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The Fine Line: Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture Paperback – December 21, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Kary calls us to walk a fine line indeed, by becoming neither slaves to, nor haters of, culture. Instead, he calls us to transform our cultures with the good news of the gospel and the Kingdom. The Fine Line will help you think more biblically about the balance between contending (Jude 3) and contextualizing (1 Cor. 9:22-23).' -- Ed Stetzer, Author, Breaking the Missional Code, Comeback Churches, Planting Missional Churches, etc. <br><br>

About the Author

Kary Oberbrunner, MDiv, DMin, founded Redeem the Day, a movement connecting people to a process that ignites their souls on fire. Author of The Fine Line, Called, and The Journey Towards Relevance, Kary serves as a pastor at Grace Church in Ohio. He and his soul mate, Kelly, have three kids. In his free time he enjoys reading, the outdoors, and playing disc golf.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (December 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310285453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310285458
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,514,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How do I love thee, let me count the ways. This book has really stuck with me since I read it probably a year ago now. It is written by a man, and it is somewhat chart/graphish, but the idea of living in the world but not of it is fully explored here. Most of us who are people of faith have chosen to be on one side or the other of "the fine line" as either separatists or conformists, but Kary makes a clear cut case for why and how to be transformists. It certainly isn't the comfortable place to live, and if that's what you're looking for, then this book won't be for you. But if you want to go beyond the zone, this will really stick with you. Great book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kary Oberbrunner was my pastor for most of my senior year in high school. I remember him being a passionate guy and, oddly enough, basically the same age I am now. He is a gifted pastor, speaker and author and he recently wrote a book called The Fine Line.

It's a book about relevancy. How can we live in the world and not be of the world. The book covers a lot of ground in a very short space. He writes quick and to the point. For you visual learners out there, he makes use of several good diagrams of the information he's presenting. (I remember him doing that years ago, too.)

I'm always nervous when I hear about a book on relevancy. Most of what is out there is about how to be culturally savvy. How to watch movies, TV, use the internet, listen to music and do everything the world does in order to "reach" them. Kary doesn't do this. He says this is the polar opposite of how we should strive to be relevant to the world. It is not about doing what is hip at the time it is about two simple things: Love for God and love for man.

He does this by first giving us some basic groups within Christianity, people he calls Separatists and Conformists. Separatists are law-following and world-hating people who become irrelevant because they refuse to speak to others where they are. Conformists are world-loving and law-abusing people who become irrelevant because they refuse to stand on truth. He calls the middle ground people, the fine line people, Transformists.

By using those groups he is able to speak to people on both sides of the fence. People like me who lean on the Separatist side and others who lean on the Conformist side. He breaks it down for both of us by telling us what it means to be relevant is to simply follow Christ.
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Format: Paperback
As Christians we try to live a life of "in the world but not of it." The problem lies in the idea that our lives are drawn to either live a life that is fully in the world or completely separate from it. So much of our time is spent stressing out, should I do this, can I go here, can I wear that, is this ok, what would Jesus do, how much, how often, when.... We spend our time worrying about whether or not we can really relate to the world as a Christian. We often try to separate ourselves from the world. We live a life that is characterized by rules and regulations, not much different than the Pharisees of Jesus' day. The other side of the spectrum is to become so much like the world that we forget what being a Christian even looks like. Eventually we "exchange the truth of God for a lie" and become engulfed with "culture" and being in the world. But where is the difference, what marks the changed life, the "metamorphosis" of a Christian. Christ calls us to be salt and light. What good is salt if it never touches food?!?

Kary through the power of Christ captures this essence in this book it is a must read!!!!
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Format: Paperback
I've read all three of Kary's books now. Kary is about discipleship, but not in a traditional kind of way, more so in a biblical sort of way. Kary gets that discipleship is NOT about being more and more "heavenly minded". He understands and communicates brilliantly that discipleship is lived out in a real world, with real people, with real questions. He gets that in order for the kingdom to be transformative in culture, kingdom-bearers must relate to culture AS they connect to Christ.

If you're looking for a paradigm from which to develop a healthy culture of kingdom-bearers in your church or life, this book is a must read.

Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging
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Format: Paperback
Some principles are born and then die with each cultural shift. Some principles have remained through the ages, yet take on different monikers as each culture either embraces or rejects it. In this book, Kary Oberbrunner has taken a principle as old as Genesis and shown how relevant it is today. In our journey with Christ, we have, at times, ventured into one of the three "personnas" Kary describes. And he talks about it as if he is sitting across the room in an easy chair. Non-threatening, non-judgmental, non-preaching - Kary transparently illustrates the case for how we should interact with the culture we live in according to how Jesus did in His. A truly excellent read.
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Format: Paperback
Ok - so I started reading "The Fine Line" today - and can't put it down! I realize now why my life is so difficult at times, and why I feel like a Christian failure, and why I feel such joy and abandon at other times. It doesn't get any more about bringing culture into alignment with Christianity than when you share your life and home with a child... teen or young adult. Sometimes it feels like we have failed, but I see how God is using our obedience to walk that line...and I want to continue, no matter how hard it is to stay balanced. Can't wait for more encouragement and vision through the rest of the pages of this text! Thanks Kary....please continue writing.
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