Help name my latest book – we need your input!

December 4, 2009 — 186 Comments

Help

I am wrapping up my latest book – and need help with a title.

Please read end of this post for sub-title options.

I could use your opinion on which of these titles and sub-titles you think is best!

Here's the 2 title options we are considering right now.

1) Adventures in Churchland

2) Would I Like the Church If I Wasn't A Christian?

This book is a follow-up to"They Like Jesus But Not The Church" – however, this is not directly a church leaders book like that one was. This is what is called a "trade" book,  which means it is for the average person, not specifically church leaders as all my other books have been. 

This book addresses the same issues that were covered in "They Like Jesus But Not The Church" which is how the church can be or seen as  (organized religion, male dominated, homophobic/hateful, judgmental, biblical literalists, arrogant about thinking they are the only truth and true religion). So to some degree it is an apologetics book which addresses these issues. And it is also a book which is both an apology and an apologetic for the church.

On the other hand, it is somewhat of a personal narrative. So it is filled with some personal stories of bizarre experiences and encounters I have had with Christians and the church. I weave my own story of not being a Christian – and how I was in a punk/rockabilly band and I began exploring church and entered what felt like a very, very strange evangelical Christian world. So I share a bunch of stories of how incredibly weird and disconnected I felt to "Christianity" and had to explore these big issues of faith and culture today. It is a book of hope as I try to give ways to respond biblically to these critical issues.

It is written for Christians to give some ways to respond to these pressing and uncomfortable questions about Christianity and the church. However it is written in a way that I believe would not be embarrassing whatsoever to give to someone who has either given up on "church" or is not a Christian. To have something for someone to read that admits both the weirdness and damage that church/Christianity has done at times – but paints a hopeful picture of vintage Christianity and the joy of knowing and following Jesus and why we need the church and why the church needs us.

So… the marketing folks at Zondervan Publishing and I have been talking and we have a few ideas. It is hard to communicate the ideas without visuals quite honestly. With the "Adventures in Churchland" title we have thought of covers that may reflect those vintage "Greetings from…" postcards like seen here. So whatever title we use, the artwork will be significant in conveying the title and vibe. So the title alone is hard to simply say.

But here are two directions we are going in with titles – and certainly can use some help with what do you feel is the better direction.

1) Adventures in Churchland:

subtitle options:

a) How I discovered that we can like both Jesus and the church

b) How I came to like both Jesus and the church

c) Discovering that Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion

2) Would I Like the Church If I Wasn't A Christian?:

a)  Exploring Christianity Beyond The Stereotypes

b) Exploring the Uncomfortable Questions about Christianity

c) Exploring Common Objections To Christianity

If you could quickly simply post here which number #1 or #2 for the title you feel is best – that would be very helpful.

And if you want to also select a sub-title  (1a…  2b  etc.) that would also help or combos or other ideas. But if you could at least quickly say which title 1 or 2, that would be great. We are trying to nail down a title by next week! And then we go into art direction for it.

You can post here on the blog or on my Facebook wall. So if you have a minute, please just give your gut reaction. Zondervan will be reading these and your input is extremely important to me!

Thank you!!!!!

Dan Kimball

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author of "Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus In The Mess of Organized Religion" and "They Like Jesus But Not The Church" . On staff at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, CA.
  • R.D.

    1 C

  • http://RevTim.com Tim Hohm

    Got to go with #2. Seems a little more oriented to “outsiders.”
    I look forward to reading your latest!
    RevTim

  • andy campbell

    1) c. I reckon…

  • Kyle

    1B

  • http://rethinkmonthly.com Bo lane

    1 (but with the 2b’s tagline)

  • Cindy

    1c

  • Dwight Davis

    2A is the best I think.
    Would I Like The Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?: Exploring Christianity Beyond the Stereotypes.

  • http://facebook.com/baileyws Wendy Bailey

    My first impression was #2, until I read the subtitles … with subs, I’d go with 1b or 1c.

  • http://pberryweb.com pberry

    1B hands down. I need a book that addresses just that topic.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/robjohnson Rob Johnson

    Definitely #1. I’m not immediately drawn to any of the subtitles, but (c) is the best out of the three. Sounds like a good book, BTW.
    Or, you could title the book after one of Mark Driscoll’s catch-phrases…it would certainly be returning the favor.

  • http://www.anaramalho.org Ana Ramalho (portugal)

    1B

  • http://profile.typepad.com/glencochrane GlenCochrane

    Title = 1 with Subtitle of 2A
    Or
    2A

  • http://thejamble.wordpress.com almond603

    2A
    Though, I’d get rid of the “exploring” and instead just say “Christianity Beyond the Stereotypes.

