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Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst

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Are you tired of reading another news story about Christians supposedly acting at their worst? Today there are too many examples of those claiming to follow Christ being caustic, divisive, and irrational, contributing to dismissals of the Christian faith as hypocritical, self-interested, and politically co-opted. What has happened in our society? One short outrageous video, Are you tired of reading another news story about Christians supposedly acting at their worst? Today there are too many examples of those claiming to follow Christ being caustic, divisive, and irrational, contributing to dismissals of the Christian faith as hypocritical, self-interested, and politically co-opted. What has happened in our society? One short outrageous video, whether it is true or not, can trigger an avalanche of comments on social media. Welcome to the new age of outrage. In this groundbreaking book featuring new survey research of evangelicals and their relationship to the age of outrage, Ed Stetzer offers a constructive way forward. You won't want to miss Ed's insightful analysis of our chaotic age, his commonsensical understanding of the cultural currents, and his compelling challenge to Christians to live in a refreshingly different way.


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Are you tired of reading another news story about Christians supposedly acting at their worst? Today there are too many examples of those claiming to follow Christ being caustic, divisive, and irrational, contributing to dismissals of the Christian faith as hypocritical, self-interested, and politically co-opted. What has happened in our society? One short outrageous video, Are you tired of reading another news story about Christians supposedly acting at their worst? Today there are too many examples of those claiming to follow Christ being caustic, divisive, and irrational, contributing to dismissals of the Christian faith as hypocritical, self-interested, and politically co-opted. What has happened in our society? One short outrageous video, whether it is true or not, can trigger an avalanche of comments on social media. Welcome to the new age of outrage. In this groundbreaking book featuring new survey research of evangelicals and their relationship to the age of outrage, Ed Stetzer offers a constructive way forward. You won't want to miss Ed's insightful analysis of our chaotic age, his commonsensical understanding of the cultural currents, and his compelling challenge to Christians to live in a refreshingly different way.

