Skip main content and go to side navigation
Has American Christianity Failed?

Enlarge Image | Look Inside

Has American Christianity Failed?

by Bryan Wolfmueller

Item #: 124464WEB / 2016 / Paperback / 250 Pages

Price: 
$16.99
 

Professional Discount

As a rostered LCMS pastor, teacher, musician, or DCE you receive a 20% discount on qualifying books, Bibles, professional books, and The Lutheran Study Bible, when purchased for personal use. The personal use discount applies for one of an item for you or your immediate family members where applicable. Any purchase(s) beyond the one item personal use will be processed at the current sale price.

Please state in the Order Notes if more than one item is for personal use and the description of that use.

Free Shipping Details

When applicable free ground shipping is available on all qualifying orders shipped to a single U.S. or Canadian address. Free shipping is provided by UPS Ground in the U.S. and Canadian Postal Service in Canada. Other shipping options are available for an additional expense upon checkout.

If your order qualifies for free shipping, but contains qualifying products that are out of stock, we will ship those items to you when they become available and apply free ground shipping to both parts of your order.

Planning for Lent and Easter Promotion

Qualifying orders include sales of select in-stock Lent and Easter merchandise/product only and exclude special-order items (drop-ship or POD), gift cards or gift certificates, prepublications, technology subscriptions, technology support, other subscription or perpetual purchases, and Lutherans For Life (LFL) and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) products. This offer is valid for new orders placed through cph.org or phone only. This offer is not available for sales of products purchased for resale. Minimum order of $25 USD. U.S. and Canada only of identified items only. Standard UPS ground and commercial shipping only. Some exclusions may apply.

Enter promo code GPL at checkout. Offer ends January 31, 2017.

Bulk Discounts

Enter promo code QCO at checkout to receive your discount
Quantity Discount*
10–24 15% off
25–49 20% off
50–99 25% off
100–249 30% off
250 or more 40% off

* Certain exclusions apply. Discount off of retail price of product. If current sale price is better than the discounted price, the current sale price will apply without further discount. CPH reserves the right to change the discount schedule at any time without notice. Discounts may not be combined with other offers.


Availability: In Stock
 
 


Overview
American Christianity teaches the centrality of the individual—my will, my experiences, my decision, my heart, my work, and my dedication. Yet we couldn’t be more unaware that Christ and His saving and comforting work are being lost. Our minds and hearts are captivated in some way by those who often preach the Christian instead of Christ.

Wolfmueller sounds the alarm against the false teaching and dangerous practices of Christianity in America. He offers a beautiful alternative: the sweet savor of the Gospel, which brings us to the real comfort, joy, peace, freedom, and sure hope of Christ.

And it’s for you.


Read Chapter One for Free >


Praise for Has American Christianity Failed?
“In this sparkling handbook of Lutheran theology, the author draws on his own experience of popular American Christianity. Yet his focus is not on his own story but on the common impact of God’s Word as law and gospel on its hearers. Against the backdrop of its spiritually shallow and superficially Biblical claims, he portrays the full counsel of God evangelically and sacramentally, with wit and verve, clarity and depth, passion and imagination. And all that pastorally as comfort to people with a bad conscience! By the way that he teaches God’s Word, he arrests our attention, surprises us mentally with many new insights, energizes us spiritually, and gladdens our hearts. Its teaching drives away the cloying stench of decadent piety and replaces it with the joyful aroma of Christ and His fragrant, life-giving message.”
—Dr. John Kleinig

“Wolfmueller refuses to believe in the silent God of American spirituality and speaks the sweet savor of the Gospel at a time when we need it most. With a deft hand, he lances the boil of religious hypocrisy, but not without reason: the goal is not just to get the infection out, but to get the antidote in. Has American Christianity Failed? is an essential addition to the library of anyone wondering why American spirituality seems so broken and looking for God’s plan to fix it.”
—Jonathan Fisk, Creative Director and Pastor, Worldview Everlasting

