Light and at times comical is Pastor Mark Atteberry’s book, The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do. It is his aim to identify what he believes are “the ten dumbest things we do to frustrate God and keep the devil in stitches” (p. ix). Atteberry’s theme is to help Christians avoid those practices commonly found among professing Christians and churches that end up hindering their ability to faithfully represent Christ (p. x).
The ten practices he highlights in the book are: “Slinging Mud on the Bride of Christ,” “Winning People to the Church Rather Than to the Lord,” “Living Below the Level of Our Beliefs,” “Speaking Above the Level of Our Knowledge,” “Hopping from Church to Church,” “Fighting Among Ourselves,” “Missing Golden Opportunities,” “Settling for Mediocrity,” “Allowing Wolves to Live Among the Sheep,” and “Accepting the Unacceptable.”
Every chapter defines the problem and gives an enumerated list as to the consequences of each problem. Each chapter then concludes with a number of practical considerations that will help believers to avoid the mistake caught in Atteberry’s crosshairs.
His chapters are full of personal illustrations, contemporary stories from current trends, and news accounts. His years of pastoral experience and stories of trial are well told. I would readily assume that each of these chapters was part of a sermon series Pastor Attebury preached in his congregation.
The 10 Dumbest Things could be a good book to give to new members before they join the church. Perhaps the church would, in a winsome and pointed way, cause incoming church members to carefully consider their behavior and motives and the impact they have on the life and witness of the church. If you are looking for a book heavy with biblical references or major portions of biblical exposition, The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do will disappoint you. If you would like a light and practical book based on solid biblical principles that will humorously but also seriously address behavior among God’s people that is distracting from the message of Christ, this book will encourage you. – Bret Capranica, Christian Book Previews.com
We often talk about how Satan and his followers are working constantly to hinder the cause of Christ, but Mark believes that Christians may be doing more harm than anyone without even realizing it.
In The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, Mark identifies ten foolish mistakes many Christians make, sometimes on a daily basis, that hinder the kingdom, frustrate God, and give the devil an unlimited supply of ammunition to use against us. These mistakes, though devastating, often go unnoticed because they have been accepted without challenge for so long. Many have become so deeply ingrained in the culture of the church that they seem normal and healthy.
Mark's fans will be happy to know that this book is written in his trademark style: hard hitting, yet filled with splashes of humor, heartwarming anecdotes, and lots of Scripture.
The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do promises to be one of the most talked about books of 2006. With a study guide included, it would be perfect for small group studies or reading groups. Pastors will definitely want to read this book, for the ten blunders it exposes are the very reasons why so many churches are not growing.