Customer Reviews for

So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

The title is one that is odd to be found in the Christian reading section, but it says what most of us are afraid to admit.

I thought this book was absolutely amazing. It was one of the first books in a long time that I didn't want to put down. I felt guilty for even picking it up because of the title. It is not one of the typical "church-bashing" books. Sometimes, when you read books th...
I thought this book was absolutely amazing. It was one of the first books in a long time that I didn't want to put down. I felt guilty for even picking it up because of the title. It is not one of the typical "church-bashing" books. Sometimes, when you read books that think differently from the "traditional" church institution, they can lean more towards bashing, but this one does not. It tells a beautiful story of the hearts and good intentions of people who love the Lord, but who often get stuck in the routine of church-going, thinking, acts, etc...It's a wonderful read. My words can't do it any justice. You have to read it for yourself.d

posted by BlessedT on October 27, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

The book uses questionable logic

Ok, i suppose i have a few positives and several negatives. I guess ill start with the positives. Despite the fact that i found myself in profound disagreement with ¿John¿ on several issues, there are some excellent points he makes that can serve to caution us to examin...
Ok, i suppose i have a few positives and several negatives. I guess ill start with the positives. Despite the fact that i found myself in profound disagreement with ¿John¿ on several issues, there are some excellent points he makes that can serve to caution us to examine our motives. He also reminds us not to allow ourselves to just become part of the ¿machinery.¿ I get the impression that the book was written with great sincerity and with the intent to free people. That being said¿ I tend to think that the general theme of the book was rather simplistic and gave evidence of the authors¿ predisposition to blame the contemporary church for almost every problem or dysfunction in the life of the church members. Disillusioned?¿Obviously your church has failed to provide an authentic forum for faith. Bitter?¿Must be because you were manipulated and used by self righteous power mongers. Stressed? ¿Must be because the church is pulling you one way while God is beckoning you in another. They fail to address these states of being as a common to the human condition. The book implies progressive freedom from such problems, only once freed from the bondage that church imposes. I say, the church is filled with people, people are flawed and sinful, therefore chuch is not without baggage. Can churches be found that reflect their jaded characiture of hypocrital religion? Sure. Do all or even most churches operate with such mercenary motives? I strongly doubt it. I know a good deal of people that strike me as sincerely wanting to serve others. I dont get the impression that they are part of some grand shame-management scheme. I honestly believe they have, in their zeal to shed light on the ¿scheme¿ of organized religion, used a straw man argument. They address only the easiest church stereotypes. The ¿worship¿ song that Jake overhears has questionable lyrics that are easy to critque. Convenient that they didnt overhead ¿On Christ the solid Rock i Stand.¿ It would have been much more difficult to illustrate the shallowness of church with it. When Jake¿s former church grew it was because two other churches were ¿hemmoraging¿ as one pastor left scandal-ridden and the other left for a larger congregation. It would have been much more difficult to explain the church growth had there been no scandal to refer to. The authors set up straw man after straw man and then knock them down. I was rather disappointed because the discussion could have been so much more engaging but for me, it ended up being profoundly frustrating.

posted by Anonymous on July 31, 2008

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The title is one that is odd to be found in the Christian reading section, but it says what most of us are afraid to admit.

    I thought this book was absolutely amazing. It was one of the first books in a long time that I didn't want to put down. I felt guilty for even picking it up because of the title. It is not one of the typical "church-bashing" books. Sometimes, when you read books that think differently from the "traditional" church institution, they can lean more towards bashing, but this one does not. It tells a beautiful story of the hearts and good intentions of people who love the Lord, but who often get stuck in the routine of church-going, thinking, acts, etc...It's a wonderful read. My words can't do it any justice. You have to read it for yourself.d

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2009

    Thought provoking and powerful indictment of the modern day church

    So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen & Dave Coleman is a thought-provoking book creating a conversation about Jesus and the church. Jake is facing major struggles in his church that are tearing his faith apart when he meets a stranger named John. John asks questions about what Jake is looking for that over the course of a four-year period profoundly change Jake's entire life. I have to admit that I was at first disappointed when I cracked open this book. I was expecting a non-fiction title that could tackle the hard questions I was having myself about church; however, because the authors frame the book as a fictional series of conversations, I found my questions were answered more thoroughly than they could have been in a non-fiction title. John emphasizes trusting in God rather than in the institution of church. Some churches have vibrant faith and the presence of the Spirit, but far more are about cultural acceptance. The church isn't a building of a certain denomination of believers. The church, as described within the Bible, is the entire body of believers from around the world and throughout history. It's a powerful indictment of what church has become. As someone who has recently been hurt deeply by two churches, I could relate to the authors' tale, not everyone else will, but the book has some terrific points about the troubles that can be found in church. I think it's a valuable book for everyone in hopes of revolutionizing the way we view faith and church.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This can be a life-changing book when you aren't looking to change your life!