  • Pam Marino

    1B. I think even outsiders would be attracted to “How I came to like both Jesus and the church.” It’s a personal story, which is why I think social media and reality tv are so popular right now. We’re drawn to people’s personal stories. And if anyone has ever even thought about Jesus and the church, they would be intrigued by someone else’s journey along that topic.

  • Jim Carlson SFS5

    2) Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?:
    a) How I discovered that we can like both Jesus and the church
    Dan,
    Title # 2 with sub Title (a) from question one
    Ah the best of both worlds!

  • http://eyesofhope.wordpress.com Theresa Seeber

    1B Because it flows off the tongue easier as a book title. If you go with 2 it will be hyphenated by peeps when they talk about it. Maybe they will call it “Would I Like the Church” for short. That’s not terrible, but why not have a title that works all the time? As for sounding good for outsiders, as mentioned above, that is great motivation, but maybe if you want to sound good for them and keep it punchy you might try something easier like, “Loving Jesus AND the Church”. Of course, then peeps will shorten it and just call it “Loving Jesus” LOL

  • http://eyesofhope.wordpress.com Theresa Seeber

    Besides being a bit wordy, I like this idea too.

  • Jeffrey

    Title 1
    Subtitle c
    that stands out the strongest to me

  • http://www.vanessachristine.blogspot.com Michelle Burrill

    1B BEST of them all. 1C second. 1A not so good. In my opinion, 1 is much better than 2. ;-)

  • bmccurdy@arcadechurch.com

    I say “Twilight: New Church” for sure will have every 15 year old in the nation picking it up!

  • http://www.clcsantacruz.org Ed Tyler

    #2 definitely. Asks a question and encourages exploration. “a” on the subtitle. Can’t wait until it comes out.

  • Laura Rodgers

    2 B

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed Scot McKnight

    2B

  • Ken

    I would vote for 1B – “Adventures in Churchland: How I Came to Like Both Jesus and the Church”
    (Though I would personally suggest – “Mythic Christianity: The Fictions and Realities of Churchland”)

  • radicalcabinet@hotmail.com

    2A…. hands down

  • MB

    I use
    Adventures in Churchland – Figuring out how to like Jesus and the church…
    Number 2 strikes me as grammatically incorrect. I wouldn’t buy it for that reason alone. (It seems it should be “Would I like the church if I weren’t a Christian?”)
    I didn’t really grab onto any of the taglines as written.
    I like the “Adventures in Churchland” title and the idea of using vintage postcard-like photos.

  • Jeffrey

    title #1
    subtitle c
    that is the one which stands out strongest and grabs my interest

  • http://profile.typepad.com/jarbasaragao Jarbasaragao

    2B It seems closer to what you describe the book is about

  • tdshoemaker

    1c, would reach an audience that might have given up on Jesus/church/christianity for some of the listed reasons.

  • Sam

    I like the title Adventures in Churchland. It is more of an attention grabber, but I don’t really love any of those subtitles. I really like the “exploring christianity beyond the stereotypes subtitle.”

  • Robert C.

    I don’t like book titles with a question. So I don’t connect with #2 title.
    The one I like and feel the people in my church would connect to is..
    #1 Adventures in Churchland
    and the subtitle #c is the one which intrigues me as I have those questions and I know they are big ones in my church

  • http://sloveall.blogspot.com/ Sam Loveall

    1b

  • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron

    Hey Dan, I think Adventures in Churchland: How I came to like both Jesus and the church, would be a great title.
    I would highly encourage you to avoid option c as it gives the impression that you’re throwing your fellow believers under the bus (which would not fit the tone of the book described in your post).
    Those are my thoughts for whatever it’s worth.

  • cm`

    1a

  • http://www.fusionchico.com Jeremy

    2c

  • http://www.fusionchico.com Jeremy

    sorry disregard the previous post i meant 1c not 2c

  • Katie

    Title #1 for sure.
    That sounds fun – sort of quirky.
    But I think I like the subtitle of #2 b. Or else #1 c.

  • Mike

    1B. I went through them all and tried to figure out which one my non-christian friends would actually open. I decided on 1B.

  • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

    1C

  • http://ikonplant.blogspot.com Tim Catchim

    I think a good subtitle foe Adventures one would be some thing to the effect of …
    my journey through the Great Canyon. Playing off the Grand Canyon idea of how people see so much discnnect between church and Jesus and feel like they have to choose one side or the other. Starting with Jesus and moving to the church can be a dry, rugged trip. If you start in church and then go to Jesus iy would be a different dynamic. You may be able to play off some different entrance ways to the actual grand canyon, how some entrances are very easy and beautiful, while some are rugged and stale.

  • http://www.ffpaladin.com sherol chen

    1b
    cuz, i dont even think christians like church

  • Sara

    I like the first title (1) but (A) from the second set of subtitles. “Adventures in Churchland: Exploring Christianity Beyond the Stereotypes”.

