Synopses & Reviews
While many denominations claim to be growing, the largest group in American religious life is the disillusioned—people who have been involved in the church yet see few similarities between the church's life and the person of Jesus. In the midst of elaborate programming, professional worship teams, and political crusades, they ask, "Is this really what Jesus called us to do?"
While the church has dismissed these people as uncommitted and lacking in faith, perhaps the opposite is true. Their commitment to authentic spirituality over institutional idolatry might be the very corrective the church needs. These people respect Jesus, but question what Christianity has become.
In If the Church Were Christian, Quaker pastor and author Philip Gulley explores how the church has lost its way. This eye-opening examination of the values of Jesus reveals the extent to which the church has drifted from the teachings of the man who inspired its creation. Many Christians might be surprised to discover how little Jesus had to say about the church, and that he might never have intended to start a new religion.
But the church is here to stay, and Gulley is determined to help the church find its soul. If the church were Christian, Gulley argues, affirming our potential would be more important than condemning our brokenness. If the church were Christian, inviting questions would be valued more than supplying answers. If the church were Christian, meeting needs would be more important than maintaining institutions.
These simple statements return us to the heart of what Jesus cared about during his ministry. Gulley provides a profound picture of what the church would look like if it refocused on the real priorities of Jesus.
“Philip Gulley separates wheat from chaff, experience from explanation and purpose from function in this book. He calls the Jesus message into a new vision - one that has both power and integrity.” John Shelby Spong, author of Eternal Life: A New Vision
“Filled with memorable, insightful and revealing stories. I recommend it.” Marcus Borg
“[Gulleys] effortless and uncomplicated style allows for easy reading over some heavy material.” Library Journal
“Gulleys newest book is thoughtful, insightful and a joy to read.” Indianapolis Star
“Gulley puts the Christ back in Christian. This manifesto is a call not just to worship Jesus, but to follow him. It asks the daring question, “What if Christians actually began to take their Christ seriously?” The answer to that question could change the world.” Shane Claiborne, bestselling author of The Irresistible Revolution.
“Gulley has done a fine job pinpointing the flaws of the Christian churches and suggesting transformative paths to follow.” Spirituality and Practice
“[Philip Gulleys] vision of Christianity is grounded, gripping, and filled with uncommon sense. He is building bridges instead of boundaries, and such wisdom is surely needed now.” —Richard Rohr, O.F.M, author of Everything Belongs
Quaker minister Philip Gulley, author of If Grace Is True and If God Is Love, returns with If the Church Were Christian: a challenging and thought-provoking examination of the authors vision for todays church… if Christians truly followed the core values of Jesus Christ. Fans of Shane Claiborne, Rob Bell, and unChristian will find much to discuss in If the Church Were Christian, as will anyone interested in the future of this institution.
About the Author
Philip Gulley is a Quaker minister, writer, husband, and father. He is the bestselling author of Front Porch Tales, the acclaimed Harmony series, and is coauthor of If Grace Is True and If God Is Love. Gulley lives with his wife and two sons in Indiana, and is a frequent speaker at churches, colleges, and retreat centers across the country.