David Kinnaman, author of unChristian, was at Resurrection last night for two hours of lecture and discussion about his research that led to the publishing of the book.
The research Kinnaman conducted with the Barna Group uncovered six common perceptions about Christianity that are held by outsiders in the 16-29 year old age range, the top one of these was that Christians are anti-homosexual. This perception was held by nearly 95% of those surveyed. Kinnamam expanded upon this by explaining that respondants didn’t just see Christians as believing that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, but that they see Christians as being vehemently against homosexuality, having elevated it to a status above any other sin.
His ultimate conclusion was that we as the church have to learn to be more Christ-like. Even if we disagree with something, we are called to avoid harsh condemnation, and to engage others in a humble and relational way. These perceptions that people hold, Kinnaman observed, are not shaped solely by the media, but they are shaped by real life experiences and encounters that people have with Christians.
I appreciated Kinnaman’s call to humbleness and look forward to reading the rest of his research in unChristian.