- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 276 KB
- Print Length: 162 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433525763
- Publisher: Crossway (7 Jun. 2011)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0058E3JVU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #680,924 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Am I Really a Christian? (Foreword by Kirk Cameron) (9marks) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 162 pages||Word Wise: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Do you sometimes struggle for assurance in your faith?
This book is well worth a read! It's challenging and engaging, and a helpful tool for analysing our own hearts.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was hesitant to pick this book up because so many of these attempts come across mean spirited and don't benefit the reader or Christianity in its efforts.
McKinley takes on 7 issues:
You are not a Christian Just Because You Say That You Are
You are not a Christian If You Haven't Been Born Again
You are not a Christian Just Because You Like Jesus
You are not a Christian If You Enjoy Sin
You are not a Christian If You Do Not Endure to the End
You are not a Christian If You Don't Love Other People
You are not a Christian If You Love Your Stuff
I recognize this is written from a Reformed position and I can certainly see those leanings throughout the book, but there was really only one chapter that I found a little troubling in this aspect. The chapter on endurance didn't resonate well with me, although I do get what he is writing, but as a pastor that comes from a background that isn't Reformed, I found this a little troubling. Of course coming from a 9 Marks pastor and publisher, you get what you buy.
With that little caveat out of the way, the rest of the book is solid and worth reading through. McKinley wrestles with issues that need to be addressed and it is a quick read that won't scare away the seeker or the young Christian who is doubting.
While we might not like what is written in some of these chapters, the truth is in scripture and it is a little hard to argue against.
In Am I Really a Christian? Mike McKinley outlines five things all Christians have:
1. Belief in true doctrine.
2. Hatred for sin in your life.
3. Perseverance over time.
4. Love for other people.
5. Freedom from love of the world.
McKinley backs up his assertions with Scripture. He uses illustrations, often funny and self-deprecating, to make his points. And he writes in a simple, easy-going manner that makes this book perfect for use by small groups. Each chapter concludes with study questions and suggestions for practical action.
Crucially, McKinley grounds his teaching in grace, not works. "Our goal in this book," he writes, "is not to ask whether we have done enough to earn God's love and favor. Instead, our goal is to begin learning how to look for the evidence that God has done his mighty work in our lives." This goal admirably encapsulates balanced biblical teaching about justification by grace through faith that leads to sanctified works.
Given that 76 percent of Americans self-identify as Christian, it is important for American believers to understand what being a Christian really means. Mike McKinley should be commended for helping us sort out this issue.
The book's chapters are short, to the point, and very easy to read. While you'll find sound doctrine here (Titus 2:1), you'll also find practical ways to know that you are living the faith. You'll learn that when Jesus bids us to follow Him, this is a life changing transformation that effects the entire person. To be a Christian is not merely believing in Jesus or believing that He died for our sins and rose again but its much more. The life of Jesus in the person effects the entire person from the inside out (John 3:3-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Overall this is a solid book and one that I would recommend for those who are seeking engage people who think they are Christians because they have once believed in Jesus but don't follow Him daily (Luke 9:23-25) or for those who claim to be Christians but never obey Him as Lord (1 John 2:3-6). As someone once said, "I am not a hamburger because I go to McDonald's nor am I a Christian just because I go to church." As James the Apostle said in James 2:19, "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe - and shudder." Demons believe in God but they are not changed. They are not disciples. Are you? Read this book to know for sure.
Questions can lead to truth, but only if you answer honestly. Many of us say we're one thing or another, just so we can go back to what we were doing. The beauty of this book is that it gives a good starting point to ask yourself some honest questions. The author gives an interpretation of what the answer should be, backed well with scripture, but even that is useless if you're not answering honestly. But if you're prepared to be honest, ask some questions that might seem tougher than they appear on the surface, this book is well worth your time if the answer to the question on the cover leads to a truth you're prepared to discover. Enjoy the journey.
The author is responding to a significant problem that plagues the Church, and attempts to give a biblical response to that problem. Here is the issue: many Christians (especially in North America) claim to be Christian, but fail to live up to the biblical definition(s), characteristics, and reflections of what it really means to be a disciple of Christ. We are Christians in name only, but don't really exhibit any of the biblical characteristics of such.
I believe that this stems from the fact that many Christians call Jesus their "Lord and Savior", but fail to realize that those are two very different things. They acknowledge Jesus as the Savior (which is all that is required for "salvation"), but haven't remotely made him the Lord of their lives. This book attempts to address this problem...and does so quite effectively.
Most Christians need to consider these issues if they truly consider themselves followers of Jesus, because they may be surprised at the variety of ways they have failed to live up to the standards God expects from them in a life of true discipleship.
One final note: I do not believe that the topics outlined in this book are necessarily exhaustive. They are excellent, and accurate, and biblical, but they aren't the ONLY expectations God has for disciples of Jesus. For example, the book doesn't address stewardship (not just of money...of time, of energy, etc), yet the Bible makes clear that this is a key and significant aspect of discipleship. It does mention perseverance, which is fine...but why that and not stewardship?
But overall this is a fantastic book and well worth a read for many Christians. It's surprising that more books have not been written to address this issue, and refreshing that this book does. Recommended.