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Jesus divided the world into two groups—those who follow him and those who don’t. But what happens when someone thinks he or she is a Christian, but isn’t? With his witty, engaging style, Mike McKinley takes readers on a journey of what it means to be a Christian. He asserts that "manipulative evangelism techniques and a poor understanding of the gospel have resulted in an abundance of professing Christians who have no idea what it means to follow Christ."
Each chapter title begins with "You’re not a Christian [if/when/just because you]…" As he surveys what it means to be Christian, McKinley offers criteria for evaluating one’s standing before God. Readers are guided through a series of challenges to reflect, repent, remember, and report to another person. Am I Really a Christian? ends with chapters on salvation and the local church. This unique book is written for nominal or new Christians and can be used in personal or small-group study.
|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Publication Date: 2011
Mike McKinley (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of Sterling Park Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia. Formerly, he served on staff alongside Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He is the author of a number of books, including Am I Really a Christian? and Church Planting Is for Wimps.
McKinley does a great job in being simple and straightforward in communicating to the reader what the Bible clearly says about what it means to be a true Christian without being overly simplistic or un-engaging. He writes with a clear, whimsical style that is both easy to understand, biblically profound, and interesting.
Am I Really A Christian? begins in the first two chapters by laying the groundwork of what it means to truly follow Christ. McKinley does a concise job of explaining what it means to be born again (John 3:3ff). From there, Chapters 3-7 each expand on five key biblical principles that are helpful in answering the titles question:
Youre not a Christian if you do not believe and trust the facts of the Gospel. Youre not a Christian if you love sin. Youre not a Christian if you do not persevere in the faith until the end. Youre not a Christian if you do not love other people. Youre not a Christian if you love your stuff more than Jesus.
McKinley finishes up with two additional chapters: one on the assurance of being a Christian, and a concluding chapter on the fact that each individual Christian is connected to a larger community of believers. Both of these chapters help round out the discussion and leave the reader with great confidence in knowing whether they are a true Christian or not. In the chapter on assurance (Chapter 8, "Can I ever really know if Im a Christian?"), McKinley reiterates his two-fold purpose in writing this book: 1) So that true Christians might examine themselves to see if they are in the faith, and 2) So that a nominal Christian's eyes might be opened to the truth of what it means to be a follower of Jesus (p. 132).
Am I Really A Christian? is a great resource for those grappling with this incredibly crucial question. In fact, it's a must for those who don't grapple with this question but ought to. That said, you may want to be careful in how you may give this book out it has life-changing consequences. Todd Burgett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com