wisely. Check it out!
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Soozie4Him VINE VOICE on May 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Subtitled "How to love the world without falling for it", Dick Staub's book really makes you think. The author says that if we are truly following Jesus, we will seem too Christian to pagans, and too pagan for our fellow Christians.
The author is correct in saying that if we stay in our safe and secure Christian bubble, we won't have much influence on the world. We must be aware of what secular culture is like out there. And while Dick says that we must be discerning, I think there are some problems with becoming as involved in the world's culture as Dick suggests.
He encourages Christians to meet people where they are - go to those parties which you would rather not attend, read the secular bestselling books so you can talk to people about them, see the movies everyone is seeing, listen to the popular secular music so you can identify with what people are listening to.
While I see the advantages of being aware of popular culture, I do think there are problems with Christians immersing themselves in secular culture. I think there's a fine line that we need to walk as Christians impacting the world, but not getting dragged down by it.
Dick Staub is the Founder and Chairman of "The Center for Faith and Culture". So researching secular culture is his main job. Most of us would not have the time or energy to take part in all this, let alone WANT TO. There are many Christians who have come out of a background where music with explicit lyrics and movies depicting sex and violence were part of their lives. I don't believe it would be a good idea of these people to start taking part in these things again.
Most of us have very limited time what with careers, families, etc.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By NotATameLion on February 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Taking Jesus into our world requires fully engaging both our faith and the world, yet few of us have learned to live a fully integrated life of faith in the world. Paradoxically, in my experience those who wholeheartedly embark on this path will end up seeming both too Christian for their pagan friends and too pagan for their Christian friends."
This quote is from chapter one of Dick Staub's wonderful book: "Too Christian, Too Pagan." The rest of the book explains this argument and gives "how to" suggestions for living this exciting and fulfilling kind of life.
Previous to December, I had never heard of this book or its author...Then a friend of mine received a copy of the book for Christmas. I didn't really think to much of it at the time (the friend has yet to read the book as far as I know) But then, through a series of events, This book kept entering my daily life through offhand comments, emails etc. I am glad it did!
"Too Christian, Too Pagan" has spoken to me right where I live. The chapter entitled "Think" is the first time I have ever read a contemporary Christian author address directly the lack of thinking that goes on in too many churches (Bob Briner and Mark Noll came close, but their topics demanded they spend more time on other things). I can testify to the truth of Mr. Staub's comment when he says:
"I am warning you, in what is generally an anti-intellectual culture and Christian subculture, your commitment to thinking will make you countercultural."
I have felt this in my journey. So few really ever do think...many in fact, live in self-imposed prisons of the mind as a result. We must remember that Jesus told us to love the Lord with our minds to set us free...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David K. Clark on November 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Let me get to the bottom-line first: This volume gets my vote for Christian book of the year! In twenty-five brief chapters, talk radio host Dick Staub adresses the issue of cultural engangement, which has plagued believers of every era. In other words, how does one effectively live as "salt" and "light" in the world without either becoming compromised or resorting to isolationism?
Virtually no stone is left unturned. Staub discusses how to practice cultural discernment when watching films, listening to the Top 40, or reading the latest hit from Oprah's Book Club. He offers wise counsel on what it means to really love your neighbor. This book offers a wealth of insight and practical application.
As a pastor for more than thirty years (who "moonlights" as a jazz musician), Staub's book resonates deep within my soul. I am recommending it to all my friends, and will soon use it as the basis for a class in my church.
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