Author Event: John Pavlovitz

Page 158 Books is pleased to present a book launch for author, pastor, and activist John Pavlovitz’s new book IF GOD IS LOVE DON’T BE A JERK. This event is hosted in partnership with Wake Forest Christian Church and will be held in the Stone Chapel. Please note that this is an in-person event. We will require masks and follow all current Covid-guidelines. A livestream will be available on the Page 158 Books Facebook page.




For many people, their former religious doctrines have begun to feel like an old pair of tight pants—you can hop, shimmy, and try to cram yourself in, but you can’t deny that they no longer fit. Healthy spirituality shouldn’t be kept in a space too small or narrow. It’s natural for it to grow and evolve along with us. That journey can be initially terrifying but ultimately liberating.


In If God Is Love, Don’t Be a Jerk, John Pavlovitz invites us to look at organized Christianity with fresh eyes and to ask whether or not many modern expressions of it are actually loving. Pushing readers to be agents of empathy, he asks us to imagine a world in which all people of faith, morality, and conscience aspire to a mantra of compassion and interdependence. John  encourages the creation of wide open, fearless communities, where there are no “religious experts,” simply good neighbors. Belief systems should be reflected in how we treat one another. The most important question of any dogma shouldn’t be “Is it true?” but rather “Is it helpful?”


Join the “Church of Not Being Horrible” and find a world where spiritual community provides a sense of belonging. Take a new look at the existence of hell, the utility of prayer, the treatment of LGBTQ+ communities, and the value of anger. Reshape your relationship with God and your neighbors and remind yourself that love has the last and loudest word. Because above all else, faith shouldn’t make you jerk.


John Pavlovitz is a pastor, writer, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina. He’s spent nearly three decades teaching, studying, dissecting, deconstructing, and reconstructing the Christian faith. Committed to equality, diversity, and justice, John aims to teach a single, elemental truth: Faith in a supernatural being should make you a better human being. His blog, Stuff That Needs to Be Said, recently surpassed one hundred million views, and his previous books include A Bigger Table, Hope and Other Superpowers, and Low.


Event Type: 
Event date: 
Friday, September 24, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
701 S. Main St
Wake Forest, NC 27587
If God Is Love, Don't Be a Jerk: Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans Cover Image
ISBN: 9780664266844
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Updated at the end of every day)
Published: Westminster John Knox Press - September 28th, 2021