4th February 2019
How Christians Blew Our Credibility and How We Get It Back (pp 251)
by Phil Cooke and Jonathan Bock
Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbours. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honourable behaviour, and they will give honour to God when he judges the world. 1 Peter 2:12 (NLT)
First, I need to highlight that this is a book that looks at how the church and Christians relate to society and not the issues and nature facing the church internally. The context is evangelical faith in the USA, so the context for the reflection is how that evangelical community essentially blew it by becoming too associated with politics and the culture wars. It is not an apologia for liberal Christianity and a call to adopt the culture of the day. It is a simple challenge for Christians to become more the people of ‘the way’.
The two authors have both been involved in a wider media and communication ministry and network and are well placed to report on the perceptions of society and change in how Christians and the church are viewed and provide pointed reflections on where we are and what to do.
Phil Cooke will be known to a number of readers as he has spoken in Australia and was a lead interviewee on the Andrew Denton documentary God on Our Side (this looked at evangelicals and their support for George W Bush in the context of the US National Religious Broadcasters Convention in 2006). Phil’s blog (search philcooke.com) provides short reflections and practical examples and ideas to encourage people to re-think their way of doing things.
Of greatest help though in this book is the focus on our personal Christian lives and a call to renew our Christian walk. As we become more people of the way our hope is that people will see the way themselves.