Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don't Belong To: Why Rigorous, Reasonable, and Real Religious Community Still Matters - eBook
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Publication Date: 2016
WHEN LILLIAN DANIEL APOLOGIZED to a total stranger for every bad thing that had ever been said or done in the name of Christianity, he was surprised that she was responsible for all that. "The Inquisition? Don't even raise it, I'm way ahead of you. I was mad about it before you even heard of it, that's how open-minded I am. Salem witch trials? I know! So embarrassing. Can I hang out with you anyway? You're too kind." "Religion is responsible for all the wars in history," they would say, and I'd respond, "You're so right. Don't forget imperialism, capitalism, and racism. Religion invented those problems too. You can tell that because religious people can be found at all their meetings." In this book, Daniel argues that it's time for Christians to stop apologizing and realize that how we talk about Christian community matters. With disarming candor laced with just the right amount of humor, Daniel urges open-minded Christians to explore ways to talk about their faith journeys that are reasonable, rigorous, and real.AFTER THE PUBLICATION of the much talked about When Spiritual But Not Religious Is Not Enough: Seeing God In Surprising Places, Even the Church, Lillian Daniel heard from many SBNRs as well as practicing Christians. It was the Christians who scolded her for her forthright, unapologetic stand as one who believes that religious community matters. The Christians ranted that Christians, by definition, tend to be judgmental, condemning hypocrites, which is why people hate them. By saying religion matters, she was judging those who disagree, they said, proving the stereotype of Christians. Better to acknowledge all that's wrong with Christianity and its history, then apologize. In this book, Daniel shows why it matters how we talk about Christian community while urging open-minded Christians to learn better ways to talk about their faith.
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bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female3 Stars Out Of 5Liberal and open minded ChristianitySeptember 19, 2016bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3Daniel was tired of feeling responsible to apologize for everything done by anyone who called themselves a Christian. She shares her thoughts on the kind of spirituality she embraces and promotes.
She writes about inventing our own spirituality, Fundamentalists defining religion, listening to NONES and attracting them to church and convincing them of the value of faith and community. She explains how exclusive salvation views turn people off. She advocates paying attention to the entire Bible, not just proof texts.
Daniel describes herself as a liberal Christian and an open-minded one. Evangelical Christians may have difficulty with Daniel identifying herself as a Christian. She says being born again and saved hasn't happened to her. (135) She participated in the movement for gay marriage. She writes, I believe you can be an open-minded Christian, who thinks God can work out everyone's salvation. (16) I believe there are many paths to God. (14)
Daniel emphasizes how we live, not what we believe. I'm a pastor, she writes, and I don't care what you believe. I don't think God does either. (121) She draws our attention to what Jesus said and did, not doctrine.
While I don't agree with much Daniel writes, I do appreciate that she draws attention to Christendom and the negative effect it has had on the perception of Christianity by many. I also appreciate her emphasis on what the church should really be doing, helping one another in community. This book reminded me that Christianity is a broad spectrum. It also reminded me that it is important I know what I believe and why I believe it.
Those within the more conservative Christian community might want to read this book to understand how the liberal Christian community thinks, worships, and ministers. There might be a good discussion resulting as to what really defines a Christian and what communities of faith are to be doing.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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