Thursday, March 17, 2011
I'M FINE WITH GOD...IT'S CHRISTIANS I CAN'T STAND
The authors have a real problem with paranoid Christians, that is, those Christians who only listen to Christian music, only read Christian books, and probably homeschool. They avoid contact with the world if possible. This makes fulfilling the Great Commission impossible-that is, going into all the world and making disciples of all men. The authors also have a problem with Christians who think science is the enemy of God and that most scientists are trying to disprove God. They rightly point out that to be a Christian you should not have to believe that creation took place over six literal 24 hour days, or that the earth is a certain age. In addition, they point out that Christians have added to the fundamentals of the faith. No longer is it enough to believe that the Scriptures are inspired by God and inerrant, you also have to take all of the Bible literally, including the imagery used in the prophetic visions.
Bickel and Jantz do a good job of debunking the prosperity gospel, mainly by using the life of Jesus Christ as an example. Christians are not all meant to be rich and live trouble free lives! Those who fixate on the end of the world and just when that will be are another target in this book. Rather than focusing on the end of all time as we know it, we should make the most of the opportunites we have in this lifetime to be a postive influence. Christians who make terrible movies that are subpar to their mainstream counterparts are not given a pass in this book either. Christian media should be just as good or better than secular fare, otherwise the world will write it off immediately.
Christians who don't study their Bibles, as well as those who only have knowledge about God without having a relationship with Him are also put under the microscope. The authors spend a great deal of time writing about interacting with non-believers and those of other faiths. It is time we stop seeing these folks as our enemies, the authors believe. We need to learn to love all people and be ready to give a reason for our hope (that being Christ) when people ask us, rather than preaching at them.
This is an important book for Christians to read. I recommend it to those who love God, but find it hard dealing with their Christian brothers and sisters because of their quirks and quarks. The Christian community could stand for the kind of thoughtful examination spelled out in this book. This book also helps separate the fundamentals of the faith from our add-ons and subtractions over the years. Thanks to Heather Wight for lending me this book.