“Do I exist for God or does God exist for me?”  

That’s the question that I think animates Dean Inserra’s new book, Getting Over Yourself: Trading Believe-in-Yourself Religion for Christ-Centered Christianity, published by Moody. Or, maybe it’s this line: “We can’t make Christianity cooler.” 

He explains his argument this way: “The entire premise of this book is that spiritual victory and earthly victory are not synonymous.” He identifies a new kind of prosperity gospel that promises earthly success along with spiritual abundance. But he can find no such Christianity in the Bible. 

Dean serves as founding pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Florida. And I thought this description explains what I appreciate about his book. Dean writes, “In a therapeutic society, the achievement of self-fulfillment with God’s apparent stamp of approval is the perfect recipe for Christians to desire the things of this world while still feeling as if they are close to Jesus and he is very pleased. It appeases our need to know God isn’t mad at us while giving us license to continue on making much of ourselves.” 

So what’s his alternative? Dean says, “I want to win people with a message that would still apply if my church was in a third-world country, meeting in secret with nothing more than a single, shared Bible: the message of Jesus Christ crucified, risen, and ascended.” 

Dean joined me on Gospelbound to discuss the divide between seminary classrooms and popular Christianity, Instagram as instigator in crisis counseling, and why he doesn’t think God wants us to be happy.