unChristian 7, 8, 9

February 14, 2009 — Leave a comment

I stalled in my review of unChristian because I lost some interest in the book as a whole.  I occasionally do that…

You can find my thoughts here: Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

Alan Hirsch pulled a number of quotes from the book here, so if you’re curious how it finishes up, check it out.

Here are his quotes from chapters 7 through 9:

7. Too Political
“Perception: Christians are primarily motivated by a political agenda and promote right-wing politics.” (153)

“Christians have made a concerted and coordinated effort to engage the political process in recent decades, their activity in the political realm can be hard to miss.”

“We must realize that our political activism, if expressed in an unchristian manner, prevents a new generation from seeing Christ.” This reputation “affects their ability to connect with new generations who are innately skeptical of people who appear to use political power to protect their interests and viewpoints.” (156-57)

Being politically engaged is more important than ever. We should be “known as engaged, informed, and on the leading edge, offering a sophisticated response to issues.” (157) “Political involvement…is an important avenue of influence within our community, nation, and world.” (158)

Explanation of how evangelicals are classified by Barna Association, p. 159

Among the evangelical segment only a slight majority (59%) are registered as Republicans. (160)

When we talk about “warfare” we are usually thinking of a cosmic struggle, as in Ephesians 6Open Link in New Window, but outsiders may hear alarming militaristic talk. (161) The things we say end up in the internet world of blogging. We must be careful how we talk and engage in self examination, humility, and appropriate engagement. (162)

8 Judgmental
“Perception: Christians are prideful and quick to find faults in others.” (181)

“To be judgmental is to point out something that is wrong in someone else’s life, making the person feel put down, excluded, and marginalized.” “Being judgmental is fueled by self-righteousness….” 90% of outsiders say Christians are judgmental. (182)

“Judgmental attitudes come across as overly simplified, old-fashioned, and out of step with their diverse world.” (183)

“Are we more concerned with the unrighteousness of others than our own self-righteousness?” (184)

“A critical distinction for Christians is the difference between condemning people (i.e., being judgmental) and helping them become soft-hearted–aware of, and sensitized to God’s standards.” (184)

Four forms of judgmentalism surfaced: wrong verdict, wrong timing, wrong motivation, and playing favorites. (187)

“Pride fuels judgmental attitudes. Arrogance is perhaps the most socially acceptable form of sin in the church today.” (191)

“Human beings are attracted to acceptance and genuine respect; they are repelled by rejection and an air of superiority.” (194)

Guidelines suggested by outsiders:

  • Listen to me.
  • Don’t label me.
  • Don’t be so smart and pretend to have all the answers.
  • Put yourself in my place.
  • Be genuine.
  • Be my friend with no other motives. (194-95)

9 From UnChristian to Christian
How will we respond? (205) Four suggestions:

  • Respond with the right perspective (like Jesus. He considered the below-the-surface issues.)
  • Connect with people. Jesus influenced people through relationships and friendships.
  • Be creative. Jesus attracted people in creative ways and connected with the heart. Look for new stories, parables and ways of communicating.
  • Serve people. Cultivate deep concern and sensitivity to outsiders. Learn to listen.
  • Life a lifestyle of compassion.

Overall, the book was a decent read, but not necessarily earth shattering. It stimulated some great thoughts, but left a lot to be desired for me.

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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