The Answer to Our National Heartache

Public debate always deepens after horrific events like the one that happened in Florida on February 14. After a shooter tragically took the lives of 17 individuals inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, much of the debate has revolved around gun control. Well-intended people on both sides of the debate argue over the means and methods necessary to save future lives and I fervently believe it is a debate that we must have in our country. Our children’s live are very much at stake and I believe we should explore every possibility to save them. However, it is not the gun debate that I woke up thinking about this morning.

This morning, as our country tries to understand and make sense out of events such as Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland, Florida, God is often at the center of discussion. The memes and comments I see most often on social media flow as follows:

“God, how could you let this happen in my school?”

“Child, I am not allowed in schools.”

The point is easily derived. In a country where God has been outlawed in our schools, we should expect horrific events to occur. Right? I fear, however, that the culture shift we have seen in the United States goes even deeper.

Consider, if you will, the very notion of outlawing God? How can we outlaw the Divine  Supreme being? The Almighty God is omnipresent. He exists in every time and every space at once. God can be manifest to every person and every situation as He sees fit (Isaiah 57:15, Psalm 33:13-14). We cannot control where and when God decides to make Himself known. He is God and we aren’t. In the early sixties, the Supreme Court made decisions that removed forced prayer and Bible readings from our school systems across the country. Prior to that time, communal prayers and Bible readings were common place in our schools. However, removing those prayers and those studies did not remove God. Why? Because the Supreme Court has no power over the Supreme Father. You cannot simply remove Him with the pounding of a gavel. Our God doesn’t change (James 1:17) and He has not changed since the sixties.

However, something has changed dramatically in the short 50+ years since the Supreme Court first ruled on prayer in schools. We have changed. Prior to the sixties, students in the public schools grew up watching their teachers and school leaders pay reverence to God. Even if they weren’t believers, they were exposed to people who were. Students were exposed to Scripture and were allowed to consider the truth of God’s Word without facing ridicule or derision. Such lessons left a mark on their personas and when they faced heartache, angst, and confusion they knew where to turn for answers. That influence has been removed from our school systems and what we now see is a troubled generation at a loss for what to do and where to turn. In two short generations we have begun to reap what we’ve sown.

The answer to our national heartache is not more or less guns. The solution is more Christ. Undoubtedly, some will read my words and call me a zealot or a “Bible thumper.” I’m okay with that. But mark my words, if we don’t figure out a way to bridge the divide between the secular and the sacred in our school systems we will continue to suffer heartache after heartache.

Know that I am not advocating “forced” prayer or “forced” Bible studies. I am convinced by God’s Word that He values the freedom of choice. However, we need to create environments where our young people are able to consider the Truth of God’s Word free from ridicule and mockery. These environments need to be fostered primarily in our homes and in our churches, but also in our schools.

Christians, please join me in praying for our young people. Pray for our school leaders. Pray for our political leaders. Pray for the brave men and women in law enforcement who have accepted the call to protect our children. Know that what happened in Florida can happen in any school district in any town in America. I believe we need to tighten our security wherever able and protect our kids as much as possible, however, we also need to arm our youth with something far more powerful than any weapon. We need to arm them with the truth of God’s Word.

“7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” Galatians 6:7 (NASB). 

 

 

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Reflections on John 13:34

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34, NASB.

Bible2This verse from the Gospel of John is one that has been resonating in my brain over the last few days. It’s not necessarily hard to understand, but it seems most of us are unwilling to put it into practice. Jesus issues this command to His disciples, “Love one another like I loved you!” It’s a practice that is supposed to go hand in hand with following Christ, in fact, it’s so necessary that Jesus goes on to say others will know we belong to Him because we do it (verse 35).

Yet so often we don’t do it. Rather, we pretend to do it. We love our fellow believers as long they don’t ruffle our feathers, hurt our feelings, disagree with us, or let us down in some way … but the first time we see their flaws, we cut bait and run. Most conflict between believers is caused because they fail to love one another as Christ first loved them, or worse, they stubbornly refused to.

When I think of how Christ loved me there’s no escaping the image of the cross. Christ loved me so much that He when to the cross in my place. Scripture teaches that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Christ died for us “while we were yet sinners”. He didn’t demand that we clean ourselves up before He went to the cross. He died for us in spite of all our flaws and imperfections. And He commands us to love one another in the same way!

Ever wonder how to respond when a fellow believer hurts your feelings or lets you down in some way? Christ tells us to respond in love … and He role-modeled that love for us on the cross. When you love your Christian brothers and sisters and remain devoted to them through thick and thin, the rest of the world will know Who it is you belong to.

