The Christian who isn’t crazy about Christians
Atlanta writer Jason T. Berggren says some Christians wish the worst for him, hoping he’ll join the devil in that fiery place so the red-horned guy can stick the author with a huge fork.
How dare the former pastor and heavy-metal Christian rocker write a book called “10 Things I Hate About Christianity“? Where does he get off saying the Bible can be boring and confusing? Who is he to think that a big problem with Christianity is the judgmental followers of Jesus who know what’s best for everyone?ABC’s Dan Harris interviews Jason Berggren
“I’ve had periodic hate mail, always from people who haven’t read the book,” says Berggren.
“Is it me, or does it seem like a lot of ‘Christians’ are on a one-way commuter train to Crazy Town?” he writes. “Nothing has discouraged me more in my desire to follow Jesus and know God than my observations of those who call themselves ‘Christians.’ They make it so easy to hate them. They can be crazy, annoying, judgmental and hypocritical.
“Even worse, I regret that each of those words also represents me personally.”
The book is a raw look at the shadow side of the Christian faith. A Swedish American, Berggren is a kind of punk-rock version of Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. Both raise lots of questions about the value of faith.
Through it all, Berggren has remained a follower of Jesus, and some folks appreciate that he’s tried to tell them why.
For all the sass in the book’s title, Cline is disappointed in the writing. He says the author is nothing more than a “Christian in sheep’s clothing.”
However, John W. Loftus, a former theology student who wrote “Why I Became an Atheist,” found Berggren’s book worthy of note in his blog, Debunking Christianity.
In April, “10 Things” got a boost when ABC reporter Dan Harris posted a video interview of Berggren on a network blog. It quickly received 20,000 hits. The video increased sales and angry e-mails to the author.
Berggren thinks the book is most valuable to the new convert or someone who plunged into the faith with enthusiasm and now thinks about giving up.
Sidebar to the above story:
10 things Jason Berggren hates about Christianity
1. Faith “There is no evidence for what we believe. That’s why it’s called faith. God doesn’t appear at the mall with Jesus to buy you sneakers.”
2. Prayer “You do it, and it feels like it doesn’t accomplish what you want it to accomplish. You wonder: What’s really changed? Sometimes God takes time and asks us to accept no.”
3. The Bible “So often you read something and wonder, is that trustworthy? Is it helpful? Does everything always have to be so boring and confusing?”
4. Sin “Am I really so evil or so bad that I have to think of myself as sinful? Of course, we’re all only two or three decisions from ruining our life completely.”
5. Rules “Why are there so many rules, and do I have to keep them all? There is too much to keep track of.”
6. Love “It feels too hard to love everyone all the time.”
7. Hell “Why would a loving God create hell?”
8. Answers “I don’t always like the answers that Christianity gives. Do I have to accept them?”
9. Church “Everyone says go to church. But how does that make me a better person?”
10. Christians “Why are Christians so crazy, annoying and judgmental?”
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