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Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community Kindle Edition
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“As I read through Uncomfortable, I am strangely comforted. With all the talk about young Christians being disenchanted with the local church, it is refreshing to hear Brett McCracken, a Millennial, speak so affirmatively on her behalf. I am moved by Brett’s grown-up perspective in these pages, a perspective that champions the church as a family not a club, a sinner’s hospital not a social network, and a commitment not a consumer product. For any serious Christian, Brett’s words are a wake-up call to engage―indeed, to love and devote ourselves to―this often messy, high-maintenance, painfully ordinary but also glorious, life-giving, and forever-beloved band of misfits that Jesus calls his wife. If Jesus has so tethered himself to the church, dare we untether ourselves from her? Thank you, Brett, for reminding us that Jesus and his wife come to us as a package deal. This book is a must-read.”
―Scott Sauls, Senior Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee; author, Jesus Outside the Lines and A Gentle Answer
“In a generation of dissatisfied consumers hoping to find our perfectly customized Dream Church™, Brett McCracken is the herald of a counterintuitive gospel: ‘Take comfort! Church is supposed to be uncomfortable!’ That’s because McCracken knows it’s precisely in embracing the uncomfortable truths of the gospel and immersing ourselves in the uncomfortable unity-in-diversity of the body that we are transformed into the image of Christ―the God who endured the discomfort of the cross to bring us resurrection life. In that sense, Uncomfortable is a sharp application of Christ’s perennial call to come and die to the particular temptations of the North American church. A helpful corrective and an ultimately hopeful invitation.”
―Derek Rishmawy, blogger, Reformedish; cohost, Mere Fidelity podcast
“As an inhabitant of the Western world, I take comfort for granted, and I like it that way. I expect to wear comfortable clothes, sleep in a comfortable bed, and have comforting food in the refrigerator. All my cultural conditioning teaches me to expect―and demand―comfort. Yet as a pastor and a disciple, I know that the demands of the gospel, while ultimately comforting, frequently are not comfortable. In this excellent book, Brett McCracken identifies and prods around many of the things that make Christian community uncomfortable: he had me itching and scratching! Brett demonstrates how rather than fleeing discomfort we need to lean into it, and in so doing find what is more deeply satisfying than the shallow comforts of our consumer age. I encourage you to read this book and embrace the itch!”
―Matthew Hosier, Pastor, Gateway Church, Poole, United Kingdom; Contributor, thinktheology blog
“What if not only our answers but our questions are wrong? We think we know what we want, but as Brett McCracken explains with persuasive wit and wisdom, Jesus knows better. Uncomfortable is just the message we need to hear, especially right now.”
―Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
“We live in a culture oriented entirely toward comfort, and the church is not immune from its lure. Brett McCracken offers a timely and needed reminder that the call for Christians is a different one, but one that brings blessings richer than mere comfort. Uncomfortable will make you uncomfortable in the best of ways. Every believer needs to read this book and heed its call.”
―Karen Swallow Prior, Research Professor of English and Christianity and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, On Reading Well
“Americans are experts at avoiding the uncomfortable―be it awkward conversations, conflicted relationships, or lifestyle changes. But Jesus points us to a better way. In this book, McCracken shows us how the greatest glories for disciples of Jesus are often found in the most uncomfortable places his voice calls us and how the real church is not an idealized utopia beyond the fray of history, but rather Jesus powerfully present among his often muddled, messy, and awkward―yes, uncomfortable―bands of followers today.”
―Joshua Ryan Butler, Pastor, Redemption Church, Tempe, Arizona; author, The Skeletons in God’s Closet and The Pursuing God
“Brett McCracken challenges us to face one of the greatest fears of contemporary culture: discomfort. Rather than retreating into a soothing world where everyone’s ‘just like me’ or embracing the distractions of technology and consumerism, Brett calls us to life in community with God’s people, where awkwardness, disappointment, and frustration are the norm. It’s in this way of life―embracing the uncomfortable―that we’ll find the richest experience of God’s grace and the community our hearts truly desire. In a world where church is often just one more consumeristic choice, this is a much-needed book.”
