If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus
So don't think the entire book is one giant liberal theology rant. But at times, his beliefs are somewhat confusing. For instance, he says that "ancient people, moved by their encounters with Jesus, sought to convey their appreciation for him in the only language they knew--miracle stories, parables, and wisdom sayings. Yet, a couple pages later, he quotes Jesus--and continues to quote him throughout the book.
He sometimes says things that contradict other things that he claims. For example, he believes God is going to save every person, yet he says a couple of times that Heaven is a place no one knows even exists, suggesting that maybe he doesn't believe in Heaven--so what does he mean when he says God saves them?
It seems to me that he should have either not voiced his liberal theology in order to make his opinion valid to more Christians, or he should have provided an introduction to his belief system that would make reading his book less confusing. All of that being said, I don't want to put him in a bad light or suggest that you shouldn't read the book. We can all learn a lot from Gulley. In fact, I would say anyone in ministry--especially in church ministry--should read this book.
He has a lot of great things to say from which we can learn a lot.
We just have to read the book with a grain of salt. I definitely recommend it. It is very thought-provoking, challenging, convicting, and inspiring. I'm religious, I go to church every week, but I often get a sense that the business of church sometimes overshadows the purpose of church. It is an interesting exercise to contemplate how jesus lived and taught and how religions who profess him as their head inevitably contradict their own by placing business ahead of love.
An interesting note is the only time Jesus got upset or criticized was when he was rebuking Church authorities who were abusing their power or positions and failing to see the spirit of the law vs. See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 8 days ago.
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Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. When there is no sin - there is no need for a savior. And that is what separates our Jesus from Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, modern spirituality -and all those other belief systems Phil cherishes more than Biblical Christianity. Phil has a strange quote on page You really are too stupid and spiritually blind to get that aren't you - and worse, all the people who approve of your published crap.
If you want to love and cherish an unbiblical Jesus - please go do it somewhere else.
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Stop referring to yourself as a Christian. Your Jesus isn't worth worshiping. Mar 26, Justin Banger rated it it was amazing. This book is phenomenal. Easy to digest and quite profound. The chapter titles alone are worth the price of the book. If the church were Christian, Jesus would be a model for living, not an object of worship.
If the church were Christian, affirming our potential would be more important than condemning our brokenness. If the church were Christian, reconciliation would be valued over judgment. If the church were Christian, gracious behavior would be more important than right belief. I This book is phenomenal. If the church were Christian, inviting questions would be more important than supplying answers.
If the church were Christian, encouraging personal exploration would be more important than communal uniformity.
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If the church were Christian, meeting needs would be more important than maintaining institutions. If the church were Christian, peace would be more important than power.
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If the church were Christian, it would care more about love and less about sex. If the church were Christian, this life would be more important than the afterlife May 30, Krysten rated it liked it Shelves: Great in spirit but a bit glib and still not radical enough for me. The concept of """tolerance""' is not something I think should be celebrated - it's half a step away from a melee. Inclusion and welcoming and unconditional acceptance are much, much better. And Jesus was way more of a revolutionary than the palatable Jesus presented here.
It's a nice book for nice people but doesn't pose all that much of a challenge to the status quo. Jun 09, Erika rated it it was ok. Gulley has some good points and I appreciate his perception of Jesus' teachings in this book and how it applies to the church as a global whole. Some of his points were particularly refreshing, such as the tolerance of people to ask questions in faith and to explore. However, the basis of his book is shaky. In the first part of his book, he challenges readers to ponder where we, as Christians, gain our knowledge of Jesus.
He nearly disputes the possibility that the Biblical texts that we rely on Gulley has some good points and I appreciate his perception of Jesus' teachings in this book and how it applies to the church as a global whole. He nearly disputes the possibility that the Biblical texts that we rely on as Holy Word was factual, which, is a valid argument for any Biblical explorer. However, in subsequent chapters, he goes on to prove his points about how a church ought to be based on these Biblical texts.
Apr 02, Sera Gray rated it really liked it. While I don't agree with everything in this book, I found it incredibly thought-provoking. The author tackles many issues in the church that have really struck a chord with me in the past, and have been reasons that I have chosen to take a step back from church and figure some things out for myself. While the areas I disagree with him on are related to theology and specific biblical ideas, I have to give him credit for being so bold as to question things and present alternative view points.
Very While I don't agree with everything in this book, I found it incredibly thought-provoking. Very good book, especially for anyone who's been jaded by church at any point. On another note, this was a very fast, easy read. I finished it in a day. Jan 10, Judy rated it it was amazing Shelves: Philip Gulley is a Quaker minister who writes a very interesting, readable book drawing on his experiences and examining what it really means to be a Christian.