    This is a wonderful book. I didn't read it because I was questioning my faith but more because of the author, Wayne Jacobsen. I just wanted to gobble up everything he wrote after I read "The Shack". I can pick out just a sentence or two that sings to me, and yet each time I peruse this book I find more sentences with songs to be sung! How I pray has changed in a very positive way. This book also validated some of the feelings I have had about my Roman Catholic upbringing, even though it is not strictly about any particular religion. It validated, with a non-preachy approach, what I have felt for years. It also made me question some things. I expect a book like this to do both, and I was very satisfied.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This Book Is About Renewing Your Faith

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This book is not about making me want to bust back into my church's doors and say take me back, I understand now. It's about developing a closer relationship with God. I am grateful to have read it. It was a great read at the right time.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Exellent and Profound!

    This book is a MUST read for anyone searching for Authentic Christianity. In a very loving way, the author shows the errors in the church, and offers relationship with Jesus, not attendance driven performance based religion. What is true Christianity? Read this book, search the scriptures, discover for yourself that you are meant to live on this earth just as Jesus, your relationship with Him is to be the basis of your relationship with people on this earth.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A true Christian book

    As a long time, active Christian, I was initially appalled at the title when I saw it in the book store. I took a look at the contents and was soon drawn into the subject matter as Mr. Jacobsen addresses in a both a humorous and impactful way what church is meant to be. I have used it in a Bible study group and all have found it helpful in their walk with the Lord.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Left me thinking

    This book kept my interest throughout; gave me much to think about as to what really is in our afterlife.....and also, as to what the word 'Church' really means. I would recommend this book to all, those that feel they can't do enough, those that feel they have failed, and those who just don't know what to do.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2009

    Thought provoking.

    It was the title of this book that caught my eye. This was not something I was looking for or had heard about prior to seeing it on the book shelf. It was a must take home and a must read. It gave me a lot to think about and explained to me some of the reasons I feel the way I do about the way things are done in my church. Also showed me some things that we need to change to make everyone (both old and new members) more comfortable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The name says it all!

    This book will change your life profoundly.It is a must read for anyone searching for freedom from the religious behavior code so many churches have ascribed to Christianity. If you are wondering why you do not want to go to church anymore, this book will help you understand what you have sensed already... Churchianity is lethal to your soul.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2007

    A Refreshing Look at 'church' for Christians and NonChristians

    This book does a wonderful job raising questions about Christianity and the Church. No matter how much or how little interaction you have had with a church, this fable about a man's journey to find himself and his relationship with God, will give you some wonderful insight about your own experiences. It is a fantastic book for discussion and can challenge the thinking of even the most educated Theologian.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Eye opening

    As i struggle with my own walk this is enlighting. I like the ending definition of Church; makes so much more appealing!

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  • Posted February 5, 2012

    Highly Recommended for Anyone Who Was Raised in the Church and Everybody Else Too!

    I have been in church pretty much since shortly after my birth which is almost 44 years ago. This book has helped me to see that the building and the rules do not make up the church as we know it - that is called legalism. It is and always has been about the people - WE are the church. I now see that I can be as involved as I want to be, but I only feel guilt when I cannot live up to my end of the bargain because of life situations or whatever comes along. That is a lie from Satan. Works is not what it is about, even though we do them thinking somehow we are getting brownie points. This book is a MUST read. It has changed my life forever!

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    Great book

    this is probably one of the best books i read in 2009. for every christian who is willing to be honest about wanting more than a Sunday morning fix. read and be refreshed!

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    a must read

    reconsider how well you really know the father

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Just what I was looking for

    I have been searching for answers as to my place in this world at this moment when I came across this book on some website. I read the short synopsis and decided to buy it right then and there. I'm so very glad I did. After reading it I knew a little better where I stood and that it was okay to not want to go to Church right now. Thank you God for leading me to this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Excellent!

    I really enjoyed the book - thought provoking and helpful in sorting out my thoughts and feelings about church.

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    Posted February 15, 2009

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    Posted February 9, 2009

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    Posted October 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

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