30 review for Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Stetzer notes that our world is awash with anger. How are Christians to walk through this? Stetzer is quick to point out that there are areas that should generate Christian anger, such as human trafficking. But how do Christians keep from allowing unrestrained outrage? The book is divided into three section. Stetzer first looks at what causes the outrage and how Christians have contributed to it. Next he identifies the lies that reinforce the outrage. Stetzer then suggests ways Christians can cou Stetzer notes that our world is awash with anger. How are Christians to walk through this? Stetzer is quick to point out that there are areas that should generate Christian anger, such as human trafficking. But how do Christians keep from allowing unrestrained outrage? The book is divided into three section. Stetzer first looks at what causes the outrage and how Christians have contributed to it. Next he identifies the lies that reinforce the outrage. Stetzer then suggests ways Christians can counteract the outrage by developing a Christian worldview, by loving others, engaging them thoughtfully, etc. I gleaned many insights from this book. Because of the influence of Christianity in the past, Christians came to think they “owned” culture in America. American Christians have not learned how to flourish in a minority situation, as did early Christians. Another insight was about tribalism and having a win/lose attitude, like in sports, rather than one of coexisting. Perhaps the most disturbing insight was about trading a kingdom-based identity for a world-based identity. Stetzer identified what we Christians have done to have others outraged at us. The most glaring has been to use kingdom-based identity to achieve world-based ends, such as in politics. The bottom line is that, “Outrage is a product of the flesh.” (2224/5424) Stetzer offers practical suggestions on engaging others in the Spirit, placing the focus on God and His glory. He also includes resources for further study. I recommend this book to Christians who are ready to own up to how we have helped create the negative environment we now experience. You'll be encouraged to discipline your minds to think more critically and to engage others with the gospel, not hatred. Food for thought: “You see, you can't hate people and engage them with the gospel at the same time.” (2252/5424)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I feel like every Christian who gets angered or frustrated by any blog or news articles, or social media posts, or political debates, or social injustices should read this book. At times when I felt frustration or anger creeping back in over the last few months, I would take to a treadmill at the gym and read this book, because he does such a good job of putting things in perspective and coaching logic and reason when I’m tempted to let my emotions take over. An excellent read that puts the spot I feel like every Christian who gets angered or frustrated by any blog or news articles, or social media posts, or political debates, or social injustices should read this book. At times when I felt frustration or anger creeping back in over the last few months, I would take to a treadmill at the gym and read this book, because he does such a good job of putting things in perspective and coaching logic and reason when I’m tempted to let my emotions take over. An excellent read that puts the spotlight back on Jesus and the gospel as the answer.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Quotes: Anger in christians is because their values and practices no longer shape culture (post-Christian). They no longer have influence. They want their country back, and by that they mean their cultural power. This can lead to hostility and fear that this trend this will lead to their cultural marginalization. We need to be willing to think critically about who is influencing us, and how we engage with others. Are we contributing to or fighting against the age of outrage? It is helpful not to Quotes: Anger in christians is because their values and practices no longer shape culture (post-Christian). They no longer have influence. They want their country back, and by that they mean their cultural power. This can lead to hostility and fear that this trend this will lead to their cultural marginalization. We need to be willing to think critically about who is influencing us, and how we engage with others. Are we contributing to or fighting against the age of outrage? It is helpful not to talk politics in certain circumstances (in person or online) in order to develop relationship, so that when discussing spiritual things can grow into something more meaningful. Relationship is more important than scoring points. Society usually call out hypocrites, but many label themselves Christians because of seeming advantages with neighbors or family values, such people are not equipped spiritually to live a faithful Christian life, so they behave as other secular people do. They are nominal Christians and respond with outrage because they don’t have the spiritual gifts or tools to exhibit Christian love. Without the Spirit, they devolve to expressions of outrage. Being a convictional Christian makes a difference. Nominal Christianity is a problem for the church because its conflates professing Christians with a worldview shaped by the Gospel, with those who are merely culturally Christians, self-identifying as such….Nominalism may have a worldview, but it’s a distorted worldview (they don’t have the why or how). They try to have religiosity without Christ. The sting of declining numbers is hard to accept even if we know that those who left never bought into the Christian life. There is inevitably the temptation to sustain the numbers and change our methods/message to accommodate those leaving. Into this temptation, God tells us that he is responsible for those going out, making plain those who have a Christian worldview and those that have mixed in with the crowd. Nominal Christians are not always easy to spot, they thrive on blending in, but they do become exposed in crisis/outrage. God is simply revealing the true state of the church and the mission field in which we find ourselves. Characteristic of righteous anger is directed towards things that anger God (Mark 3, withered hand/Sabbath). i.e. injustice, corruption, oppression of poor, defamation of God’s glory, immorality; Righteous anger is aimed at the glory of God, but outrage is a reaction to personal injury or insult. RA is purposeful, intended for specific ends, outrage exhibits little critical thought about motivations or ends. Outrage is motivated by a desire to punish, rather than reconcile, through persistent love. Think through what you’re trying to accomplish, your end goal, to obedience or repentance, reconciliation with God? Idolatry in politics is putting your hope in political leaders and policies that once was reserved for God and the work of the Gospel. 3 key idols Christians often embrace: politics, identity, and personality. Many people place their pride and identity in America and the freedoms we enjoy. When our perceived personal freedoms and rights are attacked, we often respond with vehement opposition, biblical justification, and conflation of being Christian with being American. This denies the truth of our ultimate allegiance, and confuses non-Christians who wonder who or what we value most. (Most recently, we have seen racism emerge from people who call themselves Christians) Turns our inward feelings, passions, rights into gods we bow down before and worship. We are traveling a dangerous road when we look inwardly to find meaning. This self-actualizing arrogance when masked as patriotism within the evangelical community indulges sinful fleshly patterns and destroys our relationship with the God of truth and our neighbor. When we trade our life giving identity as a son or daughter of God for the leaking cistern of self-identity and national pride, we are left parched int he wilderness of our own making. Outrage is the newest manifestation of people’s sinfulness, result of their rebellion against and isolation from God. Forgetfulness and apathy always lead to idolatry. There is hope, as Christians, we understand the solution to this world’s problem is in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He came to be the true savior, he is the way out of idolatry, and the truth that speaks to our idolatry, the wellspring of life that nourishes and satisfies our lonely and forgetful hearts. Part of the good news is that our work, energy, striving are over. If our political self-identification or church systems require us to work and exert energy to maintain them, we are following the wrong god. Scripture consistently warns us about the quality of voices we allow into our lives. What we see and hear is the gateway to what we love and worship. The only way to navigate challenges is under God’s guidance. Second, reading the bible is identity forming. Sadly, many Christians fail to grasp this truth about discipleship. We think about bible reading like a battery that needs charged, so we can faced the world. When our pastors encourage us to read the Word more for ourselves, we think of it more like gaining knowledge than a means to form our identity. 3 ways of understanding our sent-ness as ambassadors: 1, with an allegiance to the king, 2, sent with the message of reconciliation, 3, sent to a foreign land with a mission to complete. To share the gospel to a hurting, broken, lost world means that I will share it with those who are like me, and most importantly, those who are not like me. Social media activism (SNL comedy sketch), shared an article on Facebook. People confuse participating in an event to contributing to a solution. Our posts, tweets, or comments are changing things…We are content with perception without sacrifice. As a Christian, if you are convinced it is time to speak truth to power, you have the obligation to sign your name (don’t be anonymous). Church history is replete with those who have suffered for speaking out against injustice and evil. There is no mechanism in scripture for those who want the fruit of discipline, without the hard work of relationally engaging one another. Even if we think we’re having a private conversation, others are watching our online actions and holding them up to our claims to be Christ followers. This is connected to our witness! Choose investment over consumption. One helpful way to frame our social media engagement, is if we’re investing or consuming. What is actually useful to our spiritual development? Are you connecting with friends, family? Are you tracking leaders who are teaching you about God, and how to connect the Gospel with your worldview? Are you following people outside your tradition who challenge you to consider your blindspots?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie C

