Book Of The Month for June 2016: Has American Christianity Failed?
Has American Christianity Failed?
by Bryan Wolfmueller
American Christianity teaches the centrality of the individual, my will, my experiences, my decision, my heart, my work, and my dedication. Yet we couldn’t be more unaware that Christ and His saving and comforting work are being lost.
Wolfmueller sounds the alarm against the false teaching and dangerous practices of Christianity in America. He uses the smelling salts of God’s Law to snap us out of our self-satisfied complacency, helping us recognize the noxious stench of our theological assumptions. Ultimately, he offers a beautiful alternative to American Christianity: the sweet savor of the Gospel brings us to the real comfort, joy, peace, freedom, and sure hope of Christ.
And it’s for you.
Praise for Has American Christianity Failed?
“In this sparkling handbook of Lutheran theology, the author draws on his own experience of popular American Christianity. Yet his focus is not on his own story but on the common impact of God’s Word as law and gospel on its hearers. Against the backdrop of its spiritually shallow and superficially Biblical claims, he portrays the full counsel of God evangelically and sacramentally, with wit and verve, clarity and depth, passion and imagination. And all that pastorally as comfort to people with a bad conscience! By the way that he teaches God’s Word, he arrests our attention, surprises us mentally with many new insights, energizes us spiritually, and gladdens our hearts. Its teaching drives away the cloying stench of decadent piety and replaces it with the joyful aroma of Christ and His fragrant, life-giving message.”
—Dr. John Kleinig
“Wolfmueller refuses to believe in the silent God of American spirituality and speaks the sweet savor of the Gospel at a time when we need it most. With a deft hand, he lances the boil of religious hypocrisy, but not without reason: the goal is not just to get the infection out, but to get the antidote in. Has American Christianity Failed? is an essential addition to the library of anyone wondering why American spirituality seems so broken and looking for God’s plan to fix it.”
—Jonathan Fisk, Creative Director and Pastor, Worldview Everlasting
“Bryan Wolfmueller has done us all a great favor. Whether you are a Lutheran casting an envious eye toward popular generic Christianity in America or whether you are a disappointed or disenfranchised American Christian wondering whether there’s a more substantial option, you will be enriched by this book. Bryan writes concisely, with clarity, humor, and precision. He writes candidly about his own personal journey through American pop Christianity toward Lutheranism, admitting he found the Lutheran Church sadly wanting at first. But like Martin Luther before him, Bryan has been persuaded by the clear teaching of Scripture. The result is a persuasive apologetic for the Lutheran confession of the Christ-centered biblical Gospel over against the me-centered gospel of American Christianity. Read it for yourself first, then pass it along to others looking for living water in the desert that American Christianity has become.”
—Dr. Harold L Senkbeil, Executive Director for Spiritual Care, DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel
“Christianity in North America has largely been shaped by unbiblical assumptions about the power of human choice. In an engaging and conversational style, Wolfmueller draws on his own experiences as a college student moving from church to church and more recently as a Lutheran pastor to offer a Christ-centered critique. Wolfmueller does not offer programs or techniques for church revitalization but rather invites his readers to hear the Word of the cross and find their confidence in the sure and certain promises of Christ Jesus. This book will challenge, edify, and encourage faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the context of our self-addicted and chaotic culture.”
—John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions, Concordia Theological Seminary
Pastor Bryan Wolfmuller serves at Hope Lutheran Church at Aurora Colorado. In addition he is also a regular guest on Issues Etc.; one of the hosts of Table Talk Radio, a weekly theological-talk show which takes a fun look at the Scriptures, church history and confessional Lutheran theology; has a video bible study series called Grappling With The Text on YouTube with Worldview Everlasting; and has a blog on whatdoesthismean.org where he contributes Bible studies and devotions.