“That is why, when I look at the American church today and the majority of people who call themselves Christians, I feel nauseated. It is sickening, the lies that are being followed and swallowed in the church today.” (location 188, Kindle version)
Rage describes the book’s mood from the first page. The book sounds angry and wounded. Even though I agree with the general idea that some churches tolerate, even condone sin, the book offended me. The writing is disorganized where he begins theologically and suddenly diverts to childhood. The use of cliches and words like “hot” when describing women (“It was to see if the booze was free-flowing and the girls were hot.”) sounded unprofessional. There are so many grammar errors it was distracting.
The book’s generalizations demonize all churches in America without being specific. It’s a commentary without proof. It’s a rant in seven very long chapters for a short book. Fake Christianity condemns in Chapter 7 preachers and teachers who try to be relevant, saying they, “couldn’t care less about what God wants them to talk about.” My first thought was, “How would the author know what God is telling them?” There are frequent dramas in the book, too. When I got to location 247-250 and read:
“More people than I care to remember have gotten very mad when I’ve pointed out that God is not happy with sinners who are stuck in their sins and that He might actually be ready to punish or discipline them. One married couple took turns accosting me, and the wife kept asking me in an emotional, angry voice, “What about God’s love?…”…They proceeded to berate me for having the nerve to focus on anything but the positives with Christians, because that is what we need to hear more of these days.”
My first reaction was: What’s the other side of the story? So far the book fails to reflect any humility. There are other similar examples of the author getting into trouble and being confrontational. I noted with interest how his wife said in one scene that he wouldn’t have liked coming to a Bible Study because of what someone taught.
The writing comes off angry, confrontational, and hotheaded. The word you is used too much, and I felt at times a finger digging into my chest with a face in my face telling me all about my sins while the book ignored its own.
I am 52% done with this book and I have regretted turning the first page. The book needs several rounds with a critique group, some humility, and more teaching, less finger jabbing. People respond well to someone who encourages them to turn from sin and helps them out of their pit with truth mixed in love and prayer. A baseball bat pounding lecture is what they will get here.
I gave this book one star. It offended me with poor teaching methods that at 52% I couldn’t finish it. I skimmed to the end to see if the mood or teachings got better. The only redeeming story in the book is the author’s own testimony. There are some wisdom in the book, but you have to muck through the bad stuff to get to them.
*review updated 1/13/2013