We’ve all been there. We pray for something, and don’t get an answer. We’re told to tithe, but don’t think we can squeeze the money out of our budgets. We know we are supposed to trust God, but find ourselves obsessing over problems. And it’s getting harder and harder to drag ourselves to church. The people there just don’t fit our ideas of what a Christian should be.
The result, as author Craig Groeschel points out in his book The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist, is a lot of people who claim to be Christians but live as if they really don’t believe some of what the Bible teaches about life and how we are to live it. In other words, a bunch of Christian Atheists.
Using stories from his life, Groeschel highlight his own struggles with atheism in various forms. His honesty challenged me to be honest with myself. I could see that some of what I think of as struggles or trials in my own life should be called out for what they are: nothing less than a lack of faith. I, too, am a Christian Atheist.
I didn’t have to read the book to be convinced: just skimming the chapter titles was enough to make me realize that I had a problem. “When You Believe in God but Don’t Think He’s Fair” and “When You Believe in God but Still Worry All the Time” are just two of the subjects Groeschel tackles.
While I felt convicted as I read The Christian Atheist, I never felt condemned. Groeschel writes from the perspective of one confessing his own struggles and failures, and points the way to overcome them. The practical advice for defeating Christian Atheism inserted clarity into my own battles, and offers hope that I can learn to live as if I really believed what I say I do.
For me, that is the great value of The Christian Atheist. It’s not just about fixing things within my own life, although there is much to be fixed and any help is welcome. We live in a culture that is increasingly less Christian. Those outside the church look at those inside, and don’t always see much difference in how we live our lives. If we are truly to be salt and light to the world around us, we can’t accept the Christian Atheism in our own hearts.
Read The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist. It will stir you up, strengthen your faith, and refine your vision for living as a Christian. Highly recommended.
Tags: The Christian Atheist