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Jim And Casper Go To Church: Frank Conversation about Faith, Churches, and Well-Meaning Christians Hardcover – Apr 1 2007
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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.)
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From the Back Cover
"Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?"
Light shows, fog machines, worship bands, and offering plates-is this what Jesus intended? Atheist Matt Casper wants to know.
In 2006, Jim Henderson, veteran Christian and director of Off The Map, hired Casper to join him in visiting twelve of America's best- and least-known churches, including Rick Warren's Saddleback and Joel Osteen's Lakewood. Week after week, this spiritual odd couple attended services at churches all over the country and documented their experiences at and reactions to each one. Along the way, they found the real value of their journey in the open and authentic friendship that developed as they talked, questioned, joked, and-most importantly-listened.
Follow along with Jim and Casper on their visits, and eavesdrop as they discuss what they found. Jim and Casper's articulate, sometimes humorous, and always insightful dialogue offers Christians a new view of an environment in which we've become overly comfortable: the church. And it models an important transition from "defending the faith" to "defending the space"-"relational" space for authentic, respectful dialogue and friendship with nonbelievers.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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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