Disclosure: A while ago I read a book called unChristian and posted a review about it. This book – nuChristian – has been written in response to unChristian, and I was approached by someone marketing the book to see if I wanted to review it. He sent through a PDF, and I’ve read through the 80-odd pages, and here’s what I think.
A lot of books seem to be coming out at the moment that are talking about the problems with Christianity in today’s culture. Indeed, unChristian may well have been the definitive work on the subject, with its thorough surveying of opinion, and presentation of the data. This book has been written to try and provide some further thought on these issues: to join the conversation, as a particular group of Christians are fond of saying.
And add to the conversation it does. The focus is on how a Christian should be living in order to bring a greater sense of compassion to what they’re doing. This encouragement to engage with the culture in a practical, transformational way is to be commended: how many people in a country like Australia don’t know even one Christian, because all the Christians are hiding out in their own, Christian-only communities?
As with books that are part of a “conversation”, the view of the bible that the author has is going to be troubling for people of an evangelical persuasion. It’s testimony to my own view of the bible that I didn’t entirely notice (apart from a couple of hints in one or two places) until reaching the last chapter – a phonecall with the author’s conservative Baptist minister Dad – just how far from the evangelical Christian view of the bible the author was.
Keeping that in mind, you will want to read the book carefully, and sift that which is helpful (and there’s plenty) from that which is not. This short book has a lot of helpful ideas in it, and is certainly worth a read, even for the thoughtful evangelical who would like to see an improvement in the way Christians engage with the world around them.