Tullian Tchividjian’s brand new Unfashionable by Multnomah publishers is a bold text with a clear point to Christians: stop trying to win people to Christ by your coolness. Do so by your godliness, your unfashionable Christlikeness, that stands out in this fallen world like a Yankees cap at a Red Sox game.
I flat-out recommend the book (available Tuesday, April 21, 2009). I read most of it in one sitting because I so enjoyed Tullian’s mix of clear, punchy writing, his citation of key cultural thinkers, his handling of scriptural texts and themes, and his strong pastoral counsel. Tullian is now the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, the former church of deceased pastor D. James Kennedy. He is a leader, a Christian man who thinks deeply and lives passionately, and his book transmits these qualities. His message, in the end, sticks–don’t concern yourself with coolness, but godliness.
The book is readable, short, but stimulating. Tullian, like the present author, loves thinking, reading, and talking about the relationship of Christ to culture. He’s read, well, everything, and he’s got a developed position on how the biblical theme of the kingdom fits into the life of the ordinary Christian. I came away profoundly challenged to heed the Bible’s simple call to live differently in the world as an agent of Christ and His gospel. You–and your small group, or pack of friends, or whomever–will hear the same bold and invigorating call in this text.
Unfashionable shows us why we need pastors to write theology–they so often write it with an imperatival thrust. Tullian clearly gets the high-level discussion on Christ and culture, and he doesn’t shortchange it, but he does distill it and make it sensible to the reader. He doesn’t merely teach, though–he preaches. He gets to your soul, and makes you want to get out of your box and live as salt and light in the world.
In closing, I highly commend the book, as with Tullian’s ministry. See a CBN interview with him here (wouldn’t normally recommend CBN stuff, but this is a solid, helpful interview on what conversion does to a sinner). If I could make a few small critiques, I would have liked a bit more focus on the content of the gospel and the workings and significance of special grace. Common grace is important and underemphasized, but it must take a backseat to special grace, I think.
These very brief words aside, I urge you to buy and soak up this book, and to pray for Tullian in his new and exciting pastoral charge. He is a gracious, kind man of God, and I look forward to much more from him in days to come. Live differently and passionately, Christian–but don’t even think about wearing a Yankees cap to a Red Sox game.