“Bryan Wolfmueller has done us all a great favor. Whether you are a Lutheran casting an envious eye toward popular generic Christianity in America or whether you are a disappointed or disenfranchised American Christian wondering whether there’s a more substantial option, you will be enriched by this book. Bryan writes concisely, with clarity, humor, and precision. He writes candidly about his own personal journey through American pop Christianity toward Lutheranism, admitting he found the Lutheran Church sadly wanting at first. But like Martin Luther before him, Bryan has been persuaded by the clear teaching of Scripture. The result is a persuasive apologetic for the Lutheran confession of the Christ-centered biblical Gospel over against the me-centered gospel of American Christianity. Read it for yourself first, then pass it along to others looking for living water in the desert that American Christianity has become.”
—Dr. Harold L Senkbeil, Executive Director for Spiritual Care, DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel

“Christianity in North America has largely been shaped by unbiblical assumptions about the power of human choice. In an engaging and conversational style, Wolfmueller draws on his own experiences as a college student moving from church to church and more recently as a Lutheran pastor to offer a Christ-centered critique. Wolfmueller does not offer programs or techniques for church revitalization but rather invites his readers to hear the Word of the cross and find their confidence in the sure and certain promises of Christ Jesus. This book will challenge, edify, and encourage faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in the context of our self-addicted and chaotic culture.”
—John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions, Concordia Theological Seminary

Item Number:
124464WEB
Age(s):
Adult - Mature Adult
Availability:
In Stock

Customer Reviews

Has American Christianity Failed?

by Bryan Wolfmueller

4.67 (12)
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
(10)
(0)
(2)
(0)
(0)
to write your review.
Sort By:
Showing 1 - 10 of 12 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
James
5/25/2017
The Comfort of the Gospel to those Oppresed by the Law

Has American Christianity Failed? by Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller brings the comfort of the Gospel to the Law scorched wasteland of American Christianity. It brings the comfort of knowing that Christ’s salvific work on the Cross is for you. It removes the uncertainty of trying to find God’s will for your life through subjective introspection and in its stead gives you the comfort of God’s external Word which is clear, sufficient, and efficacious. It reveals how the Word became flesh and took our place on the Cross fulfilling the Law’s requirements; this Revelation means that we no longer have to wonder if we have done enough to merit salvation in this dark and evil age but rather that we can have confidence that Christ died for our Sin, making us heirs of Salvation, and has risen to usher in His eternal reign. I only wish that I had access to this book when I was coming out of American Christianity because it is exactly what I was looking for! I would highly recommend Has American Christianity Failed? to anyone weighed down by guilt and longing to be free.

Jason
5/5/2017
Best book I have read in a long time

As an LCMS Lutheran in America, this book serves as an incredibly valuable resource. There were many things that I didn't know about American Christianity and Lutheranism that the author does an outstanding job of teaching. I was surprised how much of American Christianity had infiltrated my thoughts and views and has creeped into the Lutheran church. Everyone should read this book. Don't hastate to buy it. It's well worth the $17 price tag. You will want to read it more than once.

Dane
4/24/2017
Amazing read. Leaves no room for doubting the mercies of God.

This book was incredibly helpful for me as former evangelical. If you currently see yourself as an "American Christian," and this title is offensive to you, that's completely understandable. However, the question: "Has American Christianity Failed?" is a question that needs to be asked, and Wolfmueller provides a wonderful treatment of the various facets of American Evangelicalism. So, if the title makes you uncomfortable, l would encourage you to get this book and see if you can't refute these arguments yourself. Obviously l can't speak for those currently under the evangelical umbrella, but when l read this book, the author earned my trust by his clear and honest use of Scripture in diagnosing some problems that can be found in evangelical teachings and practice. One thing to note, is that when he speaks of American Christianity, he refers to the general landscape of American Christianity, not necessarily a single church, organization, or theological school of thought. In fact, he identifies that "American Christianity" has even had a role in shaping the thought of Lutherans, whether we recognize it or not, so don't think that this is an attack on one group in particular (though he certainly does name some). What this is, is a criticism of American Evangelicalism at large, and an analysis from the Bible concerning what Christians really ought to be doing and what we really ought to be believing. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

1 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
David
3/22/2017
Does Disdainfulness Contribute to the Christian Message?

