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Book Review: Jim and Casper go to Church

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Several friends of mine read this new book an insisted I get it - so I did and read it over the past two days. In a word? Aggrivating. Inspirational. Motivational.

The premise is that two guys - a former pastor and an atheist - visit a dozen churches across the country and record their feelings, conversations and impressions. The whole first chapter is dedicated to Saddleback - and in fact, you can read it for free as a PDF right here. Keep in mind this review takes into account the whole book, not just "our church" specific parts.

This book is really a wake up call to the church. It has the courage to say some pretty bold things. Some things that aren't pretty and some that even sting quite a bit. But they need to be said. What is your church's call to action? What is your church doing? What is the impression your building/grounds/greeters give off? Are they performers or worship leaders? Why do we have to be told to welcome others? Is the language we use "insider"?

Let me also caution you that the book is somewhat unfair - they visited churches on a random Sunday morning and only went to the large group meeting. No small groups, no seeking rest of what the church has to offer as a whole. But I guess that's the point, as hundreds of people like them visit church each week unannounced - and probably attend just the big church experience. Maybe it's more fair than I care to admit.

This is essentially a "thin-slicing" of the big church experience. All in all this is a good book I hope we learn from as a church and in general as Christ-followers.


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 4:37 PM |

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At 8/19/2007, Blogger Tony Steward said...

I loved the book because it showed reverence to the teachings of Jesus, but was totally irrevrant to the religious and "man made" parts of the church th went to. Plus I loved getting to see a new and challenging perspective.

At 8/20/2007, Blogger Angerson said...

You have just inspired me to buy this book.

At 8/21/2007, Blogger Jeff Green said...

Thanks for the heads up! I love the idea behind this book and will order it today!

At 8/22/2007, Blogger Angerson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8/22/2007, Blogger Angerson said...

Hey Josh - finished the book last night, blogged about it here

At 8/22/2007, Anonymous Rachel said...

Hi, Josh! Thanks for reviewing "Jim & Casper Go to Church." I'm a volunteer with Jim's organization Off the Map and I wanted to let you know about our Live event coming up this November in Seattle. Both Jim and Matt Casper will be speaking at this event. Here is the link if you want to find out more: http://www.offthemap.com/live

At 8/23/2007, Blogger Dan said...

Yep...read it a few months back. I like the premise, but it is coming from a consumerist view. I thought there was some good insight, yet at the same time, the expectations of Casper have to be kept in perspective. Sometimes we're in church so much, we forget what its like to be lost!

At 8/26/2007, Blogger Matt said...

Hi Dan...

What is it like to be "lost?"

And who decides who is lost and who is found?


Curiously, Matt Casper

You can find me and we can talk more here: www.churchrater.com


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