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Review: Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don't Belong To by Lillian Daniel

About the Book

WHEN LILLIAN DANIEL APOLOGIZED to a total stranger for every bad thing that had ever been said or done in the name of Christianity, he was surprised that she was responsible for all that. "The Inquisition? Don't even raise it, I'm way ahead of you. I was mad about it before you even heard of it, that's how open-minded I am. Salem witch trials? I know! So embarrassing. Can I hang out with you anyway? You're too kind." "Religion is responsible for all the wars in history," they would say, and I'd respond, "You're so right. Don't forget imperialism, capitalism, and racism. Religion invented those problems too. You can tell that because religious people can be found at all their meetings." In this book, Daniel argues that it's time for Christians to stop apologizing and realize that how we talk about Christian community matters. With disarming candor laced with just the right amount of humor, Daniel urges open-minded Christians to explore ways to talk about their faith journeys that are reasonable, rigorous, and real.

AFTER THE PUBLICATION of the much talked about When Spiritual But Not Religious Is Not Enough: Seeing God In Surprising Places, Even the Church, Lillian Daniel heard from many SBNRs as well as practicing Christians. It was the Christians who scolded her for her forthright, unapologetic stand as one who believes that religious community matters.

The Christians ranted that Christians, by definition, tend to be judgmental, condemning hypocrites, which is why people hate them. By saying religion matters, she was judging those who disagree, they said, proving the stereotype of Christians. Better to acknowledge all that's wrong with Christianity and its history, then apologize.

In this book, Daniel shows why it matters how we talk about Christian community while urging open-minded Christians to learn better ways to talk about their faith.


Well, judging the book based solely on it's title, I thought the book was going to go in another direction. In that regard, I had different expections but it definitely ignited many thoughts that have left me wanting to chat about. The book definitely touched on thought provoking areas of potential discussion that I find the believer, as she describes the “spiritual but not religious” and the non believer can really have some constructive dialogue. There is certain aspects that I didn't agree with but really appreciate her open mindedness to embracing the positive and the negative towards perceptions of those who believe and those who don't. 

There were two thoughts that defined her commentary in the book that I absolutely loved. She based it upon “spirituality without stereotypes” and “religion without ranting.” Depending on which side of the belief situation you fall into, there is such a large spectrum of where Christianity falls into and how so fitting those two thoughts embrace many of the problems that lie with the perceptions and actions of it. The breakdown of the Nones, really gets to the heart of where the rooted divisiveness in perception comes from. This book was honest, real and touched upon all the problems churches face today as well as the struggles of those who were given voice that have made to feel unheard or accepted. Her candid openmindness is one that many will find refreshing and hopefully open dialogue for Christians to be more open minded about communicating their faith.

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