  • AY

    1C

  • http://thewonderfulworldofchubbs.blogspot.com/ Jonathon Welch

    #1C is the best and has the most draw in, intrigue power…
    But, if you want it to flow with the previous books then #2a

  • http://Philnamy.com Phil

    2b Dan. I have Been following Jesus for a long time now and lately have been asking this a lot

  • http://www.asageinreallife.com Sage Bray

    Although I am partial to 1C for the way it sounds, I am of the opinion that short and sweet will get you farther. Go for 2a! It’s just vague enough and enticing enough to make someone pick up the book/check it out. And that is the primary job of a title.
    My 2 pennies …

  • http://profile.typepad.com/joycasas Joy Casas

    #1C. I think it will get the most attention

  • http://brackishfaith.blogspot.com/ Ben

    Adventures in Churchland:
    Exploring the Uncomfortable Questions about Christianity
    Not one of the combinations you were looking at but its the title that would make me pick up the book.

  • pat

    I like 1b
    but what do you think of this title:
    “Giving the church another look”
    why we need to the church today

  • Eric N

    2b
    “Adventures in Churchland” and its subtitles sounds too much like your book would be like “The Unlikely Disciple,” which it isn’t.
    What distinguishes your book is the systematic exploration of difficult questions–though I’m excited that you have personal narrative in it!

  • tray

    title 2w/ subtitle c from title one… did that make sense, might have been easier to just type it out.
    Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?:
    Discovering that Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion

  • Kevin Bullock

    Coming from a Christian that was raised outside the church, became heavily involved and is now trying to make sense of it.
    I will buy a book titled 2b.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/joshhusmann Joshhusmann

    Definitely title #2 w/ subtitle #1c. Those two peaked my interest…

  • donsands

    “Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?: All that glitters isn’t gold, and not all who are in the Church are the Church.

  • Winston

    1C FTW.
    You could also consider:
    “Adventures in Churchland:
    How I learned to stop worrying and love the church”
    Probably too much of a Dr. Strangelove rip off for a serious book like yours though…

  • matt

    2b

  • susan

    1c

  • http://www.iamreset.wordpress.com Adam Jones

    Definitely 1C. It’s long but has some kind of “flair.”

  • John Carlson

    Can’t say that I’m crazy about either of them. How about, ” Stop That Singing, I’m Trying to Sleep!”?

  • http://denietackett.blogspot.com/ Denie

    2A ….It has the type of title that drew me to your first book!!!

  • http://jacobscafe.blogspot.com Josh Morgan

    1C

  • http://derek-whitten.blogspot.com Derek

    2C seems to capture what you’re going after.

  • Craig

    I’m with the crowd who like Title 2 commbined with Subtitle 1c
    Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?:
    Discovering that Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion
    I used your “They like Jesus but not the Church” book on several papers my Senior year of college (08-09). I would advise anyone and everyone who has ever even thought about church to read it. A lay-persons version would be invaluable, though I think the first book could serve that role already. I look forward to this book and would be amped if I truly helped with the decision.

  • http://Www.leadwellglobal.blogspot.com Troy

    2 w/ some version of 1b. I think the personal journey is less caustic and brings hope to an increasingly overplayed conversation. it is vital to the future of Church, soI hope your writing offers authentic critique and yet another way to truly be church again… Grace and peace.

  • Denise

    #1 C
    or #2 with subtitle 1c

  • Jon

    Neither of the titles grab me – but I like #1 far more than #2. #2 is hard to say. #1 feels like an actual book title or a movie title.
    So, if it is these 2 options – #1.
    Subtitle, I would say 1 b or 1 c.

  • DKendall

    I would choose 1C and change the words “more than” to “better than”.

  • http://glhansenjr.blogspot.com Gregory

    2 with a different subtitle
    2 represents a critical question christians should ask themselves. as a person who grew up far from outside of the church, often times “christians who grew up in church” have no clue of “the real world” or the “not-so-pretty” stuff that life sometimes brings to childhoods, families, etc.
    different subtitle though

  • e_lore@hotmail.com

    Me, too…#2 with subtitle 1C

  • Chris T

    2 B.

  • http://meanderinglutheran.blogspot.com Ryan O

    1 B

  • http://imtakingoffmyshoes.blogspot.com Mary

    1-B

  • http://twitter.com/jonathanstowers jonathan stowers

    i like 2 A.
    or i like a title like “unspoken requests”
    with subtitle 2a

  • http://pursuegod.wordpress.com Karen K

    I vote for 1c
    Title 2 is too wordy and awkward.

