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Publisher's Summary

American Christianity teaches the centrality of the individual: my will, my experiences, my decision, my heart, my work, and my dedication. Yet we couldn't be more unaware that Christ and His saving and comforting work are being lost. Our minds and hearts are captivated in some way by those who often preach the Christian instead of Christ. 

Author Bryan Wolfmueller sounds the alarm against the false teaching and dangerous practices of Christianity in America. He offers a beautiful alternative: the sweet savor of the Gospel, which brings us to the real comfort, joy, peace, freedom, and sure hope of Christ.

©2016 Bryan Wolfmueller (P)2021 One Audiobooks

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Brought Me Back to the Lutheran Church

This book does a great job of explaining what I call Pop-Culture Christianity and the author calls American Christianity. Pastor Wolfmueller lays out in great detail the failures and short comings of American Christianity today.

He talks about how in Evangelicalism and in most protestant churches today people get stuck on the pendulum of pride and despair. How if you're keeping busy volunteering in your church with things like the cup cake ministry, the parking lot ministry, children's church ministry and so on then that begins to produce pride in an individual. Oh and dont forget tithing and showing up 3 or more times per week. On the flip side of that is when an individual becomes less involved in the church and their giving slips due to financial difficulties then they begin to fall into despair. And so the pendulum swings back and forth, over and over.

He also goes in depth on revivalism, pietism, mysticism and enthusiasm. Revivalism teaches that the Christian life begins with a personal decision to accept Christ. Pietism teaches that the Christian life is chiefly marked by a growth in good works. Mysticism teaches that we can have direct, unmediated access to God. And Enthusiasm teaches that the spiritual life happens inside of us. These themes and the pendulum of pride and despair are tied into the chapters throughout the book. It really shows how American Christianity has dooped most Christians in the U.S. Think mega-church and small group Bible studies that don't study the Bible but instead use some popular evangelical's book.

I also like the way Pastor Wolfmueller addresses the end times in relation to what is popularly believed in America today. Dispensational premillennialism. I've never believed that junk theology. I could never believe a theology that is less than 200 years old. But that's what the simpletons believe. Gee, thanks a lot John Darby. I especially love his quote, " It's a great irony that the NUTTIEST teaching of American Christianity's theology is the rally point upon which its pastors become most insistent on theological agreement. " (emphasis mine)

Pastor Wolfmueller mentions the Rapture, dispensationalism, pre-trib, great tribulation and the thousand-year reign (p.s. NOT literal when read in the greater context of Scripture) being "code words for the eschatologically orthodox."

He talks about how your Christian faith shouldn't be guided by your feelings since Christ gave you sure promises in His Word regardless of how you feel at the time. Feelings constantly change but God's promises do not.

He mentions "time of decision", "altar call", "every head bowed, every eye closed", and the ever famous "sinner's prayer" none of which are Biblical. And let me just say that I think it's real funny how all these churches that have altar call have removed the altar and replaced it with a pulpit front and center so their pastor can gain superstar status through his long preaching. It's NOT about YOU evangelical pastor, it's about CHRIST and His finished work on the cross.

So if you want REAL, TRUE theology then READ this book and get a breath of fresh air away from all the non-sense that's called Christianity in America today. And if you're Lutheran, this book should already be on your shelf in between your Bible and Book of Concord.

Message to the LCMS...PLEASE get more Pastor Wolfmuellers ordained and get rid of all your church growth addict pastors. They do nothing but harm the Faith.

p.s. This book is NOT read by the author. But it's still pretty good. Also check out Pastor Jonathan Fisk's books as well. Both are AWESOME Pastors and teachers. Both are on YouTube. Both have books sold on Amazon. Just Google them.

Thank you for reading.

Respectfully,

Daniel

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Wonderful Work

I only reluctantly picked this book up, as the title makes it sound like the all-too-familiar "This is what we're not" attitude so shamefully present in confessional Lutheranism. However, Pastor Wolfmueller does a fantastic job of expositing our Lutheran theology over and against the common Christian theology in the United States, and doing so in a loving manner towards our Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic Christian brethren, on a tone that clearly separates the person and the idea, something tragically uncommon in this day and age. Highly recommended for anyone seeking to sort out the confusion left by so many assumptions we have drawn from our exposure to American Christianity versus what we hear in our sanctuaries and read in our Bibles.

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An excellent summary of the Biblical Gospel and why it is lacking in the American church

Pastor Wolfmueller does an excellent job recounting his years of experience in the American evangelical church, which were very similar to my own. His summary was extremely accurate, and his presentation of the Lutheran alternative highly compelling.

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Excellent Exploration... not for Audible

I have become a huge fan of Rev. Wolfmueller via on-line services and YouTube features during the pandemic. His exploration of American Christianity is outstanding, but the thought provoking nature of this book is not well suited to the audible format. The questions of faith are deeply personnel and Rev. Wolfmueller challenges many aspects of American Christianity. These explorations would be better suited to study and contemplation from the book at a much slower pace than audible books typically provide.