Camden Theological Library

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The Answer to Bad Religion is not No Religion

Posted on 26 September 2014 Gavin Glenn

A Guide to Good Religion for Seekers, Skeptics, and Believers

If you think the only logical response to bad Christianity is to leave the church completely, this book is for you. In an effort to help those who've been hurt by or turned off by negative religion, Martin Thielen explains that there is an alternative to abandoning religion: good religion. Thielen uses personal stories to illustrate the dangers of religion that is judgmental, anti-intellectual, and legalistic. While addressing the growth of the new atheism movement and the "Nones" (people that have no religious affiliation), this book argues that leaving religion is not practical, not helpful, and not necessary. Thielen provides counterparts to the characteristics of bad religion, explaining that good religion is grace-filled, promotes love and forgiveness, and is inclusive and hope-filled. Perfect for individual, group, or congregational study, a Leader’s Guide is also available to further the discussion and increase community involvement.

The leader’s guide provides everything needed to facilitate six sessions and customize based on the time and style of each group. Organized around negative-positive pairings, this book discusses the  characteristics of bad religion and their respective “answers” in good religion.

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