People can be hurtful. At times it’s intentional, other times it’s done with the best of intentions. This hurt can be found everywhere and be found at the hands of many, even those in the church. In some instances Christians hurt those who are already a member of a church, other times someone walking into the church may encounter an experience which completely turns them off to faith. Originally published in 2002 and now reprinted, When Bad Christians Happen to Good People takes a look at Christians have hurt others, and what we can do to help heal those hurts.
A book like this is going to contain the stories of hurt. These stories are not pleasant reads, and often contain the risk of sounding angry or harsh. In reading this book, I got the sense that the original edition did include some harsher moments, but Dave Burchett seems to have tempered his tone without losing the message. I’ve read other books by those who were hurt by the church, and at times they held a harsh edge which did not push towards any sort of resolution. Unfortunately there are those who experience pain in the church, and I appreciate how David promotes healing while illustrating the hurt that needs to be healed.
At times the writing feels personal, because it is. Dave writes of his own family’s struggle with being hurt by fellow Christians. These experiences are taken and used to promote ways that Christians can begin to truly love their neighbor. Too often we hide behind Bible verses which are wildly taken out of context to defend actions which are not performed in love. I felt that Dave’s book blended encourage into his call out to Christians. While there are still times that a harsh tone can be perceived, I could also tell that Dave worked to temper it, and it did not carry through the whole book.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255