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If God Is Love, Don't Be a Jerk

Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans

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Westminster John Knox Press
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Thou Shalt Not Be Horrible.

Imagine for a moment what the world might look like if we as people of faith, morality, and conscience actually aspired to this mantra. 

What if we were fully burdened to create a world that was more loving and equitable than when we arrived?
 What if we invited one another to share in wide-open, fearless, spiritual communities truly marked by compassion and interdependence? 
What if we daily challenged ourselves to live a faith that simply made us better humans?

John Pavlovitz explores how we can embody this kinder kind of spirituality where we humbly examine our belief system to understand how it might compel us to act in less-than-loving ways toward others.

This simple phrase, “Thou Shalt Not Be Horrible,” could help us practice what we preach by creating a world where:

• spiritual community provides a sense of belonging where all people are received as we are;

• the most important question we ask of a religious belief is not Is it true? but rather, is it helpful?

• it is morally impossible to pledge complete allegiance to both Jesus and America simultaneously;

• the way we treat others is the most tangible and meaningful expression of our belief system.

In If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk, John Pavlovitz examines the bedrock ideas of our religion: the existence of hell, the utility of prayer, the way we treat LGBTQ people, the value of anger, and other doctrines to help all of us take a good, honest look at how the beliefs we hold can shape our relationships with God and our fellow humans—and to make sure that love has the last, loudest word.

Perfect for book clubs! Download the Reading Group Guide.

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John Pavlovitz is a blogger, author, and pastor based in North Carolina. His blog, Stuff That Needs to Be Said, recently surpassed one hundred million views. His previous books include A Bigger Table, Hope and Other Superpowers, and Low.
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"A sobering yet inspiring discourse for open-minded, thoughtful readers." —Library Journal, starred review
“With conviction and clarity, If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk advocates a life based on empathy and acceptance in the powerful, earnest voice of ‘an honest and stumbling disciple trying to find the truest truth and live it.’ It’s hard to imagine a more urgent and vital message for today’s spiritual seekers.” —Foreword Reviews
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