Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This book was completed in 2007, it is written by David Kinniman. It's 246 pages in length.
The title of the book, Unchristian, can be a little misleading if you don’t read the subtitle. In short, this book is about how a specific generation (defined as mosaics: 16-29 yr olds) thinks about modern American Christianity and it’s followers.
I will admit, I am always skeptical of this type of research because even if you surveyed 1 Million people, you're still not hitting everyone. Also, if you did this type of research for a project in H.S. or college, you and I both know how data can be manipulated to prove a predetermined theory.
With that said, you have two options when it comes to this book:
1. You can view it as an honest attempt to understand how followers of Christ are portraying Christianity...
2. You can choose to be looking at this book as another way to say that you know everything and no one can tell you anything you don’t know.
It's your call.
In their research, they basically came up with 6 basic themes that popped up repeatedly with the people who were surveyed, concerning Christianity and it’s followers in America.
1. We are Hypocritical.
2. We are too focused on getting converts. They (potential-converts) feel like we view them as "targets" and not people.
3. We are Anti-Homosexual. We are bigots towards homosexual people and their lifestyles.
4. We are Sheltered.
5. Too Political
After reading this book, I was both saddened by how we have managed to look so little like Christ as a church “universal”, but also determined to to my part as a preacher to equip and empower followers of Christ with a biblical-worldview that will help them change the course of where the church has been going.
Any Christian in 2010 with their eyes halfway open is seeing that discipleship is essential if we as a church are going to succeed in effectively representing Christ. I recommend that any person who desires to have an effective ministry past the next 5 years pick up this book.
Before I go, here are some quotes that I picked up from the book:
•Mosaics and busters are the ultimate “conversation generations.” Then want to discuss debate. and question everything.
•…we cannot simply dismiss the criticism of hypocrisy by saying “Christians are not perfect; they are just sinners just like anyone else.”
•One-third of the people who qualify as born-again Christians embrace this idea (that “avoiding sin” is the main goal of being a Christian)
•We rationalize that outsiders don’t want to become Christ followers because they can’t cut it. The truth is that few outsiders say they avoid Christianity because the moral standards are too restrictive.
•Older born-agains need to look more carefully at what Jesus teaches, that spiritual maturity is demonstrated in a life as an outcome of the condition of a person’s heart and soul, that behaviors follow belief.
•…younger born-again Christians need to take an honest assessment of their lives and realize that they are increasingly poor witnesses of a life and mind transformed by their faith.
•We cannot hope to shed our hypocritical label if our lifestyles offer no proof of the “fruit” of Christ-likeness.
•Rather than being genuinely interested in people for their friendship, we often seem like spiritual headhunters
•…we heard no favorable comments about street witnessing, where Christians intercept unknown passers-by to share the Good News.
•We are learning that one of the primary reasons that ministry to teenagers fails to produce a lasting faith is because they are not being taught to think.
•We do not look like Jesus to outsiders because we do not love outsiders like Jesus does.
•It is unChristian to lose your sense that every one’s fallen nature affects all aspects of his or her life, including sexuality, and to forget God’s command to love people in order to point them to Christ.
•Another reason sheltered faith is unappealing is that young adults resist simplistic answers. Mosaics and Busters relish mystery, uncertainty, and ambiguity. They are not bothered by contradiction or incongruities.
•…our choices to live a sheltered life often leaves us unable or unwilling to help people who need Jesus.
•If we allow the actions and attitudes of outsiders to shock us, we become either isolationists or crusaders, and neither extreme will have much influence on outsiders.
•Keep in mind that politics only gets you,so far. You change people’s lives most deeply by transforming their hearts, by helping them embrace a passionate, thoughtful, personal connection to Jesus.
This book will challenge you and the the way you converse/interact.