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Featured Book: How to Be a Bad Christian…and a Better Human Being


Londoner Dave Tomlinson, who calls himself “a fervent proponent of progressive Christian theology and practice,” made his name by founding—at the request of disaffected churchgoers—Holy Joe’s, a church in a pub in Clapham. He made his literary mark with one of the Librarian’s favourite religion books, How to be a Bad Christian…and a Better Human Being.

If you think theology only comes in weighty tomes by Anslem and Aquinas, Tomlinson will be a breath of fresh air. Not afraid to push boundaries, he unpacks—in 200 pages of very accessible, sometimes sardonic writing—deep issues of what it means to be a follower of Jesus today.

Here’s a taste: writing about Jesus’ disciples, he “like[s] the fact that his followers behaved like a bunch of buffoons, that they misunderstood him, spoke out of turn, argued with each other, fell asleep when they should have been awake, basically kept getting things wrong. But they continued following him. This gives me hope.”

At the front of the book, you’ll find excerpts from 10 different reviews. Critics affirm it’s filled with “compassionate wisdom”; “rich in humanity”; “full of streetwise stories”; “free of religious claptrap”; and “gentle, yet profound”. Agreed!

How to Be a Bad Christian…and a Better Human Being by Dave Tomlinson
Hodder & Stoughton, 2012