What’s it like to be a person who has never been to church, never been around Christian culture or Christians much, and then begin to experience Churchland? That’s the experience and story of Dan Kimball in his wondrously innocent tale of experiencing the church first hand, made a little more unique because he was (and is) a rockabilly drummer.
What were some of the odd impressions or experiences you had when you first encountered Christians and the church?
Once he and a buddy were attending a church, taking communion for the first time from a man in what appeared to Dan as a superhero robe, a woman had said something to Dan and gave him the cup and bread, and Dan didn’t know what she said, and so he turned to his friend, shrugged and his buddy took the bread and wine and then said to the person next to him, “Here is the Cup of Wonder.” Mercy, that’s funny.
Dan’s new book, Adventures in Churchland, is part of his project of giving the church its due without minimizing its problems: it’s messy, and it’s supposed to be. I would call Dan’s book an apologetic for the church for postmoderns. I love this book, and I love Dan, and I hope you get a bundle of these books and give one to those who wonder “Why church?”
Dan, as a young adult, was on a quest to figure out Christianity and in his quest he met Jesus. Adventures in Churchland records Dan’s experience of growing up in New Jersey, attracted to rockabilly bands, and then off to college at Colorado State University, where he encountered a variety of Christians at the extremes, and then to London where he and his brother Tommy and a friend scratched out a living as a rockabilly band… where Dan encountered Stuart Allen, an 83-yr old humble pastor of a small church where Dan began to study the Bible more seriously with a small group of intelligent, sophisticated elderly folks who loved Dan and who did not judge Dan. And Dan, my friends, is a fine pastor today in part because of these wonderful people.
The second part of Dan’s book examines problems people have with the church, and the third part sketches the church as “Graceland” for messy, messy people. Graceland is not the same as Churchland, and Christ came to create Graceland.