Friday, April 29, 2016

How unchristian! A Book Review





By  David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons

Reviewed by

Geoffrey W. Sutton

“Christianity has an image problem.” (p. 11).

The book, UNChristian, summarizes Kinnaman and Lyon's research into the views of Christians and non-Christians about many social issues. And they find that young Christians hold some negative attitudes toward Christianity—Christians are anti-gay and judgmental, to name two. This is one of the books I read as I was writing about beliefs and values in A House Divided.

A telling statistic is the finding that only 20% of “outsiders” strongly agree with an important characteristic of Christians:
“Christian churches accept and love people unconditionally, regardless of how people look or what they do.” (p. 185)
Although this book was written a few years ago, the contemporary situation in the United States suggests that Christians are fiercely divided over several social issues. Perhaps a major catalyst to the increased divisiveness is the 2015 decision of the U. S. Supreme Court affirming same-sex marriage.
“It strikes me as unChristian that we often have more charitable attitudes toward ideological allies than we do toward brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we disagree on matters of politics.”
Since 2015, Christians have been fiercely divided over birth control-- especially the kind that can end a pregnancy, same-sex relationships, same-sex marriage, freedom of people to refuse services to people who identify as LGBT, public restroom use by transpersons, and so forth.

Christians and secularists interested in social trends may find UNChristian a good place to begin additional research. My full review has been published and can be downloaded at no charge (see links to Academia and ResearchGate below). 

You can read a sample of UNChristian on AMAZON.

Some quotes I like (from Goodreads)

“Arrogance is perhaps the most socially acceptable form of sin in the church today. In this culture of abundance, one of the only ways Satan can keep Christians neutralized is to wrap us up in pride. Conceit slips in like drafts of cold air in the winter. We don't see it, but outsiders can sense it.”

“Having spent time around “sinners” and also around purported saints, I have a hunch why Jesus spent so much time with the former group: I think he preferred their company. Because the sinners were honest about themselves and had no pretense, Jesus could deal with them. In contrast, the saints put on airs, judged him, and sought to catch him in a moral trap. In the end it was the saints, not the sinners, who arrested Jesus.”


Sutton, G. W. (2016). A house divided: Sexuality, morality, and Christian cultures. Eugene, OR: Pickwick. Amazon

 Sutton, G. W. (2012). [Review of the book: Unchristian: What a new generation really thinks about Christianity…and why it matters by D. Kinnaman & G. Lyons]. Journal of Christianity and Psychology, 31, 84-85.   Academia Link  ResearchGate Link


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FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton
TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton

Publications (many free downloads)
Academia   Geoff W Sutton   (PhD)     
  ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton   (PhD)

For a related but different focus on morality and Christian cultures see A House Divided.

Also, A House Divided Website

You may also be interested in Christian Morality

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