It has, and we need to understand why
As a newcomer to the Lutheran Confessions, I spent my life growing up under the heavy burden of American Christianity. Reading this book and listening to Rev Bryan Wolfmueller speak on these issues has given me vocabulary to finally articulate the pain and longing for rest and assurance of the Gospel. From the very first chapter, I was struck by his ability to put words to the error, and smartly diagnose the problem without creating straw men, and without vilifying the American Christian. This book gives credit where it is due, and comfort where it has been lacking for centuries. I firmly believe the individual who most needs to read this book immediately, is the one who has been crushed by another church who was only interested in what they were “doing for God”. The next group is those who have been drawn away from the American Church, but lack the words to describe why that is so. Finally, for the life-long Lutheran who wants to see what exists outside their walls, outside of their church at what the American Church is doing, I implore you to read this book. If you’ve heard Fighting for the Faith and wondered, “how can anyone think that craziness has anything to do with the Church”, this book will demonstrate the error and underlying theology that has driven (and continues to do so) the American church into its current state. It is my sincere hope that in reading this book, you’ll better understand where folks like me are coming from, how important it is to share the precious gem of the Lutheran confessions with a hurting and wounded Body of believers, and be reminded of the precious gift you have in the Word and Sacraments, in the Liturgy, and in the Faith once and for all delivered to the saints.
A book every Christian should read
Many churches in America are leaving their people starved and weak. The Gospel is preached for the sake of non-Christians, while Christians are fed a steady diet of law. After salvation the focus becomes the Christian life, “Now that you’re a Christian, what are you going to do for Jesus?” is the common phrase you here from many pastors and teachers. The Gospel is placed on a shelf and the main focus of the Christian life becomes the individuals own experiences, work, and dedication to Christ. “Has American Christianity Failed?” gives the alternative to the Law soaked, desperate, dry, tired, and anxious Christian, the absolutely free and “for you” Gospel, delivered to us through God’s Word and Sacraments! I can honestly say, that this is one of the most refreshing, and encouraging books I have ever read. There was not one chapter that left me bored or wanting to rush through. I think every Christian will benefit greatly from reading this book. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book. “American Christianity teaches the centrality of the individual, my will, my experiences, my decision, my heart, my work and dedication—to the detriment of Christ and His saving and comforting work. American Christianity most often preaches the Christian instead of the Christ, and our senses are so dulled that we don’t even notice He’s missing.” “The Gospel is the alternative to the pendulum of pride and despair. The Law says “do,” the Gospel says “done.” The Law commands; the Gospel promises. The Law measures and judges, the Gospel forgives. The Law tells us how we ought to live, the Gospel tells us that Jesus died; and He died with a marvelous and gracious purpose: to save sinners. Both the Law and the Gospel are from God, but they have different purposes. The Law condemns. The Gospel saves.” “The cross stands as the unwavering, unmoving, unquestionable answer to the question “What does God think of me?” The answer is this: He loves you, and He forgives you all your sins. You can be sure of this. You cannot undo the cross. You cannot undo God’s love for you. The love of God for you is certain and sure, as certain and sure as the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is the basis of our confidence and the source of our Christian comfort, and it is from this certainty that all our theology flows.”
Great Read, Highly Recommend
I have enjoyed every page of this book. Pastor Wolfmueller has a wonderful way of explaining some of the major differences in the different denominations of today’s culture. I never felt like I had to have a Master’s degree in theology to understand the points that he was making. Great Read