Monday, February 27, 2012

Christian Atheist

I have read several books by pastor and author Craig Groeschel and have found them both approachable and insightful. Each has been quite different from the others, but quite valuable. I had come across his book The Christian Atheist several times when browsing at my local bookstore and made a note to add it to my reading list. Recently I picked up a copy and was well pleased with this work.

The subtitle of this rather provocative sounding title is "Believing in God but living as if he doesn't exist." The purpose of the oxymoron, "Christian Atheist", obviously is to pull prospective readers in, but I never found his approach to be a gimmick. What else would you call a person who claims that they believe in God but whose life bears no imprint of this relationship? "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him." (Titus 1:16)

Each chapter in this work focuses on a different aspect that many people who claim to believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit struggle with. This includes issues with your prayer life, lack of forgiveness, worry, money, the church, love, and relationships. The thread that runs through this book that I found so helpful is the honesty with which Groeschel approaches his own shortcomings. Change is oftentimes extremely hard and time consuming, but each day we can continue to work on ourselves and our relationship with God. My favorite line of problem ownership from Groeschel in this book was:

"God created me in his image. I returned the favor and created him in mine."