“What a new generation really thinks about Christianity – and why it matters.” This is the tagline that opens the book UnChristian. This book is an excellent, much-needed read, using cold, hard facts to back up the ideas that we all know are needed.
The book begins with a quick explanation. David Kinnaman, CEO of the Barna group, was hired by a friend, Gabe Lyons, to evaluate the overall thoughts of Americans regarding Christianity. His finds are compiled in this book. Overall, Christianity is seen in a poorer light now than ever before. Why?
The book tackles six main negative perceptions of the church and what can be done to reverse these perceptions. Kinnaman whirls us through ‘hypocritical,’ ‘insincere,’ ‘anti-homosexual,’ ‘sheltered,’ ‘too political,’ and ‘judgmental.’ In each chapter, he specifically looks at the reasons Christians are perceived as such. He also lays out about half of each chapter towards fixing this perception.
But rather than a dry list of do’s and don’t’s, this book refocuses the church by correctly diagnosing the problem: religion can take us nowhere. The Christian religion is as empty and useless as any other religion. Sadly, Kinnaman’s results only put on paper what is becoming obvious: the American church has become an end in itself.
Thankfully we’re redirected to the true solution of this problem: Christ-likeness. When Christians follow Christ, these perceptions can and will be reversed. This book is a call to refocus from empty religion to a relationship with Jesus Christ, and careful application of Biblical principles so that Christians can make an impact on the world.
Throughout the book short passages written by a variety of Christian leaders are included. Rather than be encouraging, though, most of these passages seem to miss the mark, calling instead for new programs, more work. While several of the leaders pin the answer as Christ, correctly, many seem to still be off the mark. Overall, though, this doesn’t detract from the very good message of the book.
UnChristian is a book more Christians need to read. Like other excellent books (Such as C.J. Mahaney’s Living the Cross-Centered Life) with a similar message, UnChristian points us back to Christ and seeking to live more like him. It’s a message every Christian needs to hear, again and again, and UnChristian weaves in its unique data and analysis to form this book. It’s an excellent book that’s definitely worth your time.
Published on 23 June, 2012. Last updated on