Friday, September 10, 2010

Journey of Faith Friday: Classic Christianity


Classic Christianity
Bob George
If you have been following Journey of Faith Fridays you know this book was a tool God used during a season of doubt I experienced upon returning from India (see post here).  It is hard to put into words how my faith journey was changed after reading this book.  Let me begin by saying George's description of his feelings about life in Chapter One were very similar to mine when I began reading Classic Christianity.

He writes, "Once again, my eyes clouded with tears as I sat immobile in the snarled traffic.  Why was I so miserable?  Why were tears becoming an almost daily experience?....What made this condition all the more perplexing was that I was already doing all the 'right things' the Christian world said I should." 

He goes on to write, "Christ didn't call me to change anything; He called me to proclaim truth!....I was totally committed to God's plan, true; but I had strayed away from the God of the plan.  I could deny it for a while, but I wanted reality too much to keep up a pretense for long, even with Christians applauding, patting me on the back, and telling me how well I was doing.  Well, I was tired of it.  I wanted to experience again the joy of my salvation....If you have ever felt that your Christian life is more like a job than an adventure; or if you have ever found yourself saying, 'There's got to be more to the Christian life than what I am experiencing'; or if you are not a Christian, but a seeker who has been confused by the bewildering denominations and factions, who wonders if there is a 'real thing' at all-I invite you to join me on a journey." (24-25)

Yes! Yes! Yes!  There was a time when my Christian life felt more like an adventure and I wanted that again.  I can't say Classic Christianity completely transformed me, but transformation is a process...a journey...a daily renewing of the mind.  God used Classic Christianity to place truth in my mind and heart that I was struggling to grasp while reading His word.  He used it to fan the flame that was barely flickering in my soul.

When I sat down to write this post I began reviewing my book and realized there is no way I could write everything I learned.  I have used the nuggets of truth gleaned from Classic Christianity time and time again since first reading it in 2006.  I have often returned to its pages to remind myself that Christianity truly is an adventure.

Here are a some quotes from Classic Christianity:
  • Religion is really boring, but "there is nothing quite so exciting as being a Christian."(Foreward)
  • "[The] Christian life is Christ not just a change of life style." (17)
  • "Christians have one defense against error.  That is to become so familiar with truth, as revealed by God in Scripture, that when they are confronted with error, it is easily discerned." (35)
  • "Once we become children of God, able to plug into the truth, Satan has lost that most important battle.  Now his only weapon against us is to try and fill our heads with error so that we never discover the incredible wealth that we have inherited as children of the living God...fear is one of his favorite tactics....Satan was declawed and detoothed at the cross.  All he can do is roar at us and gum us a little." (36)
  • "From God's point of view, the problem of a man is not just that he is a sinner in need of forgiveness; his greater problem is that he is dead and in need of life." (46)  READ JOHN 10:10
  • "Finally I learned Christ did not come to 'help' me serve God; He came to live His life through me!" (52)
  • "Christian maturity is not starting out with Jesus, then graduating to something better.  The Christian life is starting with Christ, then spending the rest of eternity discovering more and more of what we already have in Him, more and more of the wonders of this Person 'in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge' (Col 2:3)." (57)
  • "[A]ll the the time I hear Christians referring to themselves as 'just an old sinner saved by grace.'  No!  That's like calling a butterfly a converted worm.  We were sinners and we were saved by grace, but the Word of God calls us saints from the moment we become identified with Christ." (79)  Read the New Testament.  Paul almost always calls new believers "saints" meaning "holy one."  Chapter 5: Putting the Pieces together is A-MAZ-ING!! or at least it was for me.
  • "As someone who has come alive in Christ, totally forgiven and accepted by Him, you now have a choice whether you will present yourself to Him to live His life through you, or whether you will present yourself to sin and the lusts of the flesh (Rom 6:11-13)." (90-91)
  • I am righteous in God's eyes (2 Cor. 5:21).  "Righteousness (a right standing of total acceptability before God) is a gift." (101)
  • "Even though we are aware of the sometimes-difficult process of growth, He sees us as already there...'God will never love you one ounce less or one ounce more than He does right this minute." (113)  READ COL. 3: 9,10
  • "Under the law you never experience peace or rest in the Christian life.  Why?  Because your work is never done.  A 'spiritual restlessness' results, where you are always looking for the 'something more' that will transform your Christian life into reality.  It's always around the corner: at the next seminar, in the next book, in finding that spiritual experience-never resting in Christ HImself who lives in you, who has already done it all, who has already given you everything you need." (146)
  • "You and I are not responsible for producing the Christian life!  We aren't able to produce the Christian life-only Christ can produce it.  Our responsibility is to maintain a dependent, receiving attitude-the same attitude of availability that Jesus presented to His Father for 33 years-and Christ will produce the fruit of His life in us; those same qualities that are called the 'fruit of the Spirt' in Galatians 5:22,23." (177)
  • "A frequently asked question is, 'Will some believers take the message of grace as a license to sin?'    I answer it this way: 'If their understanding of the gospel goes no farther than the forgiveness of sins-probably yes.  But when you understand that Christ not only died fir the forgiveness of your sins, but also rose again to come and live in you-absolutely not!....If Christ lives in you, you can't live a lawless life without tremendous internal conflict." (192)
Classic Christianity is worth reading no matter where you are on your faith journey.  You can find and purchase this book under "my favorites" which can be found in the column on the right side on my blog.

What book (outside of the Bible) has God used to influence your faith journey?  Why was it so influential?  What did God teach you?

Would you prayerfully consider sharing it with us today?

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Next Friday:  Have you had a moment or season in life when a particular Scripture passage was placed before you and you knew without a doubt that God was using His word to minister directly to your heart?  Would you consider sharing the passage with us?  
How was the passage instrumental in your faith journey?  
(I know it is hard to only choose one, but this is a topic we will re-visit) 

Have a blessed day in the LORD Jesus!


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Carolina said...

Thanks for sharing the quotes that most spoke to you from this book. My favorite one is thinking about how God views us as his 'saints' sanctified through Jesus- how freeing is that?! This book will be on my next one to read after I finish 'bringing up boys' which I love.

I didn't get a chance to write my journey of faith Friday today, but already know what I will share next week. Loved your post today and keep them coming! have a great weekend!

Kay K said...

Thanks so much for sharing I love the quote
"Satan was declawed and detoothed at the cross. All he can do is roar at us and gum us a little."
You go such a wonderful job at sharing your Journey ..........

Sandy said...

Interesting book review - I hadn't heard of this one until I saw it on your list, Amber....sounds good.

Amy said...

This looks like a great book. I am going to have to try to find a copy. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I will have to let you know after I read this book what it meant to me. Thanks for the recommendation.

Becky said...

Hi there! I just discovered your blog today and I'm totally having a wonderful time reading your posts. My mom just gave me this book the other day and told me to read it, as she thinks it is the best book ever! I'm excited to dig into it!

I'm also excited that you are in BSF too! I am LOVING Isaiah so far and I can see that you are too! I look forward to reading more of your posts!