Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Review: Lord, Save Us from Your Followers

So, I read multiple books at one time and I just finished reading Lord, Save Us From Your Followers by Dan Merchant. This book was fantastic. Dan Merchant also made a movie under the same title, which I am now interested in seeing. Dan basically took two years to travel across America and ask people on the streets and experts "Why is the Gospel of Love Dividing America?"
For most of his interviews on the streets, he dressed up in what he deemed "Bumper Stick Suit", which was basically a white painters suit plastered with every bumper sticker he could find. He would then ask people 5 questions. The first three were generally the same: How did the world begin? What is something Jesus is known for? What is something Christians are known for? and then the last two questions would often change depending on how people answered. He was basically trying to have conversation with people instead of shouting his point of view, like the bumper stickers do.
The book also contains his interviews with diverse media players such as Al Franken and Michael Reagan. Through these interviews he asks a lot of thought provoking questions as to why America is being divided. He tries to uncover the "culture war".
Throughout the book, his goal is to engage people in conversation rather than try to prove them right or wrong. He has a quote by Tony Campolo in the book that I just love, Tony says, "We're never as right as we think we are; we're never as wrong as we think we are." I think that is a great perspective to have. Dan has an interview with Tony Campolo and during the interview Tony explains that whenever we carry on discussion we always have to entertain the possibility that I could be wrong. In all discussions on all subjects, except for one thing, as the apostle Paul said "There is one thing I know: Christ and the Crucifixion." Aside from that, we have to be open to the possibility that we don't know. I think that is also a great point.
All through the book, Dan brings the reader back to the topic of God's love. That we, as Christians are called to love our neighbors as ourselves and everyone is our neighbors. We haven't done a great job of that as individuals and as the church. Dan does a great job of bringing us back to that message and if we are truly spreading a Gospel of Love, than we shouldn't be dividing the country!
Overall, I thought this book was great. Dan's journey is insightful, objective and humorous. This book made me think about who Jesus really is and who He is calling me to really be. At times, his tactics seemed outrageous but he conducted himself in a humble and loving way, it is a good reminder that we should love all our neighbors.

No comments: