There are a lot of people out there who have issues with Christianity, with the Church, and with Christians; several people have written about how unchurched people tend to look at the church; and the information presented there is a good step in the right direction. In his book “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People: where we Have Failed Each Other and how to Reverse the Damage” (Waterbrook Multnomah, 2011, originally published 2002) Dave Burchett takes it a step further, and looks at the issues with an insider’s perspective.
I first read this books years ago because I liked the title. But it goes far beyond that. Christians have a tendency to mess up, even after they say the sinners’ prayer, even though they attend church services regularly, go on missions trips and serve on boards and committees. Sin is a big part of who we are. People outside the church sin in the same ways as Christians and don’t think anything of it, but just let a professing Christian act like a human being, and all bets are off.
Burchett walks the reader through a series of problems within the “local church” (insert the name of your church here), then he moves on to how Christians often, with the best of intentions, convince their ‘targets’ to look elsewhere (things like ‘do as I say and not as I do’ attitudes, or speaking Christianese - a special language known only to those who have spent many years in a church setting. And then he asks us to take a look at how we can correct some of our self-inflicted maladies.
All of this is done within the context of we’re human beings, we’re sinners saved by grace, we make mistakes, but we’re still Christians with good intentions. Unfortunately we (individuals and corporately as members of a local church body) don’t always get it right. But, as Burchett reminds us, God is good; grace reigns and there is hope!
Enjoy the read! 4.5/5
The publisher provided me a free copy of the e-book in exchange for this review.