John 13:34 isn’t a suggestion … it’s a command.

 

Christianity’s Gift to the World

thinkingI’m currently reading a book by Steve Brown titles What Was I Thinking? Things I’ve Learned Since I Knew It All. Brown’s books are wonderful. Like me, he is a conservative Christian who believes in the inspiration of Scripture. Doctrinally, I think we are fairly similar. Yet, his writing takes you to new levels of reflection. The first time I read anything by Brown I remember thinking to myself that he was either a heretic or a genius – and it took me a while to figure out which. I’ve settled on genius. Brown writes in a way that is provocative. It’s like he is intentionally picking on the scabs conservative Christians walk around with. What he says makes you angry until you slowly start to realize it’s not Brown that is angering you, but rather God’s Word. And faced with that realization, there is nothing left to do but repent.

Basically, Brown makes me think. I’m sure some people find him annoying – some may have even settled on heretical – but I appreciate him. Here’s a quote from What Was I Thinking? that I currently can’t get out of my mind:

“Our gift to the world is not one of anger, judgment, or condemnation. Our gift to the world is to find where the Holy Spirit is creating beauty, speaking truth, and manifesting goodness—and when we find it, to identify it, enjoy it, affirm it, and get involved in it” (p. 64)

It’s that’s first sentence that has stuck with me … “Our [Christians] gift to the world is not one of anger, judgment, or condemnation.” Too often, that’s the face we present to world around us – anger, judgment, and condemnation. When, in reality, the Church should be an extension of God’s gift to the world – grace, mercy, and salvation through His Son.

Brown makes the further point that because of our anger and disgust with the world around us, Christians often retreat to the Church. We take safe haven in our churches and our Christian subculture because we are convinced that’s where the Holy Spirit is. We do it because it makes us feel safe yet our safety comes at the expense of the culture around us. We create a divide between the sacred and the secular and then refuse to cross it for fear of sacrificing our own righteousness. But it’s important to understand that this divide is man made. From God’s perspective there is no “secular”. The gospel of John makes that clear:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)

All things came into being through Him. It’s this fact that gives God the authority to speak into the hearts of every man and into the core of every situation. It’s that fact that gives Jesus the authority to forgive our sins. It’s that fact that gives God the right to determine that salvation must be accomplished according to His plan rather than our own. It’s that fact that is the foundation of grace. And when we retreat in disgust from the world around us and take refuge in our Christian subculture we are failing to take that gift of grace to the very people that need it the most. Jesus understood this. That’s why He hung out with sinners. That’s why He said,“It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). Even the Great Commission, our marching orders from Christ, instruct us to take His message of grace to the world, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). 

When Christian present nothing to the world but anger, judgment, and condemnation and then retreat back to the safety of our own Christian subculture, we are forfeiting the one gift we have to give the world. It is imperative that Christians refuse to forfeit our input and voice to the culture we live in. Music, arts, literature, science … all of these things stand to benefit from the input of Christians.

If we want to deliver Christ’s grace to the world, we must be engaged in the world. Jesus once prayed for His disciples, “14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:14-15, emphasis mine). Notice that Jesus didn’t pray for His disciples to be taken out of the world; rather, He prayed that they be kept safe from the evil one as they engaged the world for Him. 

Christ’s prayer should be the strategy of the Church. Rather than withdrawing from the world and drawing imaginary lines between the secular and the sacred, we should engage the world. We should deliver Christ’s gospel to the sic and refuse to sacrifice our voice while tending to our own safety.

Genius.

Why I Teach Eternal Security

I serve as an adult Bible study teacher in a Southern Baptist Church that preaches and teaches eternal security. I often get the impression that people think I teach eternal security simply because it is the doctrine my denomination supports when, in fact, it is the other way around; I am a Southern Baptist, due in no small part, to the fact that the SBC endorses a Biblical view of salvation. Here is an excerpt from the Baptist Faith and Message …

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and
sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to
the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve
the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and
temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through
faith unto salvation.

The first three words of the above passage from the Baptist Faith and Message are of vast importance, “All true believers …” It is important to understand the implications of these words. We are not talking about people who shallowly recited a particular prayer, people who attend church, or people who were raised in Christian homes. We are talking about true believers. In other words, we are not talking about people who simply exhibit some of the qualities of being a Christian; rather, we are talking about people who have had a genuine, life-saving encounter with Jesus Christ. Who are these people? The Word describes them as those who believe in Jesus Christ:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).

