Jim and Casper Go to Church

I just finished reading a book called "Jim and Casper Go to Church." It's a weird book about this guy, Jim Henderson, who hires the other guy, Matt Casper, to go to church with him. If that isn't weird enough, Jim is a 50 something retired pastor, and Casper is a 30 something atheist. Jim hires Casper to go to a bunch of churches with him, some big ones, some small ones, some "emerging" churches, some traditional ones, some contemporary ones, in order to help those of us who call ourselves Christian to see church through the eyes of someone who doesn't believe.

His premise is that for most of us, the idea of evangelism means inviting our friends to church. And if the main place we expect our friends to "get Jesus" is at church, then what does our church, what do our churches, look like to these friends?

It's a pretty good read. Casper (the atheist) asks Jim some pretty pointed questions, but one of the ones that just really gripped me was this one. After attending some fairly "slick" contemporary churches, with huge productions and cameras and light shows and fog machines, Casper turns to Jim and says, "Is this was Jesus wanted you to do?"

Oddly enough, Casper thought that Jesus wanted us to be out in the world bringing the Kingdom of God to those on earth, specifically those less fortunate. He had this crazy notion that Jesus wanted us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and rescue the perishing. Casper, the atheist, wondered why most of Jesus' reaching people happened out in the open, as he was moving among the people, and not in large church settings. He wanted to know if we, as Christians, had any Biblical back-up for what we do on the weekends. He wondered if most of our $$ that gets collected on the weekends goes to do "bigger church" or to loving others.

All that to say, I am very challenged by the words of a man who doesn't even believe in ANY God, and yet seems to have grasped exactly what it was that Jesus did intend for his followers to do.

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