Twelve Things I Think About Christianity (in 150 Words or Less)

1. It’s ideal.

2. It asks or wants nothing of me.

3. It automatically tailor-makes itself to fit the mind and heart of each who claims it as his own.

4. The historical story of the figure of Jesus Christ is true.

5. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was salvific.

6. Too many Christians too willingly forget that Paul, though clearly a genius of the first degree, was just a man.

7. It is undergoing what (I hope) will amount to a second Reformation.

8. Luther. Freakin’. Rocks. (Except of course for some of his later anti-Semitic crap.)

9. Liturgical churches are better/purer/safer because they so minimize the chance of (inevitably counter-productive) Pastor Worship.

10. In general, Christians deeply embarrass themselves by knowing so little about either the Bible or the history of Christianity.

11. Protestants need to remember and respect that Catholics are every bit as Christian as they.

12. The Bible is so infinitely complex and perfectly wrought that it could only have come from God.

And to round-out a baker’s dozen: 999,999,999 times out of a billion, a Christian trying to “evangelize” is merely exercising his or her own ego.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://jem-musings.blogspot.com/ Jeannie

    Particularly like 9 and 10. I was raised a pentecostal and worked my way through a variety of charismatic circles before calling a "time out" over the last decade or so to sort through everything and get rid of the crazy stuff. I am just now dipping my toe back into the water of churchdom in what I hope is a much more balanced atomsphere.

    I thought of Luthernism and Episcalpalianism, but frankly, was intimidated by it. There seemed to be so much liturgy and tradition and stuff to do during the services that I felt like I would look like a very igorant rube. Or, at least a fish very much out of the water. I have to admit, these congregations seem a lot safer to me.

    • Diana

      Hey Jeannie!

      Have you asked any of your friends? Sometimes, some of us mainline Christians are a little "shy" about expressing our faith or talking about the fact that we go to church simply because we don't want to be associated with the angry, fundamentalist wing of the Church.

      Also, some denominations to try: United Methodist (only one with which I have personal experience. Some are more liturgical than others.), other Methodist, Wesleyan, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), United Church of Christ (but make sure the congregation with which you get involved is truly mainline and not part of the "Boston Movement."), –Does anyone else have any ideas?

  • http://jem-musings.blogspot.com/ Jeannie

    And sorry – clearly I need to pay more attention to my spelling.

  • Matt

    I really like 1,4,5,8,9,10,11, and 12, with 5 being without a doubt the most vital and awesome thing ever, period.

    Most of the others I don't necessarily disagree with, but would definitely encourage you to further explore them in future posts.

    For instance, concerning Paul is your position something like this: you believe Jesus did reveal himself to Paul and impart to him knowledge but the Holy Spirit did not inspire him while writing all the letters he wrote, and therefore, as a sinful man, he likely errored in some of his writings? That's my impression, based on what you've written.

    Also, what's your definition of evangelism? Is not this blog evangelism in a sense? Couldn't you say that pretty much any human action is marred somewhat by sin, but that doesn't mean we should stop doing it. I know you've posted a brilliant review of your book which explored this topic, but as far as I remember concerning that book review it's main point was that Christians had really poor kleresmaak, which isn't true as all as I think kleresmaak is absolutely delicious.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    Love 5. And 6 & 7 are cool.

    Luther (#8) does rock, except for his later writings when he became old and cranky, which is being kind. (Turns out, he's just a man.)

    For #2, I thought about it for some time. I was thinking, "It does not need anything from me… but doesn't it want something of me?" But then I focused on the word "of" rather than "for" and I thought, yeah.

    Thanks, John.

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim

    Number 6. Yes, Paul was a man. All the other books, letters, poems and songs were also written by men….under the inspiration of God. Why do so many people stick on Paul?

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    I'm disappointed in you, John Shore. It should be 150 words or fewer. If you can count them, it's fewer. If it's an aggregate amount, it's less.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    If you're doing everything you can to keep your title as short as possible and prefer common usage over grammatical rules, it's less.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Sorry the less/fewer thing is one of my pet peeves. And you're only saving one character…

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Mostly, it's cuz "150 Words or Fewer" sounds off, because that's not how that phrase is used. Having to choose between common usage and grammatical rules is … a big part of what I or any writer is constantly doing. I almost always choose usage, because I try not to let my words get in the way of what I'm saying. "Fewer," in this instance, calls much too much attention to itself.

