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God Is Not Nice
Rejecting Pop Culture Theology and Discovering the God Worth Living For
Author: Ulrich L. Lehner
Foreword by: Scott Hahn
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Imprint: Ave Maria Press
On-sale date: October 20, 2017
"One of those rare works that brilliantly diagnoses the errors of our time and responds to them with clarity and charity."
Catholic theologian and apologist
Ulrich L. Lehner reintroduces Christians to the true God—not the polite, easygoing, divine therapist who doesn’t ask much of us, but the Almighty God who is unpredictable, awe-inspiring, and demands our entire lives. Stripping away the niceties with a sling blade, Lehner shows that God is more strange and beautiful than we imagine, and wants to know and transform us in the most intimate way.
With his iconoclastic new book God Is Not Nice, Lehner, one of the most promising young Catholic theologians in America, challenges the God of popular culture and many of our churches and reintroduces the God of the Bible and traditional Christianity. As Lehner writes in the book’s introduction, "We all need the vaccine of the true transforming and mysterious character of God: The God who shows up in burning bushes, speaks through donkeys, drives demons into pigs, throws Saul from his horse, and appears to St. Francis. It’s only this God who has the power to challenge us, change us, and make our lives dangerous. He sweeps us into a great adventure that will make us into different people."
This book is not safe. It may startle and annoy many people—including those who purport to teach and preach the Gospel, but are missing it, according to Lehner. God Is Not Nice intends to overthrow all of our popular misconceptions about God, inviting us to ask deeper questions about the nature of our lives and our relationship with him.
When you're finished with God Is Not Nice, you may find the idols you constructed in God’s name smashed, replaced with a God who will ask you to live an entirely different life full of hope and transformation.
"Brilliant, life-giving and deeply encouraging book."
"Bourgeois religion, with its low horizon and liturgies of therapy, sentiment and self-esteem, is the illness of today’s 'developed' world. Ulrich Lehner takes a hammer to its edifice in this brilliant, life-giving and deeply encouraging book. God is merciful. God is just. God is patient, tender and intimate. But the God of Jesus Christ is too demanding, too exhilarating an adventure to ever settle for 'nice.' There’s nothing vanilla in the real taste of his love. And the author captures that simple truth beautifully in these pages."
Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
"A true theologian."
"The pages of this book are the work of a true theologian."
From the foreword by Scott Hahn
Catholic theologian, author, and speaker
Founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
"This book is a bombshell in the playground of the contemporary sentimentalism and therapeutic deism that often masquerades as Christianity—one of those rare works that brilliantly diagnoses the errors of our time and responds to them with clarity and charity. In our age of 'safe spaces,' it should be required reading for college and university students who likely haven't yet met the God of the Bible—a God who is good, but by no means safe."
Catholic theologian, apologist, and author of The Case for Jesus
"A bracing antidote to the vapidness of American megachurch religiosity."
"A bracing antidote to the vapidness of American megachurch religiosity, a challenge to all Christians to reencounter the God of the Bible in full, and, for Catholics, a primer on an important aspect of the New Evangelization."
Catholic author and distinguished senior fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies
Ethics and Public Policy Center
"Serious and accessible."
"God Is Not Nice is one of the most important popular Christian books of 2017. Hard to over praise it—serious and accessible."
The American Conservative
Going Deeper-Catholic Teacher Formation YouTube channel