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Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus in the mess of organized religion
By Dan Kimball - Foreword by Wanda Jackson (member of Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and Queen of Rockabilly)
Ever Wonder if Jesus Would Attend A Church Today?
Time Magazine and many others are reporting an increasing dissatisfaction with “organized religion.” A lot of people are interested in Jesus, but many are understandably growing tired of the judgmentalism and stories of hypocrisy that Christianity and “church” are too often known for today.
I wrote Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus In The Mess of Organized Religion because there are many Christians who feel that we are often misrepresented by the most vocal and negative examples among us. Understandably this creates confusion about what “church” and Christianity are about. We really desire to see this changed. Instead, we hope to be known in the world as the kind of Christians and churches that Jesus originally intended.
I wrote this book to give ways to respond to some of the most often raised criticisms, such as:
Christianity is an “organized religion” and not what Jesus intended.
The church is often known as such a judgmental presence in the world today – is that what Jesus really taught?
I like what I know of Jesus, but I don’t like Christianity or the church.
I also wrote this book to give hope to those who may feel like misfits in the church and Christian sub-culture. I personally understand those feelings. In this book I share some of my story, beginning from the time when I was playing drums in a punk and rockabilly band and interested in neither Christianity or the church. In a somewhat ironic twist, my life’s trajectory began to change when our band was living in London, England and I met an elderly group of Christians in a tiny church there. I began learning that Christianity wasn’t all I originally thought. With an extremely unexpected turn of events, I ended up becoming a follower of Jesus and (even more unexpectedly) a pastor and on a church staff.
My entry into the evangelical church world was full of some strange and even quite unpleasant experiences, some of which you may relate to. Yet through it all, I learned that Jesus loves the church, despite when it is messy or not represented well. What keeps me optimistic is that we have the opportunity today to make change in the church where needed. There are so many today who aren’t giving up on Jesus’ original plan – who are joining together to “be the church”, instead of merely “going to church”.
In this book I write about why asking questions is a good thing and why it was so encouraging to me to find that intelligent, thinking, cool people such Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien are and were Christians — and part of their local church.
I believe in the church because Jesus believes in the church. I hope this book helps provide ways to respond to the understandable criticisms of church and Christianity often heard today. And more than that, I hope it encourages you to be part of the change taking part in so many churches and in Christianity.
If Reading This Book In A Group: There is a small group study guide and discussion questions to download from the Resources page (link to that).
Church Leaders: Please go to Resources page here for why I believe this topic of the church is so incredibly important for those of us in church leadership. If you are considering a Sunday teaching series or holding a class on the importance of “church” and addressing the questions about church being known as organized religion and being judgmental, there are downloadable teaching outlines for a 3 week series on the Resources page as well.