“They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household'” (Acts 16:31, NASB).

It is important to understand that salvation isn’t about the outward behaviors a person may exhibit. Rather, it is about an earth-shattering, life-changing belief in Jesus Christ:

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

In fact, this change in our lives is so earth-shattering and dramatic it is impossible for us to manufacture on our own. It can only be received as a gift from God:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NASB).

Salvation is based on an earth-shattering, life-changing faith in Jesus Christ that only comes to us as a gift from God. No amount of works will achieve it and when God gifts us with salvation it should humble us. This is the context in which we approach the doctrine of eternal security. The Baptist Faith and Message then explains that those people who have been gifted with salvation will be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Wayne Grudem defines sanctification as “the progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives.” Sanctification is the means by which God separates a true believer from the world and makes them Christ-like. It begins at salvation (Titus 3:5), should continue throughout our lives (Romans 6:19, 2 Cor. 3:18), and is completed upon our death as our souls go to be with the Lord (Hebrews 12:23). Believers enjoy sanctification as a process that God works on us and also bear responsibility to participate in the process through obedience.

The Baptist Faith and Message teaches that those who have been truly saved and thus sanctified by the Spirit will never fall away from a state of grace and will persevere to the end. This is a position that is demonstrated in Scripture:

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, NASB).

“… and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29, NASB).

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1:24-25, NASB).

Simply put, if God gifts a person with genuine, earth-shattering, life-changing salvation in Christ Jesus, nothing will be able to undue it. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that God does not have the power, nor the ability, to save a person once and for all. Christ’s work on the cross can not be undone. He has died for our salvation and his sacrifice was completely sufficient to accomplish the task! A true believer can have complete confidence that they are saved from hell. This confidence enables us to live the abundant life that Christ speaks of in John 10:10.

Two Common Objections to Eternal Security

There are two common objections to the notion of eternal security and Scripture addresses both.

Objection 1: Christians are free to keep on sinning because of our eternal security. 

Anyone who teaches or believes this is guilty of a heresy known as antinomianism. Scripture clearly teaches that believers have a responsibility to leave their sinful life behind. In fact, the Bible suggests that those who continue to willfully and habitually sin may not be Christians to begin with:

“No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him” (1 John 3:6, NASB).

Objection 2: What if someone becomes a Christians and then later denounces their faith and rejects Christ? 

While a true believer may have doubts at times, if they genuinely and permanently denounce their faith and reject Christ, Scripture teaches they were not Christians to begin with:

“They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19, NASB).

Conclusion

The Baptist Faith and Message is right on target. Can a true believer step out of the will of God and refuse to participate in the sanctification process? Certainly. Can a true believer have doubts and periods of disobedience in their lives? Certainly. One thing remains certain, however, a true believer can never be separated from the grace of God and the salvation found in Jesus Christ. This certainty provides the believer with a joy in this lifetime like none other! It is a joy we can’t earn or work for, rather, it is a joy that is gifted to us by God … and it all hinges on one point … are you a true believer in Christ and have you had a genuine, life-changing, earth-shattering encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ?

 

100 Reasons Why I Love the Church: #1: Encouragement

Country Church 1“that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both your and mine” (Romans 1:12 NASB).

Paul wrote these words to the church in Rome. He desperately longed to visit his Christian brothers and sisters there so he may be an encouragement to them. Likewise, he hoped his own faith would be bolstered by theirs. Paul wrote that he thanked God for the Roman church because their faith was being “proclaimed throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). Their faith, like Paul’s, was centered on Jesus Christ.

Because our faith is centered on Christ and we are indwelled by the same Spirit, I have a mutually edifying relationship with the other members of my church. There are days, if I’m being honest, I don’t feel like being in church. I have days where I doubt the authenticity of my faith. I have days where I feel like a failure. Those are the days I need to be in church. When my spirit is weak I can be lifted up by the faith of my brothers and sisters in Christ! When I am down they can lift me back up. It may not even be an intentional act. My heart can become joyful simply from being in the presence of others who are genuinely worshiping my Lord and Savior.

I strive to be the same kind of encourager to others. I understand there are going to be days when my friends at church are down. I understand they may have days where they doubt why they are there. I pray that in those moments God will use me in some small way to deliver joy and peace where it is needed.

Church provides an opportunity for others to encourage you in your faith and provides you with a practical opportunity to uplift others.

This is reason number one why I love the church.

