If you think the only logical response to bad Christianity is to leave Christianity completely, this book is for you. In an effort to help those who've been hurt by or turned off by negative religion, Martin Thielen explains that there is an alternative to abandoning religion: good religion. Thielen uses personal stories to illustrate the dangers of religion that is judgmental, anti-intellectual, and legalistic. While addressing the growth of the new atheism movement and the "Nones" (people that have no religious affiliation), this book argues that leaving religion is not practical, not helpful, and not necessary. Thielen provides counterparts to the characteristics of bad religion, explaining that good religion is grace-filled, promotes love and forgiveness, and is inclusive and hope-filled. Perfect for individual, group, or congregational study, a Leader's Guide and a Worship and Outreach Kit are also available to further the discussion and increase community involvement.
Martin Thielen is Senior Pastor of Cookeville United Methodist Church in Cookeville, Tennessee. He writes columns for MinistryMatters.com, Circuit Rider, and Net Results. He has written five books, including the best-selling What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?.
"Let me say that Thielen is a master storyteller and this book is filled with gracious stories. Filled with them."
Scot McKnight, New Testament scholar and author of The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others