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unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why It Matters Kindle Edition
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From the Back Cover
Christians are supposed to represent Christ to the world. But according to the latest report card, something has gone terribly wrong. Using descriptions like "hypocritical," "insensitive," and "judgmental," young Americans share an impression of Christians that's nothing short of . . . unChristian.
Groundbreaking research into the perceptions of sixteen- to twenty-nine-year-olds reveals that Christians have taken several giant steps backward in one of their most important assignments. The surprising details of the study, commissioned by Fermi Project and conducted by The Barna Group, are presented with uncompromising honesty in unChristian.
Find out why these negative perceptions exist, learn how to reverse them in a Christlike manner, and discover practical examples of how Christians can positively contribute to culture.
unChristian also includes forward-looking insights from respected Christian leaders, adding their assessment of the problems and their thoughts about how Christians should respond. Exclusive contributions from:
Jud Wilhite --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B009YJMHBI
- Publisher : Baker Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 2007)
- Publication date : October 1, 2007
- Language : English
- File size : 1044 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 258 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0801072719
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #396,635 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The Chapters on the perceptions of hypocrisy and being anti-homosexual were very enlightening and affirmed that we should neither capitulate on clear biblical teaching, nor continue in some of the very Unchristian ways in which we deal with what they term "outsiders". They chart a clear path by which we can hold to biblical truth, but call us to be gracious, to befriend those not like us rather than try to modify their behavior, to give them the gospel rather than our personal list of moral proscriptions.
The chapter on being too political/ partisan is very helpful as well, Christians have become far too entangled with the Republican party, but the solution is not to become more liberal, it's to acknowledge that neither party can account for the whole of biblical truth and that both have points of fidelity with scripture and denials of it. We need to "Test everything; hold fast what is good." - 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Lastly the Chapter on being judgemental I think was a little wrongheaded. Everyone is judgemental, to say "you shouldn't judge" is itself to judge someone for being judgemental. Further while some verses are shoehorned to speak against judging others none of the verses that tell us to judge are considered such as John 7:24. Further Matthew 7:1-3 where Jesus tells us " “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" Is considered, but they conveniently leave out verses 4 and 5 where Jesus tells us to still take the speck out of our brothers eye (judge): "Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
They also bring up the women caught in adultery but conveniently leave out the "go forth and sin no more" at the end. Honestly the whole chapter just reminds me of speaking to people who bring up "thou shalt not judge" in order to shut down any Christian they disagree with. We are commanded by scripture to judge, the great commission requires it: "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
you can't command people to observe all that Jesus has commanded us without judging that the are not currently observing his command. We are required to judge, but we are not required to condemn, and we should not. The only thing of worth I got from this chapter was that we should have more grace. Our judgement without grace and understanding is in essence just to accuse them and we already have an accuser, his name is Satan. We are all guilty of sin and so we all need grace, so that is something emphasized in this chapter that is very helpful.
Overall this book is chalk full of important information for Christians, we need to realize how those outside of the faith see us, why they see us that way, and we need to change the way we live. The overall thrust of the book is to become more Christlike as that is the only thing that will change these perceptions. That means befriending those outside the faith (not for the purpose of converting them or doing PR but just to be their friend) and showing them grace. Being in the world but not of it, and helping our fellow man more than pointing out their faults. This book is a wake up call, that how we are perceived effects our ability to reach individuals and the culture at large for Christ. We need to tear down these barriers and become what Christ intended us to be. Not sheltered and hypocritical, hyperfocused on morality like modern day Pharisees, but present and loving, broken sinners pointing to the great physician, not Unchristian, but little Christ's.
The book demonstrates that each generation has new challenges when it comes to Christianity and that all Christians should ask do I know Jesus? What would He do? What is the Christian message and do I personifi it?
Very excellent book and I'm reading another book that was quoted in UnChristian; "How Now Shall We Live".
:not of the Christian faith
a :contrary to the Christian spirit or character
b :uncivilized, barbarous
In Unchristian, Kinnaman investigates the 16-29 year Olds perception of Christians. First he analyzes Barna research and statistics, and then he discusses why it matters. The responses are not flattering. Words like anti-homosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, and too political are among the recurring themes from those interviewed.
"What are Christians known for? Outsiders think our moralizing, our condemnations, and our attempts to draw boundaries around everything. Even if these standards are accurate and biblical, they seem to be all we have to offer. And our lives are a poor advertisement for the standards. We have set the gameboard to register lifestyle points; then we are surprised to be trapped by our mistakes. The truth is we have invited the hypocrite image." - David Kinnaman.
Unchristian challenges us to live lives that reflect Christ, to humble ourselves, and consider how we live our lives can be a road block to others developing a relationship with the a loving God.
"When outsiders claim that we are unchristian, it is a reflection of this jumbled (and predominately negative) set of perceptions. When they see Christians not acting like Jesus, they quickly conclude that the group deserves an unchristian label. Like a corrupted computer file or a bad photocopy, Christianity, they say, is no longer in pure form, and so they reject it. One quarter of outsiders say therefore most perception of Christianity is that the faith has changed for the worse. It has gotten off-track and is not what Christ intended. Modern-day Christianity no longer seems Christian." - David Kinnaman
Unchristian challenges each of us and the church to carefully examine how we are representing Christ in our everyday lives. It is disturbing, challenging, and thought provoking. I highly recommend it for both individual reading as well as group study.