  • Sharon

    Let me start with the sub-title. my favorites are either 1c (best) or 2b or 2 a.
    For title, definetly NOT #2 for the title. Like someone mentioned already here it it difficult and clumsy to say. But what if the sub-title was #2? Or a variation of that?
    So, the title I like is #1.
    But try using the #2 title as a sub-title perhaps of title #1.

  • Michael

    1C

  • Jon B

    1 C. but maybe change it to something like “Adventures in Churchland: Discovering a Christianity beyond the judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion” because saying “more than” implies that Christianity IS all of those things, but maybe other things too.

  • Tyson Heyn

    I guess the question is, “Who is your audience?” I find 1c very entertaining, but I’m not sure how it’ll be received in certain demographic circles–you might be classified as some liberal. The #1 title, overall, seems kinda “light” and dismisses the weightiness of the book. Of the remaining ones, 2b and 2c are favorites, but I can see how that begins to sound textbookish. 2b might sound theological to some (which I don’t think is your focus), so I’d personally go with 2c.

  • Amy

    1 C but needs work in how the subtitle is worded. Needs to flow better.

  • http://www.everythingnew.org Jeff Cook

    “Why THEY don’t like your church”

  • Michael Dunn

    Not a big fan of either title but I do like the following combos better: 1c, 2c
    1c has the best edge and is more provocative…
    2c Has more of a pastor/seminary student focus but I find the title a bit long or awkward.
    For #1 I am not sure if the word “Churchland” is immediately recognizable
    Possible other title for #1 or @2: “Why Church?”

  • Gene – Orphans & Widows

    I like #1 the best – Adventures in Churchland.
    I wouldn’t necessarily know what “Churchland” was from just the title, so the subtitle needs to explain it better. And the graphics on the cover as you mentioned. But #1 is my choice.
    Subtitle, I like either C (in title 1) or 2B subtitle and use that for #1 subtitle.
    Looking forward to this book being out!

  • Kay

    #2 hands down. No subtitle, you want to people to open the book, not draw conclusions from a subtitle of uncomfortable topics!

  • Eric

    Absolutely 1C!!

  • http://sermoncentral.com Ron Forseth

    Hi Dan.
    1a for me. Great connect to your last book.
    Blessings!
    ~ Ron

  • Dana Duell

    1 C, I grew up outside the church, and would love to have a book that captures AND apologizes for all the crazy stuff in some Christian circles that just aren’t representative of the God I love. Looking forward to the book release:)

  • Brohomeo McDudeman

    Definitely 1C. It would be an attention-arresting break from the titles of your previous books. Contains all the anti-Christian buzzwords that so easily leaves lips in locales like Santa Cruz. 1B is a little too predictable in my humble opinion.
    The string of modifiers are a bit garbled and should be reworded, but the content is great. I mean, if all of those items aren’t meant to be a single compound adjective modifying “religion,” they need commas, not hyphens. This seems to be the case because you have the indefinite article “a” there.
    It would either have to read:
    Discovering that Christianity is More Than Judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-biblical fundamentalist-organized Religion”
    or,
    “Discovering that Christianity is More Than a Judgmental, Homophobic, Male-Dominated, Biblical Fundamentalist, Organized Religion”

  • Brohomeo McDudeman

    Oops. Prepositions and articles aren’t capitalized in titles. So, I shouldn’t have done that to “than.”

  • Tim

    #1 Adventures in Churchland
    because I can repeat that to someone and remember it, if I was telling someone about the book. #2 is hard to say and I believe hard to remember as a title. You want a title that can be remembered easy and title #1 does that.
    Having said that, I could see the title of #2 being used as a descriptive of the book. On the back cover or possibly even as a sub-title somehow.
    But “Adventures in Churchland” is easy to repeat and brings images of intrigue to me of what “churchland” even is. What are the adventures? And what an odd way to call “church” – saying it is “churchland”. So it draws me in much more than the other title. That is more confrontational. But it does bring me to where I think you want to go. So maybe use that question of title #2 in how it is promoted.

  • Courtney Karnes

    I like title #1 best and some type of variation of c. From what I understand of your intention with this book, 1c is the most direct.
    Best of luck to you, I’m excited to see the end result!

  • Erin

    1 b.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/d3321 www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1195042699

    Well, do not like the materialism and hypocrisy of Disneyland so #1 Churchland is a “BIG FAT NO.”
    That leaves #2 Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?
    The average person is either a believer or not. This book is to apply to either.
    2 c) “Exploring Common Objections To Christianity” might capture our seekers and returning folks that have been impacted by the church in a negative way. Knowing you-some healing is between the covers.
    Thanks for asking Dan. Cannot wait to read it!
    Ramona

  • Ramona Smith

    Well, do not like the materialism and hypocrisy of Disneyland so #1 Churchland is a “BIG FAT NO.”
    That leaves #2 Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?
    The average person is either a believer or not. This book is to apply to either.
    2 c) “Exploring Common Objections To Christianity” might capture our seekers and returning folks that have been impacted by the church in a negative way. Knowing you-some healing is between the covers.
    Thanks for asking Dan. Cannot wait to read it!
    Ramona

  • Sam Griffith

    I would choose Option 2, but with C from number 1. Good luck deciding!