Five stars for an able exposition of conservative Lutheran doctrine, minus two stars for failure to recognize trinitarian Evangelical Christians as brothers and sisters. The book’s disdainfulness detracts from the Christian message. C.F.W. Walther said “The Evangelical Lutheran Church has thus all the essential marks of the true visible Church of God on earth as they are found in no other known communion.” Pastor Wolfmueller takes Walther’s assertion to the next level, calling American Christianity a “vast wasteland,” and in a recent talk at the University of Colorado said that the aroma of American Christianity is like that coming from a garbage dump or a manure pile. Really? It’s not clear this is what Our Lord had in mind in John 13:34, when He gave us a new commandment, that we love one another. This book does a good job of elucidating LCMS understanding of the scriptures largely by contrasting with American Evangelical denominations. Wolfmueller’s explanation of repentance may surprise some, but he makes his case from the scriptures. And to be sure, Lutherans have a big stake in enforcing their unique understanding of the sacraments. This will ever divide them from the teachings of other Christian denominations. No one in the Bible had a firmer grip on their theology than the Pharisees, but Our Lord reserved His strongest criticism for them. While they preached the law as they should, nevertheless they had forgotten justice and mercy. Lutherans with a condescending attitude such as in this book are vulnerable to the same judgement – even after doing an academically good job of dividing the law and the Gospel. Condescension does not engender either the justice or the mercy Our Lord seeks. Wolfmueller tries to generalize American Christianity beyond churches identifying themselves with Evangelicalism, but this is not completely believable. Other denominations that don’t identify themselves with Lutheranism or Evangelicalism distance themselves from the same features he uses to characterize American Christianity (revivalism, pietism, mysticism, and enthusiasm). Evangelicalism as not a monolith. It arose from a confluence of the Anabaptist movement and Calvinism, but it has never solidified a single doctrine. Some Evangelical denominations have no creeds, while others apply the Apostle’s Creed or others. Wolfmueller had his experience in a popular implementation of Evangelicalism, and he appears to have extrapolated from there. Many Evangelicals will not recognize all of the traits he assumes. Wolfmueller’s charge against revivalism is based on the common, but not universal, arminianist and non-biblical strategy, in which people are called on to “make a decision for Christ.” Okay. But recall that an Evangelical revival in England led to the end of slavery in the British Empire. That force migrated to the United States and was intrinsic to the end of slavery here. Does LCMS commitment to orthodox doctrine yield such fruit in orthopraxy?

1 people found this comment helpful, 1 did not
Andrew
9/23/2016
Buy it for yourself and your friends.

This book is a must read. Pastor Wolfmueller rightly diagnoses the problems in American Christianity, but more importantly he clearly and carefully puts forth the solutions. It's a book I wish had been written years ago. I've already given away several copies and plan on giving away several more. You can stop reading the reviews and order one for yourself.

1 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
Zach
8/22/2016
Review of "Has American Christianity failed?"

Reverend Bryan Wolfmueller delivers one of the greatest books I've read on the problems with American Christianity! In a simplistic but detailed way of defining and diagnosing the problems with American Christianity. He offers several views of how people are reading scripture in a "me" and my "works" type understanding instead of a "Christ crucified" understanding. He goes back to the biblical basis of scripture and discredits several false notions that people have about a unbiblical Christianity. If you are suffering from pride or despair, I highly recommend this book. I recommend it to the greatest theologian or the new Christian. Extremely well done! Zach Lesher

2 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
Jorge
8/15/2016
It has, and we need to understand why

