I know I've been reviewing a lot of books lately, but I'm trying to watch less TV and read more instead. I just finished unChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. This book was being promoted heavily at the Catalyst Conference I attended in November. Kinnaman is president of the Barna Group, a Christian polling organisation. The main premise of the book was to research and report what the perceptions of American Christians are by those outside of the faith. There were no great revelations in this department. You could probably list them yourself without doing a study. The top negative perceptions were: anti-homosexual (91%), judgmental (87%), hypocritical (85%), too involved in politics (75%), out of touch with reality (72%), old-fashioned (78%), insensitive to others (70%), boring (68%), not accepting of other faiths (64%), and confusing (61%). (Percentages are perceptions of outsiders, ages 16-29.)
I know a lot of people really love Barna-type books, but honestly I'm not one of them. This is a good book, but it's not a great book. It probably could have been half as long as it was and been fine. After a while, you can only handle so many statistics. I actually enjoyed the chapter summaries more than the chapters themselves. The summaries were basically commentary from other church and community leaders on the issues being discussed.
In the same vein as unChristian is a much better book that I reviewed last year by Dan Kimball - They Like Jesus, but Not the Church. I would still highly recommend Kimball's book.