True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In - eBook
True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In - eBook  -     By: James Choung
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IVP Books / 2009 / ePub
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True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In - eBook

IVP Books / 2009 / ePub

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Product Description

Caleb is asking questions about his Christian faith, and it's making a lot of people nervous - his friends, his pastor, even himself. Unsure of how a Christian faith can be dynamic in a damaged world, he seeks a better way of dealing with its seeming inconsistencies. What he finds is a faith that can be summed up with stick figures on a napkin. In plain, modern, and sometimes earthy language, James Choung relates a story that many Christians find themselves in and offers a visual model of the Gospel that is easily learned and reproduced. While the story and model are tailored to a social gospel approach, Choung also allows for other interpretations and applications of the model.

Product Information

Title: True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In - eBook
By: James Choung
Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: IVP Books
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN-13: 9780830877546
Stock No: WW65610EB

Publisher's Description

"Christianity seems like just another screwed-up religion!" Anna said. "Seriously, what has Christianity done for us—or for the world, for that matter? They're just a bunch of hypocrites, that's what I think! Are they good for anything?" "I don't know, Anna," Caleb said. "I just don't know." Caleb has been a Christian for a long time. But he realizes that he can't bring himself to share his faith with anyone because it doesn't sound like good news anymore. Christianity's truth claims come across as hollow, arrogant and intolerant. Christians have a bad track record of hating and condemning those they disagree with. Worst of all, it feels like Christianity is just about "saving souls," giving people an escape ticket to heaven while the world falls apart. Is it only about Jesus forgiving our sins? There must be more to it than that... In this engaging narrative, James Choung weaves the tale of a search for a Christianity worth believing in. Disillusioned believer Caleb and hostile skeptic Anna wrestle with the plausibility of the Christian story in a world of pain and suffering. They ask each other tough questions about what Jesus really came to do and what Christianity is supposed to be about. Along the way, they discover that real Christianity is far bigger than anything they ever heard about in church. And the conversion that comes is not one that either of them expects. Join Caleb and Anna on their spiritual journeys as they probe Christianity from inside and out. Get past the old clichés and simplistic formulas. And discover a new way of understanding and presenting the Christian faith that really matters in a broken world.

Author Bio

James Choung has been in campus ministry for over twenty years, and currently serves as national director of evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. He is the author of and , and he speaks frequently at campuses, churches, and conferences. Ordained with the Association of Vineyard Churches, he previously served on the pastoral staff of a Boston-area urban church plant, a megachurch in Seoul, and a house church in Los Angeles.

Author Bio

James Choung (D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is divisional director and interim area director of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's San Diego Division.

Publisher Description

"Christianity seems like just another screwed-up religion!" Anna said. "Seriously, what has Christianity done for us—or for the world, for that matter? They're just a bunch of hypocrites, that's what I think! Are they good for anything?"

"I don't know, Anna," Caleb said. "I just don't know."

Caleb has been a Christian for a long time. But he realizes that he can't bring himself to share his faith with anyone because it doesn't sound like good news anymore. Christianity's truth claims come across as hollow, arrogant and intolerant. Christians have a bad track record of hating and condemning those they disagree with. Worst of all, it feels like Christianity is just about "saving souls," giving people an escape ticket to heaven while the world falls apart. Is it only about Jesus forgiving our sins? There must be more to it than that...

In this engaging narrative, James Choung weaves the tale of a search for a Christianity worth believing in. Disillusioned believer Caleb and hostile skeptic Anna wrestle with the plausibility of the Christian story in a world of pain and suffering. They ask each other tough questions about what Jesus really came to do and what Christianity is supposed to be about. Along the way, they discover that real Christianity is far bigger than anything they ever heard about in church. And the conversion that comes is not one that either of them expects.

Join Caleb and Anna on their spiritual journeys as they probe Christianity from inside and out. Get past the old clichés and simplistic formulas. And discover a new way of understanding and presenting the Christian faith that really matters in a broken world.

Publisher's Weekly

Brian McLaren started a genre of fiction in which a disenchanted evangelical meets a wizened ethnic teacher of a new sort of Christianity, prompting a second conversion to a faith that is more world savvy, compassionate and appealing. In Choung's version, a college student in Seattle named Caleb struggles to share the gospel (and a bit more) with his friend Anna. While the narrative runs the risk of falling into stereotype (and often does resort to evangelical catchphrases), Choung manages to make readers care about his characters' religious and romantic fates. Its best moments are Caleb's wrestling with the relationship between his Korean ethnic identity and his faith. Choung concludes the book in his own voice, with a diagram designed to help an individual share the gospel with another on the surface of a napkin. While the faith presented is indeed more passionate about the environment and “social justice” than many evangelicals are wont to be, the goal of a more effective one-on-one evangelism is hardly revolutionary. The book will appeal to readers of McLaren and others for whom “vampire Christianity,” a phrase Choung's real-life mentor Dallas Willard uses to describe a faith reduced to a bit of blood shed on one's behalf, has become untenable. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"Finally someone has come up with a simple evangelistic approach that reflects the wholeness of the gospel. . . . The simplicity of Choung's circle diagrams is a welcome, refreshing, and much-needed approach."
"Although designed to help college students articulate a complete gospel, many in our churches will also benefit by reading it."
"There is much to be commended in James Choung's True Story. Choung does not merely argue for the Bible's historical trustworthiness; he rightly relies on the Bible's content. Instead of beginning with 'something is wrong with you,' he begins with the fact that 'something is wrong with the world.' By beginning with the cosmic picture of a world gone bad, he is able to foreshadow the gospel that ends with a world renewed."
"The book is amply 'storified' and is a huge, huge step forward in evangelism. Pastors and parents need this book; youth ministers and college ministers need this book."
"Choung delivers a compelling, fresh look at what we consider the gospel - the good news surrounding Jesus Christ. He directs us to look anew at the way Christ shows us how to live and, from within a comfortable, fictitious setting, radically calls for a new definition of the gospel truth."
"Through True Story, you'll learn an effective, authentic strategy for telling the story of the Bible to non-believing friends."
"I suggest that all Christians read this book with an open mind. Even if you remain suspicious, you'll find tools here to draw people into discussion about faith in God and purpose in life."
"Emphasizing relationship over religion and loving over lecturing; this book will give you the confidence to share what you love about Jesus and let Him handle the rest."
". . .highly recommended for community library Christian fiction collections."
"James has found a simple way to convey to both Christians and non-Christians that the good news is cosmically good--a diagram that does the best job I've encountered yet of placing our personal stories in the context of God's bigger story."
"James Choung gives us a penetrating look into ourselves and our faulty reasoning. He challenges us to go beyond 'Sunday School' answers and wrestle with pain, sorrow, death and other strong issues that seem to be potholes on our journey of faith."
"Some of the strengths of this book:
  • Very helpfully shared the gospel through story dialog
  • Communicated the gospel relationally
  • Communicated the gospel holistically (heart, mind, soul and strength)
  • Demonstrated a biblical rethinking of the gospel, instead of the current prepackaged version that often leaves so much out
"

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