Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two Very Good Books

Two very good books I just finished:

Empire of Lies by Andrew Klavan. Jason Harrow is a good Christian man leading a normal life until a phone call from the past plunges him into the dangerous world of terrorists and murder.

Finally--someone portrays a Christian as something other than a wacko nutcase! This book slays more sacred cows and steps in more politically-correct minefields than any mainstream author I have ever read. I am still scratching my head trying to figure out how he got a New York publisher to publish this book. Klavan’s clout as a bestselling author with several books made into successful movies must allow him special leverage. Klavan calls it like it is regarding the treatment of Christians and in his portrayal of the left-wing media, academic elites, and politically-correct special interest groups in this country. Not to mention it’s a heck of a well written suspense book. Some Christians may get their nose out of joint about the authentic way Klavan portrays his protagonist but those of us who are honest will recognize ourselves in him.

UnChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Kinnaman is the president of the Barna Group, the well respected survey and research company. Lyons is founder of Fermi Project, a collective of innovators, social entrepreneurs, and church and society leaders working together to make positive contributions to culture.

This book documents and summarizes three years of research into what younger (primarily 16-29 year olds) people think and feel about Christians and Christianity. It is an eye-opening dialogue about why young people are turning away from Christianity and what we can do about it. Whether we want to admit it or not most people today are becoming more antagonistic towards Christianity and its followers. Accurate or not, Christians are most often perceived as conservative, judgmental, antihomosexual, angry, empire builders, boring, and illogical. This book does a great job of telling us what and why the youth of America think about us and what we can do to offset those perceptions. Again, while many traditionalists may get in a snit about the information in this book, I found it very refreshing and a much needed examination if we are to make a difference in an increasingly hostile world.

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