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Hinweis zum Händler: Das Buch kam ziemlich ramponiert hier an - es sah nicht wirklich neu und ungebraucht aus.
Kinnaman preformed a very precise and accurate view of what is wrong with today's Christianity, but he did so from 'inside the walls of the convent'. Or more plainly stated, he did so through the eyes of a person fully committed to the current Christian mores. His views that the Christian religion is being viewed as homophobic, judgmental, hypocritical, close-minded, hostile to persons outside their circle, uninformed and shallow all ring true and are taking place outside of the convent walls in a growing manner. The lay person's concept of Christianity and how the church actually views itself lie in exact opposite directions. While the author's intentions are pure, based on his belief system, in his search for a way inwhich his church can become more relevant in our present world, his solutions seem very dogmatic and superficial in themselves. Instead of examining the potentially false or questionable beliefs that the church has inflicted upon the world, he, instead, reinforces that fact that the religion itself has no faults and, instead, it is only in the manner which it is being portrayed to the world that is wrong. In other words, if the church members would learn to 'sell' their beliefs in a more Christ-like manner, the world would suddenly crowd to their doorsteps. While Christian 'salesmenship' may, in fact, have become more "I-centered" than in past decades, this is only a small part of the reason that Christianity has lost its credibility.
My research over the past 25+ years has shown me that the major problems that the Christian church is now experiencing have very little to do with 'salesmenship' and far more to do with 'relevance'. Three decades ago the Christian church aligned itself with the Republican party and that under this agreement both groups would benefit; the Republicans would become elected because the Christians would turn out and, because of that, the Republicans, in turn, would actively deal with a handful of issues that the Moral Majority deemed critical. Those issues were abortion rights, disallowance of homosexuality in the political arena and the clear definition of life as beginning at the moment conception. These are the three issues that drove the faithful to the polls. It was done, on their sincere part, as a way of bringing Bible 'truths' to the civic arena. As history has now shown us, the Republican party, however, never had any intention of resolving these issues. For if they did they would, in turn, lose their immediate identification with the conservative Christians that elected them into office. In other words, if they had actively dealt with the Christian issues, the Christians would no longer be motivated to go to the voting booths for them; their problems would have already have been solved and they wouldn't need the Republicans any longer. Because of this allegiance with the Republicans over the years, however, the reputation of the Christians has become badly damaged from its association with the slander, corruption and lack of ethics that go with any political party. Any and all of the mistakes that the party has made, all of the war-mongering they have done and their failure to be the 'family-values' party has all come back and has been laid at the feet of the Christian leaders who put them in alliance with the party in the first place. The Republicans, because of this allegiance, did not become any more moral. The Christians, however, were now viewed as becoming more amoral.
Other reasons for the waning of the 'popularity' of Christianity with the younger generation is equally as far-reaching. Science has made great strides in expanding our knowledge of the physical universe around us over the past decade. For Christianity to not only ignore these findings, because they don't fit into their Biblical definitions of the world, but to mock them outright not only smacks of dogmatism but ignorance as well. Every creationist 'science' museum that is opened that professes the age of the earth as being 7K years old is ridiculed by anyone who has ever read a book beyond the level of "Dick and Jane". Each time the church promotes the existence of 'Satan' and fails to examine the psychosocial causes for the world's social problems proves themselves to be people who grab onto easy, fairy-tale like answers for very complex and deep-seated problems. The church's continued identity with the Republican party removes from them the concepts of anti-war, anti-poverty and social compassion which they have stood for over the ages. These are the concepts that this particular political party has always refused to deal and identify with. Everytime one of their religious leaders attacks a progressive politician simply because he/she is not conservative, they make a mockery out of their premise of being 'loving and compassionate Christians'. And lastly, each time they intimate that the problems of the world are caused by God being angry at only those persons who do not identify themselves as Christians, the antagonism that the rest of the world feels for these baseless and empty remarks increases geometrically (Katrina, 9/11 and the AIDS epidemic are current examples).
The author and other Christian leaders must come to realize that if the church's goals are that more and more people should come to believe in the 7 tenets of evangelicalism, I am afraid that they are doomed to failure. People are becoming much more well informed and that, unlike what the church wishes to think, is a very GOOD thing. For it is only with educated and clear thinking minds that people can reach objective decisions for their lives. Blind faith has historically proven to lead countless populations down blind allies and more soldiers have died under the banner of 'their God' than any other cause. Unless the Christian religion can alter its belief system to incorporate scientific facts as they innerrantly reveal themselves, the Christian church will go the way of the pope that imprisoned Copernicus for stating that the earth was not flat. The mere 10% of the American population who label themselves as being evangelical, born-again, fundamental Christians will never grow beyond this insignificant mark. It will never disappear altogether either for there will always be a group of people who refuse to examine facts that exist outside of their dogmatic belief system. "Faith in spite of facts" will always be their credo.