Monday, February 15, 2010


Our church did a book club on the book, “unChristian.” It’s a book by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Kinnaman works for the Barna Group which conducts research studies. His research took over three years and his focus was on the age group of sixteen to twenty-nine year olds.

Christianity has an image problem and this book examines why that is and explores the perceptions people outside the church have about Christians. I believe we do have an image problem and some of it is well deserved. I didn’t agree with every perception in the book, but most of it was right on.

The book contains raw data – what people think when they hear the word, “Christian.” The chapters deal with the perceptions “outsiders” have about Christians. Here’s an example: we are hypocritical, only interested in getting people “saved,” antihomosexual, sheltered, too political, and judgmental.

What I liked about the book is Kinnaman didn’t say we should stop speaking the truth of who Jesus is or that we needed to water down our faith. What he was saying was we needed to change the perceptions to new ones that reflect the heart of God. We need to love people just because that was the example Jesus showed us. He hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes. He was a friend to those who were friendless. He simply loved those his Father placed in his path.

Some people had a hard time with the book because they felt insulted. I don’t believe this book was meant to insult, but enlighten. If something is not working then we need to examine why. We need to love God’s people. We need to love them the way Jesus did – right where they are at.

I hate it when a telemarketer calls me because they don’t know me. They don’t care about me or what my bills are. What they care about is closing the deal. I don’t ever want to make someone feel like that. I want them to know the love of God. For me that should start with my being their friend.

I’m doing a book giveaway. If you live in the United States and would like a chance to win a copy of this book, then leave a comment. I will pick a winner next Monday, February 22nd.

If you want to listen to some messages Tom preached on the book, just go to our church’s website.

© Nadine Zawacki 2010

AND THE WINNER IS . . . Brenda. Congratulations. I'll be contacting you for your address.


Susan said...

Sounds very interesting and too true. Please enter my name. We need to get back to loving people just where they are. If they truly have an encounter with Jesus that will take care of all those other "things"!!!

Ginnie said...

Hi Nadine, thanks for giving your point of view. I was unable to attend the book club, so I have only really heard Tom's point of view about this book. It is a hard read...too much data in many places for me, but very informative. I agree that we need to find better ways to share about Jesus. I've been working on that for some time now...young people are not too interested in the old ways of evangelism. it takes much longer to really get to their heart and get into their circle of trust. Thanks again. Ginnie

jennifer said...

Amen! I've been thinking along the same lines lately. Legalism has made it's way into the church and it's robbing us of so much joy! LOVE! We have to use Christ's example and love.

The book sounds fascinating but you don't have to include me in the giveaway. Forgive me if that sounds ungracious but I feel led to pass the opportunity on to someone else.

Love you Nadine!

Ily said...

You know I'm going to check this one out, Chica. Win or lose, I'm curious. :)

Brenda said...

The definition of today's 'Christian' is difinitely a far cry from what it was meant to be...Christ-like.

Jacki said...

This would be a very interesting book to read, as I have had a hard time getting back into church, for many of the reasons you listed. I have found that churches, in general, have become very hypocritical, judgmental, etc. Especially Baptist churches, which I had been a member of. I am starting to lean more towards the non-denominational churches.

I want to go to church to worship Jesus. Period. I don't want all the legalism and everything else that goes along with it.

Even when I did attend church, I was very uncomfortable with the "Turn or Burn!" evangelism.

Rhonda said...

Nadine it would be interesting to read about the research findings, especially with the younger generation. Count me in for the drawing.

Laurel said...

"If something is not working then we need to examine why. We need to love God’s people. We need to love them the way Jesus did – right where they are at."

This is so true Nadine. The heart of God!

Christina said...

I just read this book. I thought it was pretty accurate.

Danni said...

I've heard a lot about this book...probably from Tom! Sounds interesting and challenging...I love what you said about the telemarketer - makes so much sense!
Love and Miss you!