Anyone read Dan Kimball‘s recent book, They like Jesus, but Not the Church? I’m looking for recommendations and discussion. Here’s a link to a review by Christianity Today via Outreach.com
Looks good to me and certainly ties into a lot of how I see the “given up” viewing our faith. Jesus is good, he is a person, like them. The institution of the church, however, is seen much differently. Suspicion of institutions in general, and distrust of the organized church in particular abound in our culture and are spreading.
One of the interesting things I have noted is that when most institutions fail their “leader” either goes down with them, or that person’s personal failure is the cause of the institution’s demise. Not so with Christendom. While the institution of the church is on the rocks (and Christendom is dead, except in a few museums of our faith) the leader, Jesus, remains in high regard. My “given up” neighbors are most often not ready to say Jesus is the Son of God, but they give him a status above other leaders. They want to know more. And almost across the board they say, “If the church were more like Jesus, I’d be interested.” Which reminds me of Gandhi’s quote, “I love your Christ, it is your Christians that I have trouble with.” (not an exact quote…)
Which is why at Jacob’s Well we don’t talk about being Christian, but being a Christ follower. We don’t call ourselves “Jacob’s Well Church.” But in connecting ourselves to the church idea we do it by saying things like, “The kind of church you’re thirsty for” or “a church for people who don’t like church.” People get it.
Anyone read Kimball’s book? Recommendations or discussion?
I have not read the book you mention but then… I do not read much outside of my daily bible reading. I have written a blog called “original church” you may or may not find useful for helping your neighbors a little.
The blog does feature quite a few scriptures that help explain why the form of religion that today bears his name is not what he or the apostles seemed to endorse. When you think about it.. it was at the hands of the religious minded that our Lord was falsely convicted and crucified. It seems God had to show us in no uncertain terms that the nature of fallen man extends beyond his law and permeates everything in this world… including the many forms of religion man practices. If Jesus appeared today as he first did (instead of Power and Glory) I seriously believe he would be crucified by the Christian religious minded church. I thank God his true church is not built by the hands of man.
blessings to you in Christ Jesus as you walk in his light,