When Faith Fails to Deliver
Discovering the cause of Christian disillusionment
Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—For both church insiders and those who are only now beginning a conscious pursuit of Christ, the journey of faith is sometimes marked by moments of disillusionment and anger. This comes as a surprise to many of us who have either been taught or have sought a very different version of faith—one that brings the happy ending, the resolution of conflict, the warm fuzzies.
According to author Jason T. Berggren, the emotional valleys of faith are often completely unrelated to anything God has or has not done; instead, they are a direct result of our own wrong expectations. In 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith, Berggren explores many of the wrong expectations that have caused absolute frustration in his life and his own journey of faith and shares some good news: this sense of overwhelming dissatisfaction can actually serve as a catalyst for personal growth.
Berggren first responded to the gospel as a wounded teenager, an outsider within his own family who was yearning for a place to belong. “Faith in Jesus was the best decision I’ve ever made. It was also the most difficult,” he states. “It wasn’t long before I discovered I had to work at keeping this hope. Life was hard and messy; it had a way of wearing me down and stealing my focus and optimism. It took time, but I learned to come to terms with the realization that faith in Jesus didn’t mean all my problems would go away or be fixed. Unfortunately, many who believe never reach this understanding.”
With complete—and sometimes eyebrow-raising—honesty, 10 Things I Hate About Christianity walks readers through the common, damaging misconceptions Christians hold concerning everything from faith and prayer to the brutality of hell and the role of church in the life of a follower of Christ. The book flows from Berggren’s twenty-year experience as a follower of Christ and his time as a pastor, church planter, and founder of Strongarm, one of the most influential bands in the history of Christian hardcore music. 10 Things I Hate About Christianity records the raw process of one man’s faith, set against the real-life backdrop of his roles as former rocker, husband, father of three, and small business owner. Readers will examine the complicated aspects of understanding:
· The Bible
· Answers (to difficult questions)
“I’m convinced that many, many people are moved by the teachings of Jesus. They want to believe. They want to follow. They just got disconnected on some level, and they can’t work through it,” Berggren says. “10 Things I Hate About Christianity shares, in the open, the things we all think behind closed doors. We all reach certain impasses in our lives. This book is meant to be an encouragement and to help people get around the common roadblocks of faith.” In his conversational, casual style, Berggren encourages readers to seek resolutions to the big questions of life that can ultimately lead to faith in Jesus: Why are we all here? What’s it all about? Is there more to this?
What did I think?
When the offer to review this book came into my inbox, I was intrigued. I mean, that really is a provocative title. I wondered what would come of it. I struggle with certain aspects of Christianity. Those who know me well, know what I'm talking about. Those who don't know me quite as well and want to know what I'm talking about, read this book (though I reserve the right to change my mind at anytime).
This book systematically verbalized what I believe. I found myself talking out loud while I read this book. "Yes!" "Exactly." And then I would laugh at a comment he would make about, say, country music, or something. As each chapter went on I would wonder if I could really agree with more of what this guy has to say? And I did - on the big things anyways.
The name is a bit of a misnomer, as it seems like this book is going to take a negative approach to things. Instead, it is an honest look at some of our shortcomings and some of the most difficult questions relating to this religion. It does not claim to have all the answers, but it does have some good ones nonetheless.
This is an easy book to read. With three kids running around the house, I had to put the book down often, but was able to pick up right where I left off. It held my interest (which I struggle with these days with nonfiction books). It is applicable. It is quotable.
So, if you have questions relating to this religion. Or are a seasoned Christian looking for something good to read. Or are curious at all about this book. Or are looking for something that's - for once - not all touchy feely or claiming to have ALL the answers, I would highly recommend this book.
This book was provided to me by David C Cook for an impartial review