Over the last week I've been reading a unique book. UnChristian, by David Kinnaman, is an attempt to identify and quantify the negative perceptions that outsiders have about Christians. Kinnaman is president of the Barna Group and used extensive polling data to form his conclusions.
A review is on the way, but I thought I'd throw out some quotes to whet your appetite. UnChristian also features brief how-to-fix-the-church responses from Christian leaders, including the ones below. (You can assume that the anonymous guy I quote last is not one of those leaders.) So, UnChristian grace quotes. Feel free to respond.
Porn stars or preachers, gay or straight, Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t mean a rip to God. We are all his children, and we are all in need of this stunningly beautiful thing called grace. - Mike Foster, UnChristian, 203
Christianity’s main export has been co-opted by nonbelievers. Forgiveness, compassion, and second chances are common occurrences as demonstrated by several recent high-profile cases. Whether it is a movie star’s addictions, a beauty queen’s indiscretions, or a run-in with the law, grace seems to be flourishing in the secular arena. A quick trip to rehab or a heartfelt apology is payment enough in secular society. When Donald Trump becomes the poster boy for second chances and the church is viewed as a place of judgment…we have a serious problem. - Mike Foster, UnChristian, 202
I think many of the judgmental people we know are trembling, guilty, sick. I was. I couldn’t extend grace because my own reserve was so low. What did I know of grace? Sure, it was my middle name, but I didn’t really need it. It was for those other people who slip up all the time. [My husband] taught me that we cannot give out something we’ve never received. – Jonalyn Fincher, UnChristian, 204
“Yeah, I know what you mean about stereotypes. When I see a person who is tattooed or pierced up, I try not to judge them based simply on their outward appearance. I realize that their appearance is probably just a symptom.” - dude left anonymous for obvious reasons, UnChristian, 187Question: Based on your experience, how common do you think that last perspective is among believers? Nontraditional/alternative appearance = symptom of deeper problems?