  • RICHARD NYDAM

    HI DAN : BOTH TITLES ARE FOCUSED TOWARDS A PRESENT CHRISTIAN PERSON: IF YOU ARE LOOKING 4 A NON CHRISTIAN AUDIENCE YOU NEED A NEW TITLE COMPLETELY. THE TITLES DO NOT HAVE WHAT IS CALLED CURB APPEAL; IN OTHER WORDS TO REACH OUT AN TAKE A LOOK AT IT.

  • Colleen E

    1C

  • Michelle

    1B… for some reason the #2 options seem more aimed at Christians and it sounds like this one is more for everyone.

  • http://www.blackcoffeereflections.com Tim

    To be honest, i think I’d be really disappointed by Churchland.
    I like 2B.
    But I also like 1c as the subtitle.

  • Jenn

    1 C

  • http://www.thedoorchristian.com Kathy Dunn

    I like the subtitle C of number 1, but “Churchland”? How about, “What’s So Great about Church”? Obviously, you may need to speak with Dinesh D’Souza. :)

  • Jenni

    I vote for a) of #2 as the main title. I strongly dislike the cheesiness of “churchland”, and wouldn’t be able to remember the second title. But the subtitle sounds like something I would want to read, and would be willing to mention to non-believers.

  • Cantu

    my vote 2A

  • The Snell Family

    We like 1) b., as well as 2) a.

  • Andrew H

    I think 2a is the best summation and may actually better match title 1.
    While 1c sounds cool, that is a lot of hype for a book to follow through on!

  • Carol Hill

    Hi Dan.
    I like a title that has not yet been considered. I would like a book that appeals to nonChristians and Christians alike, to be called
    UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTIONS.
    Or Exploring Uncomfortable Questions
    No subtitle
    If I saw a book like this, I would be tempted to look inside to see WHAT uncomfortable questions were being addressed.
    If I were a non Christian, it would not be so blatant as to make me put up my guard.

  • Steve Williams

    To be honest Dan as I told you this morning I am not wild about any of them. All of the comments are good here and on facebook.
    I am trying to put myself in the shoes of a
    non believer and their notions about what church is and who Christians are.
    Presuming the audience and your intent to be at least a bit evangelical about it,
    of the existing choices I am leaning toward
    1c but neither title would grab my attention as a non believer. Something perhaps along the lines of -
    “What good is the Church anyway?” or
    “The Church – agent of man or agent of God?”
    might get closer to the content and grab attention with one of the existing subtitles like 1c or 2a or b
    or even
    “falling out of love with organized religion and in love with Jesus”

  • Shauna Scott

    Title #2b.

  • Becky

    1C is what I like:)

  • tyler

    1c.
    However, I think that Adventures in Jesusland would be much better, IMHO.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mattbishop Matt Bishop

    I like 1B the best. Title #1 sounds like a book I would actually read while title #2 sounds like a textbook.
    Cheers

  • Avery

    1b

  • Heather Haines

    Title 1 a sounds like something I would be interested in buying and giving to my non believing friends, title 2 is a bit on the dry side.

  • ron

    2c

  • http://profile.typepad.com/kieft Kimberly Kieft

    #2 straight up or possible with #1b’s subtitle

  • Joji

    2b sounds better than others to me.

  • Alden Johanson

    Sorry to say, neither of the titles really grabbed me. This is an opportunity to draw people in from the minute they see the cover. You need to brainstorm a little more on this… even consider making up a new word to describe the phenomenon. For example, find a way to weave “Churchiness” into the title (think of how much mileage Colbert got from “truthiness”! One of the strengths of Vintage Faith is to rename things (wooden couches, 10 minute parties, worshipful giving.) Why not extend that spirit into the title of your book?

  • Pamela

    Dan,
    1 + 2b. Actually, i don’t like either main title. There must be something better.