    I mostly agreed with his points and appreciated his statement that we need to disciple Christians in how to best engage on social media platforms in a meaningful way. Also thought it was a good reminder that we are increasingly living in a post-Christian culture; that does, and should, affect how we Christians talk about our faith.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie Stroud

    Long read, a bit of a commitment to get through it. Although worthy of your time! Stetzer is a theologian with sociology and politics thrown in... seriously, this book gets at the questions many of us have these days about our changing culture and the fractures we are seeing and feeling in evangelicalism. My chief disappointment was the author's political bias creeps in. Still looking for an author that is the right blend of theology-sociology-political science. Stetzer's work is notable but not Long read, a bit of a commitment to get through it. Although worthy of your time! Stetzer is a theologian with sociology and politics thrown in... seriously, this book gets at the questions many of us have these days about our changing culture and the fractures we are seeing and feeling in evangelicalism. My chief disappointment was the author's political bias creeps in. Still looking for an author that is the right blend of theology-sociology-political science. Stetzer's work is notable but not quite my cup of tea.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ciara Wilkie

    This was a really good book but I have such a hard time listening to nonfiction on audiobook. I want to take notes and reflect and I can't do that with audiobooks as easily. So I'll definitely be buying this and rereading. This book had some amazing reference material cited as well as great viewpoints about how Christians should act in a world that seems to be constantly on the attack (social media especially). I would definitely advise this book for any Christian because it calls us to act more This was a really good book but I have such a hard time listening to nonfiction on audiobook. I want to take notes and reflect and I can't do that with audiobooks as easily. So I'll definitely be buying this and rereading. This book had some amazing reference material cited as well as great viewpoints about how Christians should act in a world that seems to be constantly on the attack (social media especially). I would definitely advise this book for any Christian because it calls us to act more like Jesus and talks about how non Christians see us, and how we choose to react in all situations can be a way to show Christ's love. Compelling and convicting stuff.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Petermathieson

    Highly recommended. This was a great read on how Christians can navigate through today’s culture of instant outrage. Stetzer is fair in his critique of both right and left sides of the political spectrum. He offers lots of relevant examples and statistics to go along with his points. I especially liked his thoughts on disgust and, how Christians should approach social media. The book also covers topics like winsome love and how to neighbor. It was great.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Sagherian

    Just finished reading Ed Stetzer’s “Christians in the Age of Outrage.” A very timely book with practical and much needed observations and suggestions. Ed’s challenge is to live “the Good News that changes us from outraged spectators to Grace-filled participants in God’s redemptive plan for the world,” something I need to be reminded of.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jim Keating

    In this day and age, Christians can take on a lot of criticism from skeptics, some deserved. Stetzer lays out his case for Christians engaging with current culture, social media, the non-churched and respond as Jesus would, with radical grace, winsome love, generous compassion and prayerful hearts that break the brokenness of the world. Lots of stats boost his case. Definitely worth your time if you really don't want to retreat if you feel like your being attacked in this hostile environment towa In this day and age, Christians can take on a lot of criticism from skeptics, some deserved. Stetzer lays out his case for Christians engaging with current culture, social media, the non-churched and respond as Jesus would, with radical grace, winsome love, generous compassion and prayerful hearts that break the brokenness of the world. Lots of stats boost his case. Definitely worth your time if you really don't want to retreat if you feel like your being attacked in this hostile environment toward Christians

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    This book was filled with fantastic thoughts and ways to live our faith in this age where everyone seems to be on the edge of anger. Very encouraging yet convicting at the same time!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    A good read, even if you disagree with Ed's theology I'm what some would classify as an ex-evangelical. I left my Baptist church in 2012 and now classify myself as a Lutheran. While I don't agree with Ed's views on certain theological issues, I still find him an insightful voice to follow. This book illustrates why. Ed reminds us of some basic manners we all seem to have forgotten. Listen to others politely. When disagreeing, do so respectfully. Not everyone will share your worldview, and those w A good read, even if you disagree with Ed's theology I'm what some would classify as an ex-evangelical. I left my Baptist church in 2012 and now classify myself as a Lutheran. While I don't agree with Ed's views on certain theological issues, I still find him an insightful voice to follow. This book illustrates why. Ed reminds us of some basic manners we all seem to have forgotten. Listen to others politely. When disagreeing, do so respectfully. Not everyone will share your worldview, and those who don't aren't your enemy. Not behaving in this way damages our testimony and closes people's minds to our words.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lynnette Goebel

    I have tried to stay out of the outrage that is happening in our world today. Occasionally, I will post something on social media - very carefully. I don't want to throw gasoline on the fire. However, that does not mean that I don't think about what others are saying, doing, accusing, etc. And I do get outraged. Sitting in my chair. I loved that Ed talked about those feelings. The culture. We are OK to be in disagreement with what people are saying. However, he provides a handbook on how we shou I have tried to stay out of the outrage that is happening in our world today. Occasionally, I will post something on social media - very carefully. I don't want to throw gasoline on the fire. However, that does not mean that I don't think about what others are saying, doing, accusing, etc. And I do get outraged. Sitting in my chair. I loved that Ed talked about those feelings. The culture. We are OK to be in disagreement with what people are saying. However, he provides a handbook on how we should and should not react. This book is very helpful in many ways, including reacting to social media. I highly recommend reading this book. Don't think you'll get off lightly. He confronts the lies we tell ourselves to justify our behavior. Then, he gives practical ways to continue our true mission of loving the world as God loves to bring them into the Truth.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Juanita

