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Has anyone here read the book UnChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons? The book bases its premise on a survey done by the Barna group that showed that the biggest reasons why young people are leaving the church is because of Christian hypocrisy and because most young people see Christians as being too judgmental, too homophobic, and too political. While I give the book's authors credit for admitting there is a problem with the church, I feel like the book doesn't go far enough in giving any actual solutions to the problem. One example is in the section on homophobia. The book's authors acknowledge that Christians have misused the bible to promote intolerance and hatred and that many Christians have treated gays badly in the past, but the authors refuse to give up any of their long held theological and political beliefs about homosexuality. Instead, their "brilliant" solution is that Christians should love the sinner but hate the sin but offer no solution on how this is supposed to change anything. All Christians everywhere from the little old granny at the potluck lunches to David Bahati think they "love the sinner but hate the sin" but as Tony Campolo has said before, Christians shouldn't say to love the sinner but hate the sin because that's a very patronizing and hypocritical stance to take. Instead, Christians should love the sinner and hate their own sin. The book is essentially one big No True Scotsman fallacy. For the books' authors, all the Christians who did bad things to soil the reputation of the church were "fake" Christians and if only Christians truly followed the bible, then all those non-Christians would realize that they were just being hurt by false Christians and will suddenly accept Jesus into their hearts.

 

Yet they don't seem to realize that it's because they follow the bible too literally that's part of the problem; not that they're not following it literally enough and they ultimately miss what the point of non-Christians' criticisms of Christianity is all about. Another example is in the section on politics where they admit that Christians have been too political but then go on a rant about how it's all the fault of secular Right Wingers hijacking their religion and not "true" religious conservatives. But then the author goes onto say they don't know of any Christian who supports a theocracy and it's all the fault of the evil liberal media for trying to stereotype Christians as crazy lunatics. The authors again, don't offer any real solutions other than for Christians to be less judgmental and more loving but don't offer any real serious challenges to right-wing political beliefs. The lack of any real solution was reflected by the reactions of my Sunday school class where no one really rethought their beliefs about politics or gays and non-Christians but they just used the book as an excuse to pat themselves on the back for how they're not like those other "fake" Christians ruining their church's reputation. I give credit to the authors for being honest enough to admit that there are problems in the evangelical church but they don't offer any real solutions or serious challenges to conservative faith and the book is basically a huge No True Scotsman fallacy where repeating the Golden Rule over and over again is their only "solution" to anything.

Edited by Neon Genesis
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Haven't read it, or heard of it, but...

Sounds like they've presented the problem pretty accurately,and pretty much as I've heard it preached in the churches I've attended.

The problem is always those other people, that are making the rest of us look bad

 

Jenell

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