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Okay, forget my grammatical legalisms… are you serious about "2"? Doesn't it demand that you believe that dude died for your sins, that you profess that faith… and theoretically make a good faith attempt to live according to the rules? Otherwise I could continue to live my profligate lifestyle and still reap the rewards Christianity promises…

    Also 4 strains credulity. Which historical study? There are a few even in the 66 volume anthology known as the Bible… without a whole lot of, strike that without any primary sources.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I didn't put these up to argue them. That's why I called it things I think—as opposed to statements I'm asserting are objectively true.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      It was just nice, you know, to put up a little something that was just sort of for me, if you see what I mean.

      • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

        Gee whiz… I'm off to a bad start for the week… criticizing your grammar and trying to engage with your assertions. Sorry to intrude in your private space..

        • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

          Well, you raise a good point; it's not very private, is it? So let's see what you said:

          Yes, I'm serious about 2. I'm "serious" about all of them. That's … why I wrote them. I don't think/feel/experience that Christianity wants/demands/assumes anything whatsoever of me. Others experience Xtianity differently than that, I know, but … I don't.

          As for four, I believe it. So … again, entirely subjective, ultimately. Just as is your belief in whatever it is you believe. That's the nature of belief/faith: it's a subjective phenomenon.

  • http://susanne430.blogspot.com/ susanne430

    Interesting list. Number 13 makes me happy that I don't try to share Jesus with more people despite the fact that I used to feel guilty for not doing it more. (After all, Jesus supposedly told us to go out into the world and tell others, right?)

    I would hate to be one of those egotistical people who claim to "share the good news with others" when it's really all about me.

    Did you ever read what Luther wrote about Jews in his later years? It made me disappointed in him. But overall I like him.

    I know Paul was a man, but I choose to love him anyway. :)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I've often written of my love and respect for Paul–even here, you see, I make sure to call him a genius of the first degree.

    And I should go back, as you say, and at least mention Luther's awful writings about the Jews. I'll go do that now. Thanks.

  • http://angelbearoh.wordpress.com angelbearoh

    C. H. Spurgeon rocks! (Except of course for his anti-Catholic crap.)

  • http://365daysinthisbeautifullife.wordpress.com 365daysinthisbeautif

    Hmm. Interesting.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Hmm. Condescending.

      • Diana

        Hmm. What makes you think it's condescending? What's the subtext that's not obvious to the rest of us?

  • Nathan W.

    1. It’s ideal.

    *Understatement*

    2. It asks or wants nothing of me.

    *Well sort of

    -Mark 8:34

    And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me

    -John 14:15

    If ye love me, keep my commandments*

    3. It automatically tailor-makes itself to fit the mind and heart of each who claims it as his own.

    *What?*

    4. The historical story of the figure of Jesus Christ is true.

    *Yes*

    5. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was salvific.

    *Yes*

    6. Too many Christians too willingly forget that Paul, though clearly a genius of the first degree, was just a man.

    *As was Peter, John, James and the others whom Jesus called to spread the gospel after him.*

    7. It is undergoing what (I hope) will amount to a second Reformation.

    *Hopefully to restore and unite the Church rather than, progress and divide as we’ve been doing*

    8. Luther. Freakin’. Rocks. (Except of course for some of his later anti-Semitic crap.)

    *Galatians 3:28

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Colossians 3:11

    Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all

    Both of which came from Paul.*

    9. Liturgical churches are better/purer/safer because they so minimize the chance of (inevitably counter-productive) Pastor Worship.

    *Pastor worship is bad….*

    10. In general, Christians deeply embarrass themselves by knowing so little about either the Bible or the history of Christianity.

    *True, on both ends of the spectrum, my old Sunday school teacher taught us that King James was the Disciple James one of the sons of thunder.*

    11. Protestants need to remember and respect that Catholics are every bit as Christian as they.

    *Only God can Judge, but we need more unity within the Church, moreso than political correctness.*

    12. The Bible is so infinitely complex and perfectly wrought that it could only have come from God.

    *Christianity is simple we make it difficult, but I agree that the word came from God*

  • Gina Powers

    Belated, but me likey….thanks, bro!


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