The author of IF GRACE IS TRUE and IF GOD IS LOVE returns with another challenging book examining what today's church would look like if Christians truly followed the core values of Jesus.
Philip Gulley took the Christian world by storm when he announced his belief in universal salvation in If Grace Is True. He then explained what that belief should mean for how a Christian lives in If God Is Love. Now, for the first time, he tackles today's church and reveals just how far it is from the values of its supposed founder.
While many denominations claim to be the fastest growing, the largest group in American religious life may be the disillusioned. These are the people who, having been involved in the church, see few similarities between the church's life and the priorities of Jesus. In the midst of entertaining worship, elaborate programming, and political crusades, they've often asked, "Is this really what Jesus called us to do and be?"
It has been too easy for the church to dismiss these people as uncommitted and lacking in faith. Perhaps the opposite is true. Their deep commitment to authentic spirituality over power, control, and institutional idolatry might the very corrective the church needs. These are people who deeply respect Jesus, but seriously question what Christianity has become.
Unfortunately, when looking back at the Gospels, Jesus had very little to say about the church. It is very clear he didn't intend to found an new religion. But the church is here to stay. The question becomes, how can we get back to the radical vision of Jesus? What would the church look like if it took seriously the priorities of Jesus?
The bestselling author of If Grace Is True and If God Is Love turns now to the institution that needs desperately to find its way. Examining the values of Jesus found in the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, he argues:
If the church were Christian...
- Jesus would be a model of living, not an object of worship
- Affirming our potential would be more important than condemning our brokenness
- Reconciliation would be valued over judgment
- Gracious behavior would be more important than right belief
- Inviting questions would be valued over supplying answers
- Encouraging personal exploration would be more important than communal uniformity
- Meeting needs would be valued over maintaining institutions
- Peace would be more important than power
- Love would be more important than sex
- Saving the earth would be more important than saving our souls
- STRONG TRACK WITH SERIES: The previous two books in this series have been consistent backlist sellers since their releases in 2003 and 2004. This third book has even more potential as a title that could gain interest in the emergent church movement. Gulley is consistently out speaking at churches about these topics.
- A TOPIC WITH BROAD REACH: While Gulley's first two books were pure theology, there is much concrete advice here for the church. This is a book preachers will read and discuss even if they don't agree with Gulley's theology, a book the Emergent Church, while more conservative than Gulley, will be eager to discuss and apply.
- FULL SPEAKING SCHEDULE: Gulley speaks year round at churches across the country and is already starting to book appearances tied to the release of this book.
- FAVORITE AUTHOR: Gulley is a Booksense 76 pick, a SEBA feature, a GLBA favorite, and a featured RBTE speaker.
- INDIANAPOLIS MONTHLY COLUMN: Phil writes a monthly column for Indianapolis Monthly called "Home Again." He also appears on the Emmy winning Indiana PBS affiliate WFYI show "Across Indiana."
- PLUS EDITION: We will be publishing a Plus edition of Gulley's IF GRACE IS TRUE to coincide with the new book's release.
*The disillusioned both in and out of the church
*The millions of thoughtful Christians who find the present expressions of Christianity unsatisfying
*Seekers, "church alumni" and Spong fans who have rejected Christianity for its intolerance
*Christian clergy of all stripes
*Readers of Gulley's first two theology books
*Fans of the Emergent Church
*Readers of Shane Claiborne, Rob Bell, unChristian