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nuChristian: Finding Faith in a New Generation

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0817015497
ISBN-10: 0817015493
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Editorial Reviews


"If you are a mature believer who likes to think and be challenged (both ways) then reading a book like this will be good for you. Some bits will encourage you and challenge you positively, others will make you think long and hard about your beliefs." --as reviewed on the blog, Feeding the Five Thousand.

"I have read many books on the subject, and Rathburn offers one of the most insightful and easy-to-understand introductions and explanation of postmodernism that I have read. I recommend Russell Rathbun's insightful and intriguing work, not only for clergy or academics, but for anyone worried about the future of the church, experiencing the changes in culture, and wondering what it might mean to live faithfully - and authentically - as a Christian in today's world." --Kristopher Norris, Congregational Formation, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

"Rathbun asks all the right questions and whether you agree or disagree with them, the issues dealt with are vital to the church's effectiveness and relevance in today's society. I highly recommend this book." --Steve Bedard, as reviewed on the blog, Cassiciacum.

About the Author

Russell E. D. Rathbun, MDiv, is cofounder and pastor of House of Mercy, an innovative faith community in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is author of the critically acclaimed Post-Rapture Radio: Lost Writings from the Failed Revolution at the End of the Last Century (Jossey-Bass).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Judson Pr (August 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817015493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817015497
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.3 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,434,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By S. J. Bedard on October 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
A few months ago, I read an interesting book called unChristian written by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. It dealt with the perceptions that people outside the church felt toward the church and Christianity. It was a helpful book that both called for greater understanding of those outside the church and some tough soul-searching within the church in order to confront our problems. The authors concluded their book with a call for further conversation on these issues.

Emerging church pastor Russell Rathbun has taken up that challenge with his new book, appropriately titled nuChristian. Rathbun deals with all of the same issues as the earlier book, but from the perspective of his own experience both growing up in a traditional Baptist church, as well as his experience in the emerging church. Sometimes the emerging church is accused of being light on Scripture and yet this book's strength is the fact that it is solidly biblical. Rathbun reflects deeply on the Bible and the truth that is given us through revelation. NuChristian is much shorter than unChristian and yet it is still very helpful. The short length of the book makes it very readable but also creates some problems. The author makes a quick comment that he does not disagree with homosexuality and yet gives no explanation of how he got there. For this reviewer, that was a great distraction. One of the things that I really did appreciate was the last chapter. As a pastor of a traditional Baptist church, I sometimes struggled with the author's ideas (although I always valued and respected them). The last chapter is a conversation between the author and his father who is a Baptist pastor. His father expressed some of the issues that some traditional Christians might wrestle with as they read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Drawing from his experiences and ministry as a pastor at his church (House of Mercy), Rathbun outlines some key areas where Christians can change their tune. We are reminded by Rathbun that, "We are not called to save people, we are called to love people." (pg. 43). The idea that God does the saving and Christians merely present the message is challenging. So often, Christians see the job of evangelism of "saving souls." Understanding that being a Christian is not about who we are, but who Christ is. Rathbun writes that Christians must be transparent, engaged, loving, holistic, just, and humble because that is what Jesus did. Jesus made disciples, not converts. Too often Christian has focused on making believers, but what happens when those believers have questions? Evangelism must not be a manipulation of people, but instead an outreach of love.

Culture is an important issue in NuChristian. We Christians cannot be sheltered from culture. Judgmental attitudes have no place in the life of a "NuChristian". We must seek an accurate and honest understanding of who we are and we must be exposed to culture in order to reach people. Using things like the internet, websites, email, etc... are all ways of reaching people. Church planters often think about zip-code mailings, door to door evangelism, and ads in the newspaper. Rathbun states that most people come to know his congregation through their website, not by seeing the church building. Throughout the book, illustrations are used from scripture that bring out how biblical characters were able to reach out through culture, while still maintaining their commitment to God.
NuChristian is a welcomed addition to the books that seek to bridge the gap between Christians and post-modernity.
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Format: Paperback
nuChristian is a great little book...at under 100 pages this is a quick read but packed full of thought-provoking ideas.

Many young people today are wary of organized religion and see Christians as judgemental and hypocritical. Author Russell Rathbun encourages believers to acknowledge these criticisms as valid. But also challenges believers to move beyond that...to reach out to youth in a more authentic way.
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Format: Paperback

In nuChristian, Russell Rathbun addresses several of the issues presented in unChristian directly and offers up how to change our ways of thinking, attitudes, and behaviors to more align with the message of Jesus.

Though he does not list out specific, practical applications--because they are not necessarily helpful. Our specific situations and interactions with people are different. They are not "one size fits all" by any means. And to offer solutions that are "one size fits all" is not only inappropriate, but it tends to belittle the significance and complexity of the problems addressed.

To further personalize the complexities of the issue, this book has a built in mini-study/discussion guide. There are questions strategically placed throughout to generate further thought on topics and summary points/questions at the end of each chapter to continue further discussion. Russel Rathbun realizes that this book is not meant to be an answer to the problem. But it is meant to be another voice in the conversation.

The book really drives home the idea that instead of lamenting how the "unchurched" perceive us as hypocritical, judgmental, sheltered, overly political, etc; that we need to focus on changing our behaviors to become more transparent, loving, humble, holistic, and just.
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