mccormick


bookshelf

Good Faith by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons

I think the first question you need to ask before you read this book is this: do I live in a society where society thinks my faith is irrelevant and extreme?

I think it is a valid question but the answer is quite complex. I can definitely think of aspects of Christianity that are not en vogue with modern American culture, however I am not sure I identify with those aspects of the faith. Christianity is a “come as you are” faith, there are no initiations and certifications to earn. This is what make faith in Jesus so wonderful, but it is also its downfall. Literally anyone can claim to be a Christian then pivot and say the vilest, most hateful thing ever. And it is not my place to say they are not a Christian, I can only attest that those words do not reflect my beliefs.

Moving on, though Christianity definitely does not dictate normative thinking and behavior in American culture the way that it used to, it definitely still has the strongest grip on society. Every person that has run for president of the United States in the past three decades (at least) has had to pander to Christian voting bloc. Candidate Obama had to go out of his way to show his Christian faith. Candidate Trump had to be endorsed by the largest Christian university in the country.

Though Christianity may not be the solid majority anymore, it is still the dominant view. In my opinion, you are safer in this country expressing your Christian faith over your Islamic or Jewish faith. This is sad, but true.

Having said all that, I understand Kinnaman and Lyons argument. It is very likely that a “committed” Christian will get some push back for their faith, and Christians need to respond with love and humility while sticking true to their values.

I was disappointed how the authors just swept over the atrocities of Christianity. For example, men used the Bible to endorse slavery. That is a fact. Some men used the Bible to condemn slavery. That is a fact, too. However, the authors totally dismiss the former argument because the latter argument exists. That is a totally insufficient response. That is likely saying you have a great basketball team because one person made an awesome half-court shot though it missed a hundred shots from the free throw line. Christianity was used to promote injustices and today it is still used to promote injustices. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. What we may think is standing up for faith today, may be seen as an injustice tomorrow. I say this from my own experience. I have said some stupid and hateful things in my past while standing on my soap box of faith. When I step off the soap box and listen, things began to change.

I liked the overall theme of this book but I just did not find it helpful.