As a newcomer to the Lutheran Confessions, I spent my life growing up under the heavy burden of American Christianity. Reading this book and listening to Rev Bryan Wolfmueller speak on these issues has given me vocabulary to finally articulate the pain and longing for rest and assurance of the Gospel. From the very first chapter, I was struck by his ability to put words to the error, and smartly diagnose the problem without creating straw men, and without vilifying the American Christian. This book gives credit where it is due, and comfort where it has been lacking for centuries. I firmly believe the individual who most needs to read this book immediately, is the one who has been crushed by another church who was only interested in what they were "doing for God". The next group is those who have been drawn away from the American Church, but lack the words to describe why that is so. Finally, for the life-long Lutheran who wants to see what exists outside their walls, outside of their church at what the American Church is doing, I implore you to read this book. If you've heard Fighting for the Faith and wondered, "how can anyone think that craziness has anything to do with the Church", this book will demonstrate the error and underlying theology that has driven (and continues to do so) the American church into its current state. It is my sincere hope that in reading this book, you'll better understand where folks like me are coming from, how important it is to share the precious gem of the Lutheran confessions with a hurting and wounded Body of believers, and be reminded of the precious gift you have in the Word and Sacraments, in the Liturgy, and in the Faith once and for all delivered to the saints.

3 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
Daniel
8/14/2016
A book every Christian should read

Many churches in America are leaving their people starved and weak. The Gospel is preached for the sake of non-Christians, while Christians are fed a steady diet of law. After salvation the focus becomes the Christian life, "Now that you're a Christian, what are you going to do for Jesus?" is the common phrase you here from many pastors and teachers. The Gospel is placed on a shelf and the main focus of the Christian life becomes the individuals own experiences, work, and dedication to Christ. "Has American Christianity Failed?" gives the alternative to the Law soaked, desperate, dry, tired, and anxious Christian, the absolutely free and "for you" Gospel, delivered to us through God's Word and Sacraments! I can honestly say, that this is one of the most refreshing, and encouraging books I have ever read. There was not one chapter that left me bored or wanting to rush through. I think every Christian will benefit greatly from reading this book. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book. "American Christianity teaches the centrality of the individual, my will, my experiences, my decision, my heart, my work and dedication—to the detriment of Christ and His saving and comforting work. American Christianity most often preaches the Christian instead of the Christ, and our senses are so dulled that we don’t even notice He’s missing." "The Gospel is the alternative to the pendulum of pride and despair. The Law says “do,” the Gospel says “done.” The Law commands; the Gospel promises. The Law measures and judges, the Gospel forgives. The Law tells us how we ought to live, the Gospel tells us that Jesus died; and He died with a marvelous and gracious purpose: to save sinners. Both the Law and the Gospel are from God, but they have different purposes. The Law condemns. The Gospel saves." "The cross stands as the unwavering, unmoving, unquestionable answer to the question “What does God think of me?” The answer is this: He loves you, and He forgives you all your sins. You can be sure of this. You cannot undo the cross. You cannot undo God’s love for you. The love of God for you is certain and sure, as certain and sure as the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is the basis of our confidence and the source of our Christian comfort, and it is from this certainty that all our theology flows."

4 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
Cynthia
8/9/2016
Great Read, Highly Recommend

I have enjoyed every page of this book. Pastor Wolfmueller has a wonderful way of explaining some of the major differences in the different denominations of today’s culture. I never felt like I had to have a Master’s degree in theology to understand the points that he was making. Great Read

3 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
Eric
8/3/2016
Get Off the Treadmill

Excellent book! Give a copy to your exhausted evangelical friends who are tired of the treadmill of American Christianity.

2 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
Showing 1 - 10 of 12 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2

People who bought this product also bought...



Go back to main content | Go back to main navigation

Go back to main content | Go back to main navigation

Print on Demand Shipping Information

Shipping within the United States
Shipping rates are determined by total amount of your POD order. Please refer to the grid below:

POD Item Total  Shipping cost
0 - $20 $5
$20 - $50 $7
$50 - $100 $10
$100 - $250 9% of POD Item total
$250 - $500 8% of POD Item total 
$500 - $1000 7% of POD Item total
> $1000 6% of POD Item total

Shipping to Canada
A flat shipping fee of $15.00 will be applied to your order.

Shipping outside the United States or Canada
If you are a customer outside the U.S. or Canada, please indicate which shipping method you prefer in the “Order Notes” field on the My Cart page. Your shipping options include:

  • Non-Trackable Shipping: A flat shipping fee of $15.00 will be applied to your order.
  • Trackable Shipping: A flat shipping fee of $120.00 will be applied to your order.