I received this kind note from Eric about Has American Christianity Failed?
Just wanted to say I love Has American Christianity Failed? You really helped me better understand all the reasons I left evangelicalism and became a Lutheran.
Your book is so good that I think we should encourage all Confessionals to give at least one copy to an evangelical friend. We could start another Reformation 🙂 Thanks for writing it.
When Eric recommended it to his pastor, the pastor asked for a summary. This is what he got:
Like in Luther’s day, today’s Christians are not hearing the Gospel. American Christians are receiving a steady diet of revivalism, pietism, mysticism and enthusiasm. American Christianity is focused on the Christian and not on Christ. If the Gospel is preached, it is for non-believers. Christians only get the Law. This leads American Christians to experience “treadmill Christianity” and swing back and forth between pride and despair. Pride is experienced when the Christian can temporarily succeed in following the four-step plan on how to improve something in their life (i.e. prayer, spiritual disciplines, relationships, finances, etc.). Despair kicks in when the Christian eventually fails and is reminded of their sinful nature. The despair leads to “doing more”, “trying harder”, “rededicating or recommitting to Christ” or just giving up – and leaving Christianity for something else. In Luther’s day, Tetzel promised a coin could get you to Heaven faster. Today’s Tetzel’s are telling Christians to just “make a decision” (revivalism), “do more good works” (pietism), “get in touch with God and feel His presence”(mysticism) and focus on your “heart” (enthusiasm). Has American Christianity Failed? shows American Christians how to escape all of this and discover the true Gospel.
Thanks, Eric, for the kind words!