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When Bad Christians Happen to Good People

Where We Have Failed Each Other and How to Reverse the Damage

Dave Burchett

About When Bad Christians Happen to Good People

“Dave allowed God to navigate him through the pain of religious moralism to arrive at insightful, compelling, and gracious wisdom. He remains a sincere lover of God’s church and people as he directs weary pilgrims to safer lodging.”
—John Lynch, coauthor of TrueFaced and Bo’s Café
Have you been betrayed by a Christian friend?
Are you disillusioned with the church?

If you have been hurt by Christians, you know all about anger and resentment. But what about a workable solution? How can the words and actions of “bad Christians” be addressed so the mistakes are not repeated? 
When Bad Christians Happen to Good People offers a workable response and, ultimately, a new way of living. In this revised and updated edition, you will find healing for hurts infl icted by others. At the same time, you will discover ways to help Christians and church leaders recognize the damage that is done by unexamined assumptions, words, and actions.
After dealing with his own hurt, Dave Burchett now shows believers how to:
■ Live as Jesus followers, not rule enforcers
■ Stop using religious performance as the standard for accepting others
■ Let go of moralism, legalism, and an allegiance to trying harder
■ Discover God’s grace as a daily reality, not just a word to use in evangelism
Working toward a solution will benefi t your own life at the same time it helps
others. Whether you have been a bad Christian in the past, or have been hurt by one,
there is a better way to live.

Discussion Guide Included for Individual and Small-Group Use


Praise for When Bad Christians Happen to Good People

“In When Bad Christians Happen to Good People, Dave indeed succeeds in making Christians think carefully and in getting us out of our comfort bunkers. I know that Bob would be chuckling with me at Dave’s sense of humor as he addresses very tough issues. I recommend it heartily to all who are serious in their commitment to be Jesus to our world.”
—Marty Briner, widow of Bob Briner, who authored Roaring Lambs and Final Roar

“Even though I’m not a betting man, I’ll bet you’ve never read a book like this one. Here is a no-holds-barred look at what’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s really weird about the Christian movement in America. At the end of the day, Dave Burchett has a heart for the church, for the gospel, and for people who don’t know the Lord. Christians could make a powerful difference in our world. But we ourselves must change. This book points us in the right direction.”
—Dr. Ray Pritchard, author, conference speaker, and senior pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Illinois

“This book is excellent. Dave Burchett sends a wake-up call to all believers that our behavior and our attitudes can have a profound effect on how the Message is received. National research shows that there is a great disparity between how the world views Christians and how it views the person of Jesus Christ. When Bad Christians Happen to Good People challenges people of faith to live a life that shows the world love, hope, and encouragement.”
—John Frost, noted strategic broadcast consultant 

“Dave allowed God to navigate him through the pain of religious moralism to arrive at insightful, compelling, and gracious wisdom. He remains a sincere lover of God’s church and people as he directs weary pilgrims to safer lodging. His self-effacing humor allows us to examine our religious culture without having to defend it.”
—John Lynch, coauthor of TrueFaced and Bo’s Café

“After reading this book, I was motivated to take a personal inventory of my daily walk with Jesus. As I read page after page, I jotted down nuggets of wisdom, words of encouragement, and new ways to strengthen my relationship with Jesus, with other Christians, and with those who are not believers.”
—Clint Hurdle, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates

“Dave Burchett strikes out sometimes but happily hits home runs like Sammy Sosa. His comments about the sinner-sensitive church and CSL (Christian as a Second Language), his WJSHTOT question (Would Jesus Spend His Time on This?), and his “Don’t Know Much About Theology” song are all terrific.”
—Marvin Olasky, editor of World and senior fellow of the Acton Institute

“When I need someone to convince me that there is still hope in spite of the bad Christianity I see all around me, I talk to Dave Burchett. He makes me laugh, makes me cry, and makes me think. And in the end, he helps me fall back in love with the bride of Christ. In the pages of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People, you can join in that conversation.”
—Ed Underwood, author of When God Breaks Your Heart and Reborn to Be Wild

About Dave Burchett

Dave Burchett started his career as a disc jockey in Ohio, and later moved into sports broadcasting. An Emmy Award-winning television sports director, he has directed events ranging from baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan’s sixth no-hit game to the Summer Olympics. The author of Bring ’Em Back Alive and a blogger on and, Burchett writes honestly and authentically out of his personal experience. He and his wife, Joni, live in Texas and have three adult sons and a daughter in heaven. 

Product Details

256 pages | Published by WaterBrook

On Sale Date: Jul 19, 2011

Trim Size: 5-3/16 x 8

Carton Quantity: 24

Sneak Peek

Real Help for Bad Christians (and Those Who Have Encountered Them) Click here to download chapter one of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. Dave Burchett’s family was hurt by the thoughtless and insensitive actions of Christians, and out of his pain he decided to help others. The church can come across like a religious club where the uninitiated are kept at arm’s length. Even the faithful grow weary of battles over manmade rules and requirements. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Click here to download chapter one of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People.

By Brandon Matthews

As a representative of Christ it is good to take inventory of our lives from time to time so that we are aware of how we are representing Christ. Dave has written in such a way for us to see how at time the church can do more harm than we do good, all while wearing our Jesus Jersey.A great sober reminder that everyone has issues and it is the love of Christ that will show we are His disciples. Loving people regardless of their mess is what...

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By Evan Windham

A must read for all Christians good or bad. It brought back memories of some legalistic churches I attended as a youth. I am using it for the Sunday school class I teach and having spirited discussions. God is so good! DISCLAIMER: I received an Advance Readerâ??s Copy of the book "When Bad Christians Happen to Good People" by Dave Burchett from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for a publicized review of the book.

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By Ethan Longhenry

An excellent critique on many of the customs and practices of modern Evangelical Christianity, their incompatibility with the Gospel, and how they repel people from Christ. The author focuses on the judgmental environment present in many churches, how divisions are manifest, the many barely profitable (if at all) matters which Christians focus on as opposed to what is truly important, the disconnect between Christian profession and...

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By Howard Grimmenga

I thought this was a great book! It is one thing for a pastor like myself to observe Christians acting badly towards one another and cringe. It is especially telling when a layperson is so aware of the effect of bad Christians not only on those who do not believe but on the church in general. Jesus calls us to love and it is supposed toi be that love that will help others see Jesus in us. Too often others do not experience the love of...

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By Daniel Cooley

When Bad Christians Happen To Good People, written by Dave Burchett. The Good: The title of course is excellent. Dave does a good job writing in a conversational style with great humor. I highly recommend this book! However, if you are on the sensitive, legalistic end of Christianity you may not enjoy the humor as much as the rest of us. The Bad: When I was reading it, my complaint was that there just wasnâ??t much meat in the...

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