Thursday, February 14, 2013

Am I Really a Christian? - a book review

 This book has been calling to me from my bookshelf ever since it came in the mail from LIFE.

I think putting it in the list of reading had it come out at the perfect time. It's so wonderful when God does those things for us. When I picked up the book I saw the small print that there's a foreword by Kirk Cameron. Does anyone else still see his teen poster hanging on your wall when you hear his name, or is it just me?

"Are you really a Christian?
You may think you are, but you may not be. After all, Jesus himself said that some people will do seemingly “Christian” things in his name but will not truly know him. Or maybe you know you are not a Christian and you wonder what it really means to be one.
To be sure, however, there is clarity from God’s perspective. He is not confused about who does and does not know him. And though our self-awareness is certainly limited, we have been given biblical criteria to help us evaluate whether we are indeed followers of Christ.
Mike McKinley shows us the importance of examining our standing with God and helps us to fearlessly ask the hard questions, ultimately allowing us to see whether we are in the faith and what exactly that entails."

Looking at the Table of Contents really made it a wonderful follow up to Reason to Believe.
1. You are not a Christian just because you say that you are.
2. You are not a Christian if you haven't been born again.
3. You are not a Christian just because you like Jesus.
4. You are not a Christian if you enjoy sin.
5. You are not a Christian if you do not endure to the end.
6. You are not a Christian if you don't love other people.
7. You are not a Christian if you love your stuff.

I have to say that Mike McKinley was a much more entertaining writer than R. C. Sproul. I loved his personal stories that started each chapter to give you a new way to look at each topic. I also really enjoyed how he wrote the book so that you can use it as a group study. He actually urges you to read this book that way in the introduction. At the end of each chapter he has some Reflection questions, Repent statements, Remember verses, and a Report statement. The How to Respond section did a really good job of summing up the chapter in those statements, verses, and questions. It also gave you something to take with you and chew on.

The last two chapters sum up the book and give you hope and a path to walk on. He concludes with the idea that being a Christian isn't a one-time thing; it's a daily choice...sometimes even moment choice. He also says that it's up to us to come back if we walk away.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely suggest it to anyone. I would enjoy working through it with a group and get some discussion going on those questions. I find it disturbing when I argue or debate with myself.