Can we regain our credibility as Christians? Phil Cooke and Jonathan Bock think we can, but it’s going to take Christians being willing to make radical changes in their own lives first. Phil and Jonathan write all about the downward spiral of the reputation of Christianity in their new book, and how they believe Christians can regain their integrity by returning to the roots of spiritual living.
Who are Phil Cooke and Jonathan Bock? Phil Cooke is a filmmaker, writer, and media consultant. The co-founder and CEO of Cooke Media Group, Phil and his wife Kathleen have produced media in over 60 countries around the globe. Phil understands something about our culture and the way that Christians fit into it, and is helping churches, companies, and Hollywood do the same. Jonathan Bock is the founder and president of Grace Hill Media. He has marketed over 500 major motion pictures and T.V. projects to audiences, including titles like The Blind Side, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Ladybird, and more. According to TIME Magazine, he is the “man who helps Hollywood get religion.”
Together, Phil and Jonathan have written a new book: The Way Back: How Christians Blew Our Credibility and How We Win it Back. The book strives to course correct Christianity in today’s modern world, hoping to encourage believers to return to simple obedience in order to lift the reputation of Christianity as a whole. Their stats on the state of American Christianity will punch you in the gut, and their directions for turning things around will give you hope
“Which of the fruits of the spirit would the non-Christian community use to describe the Christian community? Not a one.” — Jonathan
“Anger strategies don’t work. Maybe it’s time to try something else.” — Phil
“The greatest threat in 2018 to American Christianity is American Christians. And it’s because we aren’t living the life, being credible, and we don’t have integrity.” — Phil
“Christianity doesn’t have a marketing problem. We have a salesforce problem. We simply have a staff that doesn’t believe in our product.” — Jonathan
“The casualness of Christians is destroying Christianity.” — Jonathan
“We don’t consider ourselves idol-makers. But we’ve created an idol in the shape of a God that is much more understanding of our failings.” — Phil
- The curse of the casual Christian is damaging to faithful Christians and their churches. This should break our heart and spur us on to discipleship.
- If we think God understands our disobedience, we are wrong. We cannot continue to serve a false idol of a God who turns a blind eye to this.
- Getting to know people and showing that you care is a great way to start changing the attitudes of non-believers around us. It’s simple, impactful, and will do more good than all the Facebook posts about us vs. them combined.
- Do our churches model what they should? Are they inclusive? Do we strive to include marginalized people? We should. It’s a first step toward changing attitudes of what the church is and who it is for.
- Start a small group around this concept. Get together and talk about what you and others can do right now to start changing perceptions of those unbelievers around you.
- Don’t live in your Christian bubble. Get out of isolation and be a “dangerous” Christian.
- The strategy of anger doesn’t work. We’re disconnected from the world, defending the institution of Christianity, and getting angry when our message doesn’t land. We can’t keep doing that and expect to see change. We need to change first.