Choosing the Values of Jesus over the Beliefs of the Church
Unbinding Christianity is a book that will be good news for some readers while stretching others in uncomfortable ways. It begins with the premise that traditional Christian teaching is focused on right beliefs while the life and teachings of Jesus was all about right living. The book represents a fresh voice for Christians who struggle to accept traditional beliefs by assuring them that Jesus himself said much more about right values than he did right beliefs.
The goal of this book is to unbind Christianity from the wrappings of creeds, doctrines, dogma, and beliefs in order to make room for an understanding of what it means to be Christian defined by values that invites unity among Christians without the need for conformity of beliefs.
One of the important by-products of a values-based Christianity is that it paves the way for Christians with different beliefs to find common ground with one another while also freeing them to build bridges of understanding with non-Christian.
REVIEWS and WORDS OF PRAISE
See author interview at Snowflakes in a Blizzard
If you have found it impossible to continue believing in some of the doctrines the church has taught to be essential and don’t know if you can continue being a Christian, Jan Linn offers some much needed guidance. He invites readers to think along with him as he makes distinctions between believing in doctrines and having value-enlivened belief, between being a Christian and being Christian. His message is that just because your integrity demands you give up on some traditional Christian ideas doesn’t mean you need to become a Christian dropout.
--The Rev. Craig Watts, D.Min, author of Bowing Toward Babylon
Unbinding Christianity is a thought-provoking argument for expansion of Christianity’s often employed litmus tests of inclusion and rejection. Jan Linn addresses this complex issue in a clear, concise, and easily accessible manner. A great read!
--Joshua Santana, Attorney-at-Law
This book is a wake-up call to all of us who choose to follow Jesus, a challenge for us to rethink what it truly means to be Christian. Jan Linn’s thesis is simple, yet profound—it is what we do on a daily basis, not what we believe, that is the core of a Christian life..
--Heather Cargill, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
In a biblically well-informed and a life-experience challenging way, Unbinding Christianity explores a central question: Are we called to follow the values of the life Jesus lived or are we merely following a set of beliefs the Church has offered? This book offers hope to those who have felt excluded by the latter and want help with following the culturally-challenging way that Jesus lived.
--Kevin Campbell, Director, US Long Term Disaster Recovery, Habitat For Humanity
Being Christian, it seems to me, is less a set of beliefs and more a way of life. While I have believed that for many years, Jan Linn’s clear, concise, and compelling book clarifies why this is so, and how the very future of the faith depends on its recognition. This book will benefit everyone concerned about the future of Christianity and the future of the church.
--The Rev. Nathan Wilson, Director of Communications, Christian Theological Seminary
Jan Linn argues that the Christian faith has become distorted by a focus on beliefs rather than the values Jesus taught. For many Christians his message will be welcomed with relief, even joy, as they struggle between their resistance to certain required Christian beliefs and their love for their church.
--Judy Foster, Ph.D., Professor of English, St. Cloud State University, Retired
Jan Linn offers a much-needed challenge to those who claim to follow Jesus: move beyond easy "believe-ism" to embrace the demands the gospel places on us. Linn argues Jesus asks us to live like him, not merely to believe like him. This is a crucial insight at this pivotal moment in our history.
--The Rev. Derek Penwell, Ph.D., author of Outlandish: An Unlikely Messiah, A Messy Ministry, and the Call to Mobilize
About the Author
Jan Linn has been a congregational pastor, college chaplain, and seminary professor, a consistent and persistent advocate for racial, economic, and social justice, and the author of eighteen books, including his most recent title, Evangelicalism and the Decline of American Politics. He and his wife, Joy, live in Minnesota and are parents to four children and six grandchildren.