  • http://oblesseday.blogspot.com/ Lisa Craddock

    Title 1
    NOT title 2—really seems to narrow the market, is boring.
    For subtitle: could possibly use the 2a or 2b subtitle, but ONLY if somewhere else on the book there is a postcard that says in stylized script your 1c–as if this is what was written on the card by the traveler. That is an awesome line, but could be either the subtitle or a part of the cover (pr back cover) graphic.
    EXCEPT I would write it something like:
    Where I learned that Christianity is more than a finger-pointing, homophobic, man-made, misogynistic, hell-and-damnation organized religion.
    Not perfect, needs tweaking, but uses words that carry the same denotation of your original, but with stronger connotation, in my opinion. Could be “How I learned” instead of “where”—just running with the travel/adventure idea.
    Do not like “Discovering” in the original.
    “Judgmental” vs. “finger-pointing”: which one has the stronger, immediate mental image?
    “Male dominated” seemed weak, since a) the church IS male dominated, in that men are still mostly the ones in positions of power in the church world-wide, but b) your point is a perception of male domination specifically over women. Anyone for whom this issue is a hot-button will surely recognize the word “misogynist,” right? (Or have I been around academics too long?)
    Could be “hellfire and damnation”—I just don’t think most non-churched really understand what the word “Biblical fundamentalist” means, and I think these other words might give a mental image to say what you mean?
    And any Christian book with BOTH the words “hell” and “damn” on the cover should sell well with the non-churched. ; )
    Take these ideas and do with them what you will. REALLY like the idea of subtitle 1c, just don’t like the actual words you used.
    By the way, I am into words. In case you didn’t know that about me. ; )

  • Suzi

    Title 1
    Subtitle c
    I am sure the customers at Santa Cruz books shops would take a second look at this title

  • Daniel

    I know you have had plenty of advice already, but how about:
    “Adventures in Churchland: Why I like Jesus and how I came to like the church”
    I didn’t read all the other posts so if this is just another version of some of the rest… sorry. :)

  • Polly Schulze

    My gut feeling sways strongly toward 2b:
    Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?
    Exploring the Uncomfortable Questions about Christianity
    This is an honest title that let’s non-Christians know that they will get information from the book that is real and straight forward and will address their apprehensions.
    Adventures in Churchland sounds like it’s a sequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, like the Church is a sort of a psych ward and this book will take you on a journey of it’s bit players. Either that or just trying to be like Graceland or Wonderland.

  • Hannah Forbus

    Gosh Dan, I have to say that neither of the titles really grab me. As someone that frequents a bookstore or library regularly and often I pick up books based on title alone…if the non-christian demographic is what you are after, I think you need another title. Much love and prayers too you in the process.

  • christy

    1 C …at the WAY top of my list. i think this has by far the most appeal to an average non-churchy person. i think it is a powerful tool to put those buzzwords in the title – i hear them used everywhere from santa cruz to oklahoma city. they might turn off churchy people but i think it will build a bridge for the average Joe out there.
    Option 2 feels super churchy/heady and i can’t imagine anyone other than church leaders interested by that title

  • christy

    wow, i really like your suggested tweaking of 1C.

  • Erin Adler

    Title 1 for sure – [but would add "My" to emphasize the narrative piece and make it sound less general, which I think would take care of the possible cheesy element some people see, as "My" adds a personal emphasis and allows the title to sound slightly tongue-in-cheek yet completely sincere at the same time] and would choose subtitle 2a or 2b (I like ‘adventure’ and ‘exploring’ together – sounds clever, and makes sense), and I also tend to agree with Lisa Craddock that if there were a way to work in 1c as a sub-sub-title, but as she and Jon B say having the wording tweaked slightly…

  • Steve Crill

    “Say What?” Maybe this would be a title that would grab a non believer, or a believer for that matter! How does one uncover the mystery of this ‘so called God’ if He’s not revealed Himself? Well, I haven’t read the book so I can’t say what the best title would be… but if I were a non believer, as I was a long time ago, my thoughts were much the same as “What are you talking about, Spirit?” or “Jesus, what’s this old church dude have to so with me? ” I remember when I was going to high school and this church thing came by me, I thought it was just some fad. Jesus SAVED my life!

  • Jeremy

    I like 2a

  • http://profile.typepad.com/liske Jason Liske

    Truly hard to say without reading/knowing the book. Of proposed I like 1, and the intent of C. And as with 2 cents, everyone has some….
    “SUNDAY ADVENTURES”
    ——————-
    “How I came to love Jesus”

  • Chris Hall

    1C or 2b would be my choices.

  • http://www.samtodd.com Sam Todd

    For me, it 1C. This from a guy who is on staff at a large, theologically conservative church in Iowa.

  • jessica radcliff

    definitely no. 1. I like the reference to Alice. Maybe you could have a rabbithole on the cover…

  • jessica radcliff

    oh, and subtitle C. I think it addresses exactly where this generation is. It’s funny and serious at the same time.

  • http://www.collegeleader.org chuck

    Adventures in Churchland: Exploring Christianity Beyond the Stereotypes

  • Andrea Bonilla

    1a -
    my only problem with the title is the first thing I thought of was this:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091722/
    “Adventureland” the movie.
    If that’s not a hang up that 1- adds a bit more spark, and also pushed the personal narrative.

