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Lord, Save Us from Your Followers: Why Is the Gospel of Love Dividing America? [Hardcover]

By Dan Merchant (Author)
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Item Number 82984  
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Item description for Lord, Save Us from Your Followers: Why Is the Gospel of Love Dividing America? by Dan Merchant...

An analysis of fundamentalism in America as compared to the belief systems of non-extreme Christians provides an anecdotal collection of observations and comedic excerpts from interviews with everyday people.

Publishers Description
Why is the Gospel of Love dividing America? Fed up with the angry, strident language filling the airwaves that has come to represent the Christian faith, author, director, and follower Dan Merchant set out to explore the collision of faith and culture in America. What is all this fighting really about? The book and upcoming documentary represent a two-year effort to "join the battlefield in hopes of getting a conversation started." The result is a book full of offbeat observations, fun anecdotes, comedic bits and in-depth interviews. From Dan's hilarious bumper-sticker interviews with folks on the street to his unique "Confession Booth" event inspired by his meeting with Tony, the Beat Poet, from Blue Like Jazz, he delves into all the hot button issues with candor, humor and balance.

Includes exclusive interviews with Al Franken, Rick Santorum, Tony Campolo, conservative radio host Michael Reagan, USA Today columnist Tom Krattenmaker, Pastor Rick Warren, and even Sister Mary Timothy of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as well as many more.

From Publishers Weekly
Television writer and producer Merchant believes that much damage has been done by the religious right and that the so-called culture war should not be the focus of the Christian faith. He's working on a documentary about loving the people one may disagree with, encouraging dialogue instead of harsh slogans. It's a fine idea, but this book of the same name as the film is a somewhat disjointed collection of transcripts. Merchant dons a suit plastered with bumper stickers to interview passersby in Times Square, and interviews notable faith-and-politics leaders including Tony Campolo, Rick Santorum, Al Franken and Michael Reagan. He sits down with a man who dresses as a nun in San Francisco, confesses his lack of love to homosexuals at the Pride Northwest festival and participates in a foot-washing for the homeless in Portland. The interviews and characters presented can be compelling and thought-provoking, though the book feels scattered and rushed, incorporating multiple outrageous, made-for-the-screen moments. Merchant reiterates popular themes but without the thoughtfulness of Jim Wallis or the research of David Kinnaman's unChristian, and the concluding list of questions is particularly unsatisfying. (Mar. 11) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.23" Width: 6.23" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 11, 2008
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0849919932  
ISBN13  9780849919930  
UPC  023755028914  

Availability  0 units.

More About Dan Merchant

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Contemporary Issues
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Lord Save Us From Your Followers?

Be Like Christ, Not a Judgmental Conservative  May 28, 2010
The title of this review sums up what the author is trying to say. He is a Christian, but he is fed up with the hypocrisies of Christians, with their bumper sticker theologies and their casual dismissal of everyone who doesn't agree with their values. Merchant interviews Tony Campolo, Al Franken, Michael Reagan, film makers and people off the street to get their opinions on Christ, Christians, and the culture wars.

The gist of what he discovers is that people like Christ better than Christians. No surprise there. Toward the end of the book, Merchant sets up a confessional booth at a gay pride event,and as people come into the booth, he pours out his heart and tearfully and passionately apologizes for being judgmental and insensitive.

Merchant's conclusion is that we should try to live and minister and serve others the way Jesus did on earth.

It's hard to disagree with any of this, and I don't. However, there comes a time in our relationships with people when it's acceptable and appropriate to let people know where we stand on issues that matter to people and on issues that matter in eternity. Of course, this should be done with love and a listening ear and with a heart full of compassion. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery "Neither do I condemn you, go now and leave your life of sin." Merchant strongly emphasizes the "Neither do I condemn you" part, but he de-emphasizes (even neglects) the "Go now and leave your life of sin" part. Being like Jesus not only means refraining from judgmentalism, it also means speaking the truth in love.
The man who wore bumper stickers  Dec 5, 2009
"I wanted to know why the gospel of love was dividing America, and if I was going to find an answer, I would have to do more listening than talking... but first I had to get people to talk," says Dan Merchant in this book. The book goes on to describe how Dan made a costume consisting of a painter's jumpsuit covered in bumper stickers expressing various religious and political viewpoints, then went out to engage in conversation with people in public places around America.

Dan's adventures, which subsequently became the subject of a film with the same title as the book, include interviewing Tony Campolo, Al Franken (a former writer and producer of the US TV show Saturday Night Live), Senator Rick Santorum, Michael Reagan (son of the former US president Ronald Reagan), Sister Mary Timothy (a well-known San Francisco identity and gay activist), and a host of others.

The book includes a 12-page comic book interlude, a set of instructions for making your own bumper sticker suit, and a bumper sticker quiz. One of the most interesting chapters describes how Dan set up a confessional booth -- along the lines of the one described in Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz -- at the Gay Pride Northwest festivities in Portland Oregon, and spent a day apologising to gays for the ways Christians have treated them. The book makes an interesting contribution to the subject of politics and the church in the US, but the film is probably more compelling.
Quick efficient service  Aug 2, 2009
I was impressed how fast these people were on processing my order. I would use them again.
A fresh take on what's right  Jun 27, 2009
I enjoyed this book. The topic of the "Christian right" versus everyone else is one that had gotten stale. This book is simply about tolerance and as such points out that tolerance is a two way street. Dan Merchant demonstrates that the possibilty of listening to someone who may disagree with you is not as fearsome as some people think. The role of stereotyping in intolerance is something that can be explored further in another book. For example, am I the only socially conservative Christian and peace advocate with a science degree from a secular university? According to what I usually see in mass media, whether it's the news or a fictional film, I don't exist.
Very good  Jun 6, 2009
We Christians have created a bad name for ourselves, making the Gospel unattractive. This book shows how we've done it and how we can stop doing it.

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