The Christian Atheist

A few weeks ago, our pastor asked us ‘Which book (other than the bible) had been the most influential in your life?’
I went with a copout answer of ‘the current book I’m reading, as I read to learn, and there are always things to learn’.

Now with more reflection, I feel that the book that had the most impact, the book that I took to heart the most (other than the bible) was The Christian Atheist, by Craig Groeschel

The book was about Christians living as if though Christ does not exist, practically atheists. As the book explores different areas in our lives, I feel it was really leading all up to the epilogue (which is my favorite chapter in that book).

So I shall share about the vision that the author outlined in the epilogue, and then some of my reflections to go with that…

The Vision:

He saw 3 lines in sand, and instinctively he knew exactly what those lines represent.

The first line was I believe in God and the gospel enough to benefit from it, the under lying tone was if there is a God, I want to be on His good side. This is characterized by wanting God’s benefits without changing how we live. We want His best, without our sacrifices. We do not fear the Lord nor share our faith, we still love this world and pursue happiness and any cost. We get what we can from God, without giving much, if anything, back. This is a cultural Christianity, a nominal Christian, although we claim to be Christians, our actions speaks otherwise. Is this still on the wide road that Jesus warned us against? Remember the verses such as, “even the demons believe…”

The second line was I believe in God and Christ’s gospel enough to contribute comfortably, the underlying tone was as long as it doesn’t cost too much. Many first line Christians eventually cross over the second line: If I don’t have to change too much, I’ll do some of what God asks; if it doesn’t hurt too much, I’ll get more serious about God. But everyone have their limits, right? This is a humanistic Christianity, a involved Christian. Only God is the judge, but this looks a lot like ‘the middle road’ that Francis Chan was talking about. We don’t want to be on the wide road, no, because that leads to hell, but we don’t want to be on the narrow road either, because that takes too much work, too much sacrifice.

The third line was I believe in God and Christ’s gospel enough to give my life to it, and the anything less than line three didn’t seem like real Christianity to me (the author). And I agree. Is this a God that I can give my whole life to, not only in words but in living as well? The thing is, it had always been like this, to follow is to deny myself. This is true Christianity, a committed Christian. This is a Faith that states Christ or nothing, nothing to add, and nothing to subtract… do not be deceived by the lukewarm! There is no such thing as the middle road, it is the narrow gate and the narrow road… or nothing.

“A moderated religion is as good as no religion at all!” ~C.S. Lewis

The Reflection:

To understand that being involved is not the same as being committed.

I’ve always believed in God, just not enough to trust Him with my whole life in his wheelbarrow. I knew God COULD fulfill His promises, but I was never sure he’d do it FOR ME.

God created me in His image. I returned the favour and created Him in mine. Comparing myself to others is much easier than measuring my life against Christ’s, but God does not grade on a curve.

But ultimately, there is no excuse to NOT living this life for Him in view of what He has already done for us.

So…
Where are you?

Where do you want to go? Do you even want to move?
How badly do you want to get there? Whatever it takes?

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. ~Titus 1:16
The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a LIAR, and the truth is not in him. ~ 1 John 2:4

Are you denying Him?

Love awakens Love, and you are loved! Obedience is an outflow of love

so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive ~Titus2:10b

Love is not just emotions, it is also actions, a call to commit, and God exemplified that commitment first:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us ~Romans 5:8

So live!

~John

Let my words be few – Phillips, Craig, and Dean

You are God in heaven
And here am I on earth,
So I’ll let my words be few-
Jesus I am so in love with You.

And I’ll stand in awe of You,
Yes I’ll stand in awe of You,
And I’ll let my words be few-
Jesus I am so in love with You.

The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to You,
So I’ll let my words be few-
Jesus I am so in love with You.

 

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One thought on “The Christian Atheist

  1. Kenneth December 13, 2013 at 5:08 AM Reply

    Good old times when we read through that book in the small group, wasn’t it?

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