Responses: A New Kind of Christianity … from Europe

In my response to a recent review, I said that I hoped people wouldn’t problematize me and NKCy and in so doing avoid dealing with the questions raised in the book, because they’re being raised all over, by thousands of people. Here’s still more evidence of how widespread and intense the struggle feels for many people. (after the jump)

I so wish you lived around the corner because I would ring your door bell … instead of writing an email.
I am reading your new book at the moment and it is confirming a lot of questions I am wrestling with. Your books seem to have this effect on me (EMC did this too). At the same time these wrestling processes also seems to be widening the gap I experience between me and ‘other’ christians/churches.
I think I am very much in a crisis right now. Not so much a crisis of faith, but a crisis of faith communities. The latter does touch the former though…
…I haven’t been “going to” church now for almost two years. I find that going to a church service is just too difficult, too strange, and too foreign. I can’t laugh at the jokes, I can’t enjoy their music or song (far from it), I don’t understand the relevance of what is shared. It is so far removed from the questions I have and the responses I want to be part of that I just can’t be part of it. It literally brings out the worst in me…. I know it is not fair to stereotype christians but how can I be truly part of a community that is lagging behind in most if not all social issues (environment, economy, poverty, etc.), fear science, fear differences in people, fear just about everything. And while writing this I realize this all sounds so arrogant and self-righteous…
The other day a friend asked me: how is it that Jesus dying makes people better and yet I don’t see this around me at all… Christians do not seem better…
And a colleague: you are a Christian? Interesting… you have not come across as dogmatic or judgmental so I would not have guessed…
and yet I miss spiritual community… A yearning for community that cannot be appeased right now. Finding a community when you don’t follow ‘theos’ and when you take the Bible as a library and not as a constitution, have an evolutionary, developmental view of God, etc. is just about impossible! Some might say: well, start your own… We can’t….

What would you say to a gifted young man like this?