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Jesus without Borders: What Planes, Trains, and Rickshaws Taught Me about Jesus

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Chad Gibbs has lived his entire life in Alabama, the buckle of America‘s Bible Belt, where Christianity is a person‘s default setting. In Jesus Without Borders, Gibbs steps outside of his very comfortable existence, to learn what it is like to be a Christian anywhere else in the world.

Over the course of many months, Chad and his Alabama worldview spent time with believers
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Zondervan
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  111 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was a very interesting and witty book. It was good to see the different ways people worship and have church in different countries. Very informative. Good book.
Jan 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, religion
This is travel writing... with bonus Christianity. Chad Gibbs examines Christian culture in 13 different countries, comparing them to his base experience of protestant/evangelical Christianity in the "bible belt" southern US. I had expected this to be a book chronicling his own struggle to incorporate new information into his own belief system, and of his own growth as a Christian. It was not that. However, it is an excellent introduction to the nuances of worldwide Christianity for readers who ...more
Jesus Without Borders is a travel narrative written from the perspective of a football-and-soccer loving Southerner (Alabaman) who grew up as an evangelical in the Bible Belt. It is light on the theology, heavy on superficial jesting. A lot of the humor, unfortunately for me, didn't work. I wouldn't say that I always rolled my eyes every time he tried to be funny or witty. But I never laughed either.

It was also very predictable. After the first chapter or two, readers know exactly what to
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mostly a travel memoir about how other cultures practice Christianity, this book was told with humor and historical facts and I enjoyed it.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Entertaining story of author's travels to different countries, but not a whole lot of 'meat'. Still, a fun, quick read.
May 09, 2015 rated it liked it
A book about how Christianity os practiced in different countries or how it's not practiced at all
Mallori Norris
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A thoughtful and fun book about one man's journey around the world encountering Christians that do not conform to the the Alabaman Bible Belt mold of Christianity he grew up with. Author Chad Gibbs briefly and humorously looks at how Christians in thirteen different countries are similar and different from American Christians and sometimes how American Christians are perceived by other countries, causing one to examine one's own faith and beliefs more closely. For anyone who has traveled to ...more
Michelle Kidwell
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jesus Without Borders
What Planes, Trains and Rickshaws Taught Me about Jesus
Copyright 2015 Chad Gibbs

In 2011 Chad and his wife Tricia travel to Brazil where they attend a newly formed Protestant church called The River Church and

they learn that in Brazil Protestants are the minority. They also learn that a high number of Protestants in Brazil classify themselves as unchurched.

In 2012 they go to Spain where though a large number of the population is Catholic many do not believe in God at
Megan Franks
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
LOVED this book! Consisting of part humorous travel writing (food, lodging, sites, soccer!) and part observation of Christian culture around the world, the author shares his experiences of visiting 13 international locations. This book resonated with me because I, like Gibbs, have grown up in the southern U.S. in the same Christian denomination, and it wasn't until I began to travel did I begin to understand how varied (and beautiful) the body of Christ is around the world.

I recommend this book
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Jesus Without Borders: What Planes, Trains, and Rickshaws Taught Me about Jesus is a chronicling of Chad Gibbs' travels to find out what life is like for believers around the world.

Gibbs writes with great honesty and humour and that makes this an enjoyable book. I was very impressed at the way he talked about his preconceptions, even if they were very silly and sometimes bordering on a bit offensive. He’s very open about misconceptions that Americans can have and the way some view themselves
Georgia Herod
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Chad Gibbs had lived his entire life in Alabama, attending Friday night football (He is author of God and Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC.) and Sunday morning church—both religiously. At some point he began to ask questions about what Christians and their lives were like in other countries. So he decides to board planes, catch trains, and ride in rickshaws, among other modes of travel to twelve countries. What he provides is hilarious “spiritual globetrotting”—as he encounters ...more
Charity Andrews
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Traveling all over the world so you can “research how people worship” is very clever. Well played, Chad! Well played.

This book had me hooked from the beginning. It is always interesting to see how other cultures worship God and live their lives. In America, for some reason, we always think we are the professionals of everything. However, Christianity has been practiced for years in other countries long before the good ol’ U.S. of A. ever existed.

