Book Review: Leatherbound Terrorism by Chris Kratzer

I read this book in two days. Two days. I simply could not put it down. 197 pages of a heartfelt plea that has been on my heart for many years. Unlike Chris Kratzer, I was scared to write it down. It wasn't my book to write.

In Leatherbound Terrorism, Chris Kratzer is a modern day voice of one crying out in the wilderness of white, conservative, Evangelical Christianity, paving the way of the Lord and His grace. I consider Chris a friend and a kindred spirit. For hundred of years, religious legalism has tried to offer the body of Christ all manners of religious tradition, legalism and Bible-thumping, graceless preaching and teaching to solve the problem of sin. Chris pulls no punches in calling out those who have abused the power of the pulpit and politics. He accurately lays out the very things that have rendered the modern church useless and and ineffective.

Chris was a pastor for many years, buried deep inside of the man-made solutions to the spiritual problems of the world. He opens his heart as he confesses to being a part of that evil system and how he discovered grace in his journey. He speaks from the heart of a man who has been both the abuser and the abused. If you didn't know Chris, you would be tempted to think that Leatherbound Terrorism is little more than the rantings of an angry man. I assure you, there is no anger in this book. There is only passion. Passion for people to know the one true Word of God, Jesus the Christ.

Leatherbound Terrorism chips away at the evil tenets of white, conservative, Evangelical Christianity: bigotry, legalism, exclusion, marginalization, and demonizing of human beings that Jesus died to redeem and set free by His grace. Chris paints a broad picture of modern Evangelicalism and then takes it apart, evil piece by evil piece, narrowing it down at the halfway point in the book to the root of all Evangelical evil: power and privilege.

I highly recommend Chris Kratzer's Leatherbound Terrorism, to all who have been marginalized and demonized by white, conservative, Evangelical Christianity. I also recommend it to people like me, who preached and taught this brand of religion for 30 years. This book will hold a very powerful mirror for you and I to gaze into and become deeply aware of the harm we have done to both the body of Christ and the non-believing world.

I am reading it again, more slowly this time, highlighter in hand, to breathe in every nuance of this amazing book. It is Chris Kratzer's 96 Theses, nailed to the door of every church in America, and pointing out all the hurtful errors in our faith and practice. If you are easily offended, then this book is especially for you. If I could narrow down Chris Kratzer's spiritual gift into one word, it would be the word offend. For he truly offends every evil facet of conservative Evangelical Christianity, and he shines the light of grace over all of it without holding back.

Read this book. I double-dog dare you.


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