If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus

If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus

4.2 17
by Philip Gulley
     
 

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The largest group in American religious life may be the disillusioned—people who have been involved in the church, respect Jesus, but question what Christianity has become. In If the Church Were Christian Philip Gulley provides a profound picture of what the church could look like if it refocused on the priorities of Jesus.

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Overview

The largest group in American religious life may be the disillusioned—people who have been involved in the church, respect Jesus, but question what Christianity has become. In If the Church Were Christian Philip Gulley provides a profound picture of what the church could look like if it refocused on the priorities of Jesus.

Editorial Reviews

Indianapolis Star
“Gulley’s newest book is thoughtful, insightful and a joy to read.”
Spirituality and Practice
“Gulley has done a fine job pinpointing the flaws of the Christian churches and suggesting transformative paths to follow.”
Marcus Borg
“Filled with memorable, insightful and revealing stories. I recommend it.”
John Shelby Spong
“Philip Gulley separates wheat from chaff, experience from explanation and purpose from function in this book. He calls the Jesus message into a new vision - one that has both power and integrity.”
Shane Claiborne
“Gulley puts the Christ back in Christian. This manifesto is a call not just to worship Jesus, but to follow him. It asks the daring question, “What if Christians actually began to take their Christ seriously?” The answer to that question could change the world.”
Library Journal
Gulley is most widely known for his homespun and humorous stories in his best-selling Front Porch Tales as well as the heartwarming "Harmony" series of novels. A Quaker minister, he here presents his third book on religion, deliberately and carefully laying down his beliefs, knowing that many Christians will vehemently disagree with his views on salvation, Jesus, and organized religion. He imagines what the Church would be like if Christians were more concerned about following Jesus's example than judging others or believing the right doctrine. His effortless and uncomplicated style allows for easy reading over some heavy material. The questions he has placed in a section at the end of the book are obviously meant to facilitate group discussion. VERDICT While Gulley is convincing, most traditional Christians will have a hard time getting past his admission that he no longer believes in the basic tenets of Christianity, such as the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus, or the Trinity. Christian readers accepting of Gulley's nontraditional views and interested in issues of social justice will be attracted to this book.—Holly S. Hebert, Rochester Coll. Lib., MI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061698774
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/08/2011
Pages:
197
Sales rank:
191,914
Product dimensions:
7.84(w) x 5.32(h) x 0.56(d)

What People are saying about this

John Shelby Spong
“Philip Gulley separates wheat from chaff, experience from explanation and purpose from function in this book. He calls the Jesus message into a new vision - one that has both power and integrity.”
Shane Claiborne
“Gulley puts the Christ back in Christian. This manifesto is a call not just to worship Jesus, but to follow him. It asks the daring question, “What if Christians actually began to take their Christ seriously?” The answer to that question could change the world.”
Marcus Borg
“Filled with memorable, insightful and revealing stories. I recommend it.”

Meet the Author

Philip Gulley is a Quaker minister, writer, husband, and father. He is the bestselling author of Front Porch Tales, the acclaimed Harmony series, and is coauthor of If Grace Is True and If God Is Love. Gulley lives with his wife and two sons in Indiana, and is a frequent speaker at churches, colleges, and retreat centers across the country.

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If the Church Were Christian 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
BookgirlTX More than 1 year ago
I have all of Philip Gulley's books, both fiction and non-fiction, and he is a wonderful light read for the most part. In this book, he is a little more serious, but that is the nature of what he is writing about. He has some very controversial views that he expresses in the book and also talks about the difficulties he's had because of those views. There are so many wonderful points that he makes in the book, and I found myself re-thinking how I viewed my faith in God and what I thought the church was for. Unfortunately, most people will only see the two or three controversial points, and not pay any attention to the 95% of the book that could speak to them and that they could get something from. This is not an indictment of the author, but rather the narrow-mindedness of some people who refuse to listen to anyone who doesn't agree with them 100% or who might ask them to question something about their faith. Please give this book a chance because he really does a good job of boiling Christianity down to what it really should be. No, I do not agree with him on some of his views, but that doesn't mean I can't learn from him anyway.
Blue_Virginian More than 1 year ago
Philip Gulley poses the tantalizing title question, What if the Church really were Christian? What if we believed and acted as though we really meant it? He then posits a number of statements of what a truly Christian Church would look like. One that is less concerned about doctrinal purity, and more concerned about following Jesus: in loving our neighbors, caring for the poor and oppressed, embodying the Golden Rule. Philip Gulley, true to his Quaker background, underplays the importance of traditional worship and ritual (for which I forgive him). But he rightly says that rituals for their own sake, are not helpful, unless they speak to the heart and bring the believer closer to God.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Explore what it means live according to Jesus' example.
swfjr More than 1 year ago
This book causes you to think about the life and works of Jesus in a different way. The first point is that He was not here to start the new religion of Christianity. His lessons were to teach love and compassion for one another which is what God wants. You may not agree 100% with the words of the author but many of his points will change your thinking.
sher898 More than 1 year ago
fantastic read gets to the basics of Jesus' life and teachings except it does not have all the pages that the paper version has. 100 pages shorter and several passages missing
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