  • Sheila

    2a

  • Greg

    I like 2a and would prefer a more bold statement like
    The Church-love it or hate it?
    or all of the above!

  • http://www.AaronMarcelli.org Aaron Marcelli

    I say go with 2a.
    “churchland” may make those who look at the title think it is for the leaders in churchworld….which is what you say you are not going for.
    I look forward to it though!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/gerlindebrady G Brady

    To me, title number 1 sounds like an Awana field trip. It is also difficult to transfer to other languages if your books ever get translated. The second title is rather long. How about something like What is to Like About the Church? with Exploring Common Objections To Christianity as a subtitle? That could appeal to Christians who would like to get some help dispelling some of the negative views and also to non-Christians who are not sure what is to like about the church.

  • http://epicdialogue.com richard

    1c

  • Tony

    1c

  • http://www.gypsika.com Annika

    2C from your favorite German Hippy!
    Much love,
    Annika

  • http://www.taintedcanvas.com Sigs

    1 C. Captivating, gets at an emotional level for many people to get them to buy, and encapsulates the content of the book (even if it is long). 1 C is really good.

  • http://www.sundaynightliveatzion.wordpress.com Jeff Greathouse

    1 a

  • http://richbrimer.com Rich Brimer

    So, I also have to agree with many, none of these titles make me want to go out to Amazon to order it for myself. I am more interested that you’re current happy music includes “Elvis Presley: How Great Thou Art” than your new book title. I’m thinking “I must get *this* for myself”

  • Amanda

    1c fo sho

  • http://www.robpattersonmusic.com Rob Patterson

    1c

  • http://krcarson.blogspot.com Krissi Carson

    You have three votes (me and two of my friends) for 1c.

  • Fitz

    1b
    1c is to sensationalistic…

  • http://brianayers.net brian ayers

    Adventures in Churchland
    How I discovered that we can like both Jesus and the church

  • mindy

    My vote is for 2b

  • http://www.johnmichaelhinton.com john

    2 with 1c’s subtitle

  • Karen

    Sorry, but I’m not a fan of either option. But if I HAD to choose, I’d say 1c (tweaked as earlier suggested).

  • Pam

    2b!

  • Pam

    2b

  • http://postmodernboomer.blogspot.com/ bob cannon

    Hey Dan! My favs are:
    2 + 1c
    Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian? :D iscovering that Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion
    2 + 2C
    Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?: Exploring Common Objections To Christianity

  • Robert Netzly

    Neither one of the titles really appeal to me much. Of the two, I like title #1 best since it more readily reaches non-Christians. Title 2 disregards non-Christians as an audience (ie: “if” I wasn’t a Christian…implying that the audience should already be Christian)
    I think adding “My” to title one and using subtitle 2b would be a good option:
    “My Adventures in Churchland: Exploring Christianity Beyond The Stereotypes”

  • http://profile.typepad.com/kathythill Kathy Thill

    Kudos to you, Dan, for writing AND for asking for feedback! Courageous! :)
    At first read, none of the titles and subs grabbed me; many people will be taking ONE first look, either reaching for it, clicking to know more, or moving on.
    I did like the suggested combo Title 2 with Sub 1c:
    “Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?:
    Discovering Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion”
    Our love to you, Dan.

  • http://www.westcoastwitness.com Wes

    “Adventures in Churchland: How I discovered that we can like both Jesus and the church”
    I like that one.

  • http://twitter.com/rafaelofaria Rafael Faria

    what about “Neverland Christianity”. as explanation some christians live in a very pleasant and beautiful fake world and do not see the truth the way it is. when they see the truth they also see that the world they were living was a comfortable lie, but not the truth. something like this….

  • Kirsten

    1c,If 2, I would prefer “Would I like the church if I weren’t a Christian?”-grammar feels smoother
    I know you’re not taking new ideas but I like something more metaphorical like “Oil and water: is the church so different from Jesus?” or “Inside out-outside in: on the outside looking in Is the church for real?” with a reflective window theme for the artwork: someone looking in a window.

  • Jared

    2a is where my vote goes!! keep up the good work!!

