Book review: postChristian
by Christian Piatt
I’m a fan of Piatt’s books, and once again he doesn’t disappoint. I’ve reviewed a couple of books in his Banned Questions series on The Dubious Disciple, and they too are very good.
This time around, Piatt writes more personally about his past experiences and his vision for the way forward. Christianity has failed Piatt in a number of ways, but he clings to his hope for better times, redefining God (who is not a being to be named, but rather an “event” to be experienced) and looking back to Jesus for his example. He nails the spirit and teachings of Jesus as he discusses topics from neighbor envy to perfect joy. Piatt wants us to spit out the poison and examine Jesus’ example in search of a hungrier love.
In Jesus’ day, the Jews longed for a conqueror to ride in, kick ass, and take names, but instead the Messiah arrived as a Suffering Servant. A new way of thinking. But have we made any progress toward Jesus’ vision? Today, Christianity has become so inured to the values and effects of capitalism within our religious institutions that we’re effectively blind to its presence. What happened to Jesus and his dream of God’s kingdom coming to earth?
What’s left of our church? Can we fix it? Do we care? Piatt admires the church of a friend, where Republicans sit next to bleeding heart former hippies, skeptical intellectuals, and folks who have no idea what they believe, but who find they all fit together in some strangely beautiful way. They need and love one another. That, says Piatt, is a glimpse of the kingdom of God.
Moving, articulate and to the point, this is a book all Christians should read.
Jericho Books, © 2014, 214 pages