Pastor Rick Warren has often said that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and an ounce of pretense is worth a pound of manure.” Fake faith is a pet peeve of mine, and it is certainly an issue God addresses rather directly in Scripture. I believe God is serious about it because ultimately, Christianity with pretense hurts the reputation of the gospel. So, it’s a huge relief when someone comes clean and speaks with brutal honesty about the Christian life.
Brutal honesty, plus hilarious anecdotes and some inspiring stories of redemption at work changing lives is what I encountered when I read Ir-rev-rend: Christianity Without the Pretense. Faith Without the Facade. by Greg Surratt.
As a church planter who is trying to figure things out on a week-by-week basis, I loved Greg’s opening chapters in which he relayed plenty of advice about how NOT to plant a church, all learned in the laboratory of his own experiences planting Seacoast Church in the Carolinas. Greg would almost have us believe that the church came into being in spite of his ministry there. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, but Greg is that brutally honest about how he learned things the hard way.
Ir-rev-rend is not just a book for ministry leaders, though. It’s the kind of book you’ll want to put into the hands of people who have a problem with the faith. We live in a skeptical culture and we’re handing people plenty of ammunition against the authenticity of our faith. Greg doesn’t dodge any questions. He tackles perceptions about our legalistic tendencies, our hypocrisy, and our sometimes meaningless traditions. On numerous fronts, Greg re-directs us back to a simple, understandable, and very biblical faith.
I’m glad Greg chose to write the book, and I know he wants you to buy a copy. He even gave you ten reasons to do so on his own blog post about its release:
- The writing style is kind of like Ann LaMotte meets Donald Miller in a Shack
- It cost about the same as three Starbucks coffees but it lasts longer and has greater eternal value
- The chapter on Sex is worth the price of the book
- My wife and children will love you forever
- You may recognize yourself in one of the chapters
- It’s written for people who have a hard time finishing an entire book
- You can start on any chapter you want and create your own adventure
- You are having trouble coming up with the perfect Christmas gift for that special somebody
- You think a lot of Christians take themselves a tad too seriously
- God just might use it to change your life, stranger things have happened you know
If you want to laugh… if you want to get real about your faith… if you want a great model for communicating Christianity in a post-Christian culture, grab Ir-rev-rend: Christianity Without the Pretense. Faith Without the Facade. by Greg Surratt.