  • Tim Anderson

    2C but how about a sub-title more like:
    why Christians get in the way of Christianity…

  • Daniel Hill

    I like the sound of the first one better, but think the second one is more straightforward as to the content. How’s that for a wishy-washy answer? =)

  • http://www.chapin.com Elizabeth Chapin

    I like “Adventures in Churchland: Exploring Christianity Beyond the Stereotypes” – Churchland conveys that the stories might be amusing and the sub-title invites exploration into the adventure. My teenagers said they’d buy it/read it/recommend it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hess Jason Hess

    My vote would be:
    1) Adventures in Churchland:
    c) Discovering that Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion

  • Myra Hess

    Title 2
    Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?:
    Subtitle 1c
    Discovering that Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion

  • jb37136@gmail.com

    Title 1
    sub 1c

  • Rachel Miller

    title #1

  • Nancy Halseide

    2a. I would pick it up and read it :)

  • Marc Armstrong

    I vote for 1A

  • http://www.illuminateministries.org MattR

    2C

  • Susan

    I like 1c much more than any of the others but I’m looking at the titles from over the edge, thinking how they would scan to folks on the other side of Christianity. And I’d slightly revise the subtitle: “Adventures in Churchland: How I learned that Christianity is not just a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion.” So I’m voting for full-tilt irony in the title because it makes your book most accessible. [BTW, do you know "Just as We Were" (orig. publ. as "Growing Up Born Again") by Patricia Klein et al.? It's got some terrific graphics, etc. and is full of gentle humor about fundamentalistic foibles.] Congratulations!!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/chalmers Colin Chalmers

    At first I liked 2b best because I would pick that one up and I think it would appeal to the widest range of people. But since I also like the shock value of 1c I was really excited about the idea presented by others to combine #2 and 1c. It could even be
    Would I Like the Church If I Wasn’t A Christian?: My Adventures in Churchland–Discovering that Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion
    (I imagine you on the cover in a thinking pose with your hand on your chin and your eyes looking up)
    I know that is really long but I don’t think that will be a problem. Adventures in Churchland is a catchier title but not as engaging by itself as #2 is.

  • Ariel

    1c!!!

  • Alan Wood

    Title #1.
    Sub-title 1C
    or another subtitle for #1.
    Not title #2 as that title sounds weird.

  • http://www.davidcay.blogspot.com David

    2B!!!

  • Jessica

    # 1
    with sub-title 2 A or 2B

  • http://austingarrettward.wordpress.com Austin Ward

    2 and the subtitle of 1c…trust me, that’s the winner ;-)
    Would I Like the Church if I wasn’t a Christian?
    Discovering that Christianity is more than a judgmental-homophobic-male-dominated-Biblical fundamentalist-organized religion
    Main Title (2): The title invites participation in the response and if the answer is YES then usually such people are interested in books like this and would be interested to read your articulation of things that they might believe or think but unformed…BUT if their answer is NO, odds are, the reason for that answer is because they understand the church to be all those things that you list in the subtitle. So as they see the subtitle, there is a cognitive dissonance which sparks curiousity which is what you want in a book – Interest and curiousity.

  • Scott Pimentel

    1C

  • Wade Garza

    I like title 1, and subtitles 2a or 2c.

  • http://songofaflowerchild.blogspot.com Mary Patricia Anthony

    Dan, I appreciate your effort to get feedback.So necessary as a writer!
    Your book will be a very important contribution to the contemporary rejection of all things “Christian” and “Churchy”.
    “Churchland” denotes the cultural mindset of Disneyland and/or Neverland, and then you did use “Graceland” at SCBC. {:-)
    Getting people to Church is not the goal. Getting them to Jesus is.
    “Journey” seems to be the current “spiritual” buzzword, and “authentic”.
    Are you offering an apologetic for the failure of the church, or its abuse of power? Consequently,the tone may be a little too politically correct if you want to reach the unchurched, as well as the unsaved. I am from the Jesus movement, which really preferred to remain unchurched, also the current mindset.
    The thought of being identified with the Historic Church was horrifying, but oh how we loved Jesus! The tension still exists between Jesus and His Church, that is if He were allowed to really build it, His Way.
    The difficulty is with his “followers” and those who are leaders in his Church.
    How to be a leader who is a follower of Jesus?
    “My Journey through the Minefields of Christianity”
    An expose of the judgmental, hypocritical,homophobic,fundamentalist,
    unchristian Church.
    What would Jesus Do…
    if He Came to your Church?
    Blessings on your work.
    We love Vintage Faith because it has been successful in reaching young dissidents, artists, students, and seekers of authentic
    Christianity.
    These are my thoughts.
    see my blog…
    http://songofaflowerchild.blogspot.com

  • travis

    1c

  • http://oblesseday.blogspot.com/ Blessed

    thanks. i’m a tweaker!

  • http://thescrapheap.wordpress.com/ John

    I like 1A because adventures sounds like a fun read (everyone likes an adventure).

  • Jason Rieckewald-Schmidt

    I definitely like #2. I think it is more appealing to non-Xians.

  • Luke Pflueger

    1C. You state your openness and intention to address all of the stereotypes and misconceptions about Christianity. This is a faith that many, myself included, have identified with and held dear before finding my way to your ministry and finally accepted the church also.