Signature

Biblical Wisdom

Merriam-Webster defines wisdom as knowledge, insight, judgment, generally accepted beliefs and “the teachings of ancient wise men” (Merriam-Webster.com). This post, however, concerns itself with the Biblical definition of wisdom and will make the argument there is no wisdom apart from God. This post will attempt to clearly articulate the Biblical definition of wisdom as it is presented generally throughout the Bible, with a special focus on how wisdom is presented in the Book of Proverbs. After clearly defining Biblical wisdom, this paper will attempt to examine how wisdom should affect the believer’s personal spiritual formation and to answer the question, “What place should it (the pursuit of wisdom) have in the believer’s life?”

 

Before an adequate definition of wisdom can be articulated it must first be acknowledged that wisdom cannot be separated from God. James 1:5 clearly states that wisdom is a gift from God, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). The author of Proverbs also connects wisdom to God when he writes, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7) and “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Scripture suggests it is this reverential fear of God that allows one to accept His gift of wisdom.  Dr. Thomas Constable argues, “If a person is open to God and teachable, he will become wise, but if he does not accept this instruction and closes his mind, he becomes a fool” (Constable 31). It has been demonstrated that, according to Scripture wisdom is a gift from God and a reverential fear of God opens our heart to receive said gift. However, the question remains, what is wisdom exactly?

 

Any exact definition of wisdom must derive from the Book of Proverbs. Steveson calls Proverbs “the wisdom book of the Bible” (p. vii). In fact, it is through a study of Proverbs that a definition of wisdom begins to come into focus. The first nine chapters of Proverbs develop a metaphor that contributes greatly to an understanding of wisdom. The metaphor is that of two paths. One is a path of foolishness that leads to ruin. The second is a path of life in the fullest that includes a relationship with God. Longman writes, “the dark path [of foolishness] represents one’s behavior in life, it does not lead to life at all but rather to death” (Longman 26). It only stands to reason then that the path of wisdom represents one’s behavior in life that leads to better and more abundant life. Wisdom can be defined then as the ability to live life with skill. Longman puts it this way, “… wisdom is the skill of living … it is a practical knowledge that helps one know how to act and how to speak in different situations” (Longman 14). Wisdom then can be seen as a gift from God than can only be accepted by one with a reverential fear of God that gives one the ability to live life skillfully.

 

Having accepted this definition of wisdom the believer must then determine how it should affect their personal spiritual formation and answer the question, “What place should it (the pursuit of wisdom) have in my life?” The priority a believer should give the pursuit of wisdom is quite evident once it is placed in the proper context. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, “Brothers, consider your calling: Not many are wise from a human perspective … But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, in order that, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord” (1 Cor. 26-31). It is none other than Jesus Christ Himself who epitomizes God-given wisdom. It is in His life that we find the perfect example of One who lives life skillfully. Christians are called to abandon their sinful lives and to be more like their Savior. If Christ is wisdom, than pursuing wisdom must be a top priority. Landis writes, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God’s wisdom and this wisdom is displayed in us and through us as righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (Landis Loc. 168). This is true, however, only if the believer understands it is imperative he humbles himself before God and endeavors to be more like Christ.

 

It has been demonstrated that there is no wisdom apart from God. Wisdom is a gift from God and is only available to those who have a reverential fear of Him. Wisdom was defined as the ability to live life skillfully. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that Jesus Christ is the epitome of God-given wisdom. Christ and wisdom are intertwined. It is imperative for the believer who desires to be more like Christ to endeavor in a pursuit of wisdom. Proverbs makes it clear that there are only two paths – one with God and one without. To live without God is foolishness and leads us to death. The Christian who is pursuing Christ and wisdom, however, has chosen a path that leads to life more abundant. Therefore a pursuit of wisdom must be a top priority for all believers. God has gifted us with wisdom and provided an example to follow in Christ. We must choose the path of life.

 

Works Cited

 

 Constable, Thomas. “Notes on Proverbs.” SonicLight.com. Retrieved from http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/proverbs.pdf. Web. 24 May 2013.

Landis, B.L. Wisdom is a Heart Thing. B.L. Landis, 2012. Digital.

Longman, Trempor. How to Read the Proverbs. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

Steveson, Peter. A Commentary on the Book of Proverbs. Greenville, South Carolina: Bob Jones University Press, 2001.

“Wisdom.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2013. Web. 24 May 2013.

