On August 15 the new book I have written "Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus In The Mess Of Organized Religion" will be launching with a web site, new blog and various resources available for the book.
If you are coming to this blog, on August 15 it will be totally redesigned with videos about the book, downloadable discussion guides, church leader teaching outlines and some other things on it. I will also begin regularly blogging again at that time here.
You can read a sample chapter and see the Table of Contents and foreword that Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Queen of Rockabilly - Wanda Jackson wrote for the book there by clicking the title of the book here which takes you to Amazon and you can then look at the "look inside" feature for the book: Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus in the Mess of Organized Religion
Why I wrote this book....
I wrote Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus In The Mess of Organized Religion because there are many Christians who feel that we are often misrepresented by the most vocal and negative examples among us. We see this showing in opinion polls like this one which made national news last week. We desire to see this changed and instead to be known as being the kind of Christians and churches that Jesus desired us to be. I wrote this book to help us all respond to some of the most often raised criticisms, such as:
- Christianity is an “organized religion” and not what Jesus intended.
- The church is often known as such a judgmental presence in the world today – is that what Jesus really taught?
I also wrote this book to give hope to those who may feel like a misfit in the church and Christian sub-culture. This book is a little more vulnerable and personal for me than my other books, as I share some of my story in this book from the time when I wasn’t a Christian and not interested in church while I was playing drums in a punk and rockabilly band. In a somewhat ironic twist, my life’s trajectory began to change when our band was living in London, England and I met an elderly group of Christians in a tiny church there. As a result, I ended up becoming a Christian and eventually became a pastor. But it wasn’t an easy transition. My entry into the evangelical church world was full of strange and even quite unpleasant experiences which I write about, some of which you may also relate to.
In the midst of all the oddness of the Christian subculture, however, I discovered that the more I read about Jesus, the more I understood his love and mission for the church. I began to explore how even in its messiness, the church is still a central part of Jesus’ vision for those who follow him. Jesus loves the church, and it is very important to him. That’s why there are so many today who aren’t giving up on the church, but we are joining together to “be the church” and make change where needed, instead of merely “going to church”.
In this book, you will then:
- learn what the Bible says about “organized religion” and how to process and respond to the criticisms that claim Christianity is one.
- learn what we can do to stop the church from being known as so judgmental and what Jesus actually said about “judging” others. (Contrary to what you might normally hear on this topic, Christians may actually need to judge each other more in order to stop Christians from being known as judgmental.)
- learn the massive difference between “going to church” and “being the church.” Without understanding this difference and what “church” really is, you may never get past a stale form of organized religion and a passive and routine kind of Christianity.
- be encouraged to know you are not alone if you are feeling like a misfit in the church, or if you’re not even able to imagine yourself becoming part of it. People like Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis show us that being a Christian doesn’t mean you have to become part of an odd sub-culture or not think rationally or intelligently or lose your creativity.
I believe in Jesus. I believe in the church. And although at times I have wanted to give up on it, I haven’t because Jesus hasn’t. We may have to make some changes and I hope this book encourages you to be part of the change taking part in the church and in Christianity today. For Christians this means that we have the joy of serving the world around us representing Jesus with love, grace, intelligence, innovation and creativity.
If you aren’t a Christian, I hope this book explains some of the reasons the Christian church sometimes sends confusing and off-putting messages. I was right where you are, but I did become a Christian and part of a church, and my life has never been the same. I can’t ever imagine having more joy, peace and purpose than I have now following Jesus and being part of his sometimes messy, often strange, and certainly not-perfect church.
Until August 15 when the web site and book launches, I am on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DanKimball and posting and interacting there.
Thank you for reading this long blog post!