Seven Faith Tribes - Book Review

Seven Faith Tribes by George Barna is a book written with the hopes of opening the eyes of any who will care to listen about who he believes are the seven faith tribes of America. The tribes are: Casual Christians, Captive Christians, American Jews, Mormons, Pantheists, Muslims, and Spiritual Skeptics.

Casual Christians are those who call themselves Christians to get a "get out of hell free card" (my words not Barna). In this group you will find no difference between the habits of the Casual Christian or the unbeliever. All of their choices are virtually identical (more can be seen on these stats in the book by David Kinnaman UNCHRISTIAN)

Captive Christians are those who take their faith seriously. They are first and foremost always filtering their lives choices from the largest to the smallest through their faith in Christ. The ratios between Casual and Captive Christians remind me of the Praeto or 80/20 principle.

American Jews' roots run deep in their heritage. They are all about where they come from and what they've had to fight through to get where they are today. They value community and bring any other Jew into the fold based on heritage.

Mormons "argue vehemently that they are a Christian" group but the deny many tenants of the Christian faith. The value family and have large families and are married longer than most Americans.

Pantheists are the group with something for everyone the "Baskin Robin's" of the group as Baran describes. Among this group Barna includes: Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian and "a wealth of groups that fall under the generic New Age banner. In general Pantheists seem more focused on better one's self than bettering the whole.

Muslims in America seem to be more of a nomadic group. They are more likely to not own their homes however are very traditional in their values and doctrines and teaching that to their children is a very important part of their home life. Muslims are more likely to have children under the age of 18 in their homes as well.

Spiritual Skeptic are as they seem. They take everything with a grain of salt but, in the end seem to be searching for something bigger than themselves.

In Seven Faith Tribes, Barna brings these groups together and pulls their strengths and weaknesses to come to a stronger place in American spirituality. He does this by pointing out our shared values and spends the rest of the book noting how we can build up the strength of these values in our households, media, etc.

This is my first Barna book and overall it was pretty hard to read. It seems that it's loaded with statistics but, not quiet as practical as I would like. Great vision. Raises some good questions about what we'll have to do to reach an UNCHRISTIAN nation.


The Prodigal Returns

Blogger - I have returned. Tumblr is no more.


My Blog Has Moved...

I've moved to www.thegreatrescue.tumblr.com
Please come check me out over there and follow me.

Dancing Goats EP

A little while back I wrote an EP called the Dancing Goats EP based on a new coffee house I tried on a whim. All these songs are a little different than what I would normally write and are inspired by the ability to try something new. You can download the EP for free at NoiseTrade.com or pay what you want for it. Regardless. Check it out. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

Check out this FREE music from The Great Rescue @NoiseTrade!http://tinyurl.com/lew5ne

Starbucks.. What Is It About That Place?

Sitting at a local Starbucks on Wards Road here in Lynchburg, Virginia. Waiting for the parent of one of our students to walk through the door to meet with me. I have to say there is just something about Starbucks. Granted my favorite coffee shop in town is the Muse Coffee Co. in Wyndhurst. It’s a locally grown shop with their own roaster and amazing employees who know your name and face and love you like family. There’s just something about Starbucks though. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Any ideas?


A Lover's Quarrel With The Evangelical Church - Book Review

A Lover's Quarrel With The Evangelical Church by Warren Cole Smith is exactly as the title describes, a lover's quarrel. The book opens with "My name is Warren, and I'm a recovering evangelical." In the book Smith offers his honest perspective of his problems with the evangelical church. What's interesting is that all the while Smith claims to be an evangelical. It's an insiders look, saying "Here are some problems I see. I don't like them but, I'm apart of this as well and I think we can come together and fix these things."

Some of the main issues Smith tackles are those of the "Christian-Industrial Complex" in which he brings up topics like Christian publishing houses, record labels, and the like that make millions of dollars a year and questions their motives.

He criticizes what he calls "Body-Count Evangelism" in which numbers become more important that the souls of those people. Smith makes a very true statement: "In the era of body-count evangelism, people become statistics. True salvations become opportunities not for joy, by for bragging." It's a sad truth that I've seen this very thing take place. Thankfully not in the church I'm currently serving. I would say it's also easy to look at the surface of some things and make judgement calls rather than seeing what happens behind the scenes. Sure there are people that slip through the cracks... I wish this wasn't the case but, the truth is in large churches it just happens sometimes. The goal is not to allow anyone to simply walk an isle and leave. We want to win people to Jesus Christ by sharing His love and message. We want to then not count them as a number for a quota, but instead grow them in their spiritual walk with Jesus Christ and then send them out to the world as representatives of the love and message of Jesus Christ they themselves came to know. I'm thankful that it's more than numbers at my church home. I'm thankful we're not a statistic and that we don't count them.

Overall Smith writes with honesty and passion towards the topics he addresses. However, there are moments when it seems that Smith is ranting more than examining and condemning more than diagnosing. Early in the book Smith is a but confusing with his writing and mentions about 4-5 items that are the "theme" of the book. I felt myself confused about what exactly the theme of the book was and wondering why my conclusions were different than the author's expressed ones. The book didn't pick up for me until about the third chapter. A Lover's Quarrel With The Evangelical Church is a decently written and raises some good questions that all evangelical churches need to examine and be reminded of.