 

 

Books Read in 2013: No. 5 – Culture Shift by Albert Mohler

cultureshift

Title: Culture Shift
Author: Albert Mohler
Date Completed: April 3, 2013

How should our Christian faith impact our lives within the context of the culture we live in? This is the question Mohler addresses in this short book. Essentially, this is a collection of short essays addressing topics, such as politics, education, terrorism, and abortion. As such, the book is relevant and needed. I love to read Mohler’s commentary as I have always found him to be concise and too the point. I must admit, however, that I was slightly disappointed that this book didn’t address each topic in more depth. Some chapters were approached with much more care than others which left the book seeming a little unbalanced to me, however, it is still a great. I appreciated Mohler’s take on the subject of abortion a great deal and would recommend this book to anyone who struggles to discern how their faith should play out in their daily lives.

Why Respond to an Atheist? My Response to Anderson's "No Kingdom Come": Part 1

nokingdomC.J. Anderson is a former Christian turned atheist. His book, No Kingdom Come, is offered in digital format through Amazon.com. I first encountered C.J. in a theology/apologetics forum I frequent on Goodreads.com. Anderson’s claims are twofold. First, because God has never provided him with personal knowledge of His existence (like Christ had once provided the Doubter, Thomas) it must follow that He doesn’t exist. Also, Anderson claims that because God has allowed him to suffer in his personal life, it is evident that He doesn’t exist. Anderson challenged us all to read his book for a better perspective on his arguments.

I read his book and wasn’t necessarily impressed by his logic or his arguments. There is nothing really new about his position. Essentially, Anderson has succumbed to the age-old problem of evil. If evil and suffering exists, how could the Christian concept of God exist? However, in Anderson’s case, it is personal. The problems that caused him to recant his faith are personal problems. He blamed God for some very real pain he has experience. As I read his book, I thought briefly of offering an extended response; however, when I read his mission statement, I knew a response must be offered:

“My mission is clear to me: Write a book to destroy the book that destroyed my life. Write a book to destroy The Bible”[1]

Anderson’s mission statement is quite clear. He desires nothing less than to destroy the Bible. By extension, his goal would seem to be to destroy Christianity. He wants to destroy the faith my fellow Christians have in Christ. It’s not enough for him to disbelieve – he wants to destroy our faith. Anderson’s tactics are to raise huge accusations against God and then portray Him as incapable of providing any real answers. It is my assertion that the God of the bible does offer real answers. It is my assertion that God did not fail C.J. Anderson. Rather, Anderson’s lack of understanding and lack of faith failed him.

My mission in writing a response is clear. I want to offer a different perspective than Anderson. I want people who are suffering to have an alternative to Anderson’s voice. I want to encourage and exhort others to place their faith in Jesus Christ. Ultimately, I want to offer a defense of the hope I have placed in Jesus Christ.

“… always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” – 1 Peter 3:15.

Responding to Anderson’s book will involve a rather long series of posts. I will attempt to respond to each chapter, however, I reserve the right to skip around a bit as a couple of his chapters deviate a bit from his main arguments.

I hope you will follow along.


[1] Anderson’s book is digital and is not formatted to provide page numbers.

Books Read in 2012: No. 22 – World Religions Made Simple

worldThis book is a functional one that provides the history, timelines, and basic beliefs of all the world’s major religions. It serves to be quite helpful for a person who needs quick statistics or a quick summary of a religion.

Its name, however, reveals the books biggest weakness. It attempts to make world religions “simple” and fails to provide an in depth study of any of them. This is perhaps an unfair critique, however, as the book is obviously not intended to provide an in depth study at all.

I do intend to hold on to this book and use it as a reference and recommend it to others for the same purpose. However, if your goal is to really dig into a particular religion, I recommend you look elsewhere.

Books Read in 2012: No. 21 – What is a Healthy Church Member?

healthyThis little book by Thabiti Anyabwile should be required reading for anyone who attends church. Unfortunately, many of us do not understand the importance of being involved in the local church and see it as an optional (and even sometimes offensive) aspect of our faith. Those of us who do attend often refrain from getting too involved and leave all the work of the church in the hands of a small minority.

Anyabwile, however, has provided readers with a wonder tool to benefit an individual who wants to get the most out of their church life and has identified ten marks of a healthy church member. According to Anyabwile, a healthy church member is:

1. An expositional lister
2. A Biblical theologian
3. Saturated in the gospel
4. Genuinely converted
5. A Biblical evangelist
6. A committed member
7. A seeker of discipline
8. A growing disciple
9. A humble follower
10. Is a prayer warrior

Each of these marks of a healthy church member represents a chapter in this little book. For each chapter, Anyabwile explores the concept and provides study questions the reader can use to conduct a self-examination.

If every Christian would read this little book and commit to the principles Anyabwile recommends, the Church would benefit greatly. I highly recommend this book.