Chad’s witty humor (yes, actually laughing out
Heather Truett
This title caught my eye on the library website and I borrowed it for Kindle. I spent Christmas reading it straight through, which is something I rarely do with nonfiction. The author is from Alabama and decided to explore Christianity in other modern cultures. What is it like to be a Christian growing up and living in China? Spain? Uganda? Australia? The result is a book that combines a few of my favorite things: interesting facts, travel stories, and broadening spiritual horizons. Travel ...more
Karen Roettger
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed this book. I liked Chad's sense of humor about various situations and the in depth descriptions of the many places he visited. I learned a lot about Christianity around the world & how others view Christians in America. There seem to many misconceptions about religions & people because we refuse to be open minded & willing to accept the fact that Christians in other countries may not be like we are. I enjoyed the comment from the ...more
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For those of us who rarely travel abroad or have the desire to visit the far corners of the earth, Jesus without Borders is a fantastically written story summarizing various trips the author took on his quest to learn more about Christianity, Christian lifestyles, and how Christians are treated in their country. It is beneficial to know people who liven these other countries or to travel with a dear friend. Overall, I enjoyed this book as it took me to places I don't foresee myself ever ...more
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story of author Chad Gibbs' quest to better understand what it means to be Christian in our world today. Part personal journey for the conservative evangelical Christian from Alabama and part travelogue, it is witty and interesting. He travels to Brazil, Japan, Israel, Australia, England, China, and other places to meet Christians and discuss what it is like to practice their faith in their country and also attends worship services. He comes away learning that what we take for ...more
Colleen Lahey
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a terrific book! I purchased this book because I was curious about Christianity in other countries. The author decides to travel to 13 countries and explore how citizens in those countries practice Christianity. From the title, I expected it to be interesting and somewhat dry. Boy, was I wrong. This book is a total hoot. Since I am not into sports, I have never read anything written by Chad Gibbs. The author did an excellent job with this topic and his humorous musings throughout the book ...more
Melissa Lindsey
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
I deeply appreciated this author's recognition that he barely even touched the surface as he traveled to 12 different countries to learn about the Church in those places. What was most appealing to me in this account of his travels is that he visited Christians whose practices were different from his own. His reporting of his experiences had a strong ring of honesty to it that was refreshing to me after a long line of disappointing travel accounts. I came away from this book with the realization ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was interesting, inspiring, and enjoyable to read. Chad Gibbs takes you to Christian churches around the world, all with different traditions, yet all focused on Jesus. It was a great reminder that God has called us to be part of His church, not just one specific denomination of an American-based church! Even with this subject matter, Gibbs keeps the tone light and humorous (not preachy), and you learn a lot about the different places he visits. He also explains how to use the travel ...more
David Holford
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy funny travel books. This is the first one I've read by a Christian who was traveling to find out more about Christians. That's a topic I like, too. This book was already set up to be a winner for me before I opened the front cover.

The great thing is that the author finds out about himself and American Christianity in the process. Read this book and you might find out more about yourself.
Clara Roberts
Oct 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is a rather boring book. This is supposed to memoir of worshipping in various cultures in thirteen different countries. It really is a travel book that spends most of the time discussing the food of the various countries. Short shift is given to the churches or the worship experience. This book seemed to have no value other than to make money for the author, Chad Gibbs
Jul 29, 2016 added it
Interesting book written by a Christian humor writer who decided to explore Christian culture in 12 foreign countries. Although there were just snapshots of what he found in each country, I still found the book very interesting as someone who has never been outside the US except visits to Canada.
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Very humorous. Loved reading about the ways Christianity in other cultures is similar to and different from American Christianity. Now I want to go experience worship in other cultures for myself!
Marie Lay
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Although I do not agree with some of the religious viewpoints expressed in the book and found some of those aspects a bit heavy handed I did enjoy reading about his travels and liked his sense of humor.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and insightful. Don't expect to find Christian instruction, but rather a unique point of view. This book is a funny, light hearted travel memoir from the perspective of a Christian. It made me want to get out my passport and see a new country.
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
We read this book at a church book club. At first I didn't think it was "meaty" enough but the more I read, the more I enjoyed his stories of meeting Christians in other countries. It lead to a good discussion in the book club.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
I enjoyed this book so much I finished it in 2 days, which doesn't happen for me much nowadays. Not only was this a page-turner, but it was the perfect combination of travel stories, global factoids, humor, and a picture of Jesus as He is worshipped across our diverse world. So good!
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult
Although fairly strong on humor, I didn't think this book was strong on religious insight. Nor did it offer much inspiration for spiritual growth. Overall I thought this book was meh.
Staci Elizondo
rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2016
Lora Gowins
rated it really liked it
May 20, 2015
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“Christians in Brazil tend to be way less involved in politics. We are not a society that has two parties with clear stances like the US does. Things here are much more nuanced, and voting for a given party relates very little to your religious affiliation. I see American Christians naively associating their country with the kingdom of God; here believers are less prone to such things. We are less enthusiastic about our country’s history, military achievements, anthem singing,5 and all of that. It’s not a lack of patriotism; it’s just a greater separation between a citizenship in heaven and one on earth. There would never be a flag ceremony or singing of the national anthem during a church service here.” 1 likes
“Mark Twain famously wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” 1 likes
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