Jim and Casper Go to Church
Jim and Casper Go to Church  -     By: Jim Henderson, Matt Casper, George Barna
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Stock No: WW313310
Tyndale House / 2007 / Hardcover

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Jim and Casper Go to Church

Tyndale House / 2007 / Hardcover

In Stock
Stock No: WW313310

Product Description

Jim bought a soul on eBay...or rather rented it for a time to spiritually inform it as the fine print stated. The flurry of media attention surrounding it spurred Jim to write a book about how churches are perceived by the unchurched, and searched to find an atheist who would fit the bill and be up to the challenge. Matt Casper picked up the gauntlet, and visited some of the best known mega-churches in America with Jim, along with some little known organic churches (mostly Emergent congregations, which seem more like Jim's preference). This is that book.
What could have been a dry rehashing of the obvious in the places of worship that they visited opens instead like a long conversation between two new friends who share a very open dialogue concerning matters of faith. Whether you agree with everything taught at these churches or not, Jim and Casper Go to Church gives you a glimpse inside some of the highest profile places and movements in contemporary American religion, including T.D. Jakes' Potter's House, Joel Osteen's Lakewood Complex, and Erwin McManus' Mosaic. Casper's blunt assessments sometimes collide with Jim's assumptions about how the services are perceived, but they maintain an informative and friendly discourse covering a lot of ground in the debates of relevancy inside church communities and how well churches embrace unbelievers inside their sanctuaries.

Product Information

Title: Jim and Casper Go to Church
By: Jim Henderson, Matt Casper, George Barna
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 170
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 1414313314
ISBN-13: 9781414313313
Stock No: WW313310

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Publisher's Description

Jim Henderson pays people to go to church. In fact, he made national news when he “rented” a soul for $504 on E-Bay after its owner offered an “open mind” to the highest bidder. In Jim & Casper Go to Church, Hendrson hires another atheist—Matt Casper—to visit ten leading churches with him and give the “first impression” perspective of a non-believer. What follows is a startling dialogue between an atheist and a believer seeing church anew through the eyes of a skeptic, and the development of an amazing relationship between two men with diametrically opposing views of the world who agree to respect each others' space. Foreword by George Barna.
  • Unique perspective of both Christian and atheist on the church and Christians in the USA
  • Intelligent and respectful, seeking dialogue between key characters
  • Helps the Christian understand the change in attitudes and actions required when shifting from defending the faith to defending “sacred space”—from talking to listening, from strength to weakness, from debate to dialogue, from manipulation to intentionality

Publisher's Weekly

It could be the pilot script for a sitcom: a pastor hires an atheist to help him critique several Christian churches throughout the United States. For the authors, however, this experiment was no joke. Henderson, a veteran Protestant minister, truly believes that evangelism requires listening to the good, the bad and the ugly about Christianity in order to be a better minister. So he hired Casper, an atheist copywriter and musician, to serve as "fresh eyes" and observe how a variety of Christians engage the Divine through worship. Their travels took them to a mission-minded church, an Emergent church and to Joel Osteen's megachurch, among others. In the book, Henderson peppers his partner with questions about each service, and Casper comments on everything from preaching to music to the geographical location of the churches. The take-home point, which is simultaneously simple, profound and of great importance to Christianity is, "Why are there such glaring discrepancies among churches regarding what it means to be a follower of Christ?" The two authors include some banal dialogue at times, but this is a minor distraction. Anyone interested in contemporary evangelism, especially pastors, will enjoy and learn from this humorous and heartening travelogue.

Author/Artist Review

Author: Matt Casper
Located in: San Diego, CA
Submitted: September 02, 2008

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I am currently an atheist and the co-author of "Jim & Casper Go to Church." I am happily married and have two children. My wife is a believer (in a "higher power") and my kids are curious. My goal is to let them decide for themselves. The last thing I want to do is indoctrinate them in any belief system other than "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    What was your motivation behind this project?  My own curiosity. I live in a country (USA) that's 80% Christian and I wanted to learn more about these people and their faith.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope they'll more truly follow the words of Jesus. Even though I don't believe he was the son of god (as I don't believe in gods of any kind), I do believe he walked the earth and I do believe he knew a lot about how people should treat each other (so did Buddha, Gandhi, Noam Chomsky, and many other folks, too).

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  Phew... where do I begin? I have learned so much about myself, my family, my countrymen, and the history of faith that it would take another book to explain... and I plan on writing that book, too.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  My influences... my parents, the town where I was raised (West Hartford, CT), the authors I have read, such as Philip Roth, Bukowski, Raymond Carver, Sartre, Russell, Shakespeare), the music I love (Beatles, Pixies, Fugazi, etc.). I am always open to new influences and learning more about as much as possible... I think that's the key to loving life.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  As mentioned in one review, my opinion is merely my own. I do not speak for any atheist groups or anyone else. I continue to hope that the book is seen not as "Matt Casper's take on what the church does wrong," but "re-visit what Jesus asked people to do... really work at being objective... remember that faith is only that: faith. Your belief in god does not mean it's true for everyone, so please respect that..."

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