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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book for those on the fringe, a salutory one for those at the centre,
I read Dave's book of about 200 pages of admittedly good, clear, very legible type (with nice line illustrations), in an hour and a half on a train journey, for once truly a book I could not put down, liberating and refreshing.

It is lighter than his earlier books which I should also recommend, because unlike them, I guess this is especially for those on the...
Published on 9 Oct. 2012 by Dr. John Bunyan

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38 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed thinking ultimately makes you ... a worse human being
Tomlinson comes across in this book as a warm, caring and deeply compassionate man, and I have absolutely no doubt that he is just that. However, like many Christians desperately trying to be liberal and inclusive, he posits an impossibility by wishing that all religions are equally valid. Unfortunately, however hard you wish for an impossibility it remains an...
Published 18 months ago by Michael W. Phillips


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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book for everyone - bad or good, 17 Sept. 2013
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Mrs. S. P. Marten (London) - See all my reviews
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This book is really brilliant. Dave Tomlinson, a Church of England minister in a very inclusive church in North London, helps us to shift our boundaries. Is God only experienced in church? Or is he just as likely to be encountered in community with others? Dave's work has brought him into contact with people from many walks of life, many of whom never go near a church and for this reason they think they must be bad Christians. But Dave asks whether or not God is really interested in whether we go to church or not. Maybe he is more interested in the kind of people we are and the way in which we live our lives.

Dave has a knack of looking at things differently, but at the heart of everything he says and does is a passion to follow the ways of God shown to us in Jesus. This means discovering God who loves us unconditionally. Dave is not afraid to ask questions and doesn't pretend to have all the answers. He has clearly grappled with issues like suffering and the chapters on this topic and the Bible and prayer put a refreshingly different slant on things.

This is a book for everyone - it's a fairly swift read and yon won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am a bad Christian, 30 Dec. 2012
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A very good read and one I would recommend for those who are rediscovering faith or themselves. It is a book
which does not need to be read in order and each topic can be analysed and applied to every part of one's life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More like a 4.7, 21 Sept. 2014
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A great book, both in terms of challenging the Church to confront its unhelpful peculiarities and in terms of presenting a useful image of God to people who don't get Church the way it is now. There are some questions I would want to pose to Dave about how you take his thinking without losing the good things learned through the historical experience of the Church and when it might be right to challenge the theology. I don't think Dave is unmindful of these things, but this book, for good reasons, is just a little light on that side of things. I am mean with my stars for books and would only give five stars if it was faultless, but this probably deserves a 4.7 and should be read by all Church leaders at least once.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful reading, 31 Jan. 2013
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Dave Tomlinson writes eloquently and convincingly about the transition some of us have made from a conservative evangelical position to a post evangelical view which acknowledges the centrality of Jesus Christ without excluding the rest of the world faiths and those with no faith. It is an inclusive theology centring on God's love for his creation rather than the idea that he condemns most of creation and humanity. Excellent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, read it, be challenged !, 6 May 2015
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I love the fact that Dave Tomlinson is a vicar. But not like any vicar I know. Refreshing to read a book by a man with a dog collar and bags and bags of compassion. His view that God loves people is the primary message we should convey, is inclusive, encouraging and positive. He doesn't see "widow" or "homosexual" or "atheist" - he sees people needing love. He encourages us to reach out to people wherever we are - and that God is everywhere - so that if 'church' is a pub, then it's fine. Loved the book and have bought it for lots of other people to encourage them too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read, 19 Feb. 2015
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I have struggled as a bad christian throughout my life. My first visit to church I sat behind two women criticising the hats others wore in smug judgement, I did not return to a church for many years.
This book addresses a lot of my questions and concerns about what I believe, why I find a lot of church ways non Jesus and hopefully, contrary to the title, how I can be a better Christian.
It is also full of joy, a love of people, crammed with funny moving tales and infused with a love of Jesus.
I will reread it again and again.
I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read..., 5 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: How to be a Bad Christian: ... And a better human being (Hardcover)
I love this book. Having been involved in evangelical Christianity and finding it quite demanding (and a little closed minded at times) this was exactly the thing I needed to remind me that faith is for you and that you can be a person of faith without needing to sacrifice every evening and weekend to a church activity. If you are adamant that this is the only way to do things, then this is not the book for you, but if you are trying to find a balance between your faith and being a normal human being then this may well help you on your way.
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38 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed thinking ultimately makes you ... a worse human being, 26 Nov. 2013
By 
Michael W. Phillips (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to be a Bad Christian: ... And a better human being (Hardcover)
Tomlinson comes across in this book as a warm, caring and deeply compassionate man, and I have absolutely no doubt that he is just that. However, like many Christians desperately trying to be liberal and inclusive, he posits an impossibility by wishing that all religions are equally valid. Unfortunately, however hard you wish for an impossibility it remains an impossibility. Taking such a position results in a mental stress that ultimately produces not tolerant but extremely intolerant people.

Tomlinson loves the people he finds in the pub who don't go to church, he loves Muslims, he loves atheists. And so he should. But he admits in the book that he flies into a rage at anybody who doesn't agree with his inclusive views, and he certainly encourages the reader to look down on pious Christians.

Why is Tomlinson trying to believe an impossibility? As C.S. Lewis has said, Jesus is either who he claimed to be, or a madman, or something much worse. It is simple nonsense, as Tomlinson does, to place him in a line of other great moral teachers. Not once in the book does Tomlinson acknowledge Jesus as the incarnate only son of God.

Tomlinson is a nice guy, and appears to believe that if everybody was kind to each other, we'll have heaven on Earth. It's a lovely if not original thought but it isn't going to happen. People, all people, are flawed. They cheat, they lie, they're selfish, they're mean. Not all the time, of course, but frequently enough to make the world the mess it is. This includes Christians, and it includes Tomlinson's so-called 'bad' Christians. And Muslims. And Atheists. This is what we know from experience. This is why we need Christ.

Of course, Tomlinson is entitled to his opinion, however nonsensical it is, and if it weren't for the fact that taking such a stance ultimately produces confused, angry and intolerant people, it wouldn't matter. Tomlinson is also a clergyman, and I don't think he should be peddling this nonsense. Should he not be preaching Christianity? I know he means well, but that won't remove the harm his views will ultimately cause. People who read this book could initially be helped. They'll get a warm fuzzy feeling. But when reality hits - as it certainly will - when a tragedy happens, or somebody does something really mean to them, or has prejudiced views, they'll be in a worse position. Angry at God, angry at people and angry at the world.

Christianity calls us to love our neighbour, and that includes people of other religions and no religion. Nothing in Christianity stops us respecting other faiths. But we don't have to rewrite the Gospels to do this. Christianity has an amazing, life-affirming message, which you'll find in the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But you won't find it in the gospel according to Dave Tomlinson.

PS - I'm sorry this is such a harsh review. I really believe the author is a good man but he is very badly mistaken and I believe his confused, illogical views are very unhelpful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Honest, refreshing and offering hope, 6 Mar. 2014
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We need more vicars like Dave Tomlinson. His accessible style of being a vicar comes across in this account. He engages with this reader as readily as he does with the people he describes. Offering a different way of approaching the Christian faith, he challenges very gently so much ecclesiastical hypocrisy and cant. I did not give it five stars, because I wish it had been longer. There were so many question I wanted to ask. Read it if you want some honesty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 9 Feb. 2014
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This is a really great book that explores the Christian faith in a non religious way. Easy to read and understand. Loved it
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How to be a Bad Christian: ... And a better human being
How to be a Bad Christian: ... And a better human being by Dave Tomlinson (Hardcover - 16 Aug. 2012)
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