It’s out! When Faith Turns Ugly…

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

After a few hiccups at the publisher (the book was due out in April) my latest book When Faith Turns Ugly: Understanding Toxic Faith and How to Avoid It is now available – well the Kindle version at any rate. I am assured that the paperback version is just days away. If you enjoy reading on Kindle (and I have long been a convert) here is the link to Amazon Australia and this is the link for those outside Australia.

So what do the people who reviewed the book prior to publication say about it?

Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary generously comments:

When Faith Turns Ugly is a journey with a master as our guide. Brian Harris, a deep, gentle, and clear-headed thinker, enters the world of Christianity’s critics, showing us where and why it turns against and offers alternatives to the church. But he applauds the insights of its critics and then proceeds not to dismantle the thoughts of others. Rather, Harris digs deeper by asking penetrating questions, and leads us to see the goodness of God, the grace of the gospel, and the greatness of all that the church and Christianity have to offer: King Jesus transforming ordinary humans. Toxic Christianity fails to orient us toward God’s goodness and God’s grace and, as a result, abandons Jesus. When Jesus becomes central, Christianity suddenly offers a radical goodness.

Di-Anne Tidball, President Elect of the Baptist Union of Great Britain writes:

Another stimulating and in depth reflection on an issue facing people of Christian faith today from Brian Harris. He identifies the potential of faith turning ugly although many in the church are in denial of this. The writer also highlights the well known figures who have concluded that faith is too toxic and ugly to be anything other than destructive such as Marx, Hitchens and Freud and responds well to their arguments. Perhaps the greatest value of this book for the Christian leader or follower of Christ are the 3 sets of tools which are offered: the indicators that faith is straying from its true role and is not as life giving as God intended; the signs that church leadership is becoming toxic and the pointers to a faith which is healthy and life building. His development of the importance of orthopathy alongside orthodoxy and orthopraxy are significant. As people of faith we need to have the correct attitude and feelings alongside the correct belief and actions. This book will be useful for ministers, lay leaders and network pastors who would be helped by understanding why faith does at times appear toxic. The Good News of Christ, which of itself is the most liberating and compelling message, can in the hands of those with shallow thinking or personal insecurities become something dangerous. Brian gives us good insight in reflecting in depth on this matter.’

John Sweetman, Principal of Malyon College Brisbane comments:

Toxic faith is such a blight on Christianity. It unravels our unity, muzzles our message and ruins our reputation. In When Faith Turns Ugly, Brian Harris fearlessly opens the wound of poisonous faith, digs around to find the causes, and offers both insightful healing and powerful hope. You will find the book provocative, challenging, and deeply satisfying. I loved it. Here is just a taste: “The opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty.” Mull over that and read the book for much more.

Naturally I am appreciative of kind reviews. I am mindful that a good book is a book that does good. And I do hope that this book does good, albeit by at times unsettling, and forcing us to ask questions we would prefer not to ask.

I am convinced that two of the major obstacles slowing the spread of the message of Jesus are the belief that Christianity is intellectually vacuous and morally suspect. I have tried to write a book that goes a little way towards addressing the first, and a much longer way towards addressing the second.

Imagine if we all genuinely embraced a version of the gospel that was grace breathed, convicting, transforming, liberating, life serving and God honoring. Actually, there is no other gospel – even if caricatures abound. Recognizing the possibility of toxic versions of faith is a start on the journey of eliminating them. I hope that When Faith Turns Ugly can make a contribution to this. Perhaps it can then be a good book that does good. Hope you enjoy it.

As always, nice chatting…



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