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unChristian 21st March, 2008

Posted by Scotty in Books, Spirituality.

unChristian I have just finished an extremely challenging book called unChristian, written by David Kinnaman (of the Barna Association). The book is a culmination of three years of research into how Christianity is perceived from the outside. And it’s shocking to see how people outside of our faith perceive us to be. The title comes from a realisation that the perception people have of our faith is nothing like it should be… it is.. unChristian.

Here are the 6 main traits Christianity in the USA today is known for (and a lot of this transfers to Christianity in the Western World!):

  • Hypocritical – Christians say one thing but live something entirely different.
  • Get Saved! – Christians are insincere and concerned only with converting others.
  • Antihomosexual – Christians show contempt for gays and lesbians
  • Sheltered – Christians are boring, unintelligent, old-fashioned, and out of touch with reality.
  • Too Political – Christians are primarily motivated by a political agenda and promote right-wing politics.
  • Judgmental – Christians are prideful and quick to find faults in others.

It is by no means a condemning book. It is a really helpful tool for understanding how we are perceived today, and enabling us to find ways to reach out to this generation. Imagine the impact if we rose to the challenge of living to change that perception. What effect would your faith have on people if the perception above could be replaced by the following:

  • Christians show compassion and love to all people, regardless of their lifestyle
  • Christians cultivate relationships and environments where others can be deeply transformed by God.
  • Christians are engaged, informed, and offer sophisticated responses to the issues people face.
  • Christians are characterized by respecting people, thinking biblically, and finding solutions to complex issues
  • Christians are transparent about their flaws and act first, talk second.
  • Christians show grace by finding the good in others and seeing their potential to be Christ followers.

It’s easy to look at the people around you and criticize the way they live their lives, but what happens when you examine your own life? What sort of faith are you modeling to the people around you? Do you live in a way that shows people that God is a good and faithful God? Does your life show to people that God is still working in the world today? Can people see from you that God is able to transform lives?

Will you rise to the challenge?


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