Mar 21, 2010

~CLOSED~Review & Giveaway: If the Church Were Christian

Rediscovering the Values of Jesus
From HarperCollins
Book Description
While many denominations claim to be growing, the largest group in American religious life is the disillusioned—people who have been involved in the church yet see few similarities between the church's life and the person of Jesus. In the midst of elaborate programming, professional worship teams, and political crusades, they ask, "Is this really what Jesus called us to do?"

While the church has dismissed these people as uncommitted and lacking in faith, perhaps the opposite is true. Their commitment to authentic spirituality over institutional idolatry might be the very corrective the church needs. These people respect Jesus, but question what Christianity has become.

In If the Church Were Christian, Quaker pastor and author Philip Gulley explores how the church has lost its way. This eye-opening examination of the values of Jesus reveals the extent to which the church has drifted from the teachings of the man who inspired its creation. Many Christians might be surprised to discover how little Jesus had to say about the church, and that he might never have intended to start a new religion.

But the church is here to stay, and Gulley is determined to help the church find its soul. If the church were Christian, Gulley argues, affirming our potential would be more important than condemning our brokenness. If the church were Christian, inviting questions would be valued more than supplying answers. If the church were Christian, meeting needs would be more important than maintaining institutions.

These simple statements return us to the heart of what Jesus cared about during his ministry. Gulley provides a profound picture of what the church would look like if it refocused on the real priorities of Jesus.

About the Author
Philip Gulley has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, Gulley is the author of the Harmony series of novels, as well as If Grace Is True and If God Is Love, which are coauthored with James Mulholland.

He hosts "Porch Talk with Phil Gulley" on the Indiana PBS affiliate WFYI television's flagship show Across Indiana.

Gulley lives in Indiana with his wife, Joan, and their sons, Spencer and Sam—in a rambling old house with Gulley’s eclectic chair collection (64 at last count) and a welcoming back porch.

My Review
When our children were about middle-school age, they and many of their friends began wearing bracelets that had the letters "WWJD" on them, which stood for "What would Jesus do?"  If the Church Were Christian is all about what the author believes Jesus would want us and our churches to do.   It's a wonderful reminder of the core values Christianity was based upon, stressing the importance of love, service to others, forgiveness, acceptance, and peace.
Philip Gulley is not afraid to talk about controversial subjects.  I have to admit that when I started reading this book, I wasn't sure I would like it, because some of what he was saying was very much in opposition to what I've been taught about religion my whole life.  But I kept reading, and I'm so glad I did!  It made me think about Christianity in ways I hadn't before, and challenged me to search my heart and my life more deeply than I had in some time.  If the Church Were Christian is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it!
 If the Church Were Christian by Philip Gulley can be purchased at
Win It
Thanks to Molly and HarperCollins, I have 3 copies of If the Church Were Christian to giveaway!
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Disclaimer/Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. This is my honest opinion, and was not influenced by the sponsor in any way.