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Jim and Casper Go to Church: Frank Conversation about Faith, Churches, and Well-Meaning Christians Hardcover – Mar 29 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: BarnaBooks (March 29 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414313314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414313313
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 15.3 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #458,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

It could be the pilot script for a sitcom: a pastor hires an atheist to help him critique several Christian churches throughout the United States. For the authors, however, this experiment was no joke. Henderson, a veteran Protestant minister, truly believes that evangelism requires listening to the good, the bad and the ugly about Christianity in order to be a better minister. So he hired Casper, an atheist copywriter and musician, to serve as "fresh eyes" and observe how a variety of Christians engage the Divine through worship. Their travels took them to a mission-minded church, an Emergent church and to Joel Osteen's megachurch, among others. In the book, Henderson peppers his partner with questions about each service, and Casper comments on everything from preaching to music to the geographical location of the churches. The take-home point, which is simultaneously simple, profound and of great importance to Christianity is, "Why are there such glaring discrepancies among churches regarding what it means to be a follower of Christ?" The two authors include some banal dialogue at times, but this is a minor distraction. Anyone interested in contemporary evangelism, especially pastors, will enjoy and learn from this humorous and heartening travelogue. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jim Henderson is cofounder and executive director of Off The Map, a nonprofit organization focused on reinventing evangelism by encouraging Christians to connect with people in small, ordinary, and doable ways. He and his wife, Barb, have been involved in church planting, pastoring, and leadership development for over twenty-five years. They have three children and live in Seattle.

Matt Casper is a marketing copywriter, a freelance writer, a guitar slinger / rock singer, an avid reader, and a halfway decent cook. His dream job is "gadabout . . . maybe raconteur." He is happily married to Yvonne and is a proud, hands-on father of Evelyn and Cole. He and his family live in San Diego.

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason W. on May 14 2008
Format: Hardcover
Wow, what a great concept. A pastor takes an atheist(no I did not use a capital "A") to a number of churches for feedback and perspective. This book is a must read for any Christian in any church denomination, and quite an enjoyable read. I very much respect Jim Hendersons open mindedness and focus on this project, allowing full attention to Casper and listening to what he had to say, who had quite a lot of good input and observations to be looked at. I also found Casper to be rather humourous at times, and his anecdotes on different church cultures, techniques and attitudes, quite enlightening.

As a Christian myself, I also learned something from it. I have a lot of "secular" friends myself. In reading this book, I think we need to realize that conversation with others, is probably one of the more important keys, instead of trying to debate and prove our faith. Some of us need to take a look at our pompous "Im Christian. Do you want to hear all I have to tell you why Im right and your not" attitude. Instead listen more and if they find a relationship with Jesus, all the more better, if not, You still may have made a new friend and without offense and bad taste. And beyond all the talking, our actions should also speak for themselves.
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By M. Douglas on April 16 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for helping people that have been churched all of their lives to look at their church from the view of someone that is not familiar with the church. Sometimes when you have only seen things being done one way year after year you never challenge it with the question of Why do we do this? or Does this work? Casper brings these issues and many other ones right into our face which is great. Why do we have a church and what are we trying to do in our churches of today. Casper gives us tremendous insight into the way a person feels and what they see when they first arrive at your church. I do find though that Casper seems to say the same things over and over again about each church and maybe sometimes judges a little too harshly. Not a book for everyone.
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Format: Hardcover
What do you get when a pastor pays an atheist to go to church? This was a fresh look at a number of prominent US churches written from the perspective of a pastor and church researcher and an atheist. My favorite line was from Casper - "is this what Jesus told you guys to do?" - after seeing a lights / fog show church service. This is good for anyone involved in 'doing church' and concerned with what others see in Christ and the Church when the look at us!
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By J.R. Cash on Sept. 8 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that makes you think about the impression your church gives to both Christians and non-Christians as well as asking if it is meeting the needs of either. Contains good insights, but keep in mind it is only 2 men's opinions not an in-depth study.
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By Smarty on Dec 10 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Very humbling to read an atheists perspective on how he sees "Christians" who believe they are following Christ as he visits various 'churches' around the country.
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