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Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland

In my opinion, Christians and church-goers seem to think of themselves as being outsiders. They to think of themselves as outside of culture, which is fairly accurate as American Christians have created their own culture. However, the dangerous part is that Christians think of themselves as being outsiders to everything, in that they are immune to common human behaviors. Of course, (most) Christians understand and admit that they are imperfect and they live and breathe in a fallen world, but they see their church as the beacon of hope in this wretched, need-of-a-savior creation.

Unfortunately, churches tend to be simple extensions of our flawed humanity. Churches usually are reflections of our communities – our racist, sexist, homophobic, elitist communities. Our churches are not exempt from these flaws.

Disunity in Christis about these flaws. Author Christena Cleveland is a social psychologist shows us why this is so.

We love to form groups. It makes life easier and clearer. In order to better define our groups, we spend an exorbitant amount of time describing out differences: I understand my group better when I know what it is not, and it is not yours. This is something we see in church all the time, and most of the time it occurs among Christians and not (as you would assume) between Christians and non-Christians.

I know the church is not a country club for the saints, but a hospital for the sick. I am sure most people in my church would say the same thing. But do we act that way? Do our actions speak louder than our words?

I think there is a lot to learn from this book. Psychology is a very useful tool. We cannot just sit around and pray for our communities to grow stronger. We need roll up our sleeves, learn about the community, learn about the individuals, and make that change.