Am I Really A Christian is written by Mike McKinley, Pastor of Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia. In this book Mike explores the teaching of 2nd Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" In an effort to help the reader see if they are "in the faith" or outside of the faith Mike explores the biblical teaching on what it means to be born again, loving Jesus, hating sin, perseverance, loving others and treasuring Christ.
There are three things about this book that make it a unique contribution to the field of Christian living: first the author explores in my opinion a topic that needs to be taught on more, which is the importance of the believer examining themselves to see if one is in the faith.
The second and most important contribution of this book is that Mike loves Christ and the Church. Because of the author's love for Jesus and His Church he pleads with and encourages his readers about the importance of examining oneself in the faith by asking for the counsel of other brothers and sisters in Christ who are living with them in community in the context of the local Church. Most authors in the Christian living category do not teach on the importance of spiritual growth in the context of the local Church so it was encouraging to see Mike in this book flesh out what it means to live and grow in community with other brothers and sisters in the context of the local Church.
The final thing that stood out about this book is how Mike doesn't stop at just explaining how one has failed in their Christian life if they have failed the test but shows how they can deal with that failure and have assurance that they are Christians. In fact, Mike spends a whole chapterâ€”chapter nine discussing if one can know if they are a Christian.
Overall, Am I Really a Christian is a really helpful, well-written and biblical treatment that touches on the issues of easy believism, nominalism, and assurance. Whether you struggle with assurance of your faith or you are wondering if you are really a Christian, I encourage you to pick up and read this book. Reading this book will challenge you, at times convict you but it will always point you back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The introduction to this book says alot. Mike has a way of putting things in simple understandable terms. He uses humor and down to earth situations to help. This book is for those who believe they are Christians. It is backed up with scripture. Not just a verse here or there to fit what he says but paragraphs to show what God is saying to us.
It is not a comfortable book. He makes you think about where you are, if you are a true believer or just going through the motions. It is a book of conviction.
Christian has become a common word in some ways without the powerful meaning behind it. It is popular to say your a Christian but that is not the same as living as one.
I recommend this book to all who may be wondering where they stand in their faith, those who are floundering and even those who think they are in perfect condition.
The title of this book is somewhat provocative and that is a good thing. We need books that challenge our comfort zones and make us sweat a little bit. This book does that and it does it in a great way. This is a book that all church members need to go through in community with others because it will help to reveal to them whether they are following Christ or religion. I hope this book finds its way into your hands soon.