    For the first half or so i really was not feeling this book and was going to rate it 2 stars. Parts of it I disagreed with, some parts made me angry,some suggestions seemed silly, but mostly I felt like a lot of the suggestions in the first half were just super generic, to be less easily outraged read your bible more, pray more because its hard to be outraged at someone you're praying for (really?), fast, read christian books especially christian history, be discipled by a live person, serve in For the first half or so i really was not feeling this book and was going to rate it 2 stars. Parts of it I disagreed with, some parts made me angry,some suggestions seemed silly, but mostly I felt like a lot of the suggestions in the first half were just super generic, to be less easily outraged read your bible more, pray more because its hard to be outraged at someone you're praying for (really?), fast, read christian books especially christian history, be discipled by a live person, serve in your community. All fine suggestions but just seemed like they would fit in a christian book about almost anything and were not that helpful in not becoming livid the next time someone posted something inflammatory on social media. It got more helpful and went into when to engage with people you disagree with in dialogue, when to just listen and when to just leave it alone both in person and in social media contexts. I also liked the way he talked about what it means to really love your neighbor and to be a neighbor... and the difference between that and the attitude of love your neighbor but hate the sin. Most of the examples in the book were really interesting. All in all its worth a read or a listen.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    The first few chapters are frustrating, as it looks like it's going to be another book on why you're not a Christian. Stetzer quotes damning statistics about Christians in America, but attempts to dismiss them by saying that many people who self identify as Christians do so out of cultural convenience. They are not, according to him, Christians, because they do not believe or act the way that he believes Christians should act. He does acknowledge the No True Scotsman fallacy near the end of chapt The first few chapters are frustrating, as it looks like it's going to be another book on why you're not a Christian. Stetzer quotes damning statistics about Christians in America, but attempts to dismiss them by saying that many people who self identify as Christians do so out of cultural convenience. They are not, according to him, Christians, because they do not believe or act the way that he believes Christians should act. He does acknowledge the No True Scotsman fallacy near the end of chapter 3, ironically, claiming that we can't dismiss other Christians as non-Christian because they don't believe or act the way we believe a Christian should. What follows is a FANTASTIC book about the pragmatics of engaging with believers and non-believers, on and offline, religiously, politically and socially. If only he had dropped the dismissive first 3 chapters, it would've been a great book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    I have thought of a lot of the things in this book before but it was a good reminder on why it is important to not become outraged - spreading the Gospel for a Christian has to be the most important thing. So, I was going to give this 4 stars until I got to the point where the author threw in a comment about the election in the US and Russian involvement. To me that comment negated a lot of what the author had just preached. IMO something that just adds fuel to the fire of outrage is the when pe I have thought of a lot of the things in this book before but it was a good reminder on why it is important to not become outraged - spreading the Gospel for a Christian has to be the most important thing. So, I was going to give this 4 stars until I got to the point where the author threw in a comment about the election in the US and Russian involvement. To me that comment negated a lot of what the author had just preached. IMO something that just adds fuel to the fire of outrage is the when people throw political flags into arenas they don't belong. The author didn't need the comment in there, there was no purpose for it. He did a good job preaching and then did something he preached against. So, that was why it became a 3 star book for me. Lots of good information in here still though and worth the read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Becky Van Daniker

    If there’s a book that every Christian should read, it would be “Christians in the Age of Outrage” by Ed Stetzer. We live in a world where outrage seems to be all the rage, especially when it comes to politics and social media. Stetzer explains how we got to this point and how we as Christians are to stand out and live as a light in a dark world. He uses sound theology and scripture to back up his claims. He challenges his readers with practical applications and truly makes you think. He also sha If there’s a book that every Christian should read, it would be “Christians in the Age of Outrage” by Ed Stetzer. We live in a world where outrage seems to be all the rage, especially when it comes to politics and social media. Stetzer explains how we got to this point and how we as Christians are to stand out and live as a light in a dark world. He uses sound theology and scripture to back up his claims. He challenges his readers with practical applications and truly makes you think. He also shares a ton of statistical research. I may have to check out more of his books in the future because this one was awesome. Highly recommended! Disclaimer: I won a digital copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Bowman

    I wanted to love this book. I think he has some good points. There were a few things he said that I felt were contradictory. Stand up; only stand up like this. Be vocal: only be vocal about issues that I think we should be standing up about. Only Christ is the answer, but let’s talk about some smaller issues that I think we should spend a chapter on. Also, it’s long— too long.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rodney Harvill

    For the record, I obtained this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. When I studied James and took a long hard look at the passages on controlling the tongue, I couldn’t help realizing that the way Christians interact with each other in person and on-line often falls short of the high standard presented by James. It was very convicting, especially in the context of social media. While I have had some very productive and mutually agreeable interactions and discussions, I have also had some moment For the record, I obtained this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. When I studied James and took a long hard look at the passages on controlling the tongue, I couldn’t help realizing that the way Christians interact with each other in person and on-line often falls short of the high standard presented by James. It was very convicting, especially in the context of social media. While I have had some very productive and mutually agreeable interactions and discussions, I have also had some moments when I let my anger get the best of me, usually in the context of politics. So, I have since kept my eye out for books that might offer suggestions on managing the tongue (and the typing fingers) and was thrilled to get a copy of this book. While I have some criticisms of its content and don’t necessarily agree with everything the author suggests, I have found the book to be insightful and profitable for Christian growth. As should be obvious from the title, the target audience is Christians, especially those in the United States. The author has rightly noted that we Christians have become frustrated with our waning influence over our culture and political system, a frustration that often manifests itself in outrage, ranting over issues increasingly beyond our control that affect our lives. I remember being amused at the people who assembled on the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency to scream at the sky. In recent years I have seen plenty of screaming on my social media feed over from Christian conservatives like myself, Christians who should be able to constructively air their disagreements without doing so in an unchristian manner. So, I think the author has a legitimate criticism. The author also notes that Christians often look to political power to protect them, and I am inclined to agree with him. For example, consider the 2016 presidential campaign, which pitted Donald Trump, a very ungodly man known for unchristian conduct who reached out to Christians, against Hillary Clinton, an ungodly woman whose platform would likely continue President Obama’s policies that empowered those who were trying to force Christians to choose between their livelihoods and practicing their professions consistent with their Christian beliefs. Given that a conservative Supreme Court justice had just died, and Donald Trump had promised to replace him with a conservative, many Christians held their noses and supported him, contributing to his victory, and he has pursued policies favorable to Christians. Although I didn’t want Clinton to become president, I chose not to vote for Trump on account of his character, but am completely sympathetic to those who chose to do so. They didn’t want a Clinton presidency, and the only way to avoid it was to vote for Trump. The principle of sowing and reaping has never changed. That said, there is a difference between supporting a certain political candidate or party because you think it will do the most good and putting your hope in them to save you. When Donald Trump was elected president, I saw it as nothing more than a temporary reprieve from political changes that are increasingly adverse to Christians, an opportunity to build up my faith and that of others for the hard testing that is sure to follow. So, I agree with the author. Don’t put your faith in politicians or political power. Such is more likely than not a broken reed that will wound the hand that leans on it. Although I found much to agree with and benefit from in this book (and there is a lot more content than I have discussed above), I did find something to criticize. All his criticism seems pointed at the Christian right. As noted above, the conduct of the Christian right too often less than praiseworthy and unworthy of its Lord and Savior. However, my social media feed includes members of the Christian left, as well, and I haven’t been impressed with their conduct either. Furthermore, I have seen on-line opinion pieces characterizing as idolatry such things as supporting Trump or standing when the national anthem is being played. Not too long ago, a Christian coworker was talking about Trump supporters with such a condescending tone that I actually envisioned him as a Pharisee in the temple thanking God that he wasn’t like one of these Trump supporters (see Lk. 18:9-14). Whenever I see such things, I can’t help but notice that whatever stands their political opponents are taking seem to be idolatrous, and whatever stands they are taking are always the epitome of righteousness. How convenient! Although this may simply reflect my cynicism, I envision Christian leftists reading this book and its strong criticism of the Christian right only to conclude that they are the guests of honor at the I’m-ok-you’re-not-ok corral. They need to recalibrate their values to Christ just as much as the Christian right does. Aside from the above criticism, I enjoyed the book and hope to be a better Christian influence on account of its suggestions.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Boyd

    Ed Stetzer is someone I pray for and admire. A minister who provides an important voice of reason in his blogs, I've been pleased to see him strike for balance and integrity among conservative Christians. This book's plea for rational, compassionate discussions on subjects upon which we disagree was lovely in many ways but I found it lacking in several key factors. For example, in the chapter Christians Are the Worst! Ed speaks of divorce rate in the bible belt and offers a truly dizzying array Ed Stetzer is someone I pray for and admire. A minister who provides an important voice of reason in his blogs, I've been pleased to see him strike for balance and integrity among conservative Christians. This book's plea for rational, compassionate discussions on subjects upon which we disagree was lovely in many ways but I found it lacking in several key factors. For example, in the chapter Christians Are the Worst! Ed speaks of divorce rate in the bible belt and offers a truly dizzying array of reasons why this is the case. There is a higher rate of marriage and therefore a higher rate of divorce. (That's not how statistics are calculated, but I'll let that slide.) Next up is that people in the bible belt marry younger and have more financial difficulties, which is a zero excuse factor for divorce when applied to Christians. Jesus didn't say, "Follow me - when it works but don't sweat it if it's a problem for you." So, nope, sorry if Christians divorce because they marry younger or have financial trouble, they are still divorcing and it is still a problem. Then comes the subject of "Nones in disguise". His argument seems to be they aren't really us, therefore we can't really be held accountable for them. Here is his tight rope walk on the issue: Christians cannot blame nominal believers as a way to avoid dealing with the very real and destructive contributions we have made to the age of outrage. On the other hand, we must reject the cultural narrative that says Christians are responsible for every self-identifying Christian with nothing but a nominal faith. Two big issues here: Does the bible really teach that there are nominal believers? I would be interested to see the scripture on this. Living the Christian life can be difficult, if there's an easy way out that actually works I'd love to read about it. (No more forgiving people who bug me! Bliss!) The second issue is, we aren't being judged for some random couple from Alabama mouthing off. The idea that non-Christians are so unreasonable that they are pulling strays from obscure areas and demanding that we explain XYZ opinion held by that questionable soul is ludicrous. When you hear calls of hypocrisy from the masses it is almost always because prominent Christians will say something like "character matters" when looking at someone who doesn't hold their political opinion but will suddenly find grace when a truly deplorable person agrees with them on something political. Case in point is Donald Trump: Cheats on his wives, divorced three times, pays off porn stars and appears in Playboy videos. Lauded over Jimmy Carter, married for decades to one women, teaches Sunday school, never cheated on anything. Prominent Christian voices like Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell Jr., the very men complaining of the character of other candidates, say Trump is a "blessing" to the church. So no, please let's not pretend those calls of hypocrisy are being made because some "nominal" believer stumbled. Let's be honest and say we have a real hypocrisy issue in our church. And clearly, a discipleship issue as well if we find ourselves dealing with a lot of "nominals"! I think the book also didn't deal with the clear issue of church discipline. Perhaps there is a copy being distributed to pastors and church congress dealing with that but the fact is that for too long the church has taken a very lenient tone to the sinners among ourselves and saved our outrage for the those outside the church, in clear contradiction to the teaching of 1 Corinthians 5.It is all well and good to be nice to each other but it does us little benefit if that niceness includes ignoring the danger and reality of sin. Some Christians hold views that are dangerous, merely backing away and saying, "Be blessed" has had them taking over our fellowships. I recommend reading books like When Sheep Attack by Dennis R. Maynard or Antagonists in the Church by Kenneth C. Haugk which deal with the reality of churches/church members finding themselves on the wrong end of bad Christians. The idea of right and wrong is a core belief of our faith, why are we so reluctant to deal with it in our bodies? The author's overall message is a positive and important one but the book contains some fatal flaws that kept it from being very helpful to this Christian.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    Ed Stetzer’s book Christians in an Age of Outrage is very timely in the computer-based, polarized world of 2020. Stetzer’s major impact globally has multiplied exponentially through the internet; that personal involvement with social media also has exposed him to the maliciousness that comes from many social media sources, oft-times from Christians themselves. He says outrage “is expressed through anger insults and division” (Ed Stetzer. Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best Wh Ed Stetzer’s book Christians in an Age of Outrage is very timely in the computer-based, polarized world of 2020. Stetzer’s major impact globally has multiplied exponentially through the internet; that personal involvement with social media also has exposed him to the maliciousness that comes from many social media sources, oft-times from Christians themselves. He says outrage “is expressed through anger insults and division” (Ed Stetzer. Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World is at it’s Worst. Tyndale Momentum, 2018, p. xvii). . . . Outrage overwhelms truth . . . (p. 11) and outreach comes from Chrisitians and is aimed at Christians “by a hostile world intent on shaming and attacking rather than engaging” (p. xiv). He attributes such virulent negativity to two main forces in North American society: the cultural fork in the road among people, which has brought “the increasing polarization of American society in terms of both religion and politics” (p. xv), and the rise of the uncritical use of technology. The polarization has created little understanding and grace toward those in the “opposing” camp. From the extensive research on which his insights ae based, he says of the cultural fork: • “A significant majority of evangelicals (67 percent) agreed that a Christian can benefit from a political leader even if that leader’s personal life does not line up with Christian teaching” (p.165). • “Many people are willing to create their own reality to affirm their rightness, ignoring facts, logic, and others’ objections” (p.22). • “People use fake news to delegitimize real news perceived as damaging to ‘us’ or to ‘our side’” (p. 39). For those outside that camp, such thinking is hard to fathom and reactions on both sides to such tribalism has caused unbridled anger and rage on the internet. Rage and outrage are the issues Stetzer is trying to address and critique from an evangelical Kingdom perspective. Hopefully, Stetzer’s suggestions for grace and reconciliation and gracious dialogue with those who have opposing views can be applied and the raucous rhetoric can be toned down. In a broken world loving, grace-filled Christian behavior is needed to represent Christ in integrity. An essential book for our time. 5 stars. Mary Lou Codman-Wilson, PhD. 11/25 20

  21. 4 out of 5

    Reuben

    I very much enjoyed this! My bar has been pretty low for books from fellow Christians over the last few years. Most suffer from a tone deafness that is never malicious but maybe... insular? I think Stetzer actually does a wonderful job of 1) acknowledging this, 2) doing his best to avoid it, and 3) when in doubt, pointing the camera back at the Church to critique it for this very problem. One of the things that really stands out is Stetzer’s continual exhortation to stop being afraid of the worl I very much enjoyed this! My bar has been pretty low for books from fellow Christians over the last few years. Most suffer from a tone deafness that is never malicious but maybe... insular? I think Stetzer actually does a wonderful job of 1) acknowledging this, 2) doing his best to avoid it, and 3) when in doubt, pointing the camera back at the Church to critique it for this very problem. One of the things that really stands out is Stetzer’s continual exhortation to stop being afraid of the world and engage it in a loving, decent way. The consistent critique of the attitude of the church towards the secular world is refreshing and welcome. “You cannot love that which is disgusts you.” A huge call to reshape our responses to people different from ourselves. Many believers will get offended or defensive in a perceived embrace of sin or “unchristian” behavior. I think Stetzer correctly identifies this as a fear response that has no place in the gospel and correctly reminds us of the Imago Dei. I think Stetzer correctly notes that we “lost” the Culture Wars of the late 20th century but ultimately this may be for the best. We became so focused on winning the culture and keeping the moral high ground we lost the souls we were trying to save. We owe an apology not only to those who have been hurt and alienated by the Church (the sanctuary for all the hurt and lost) but to the God we claimed to serve.

  22. 5 out of 5

    J.

    Karl Barth once said, “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” Christians in the Age of Outrage by Ed Stetzer is a bit like a valuable commentary on the ‘newspaper’ of our contemporary world. With refreshing analysis and insight, Stetzer spotlights our turbulent age. This commentary is filled with unclouded, razor-sharp and crisp cultural observation and exegesis that is immensely helpful for Christians who want to map out, understand, an Karl Barth once said, “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” Christians in the Age of Outrage by Ed Stetzer is a bit like a valuable commentary on the ‘newspaper’ of our contemporary world. With refreshing analysis and insight, Stetzer spotlights our turbulent age. This commentary is filled with unclouded, razor-sharp and crisp cultural observation and exegesis that is immensely helpful for Christians who want to map out, understand, and navigate the foggy roads of this age of outrage. So if you want to better understand and engage with the intricacies and anomalies of our age, this book is for you. The foundation of this book is not fluff or speculations. Instead, it is built upon two solid pillars: Scriptures and research. Stetzer has soaked this book in the Scriptures. Also, he has utilized modern research as a point of reference to highlight the nuances and complexities of this chaotic age. This intersection between research and the Scriptures is done with integrity and insight. By reading this book, Christians can be equipped to engage with the age of outrage in constructive ways, being challenged to see and overcome their blind spots and winsomely commend the gospel. I thank Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I won this book as a FirstRead. Christians in the Age of Outrage is a book that desperately needs to be read by Christians of all denominations and political persuasions. There is so much in the news these days that can lead to anger, and while there are situations where anger is justified, much of the anger we see these days (especially online) is not constructive or being elicited for the right reasons. In this book, Stetzer talks about the outrage in the world today and how Christians contribu I won this book as a FirstRead. Christians in the Age of Outrage is a book that desperately needs to be read by Christians of all denominations and political persuasions. There is so much in the news these days that can lead to anger, and while there are situations where anger is justified, much of the anger we see these days (especially online) is not constructive or being elicited for the right reasons. In this book, Stetzer talks about the outrage in the world today and how Christians contribute to it. Next, he looks at the lies that people use to justify their outrage. Finally, he lists ways Christians should be responding instead. Stetzer's personal political leanings occasionally creep in, but he does a good job of dissecting the way the Christian right and the Christian left each tend to get wrapped up in outrage. Each chapter is full of Bible verses and statistics to back up his points.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Ed Stetzer writes that the Age of Outrage is now our mission field., a very interesting concept. Stetzer in this book discusses what causes the outrage & how Christians have contributed to it. He identifies the lies that feed & continue to enforce the outrage, discusses nominal Christianity & how little many “Christians” have actually been following Jesus. He then discusses practical ways we can manage this outrage by living more like Jesus, speaking gently, engaging thoughtfully & with love & h Ed Stetzer writes that the Age of Outrage is now our mission field., a very interesting concept. Stetzer in this book discusses what causes the outrage & how Christians have contributed to it. He identifies the lies that feed & continue to enforce the outrage, discusses nominal Christianity & how little many “Christians” have actually been following Jesus. He then discusses practical ways we can manage this outrage by living more like Jesus, speaking gently, engaging thoughtfully & with love & humility toward our neighbor imago Dei. We should, he writes, have a kingdom based identity, focusing on Jesus & bringing glory to Him, not on being right in this world’s culture. I found it a very appropriate & helpful book for this time & culture, from helping to understand how & where all this outrage is coming from to giving the reader many tools to exhibit Christlike behaviors to resolve that angry reaction to what is happening in our world today. I recommend reading it!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Don

    I found this book to strike just the right balance between astute cultural analysis and sound Biblical exposition. I regularly follow Stetzer's writings in my work as a pastor. I usually agree with him, but even in those cases, he still challenges and stretches me. That was true with this book. He doesn't just diagnose the issues; he also prescribes Biblical remedies that would really help if and as we apply them. I was struck that much of the solution comes down to basic discipleship: the more I found this book to strike just the right balance between astute cultural analysis and sound Biblical exposition. I regularly follow Stetzer's writings in my work as a pastor. I usually agree with him, but even in those cases, he still challenges and stretches me. That was true with this book. He doesn't just diagnose the issues; he also prescribes Biblical remedies that would really help if and as we apply them. I was struck that much of the solution comes down to basic discipleship: the more professing believers live like Jesus, the less we will contribute to the outrage du jour and the brighter our Christian witness will shine. I warmly recommend to anyone troubled by the heated tone of so much of today's public "discourse."

  26. 5 out of 5

    David

    A very appropriate book for this time and culture. When the loudest voices are those that are outraged over this or that, this is a call for Christians to hold fast to truth while holding fast to the Kingdom of God by seeing individuals with whom I disagree as people, not enemies. The latter category I tend to demonize, while I'm called to show grace to the former. If I truly care about seeing Jesus proclaimed in this world, it will also affect how I think and respond to those I disagree with, an A very appropriate book for this time and culture. When the loudest voices are those that are outraged over this or that, this is a call for Christians to hold fast to truth while holding fast to the Kingdom of God by seeing individuals with whom I disagree as people, not enemies. The latter category I tend to demonize, while I'm called to show grace to the former. If I truly care about seeing Jesus proclaimed in this world, it will also affect how I think and respond to those I disagree with, and that especially holds true online and on social media when the face-to-face interaction is gone. This book is a great handbook for being ambassadors for Christ in this current climate of constant anger and outrage. I highly recommend it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hasdrubal Barca

    Written by a supposed evangelical who actively campaigns for abortion on demand, child gender transitions, the promotion and normalization of gay lifestyles in our schools, and open border policies that drive the child trafficking epidemic on the southern border. This is what Ed Stetzer's Christianity means to him. This is what he used his ministry and influence to achieve in our country. He is a person who enriches himself off the Church and then uses that platform to advocate for political par Written by a supposed evangelical who actively campaigns for abortion on demand, child gender transitions, the promotion and normalization of gay lifestyles in our schools, and open border policies that drive the child trafficking epidemic on the southern border. This is what Ed Stetzer's Christianity means to him. This is what he used his ministry and influence to achieve in our country. He is a person who enriches himself off the Church and then uses that platform to advocate for political parties which are actively engaged in destroying the Church. His reputation is the centerpiece of every calculation for this man. He will always take the side of the world against the Kingdom... because that's how you get all the best gigs.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    I listened to the audio version, so there are definitely some pieces I missed along the way, but this is one of those books that is a must read for any follower of Christ who is looking to engage this world that we live in. Outrage never changed someone’s mind. But, love has. How do we, as followers of Christ, Christ’s love in a world that is filled with so much rage and emotionally charged “conversations” that tend to turn into shouting matches where I simply want to get my point across and I d I listened to the audio version, so there are definitely some pieces I missed along the way, but this is one of those books that is a must read for any follower of Christ who is looking to engage this world that we live in. Outrage never changed someone’s mind. But, love has. How do we, as followers of Christ, Christ’s love in a world that is filled with so much rage and emotionally charged “conversations” that tend to turn into shouting matches where I simply want to get my point across and I do not want to listen. Pick up this book and read it. You will be thankful you did. And so will those in your sphere of influence.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    There are few books I would say are a must read, and this is one of them. In our current culture of divisiveness, this is one of the most relevant books I have picked up in a while. Stetzer states what I believe a lot of Christians are feeling and gives practical steps on how to navigate the waters. It is not a condemnation of the culture but a guide for Christians to be faithful to the gospel message in it. With everything I see being posted on social media, I would challenge any Christian to t There are few books I would say are a must read, and this is one of them. In our current culture of divisiveness, this is one of the most relevant books I have picked up in a while. Stetzer states what I believe a lot of Christians are feeling and gives practical steps on how to navigate the waters. It is not a condemnation of the culture but a guide for Christians to be faithful to the gospel message in it. With everything I see being posted on social media, I would challenge any Christian to take a break and read this before re-engaging on social media. We must reclaim the role we are supposed to play in our world; to speak truth with grace and love.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Haydon

    A good read and well-thought out. Stetzer tries to walk a middle ground and tries to please everyone. Maybe it's not that simple. Yes, it is vital that we show love and kindness, and see people from God's POV, but we must defend values. This defense can be done with love and not giving in to the slippery slope of trying to please everyone. People of faith need to unite and that means making coalitions and not living in our own Christian world-view. It means uniting with Catholics, Mormons, Bapti A good read and well-thought out. Stetzer tries to walk a middle ground and tries to please everyone. Maybe it's not that simple. Yes, it is vital that we show love and kindness, and see people from God's POV, but we must defend values. This defense can be done with love and not giving in to the slippery slope of trying to please everyone. People of faith need to unite and that means making coalitions and not living in our own Christian world-view. It means uniting with Catholics, Mormons, Baptists, and Muslims to stand up for God-centered values. Stetzer does make some great points.

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