Friday, June 29, 2012

"unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity, and Why It Matters" by David Kinnaman

225 pages

This book reveals the results and conclusions of a major research project on the perceptions of Christians by outsiders, particularly young Americans. The research shows that Christians are best known for what they are against. They are perceived as being judgmental, anti-homosexual, and too political—specifically, too conservative. The majority of the young people contacted by the researchers believe that Christianity is no longer what Jesus intended. The authors break down the reasons that these negative perceptions are out there and assert that although some of these points are unfair, most of them are based on Christians’ “unchristian” behavior and attitudes. They use what they learned to offer suggestions for how Christians can fight their negative reputation and live more like Jesus, showing others that their faith is authentic.

I already knew a lot of the information that this book presents; there’s nothing earth-shattering here. We all know that Christians often don't practice what they preach, and society has noticed. Still, the statistics make it seem more real, and there are a lot of good strategies for changing the public’s perception of Christianity. Each chapter concludes with mini-essays from famous and celebrated Christians on that section’s topic, and I think the book as a whole benefits from this variety of viewpoints. Basically, this book isn’t going to change my life but it has motivated me to be more careful about how I present myself to others.

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