―Mike Cosper, Founder and Director, Harbor Institute for Faith and Culture
“Ahhhh, comfort. It’s the siren call to our human hearts, beckoning us to find, acquire, and maintain lives of ease. Such a bent, however, is incompatible with a vibrant Christian faith lived within a thriving Christian community. In Uncomfortable, Brett McCracken alerts us to the toxic ways comfort infects and hinders our faith―and how God meets our heart’s desire for comfort in gloriously unexpected ways. McCracken urges us to seek something greater than comfort: true life and true faith in Christ, found just beyond the borders of our comfort zone.”
―Erin Straza, author, Comfort Detox; Managing Editor, Christ and Pop Culture
“Anyone who looks closely at modern Christian life can see signs of the insidious self-centeredness by which we sinners are tempted to transform the gospel into something that suits our tastes and fits our plans. McCracken carries out that close examination; in fact, in this book he equips us to pursue that false comfort into all of its hiding places and root it out in Jesus’s name and for the sake of the gospel.”
―Fred Sanders, Professor of Theology, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University; author, The Deep Things of God
“Sometimes church feels like an annoying family member you would rather see only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We want a church that is cool and suits our tastes, not the frustrating institution that carries around the ‘shame of the cross.’ Brett’s smoothly written book has cast all the awkwardness of church into a new and meaningful light for me. Like a Puritan voice for the cool, anti-institutional, twenty-first-century Christian, Brett charges his readers to stay and commit to the church as Christ’s bride.”
―Emily Belz, journalist, World magazine
“In an anti-institutional age, many wandering souls are hungry for something bigger than themselves. Brett McCracken’s vision of the church points us to this reality, which is rarely what we expect and always what we need. Readers of diverse backgrounds―and differing viewpoints―will profit from considering these reflections. McCracken is a prophetic voice within the rising generation of evangelicalism, and I am thankful for his contribution.”
―Owen Strachan, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; coauthor, The Grand Design; coeditor, Designed for Joy
“Uncomfortable dismantles some of our most-treasured hopes and dreams about what church could and should look like, revealing the pride and self-will that lurk beneath even the noblest of our ideals. It grounds us instead in what church really is―a place where we are called to love our fellow sinners and be loved by them, acknowledging our shared sinfulness even while we challenge each other to leave it behind. For all who care about the church, this is invaluable reading.”
―Gina Dalfonzo, author, One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church
“As C. S. Lewis reminded us, if we want a comfortable faith, we best not give ourselves to Jesus Christ. But if we want a faith grounded in ultimate reality, and one that matures and therefore ennobles us, then Jesus is indeed the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In this book, Brett McCracken not only ‘counts the cost’ of life in Christ, but also shows why this uncomfortable life is also the most blessed.”
―Mark Galli, Former Editor in Chief, Christianity Today
About the Author
Brett McCracken is a senior editor for the Gospel Coalition and the author of Uncomfortable; Hipster Christianity; and Gray Matters. He lives with his family in Southern California, where he serves as an elder at Southlands Church.
Senior Editor, The Gospel Coalition; author, Uncomfortable and Hipster Christianity--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B071XS8HLZ
- Publisher : Crossway (September 15, 2017)
- Publication date : September 15, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 667 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 218 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #541,232 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book was written with a high view of church, Gods word, Community, and very good doses of humor to keep your guard down when dis siding uncomfortable topics like speaking in tongues. ;)
My worship suffered.
My desire to connect with others suffered.
My yearning to serve suffered.
My enthusiasm for learning suffered.
My attendance suffered.
Likewise, my skepticism increased.
My judgmental thoughts increased.
And my defeatist attitude increased.
Although I still attended for at least half of the year, I had become cynical about the body of Christ, even in the church I loved. But ... why was I securing every plausible excuse to show that they were the issue and not me? Even now, in my mid-thirties, I still haven't found it easy to overcome the challenge of fitting into church groups who already have deep roots of their own before I uneasily push to make myself known to them. Brett starts off with a bang in this book and breaks down those walls we put up ourselves. He is profoundly correct in that the uncomfortable distance between myself and the style, the people, and even the education is a battle that I MUST overcome to build the church I have decided to be my home. The doctrine is sound, and the welcoming nature of the leadership is something I look forward to bragging about. I hope to share the love of Jesus with others and invite them without the worry of how they might respond because I trust the direction of my church and look forward to serving it in the long haul. Southlands is my church, and the people are my family ... in all the uncomfortable times ahead.
Brett McCracken hit the bullseye with this book. Whether you are looking for a church, already attend one, or even wondering whether or not going to church would be helpful, this book will bring about a positive change in you!