Our church class has been studying this over the past several months and Gulley's analyses have sparked lively discussions. Still, it is a book that a person can gain from reading it alone. Lots of thought-provoking questions. Nov 24, Nancy rated it it was amazing. I'll say one thing for Gulley. He's not afraid to tell it like it is. And like it is less and less is what the church should be. An interesting read--would make a good group discussion and certainly a book that any person of faith--church goer or not--should read.
Feb 18, Sharon rated it it was amazing. Gulley is gentle, but firm-- and right on about the church. I would hope that good church folks would take his criticisms and his recommendations to heart. Apr 28, Lee rated it really liked it. I think that is was very good and helped to give me a different perspective. Aug 11, Ryan Jiorle rated it liked it. This book has some very powerful and important messages in it, but I think it would have been better off as an essay or something shorter.
It is not a particularly long book to begin with, but much of the first half was fairly repetitive in its message. The author uses dozens of anecdotes to emphasize the general idea that the church is too dogmatic and needs to care more about the real needs of people by being more gracious and inclusive. Again, this is a very powerful message, but it was drawn This book has some very powerful and important messages in it, but I think it would have been better off as an essay or something shorter. Again, this is a very powerful message, but it was drawn out over a long stretch of pages.
Also, people who hold the Bible in high regard will likely find this book offensive. Perhaps the arguments are well-supported, but the support is excluded, probably so as to not clog up his narrative for each chapter. I think some of the ideas in this book are those a lot of people need to hear, but this book felt like a drawn-out way to get them across. Jul 16, Little House rated it it was ok. Gulley gave me a lot to think about.
If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus by Philip Gulley
Unfortunately, I think that he threw the baby out with the bath water. He seems to believe that Christians must throw out their core beliefs in order to act like Jesus. While there are a lot of things that the "church" could do better, for every bad example that he gave there are Churches that are doing things right. They are loving and serving their communities while still believing the Scriptures.
They believe that Jesus was God and was born of a virgin Mr. They believe that Jesus was God and was born of a virgin and are able to act like Jesus. Yes, I too have seen those that don't, but it is not their beliefs that are the problem, but a lack of love and grace. While I don't agree with the author on many most? There are areas where I and those around me could do better. This book is not for everyone, but for those who already know what they believe and are willing to read about other views , it is interesting.
Mar 13, Dave Rogg added it Shelves: I'm not going to rate this book because I didn't finish it. I didn't finish it because his beliefs are strongly opposed to my beliefs. I am open to other people's views and often learn from them. However, after reading things like "Whether or not Jesus was sinless remains unknown to me and, quite honestly, is of little importance. Jul 05, Jen rated it it was amazing. Another thought-provoking book by Philip Gulley.
You don't have to be a Quaker, as the author is, to ask yourself, or your church, the questions he poses, e. Aug 05, Laura rated it really liked it. To quote a friend, "We love and hate, baptize and banish, proselytize and ostracize, accept and reject, bear and share and lift and add to the burdens of others Puzey for these thoughts because they helped encapsulate what this book is about. May 16, Sharon Anderson rated it really liked it. It's always good to get different perspectives and expand your world view! I recommend this, especially if you were raised in a strict evangelical home and are having questions.
With great humility, honesty and subtle humour Philip Gulley sets out a real world theology that encourages me more than anything else has done in years. But there are only two passages in the Bible Matthew Many Bible scholars the ones who don't watch Pat Robertson suspect the Matthean verses were not original to Jesus, but were written back into the text by persons hoping to bolster their theological and ecclesial position by placing them in the mouth of Jesus.
There's no better guarantee of job security than convincing others Jesus appointed you to the task. From those two verses, we have built a vast institution based on these "hints" Jesus gave us. But we should never delude ourselves into thinking that today's church sprung directly from the mind of Jesus. All we have is extrapolation, a few bones upon which have been erected a larger organism.
By way of disclosure, I should confess that I am involved in the church, having served as a Quaker pastor in Indiana for 25 years and counting. We're more the working-for-peace, feeding-the-poor, knitting-afghans-for-Afghans kind of church. This is all to say that some Christians believe in Biblical inerrancy or papal infallibility or that the Haitians made a pact with the devil that centuries later caused an earthquake, but I'm not one of them. I fall squarely in the nice camp of Christianity. Be nice to people. What the heck, let's go out on a limb and do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Large portions of religious folks have forgotten this, a fact that both annoys and inspires me. Annoys me because they've managed to convince so many people that theirs is the normative definition of faith, inspires me because I enjoy articulating an understanding of Christian faith that annoys them. Hence, my most recent book, If the Church Were Christian: