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  • Editing Jesus: Confronting the Distorted Faith of the American Church

Editing Jesus: Confronting the Distorted Faith of the American Church

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Format: Paperback
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Product Description

We need Jesus. The whole Jesus.

The American church is in decline. Secularism is fast gaining traction in culture. Ministry leaders and Christians who love the church are rightly concerned about this momentum. We're scrambling to find solutions.

Longtime Christian journalist, researcher, and ministry leader Rick Lawrence believes that the driving force propelling the church into irrelevance is its propensity reduce Jesus. Deeply researched and comprehensively sourced, Editing Jesus, explores the 8 ways the Jesus of the contemporary church has been edited to fit the spirit of the age. Lawrence writes on:

The Co-Mingling of Kingdoms

The Marginalization of the Poor

The Golden-Calfing of Materialism

The Dismissing of the Supernatural

The Siren-Song of Platforming

The De-Prioritizing of Justice . . . and more

This book is for every person who loves Jesus and His church—who longs to see the real Jesus worshiped and exalted. And it's for every person who wonders how the wheels came off Western Christianity and harbors a hunger that goes unmet in the church. When we discover and return to the unedited Jesus, it's impossible to remain unchanged.

The church begins and ends with Jesus. The whole Jesus.

 

 


About the Author

Rick Lawrence
RICK LAWRENCE is Executive Director of Vibrant Faith, a ministry resourcing, training, coaching, and research organization. He’s an award-winning author, journalist, cultural researcher, editor, and national speaker. For many years he led Group Publishing’s Youth Ministry Resourcing Team, and helped launch its “Jesus-Centered” line of adult resources. He also leads a “home church” for young people: Pursuing the Heart of Jesus, Not His Recipes. He’s the general editor of the bestselling Jesus-Centered Bible, and author of many books, including The Suicide Solution, Jesus-Centered Daily, and The Jesus-Centered Life. He’s host of the popular podcast Paying Ridiculous Attention to Jesus. He’s married to Beverly Rose and has two young-adult daughters, Lucy and Emma.

Endorsements

"The fact that American Christianity is steeply declining is no longer debated. It is declining because it has been infected by a host of destructive pathogens—materialism, politics, consumerism, apathy, legalism, celebrity worship, and culture warring—to name just a few. As Rick Lawrence so eloquently argues, we are losing the 'authentic Jesus' and replacing Him with an 'edited Jesus'—a Jesus designed to conform to our desires, our culture, our lifestyles, and our political ideologies. And this 'edited Jesus' comes with a false gospel that is no longer appealing to our neighbors. This timely, insightful book offers us just the antibiotic we need to reverse the infection and restore the church in America—and our own personal faith—to good health. Editing Jesus might just be the most important book you read this year."
—RICHARD STEARNS, President Emeritus of World Vision US, author of The Hole in Our Gospel and Lead Like It Matters to God

"In Editing Jesus, Rick Lawrence masterfully dissects the current challenges and discrepancies within American Christianity, urging a return to the authentic teachings and example of Jesus Christ. It aligns with all the contemporary research showing that genuine, relational engagement is not only the essence of Jesus' ministry but also the pathway forward for revitalizing the church. This is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of Christian ministry and the restoration of its foundation upon unedited, relational principles. Its call to action is both timely and necessary, offering a blueprint for reconnecting the church with its mission and with the younger generations increasingly alienated by its current iterations."
—JOSH PACKARD, author of Church Refugees and cofounder of Future of Faith

"This is a dangerous book. And it's an important wake-up call. In a time characterized by people with mouths always speaking curses and spouting slogans, Jesus still asks if any have ears to hear. This book won't just make you think; hopefully, it will make you rethink. And that can make all the difference."
—CONRAD GEMPF, lecturer in New Testament at the London School of Theology and author of Jesus Asked and How to Like Paul Again

"While devouring this book I subjected myself to occasional social-media visits, where Jesus is misrepresented in grievous ways. As I read Editing Jesus my heart was simultaneously heavied with conviction and enflamed in hope. Lovingly relentless, the Spirit is gently tutoring me to enjoy Jesus, my Lord. Contemplating my journey through the lens of this book deepens what my heart yearns for most."
—DAVE RAHN, professor, researcher, author, and former Senior Vice President of Youth For Christ

"Rick Lawrence delivers a refreshing antidote to a diluted faith and a dissolving, lukewarm church in his latest book, Editing Jesus, offering a potent shot of the real Jesus for those disillusioned by the feeble state of the church. With humor and insight, he invites us to reconnect with the raw, reality-changing essence of Christ. A must-read for seekers of a deeper, more vibrant faith and a Christianity that leaves a lasting mark on the world."
—LEONARD SWEET, author of Jesus Human, professor, preacher, publisher, and pioneer of theo-semiotics

"This book serves as a passionate appeal for Christians to revisit our 'first love' with compelling conviction and striking clarity. It resonates as a modern-day '95 Theses' moment, daring readers to reassess our relationship with all of Jesus. Brace yourselves, for just as Jesus did, Rick Lawrence will undoubtedly challenge you. May God wield this book as a catalyst for revival, drawing a whole generation to encounter the unfiltered Christ, unbound by our human constructs and ideologies."
—JACOB BLAND, President/CEO, Youth For Christ USA

"With Editing Jesus, Rick Lawrence shines a surgeon's light on the cancer eating away the heart of American Christianity. Consistent with the style of Jesus, Rick turns over our tables, willing to upend all our secondary allegiances. In an age when it has become commonplace to co-opt the gospel in service of far lesser causes—some causes wildly antithetical to the character, message, and work of Jesus—this is a wake-up call we desperately need."
—MARK DEVRIES, author, founder of Ministry Architects, and cofounder of Ministry Incubators and the Center for Youth Ministry Training 

"Editing Jesus is a call to the faithful to awaken from our disorientation and recognize that American Christianity has gotten woefully off track. Lawrence challenges us to address our hearts' inclination to reframe Jesus through our own political and self-serving lenses. This book is necessarily disruptive, yet offers us a fresh start, drawing us back to the heart of Christ as He is revealed in Scripture. Both pastoral and pragmatic, this is the work we desperately need to help us rediscover the true 'unedited' Jesus and to equip us with practical tools to reclaim our role as salt and light for the world."
—EBONIE DAVIS, researcher, coauthor of Disrupting Teens with Joy, and youth pastor

"I have long respected Rick's unwavering focus on Jesus. Editing Jesus is a clarion call for pastors, leaders, and followers of Jesus to reexamine who Jesus is and return to the life Jesus calls us to. My prayer is that we listen to Him. If we do, the church—and the world—will be better off!"
—JEN BRADBURY, author of The Jesus Gap, The Real Jesus, and What Do I Believe About What I Believe?

Product Details

ISBN: 978-0-8024-3288-9
Publish Date: June 2024
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
Format: Paperback