The Christian Atheist

I didn’t intend to make the last few weeks “Craig Groeschel” reading month; it just happened.

Actually, after I finished reading “Weird”, literally the next day in a meeting, Phil Ling (of Church Solutions Group) happened to off-handedly reference another Groeschel book that I had sitting on the shelf, and thus, I picked it up.

So, my thoughts on the book…

I should start out by saying that my experience with the two books I’ve read by Groeschel are that he seems to focus on the fairly new believer. It’s not that he doesn’t provide good insight or depth for the “lifer”, it’s simply that if he falls on one end of the spectrum, it would be closer to the seeker end. That being said, take my thoughts with that in mind.

The entire premise of the book is that there are scores of Christians out there that are believing (and truly so at that) in the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet their lives are not reflecting their core convictions. As he puts it, “Believing in God but living as if He doesn’t exist”.

Some of his best writing comes in the afterword, if you want the honest truth. Craig starts writing from the gut, and his pace and style heighten with it. It could be that I just found this section more relatable, due to the fact that I’m experiencing the same circumstances alongside much of the rest of the staff at K2, and watching my own pastor walk through this, but I love this passage:

“Finally, on one very normal Saturday afternoon, by faith, I gave this last part of my life totally to God. I sacrificed a fear that had held me hostage since I was a child and made a promise to God that I’d never take it back.
I crossed the third line…
…No fear in my heart is greater than the fear of God. I desire nothing more than I desire all of God…
…I am a different person.”

What I love about this passage is that he’s describing a moment long after he had “given his life to Jesus”. The cliche that following God is a journey, not just a simple quick decision rings true here. Not only that, but I would suggest that to follow someone, something, anything…you have to be moving. The very definition of following implies movement from both parties. If you’re not moving, you’re not following.

The book spans a whole host of issues where we believe in God and don’t act it out. I’ll spare you the cliffnotes and let you read it if you’re interested. Overall, it was a good read, but I wouldn’t put it up on my “favorites” shelf or anything of the like. It was relatable and reads quickly, and has some very practical insight. What I missed in the book is that I felt like Groeschel could’ve gone a bit deeper. He shares experiences from his life, for sure, but, to be honest, it reads very…pastorally. The stories, even when they’re close to him, lack depth of emotion at times. I never got lost in his emotion or in the moment. There was always a clear, foreseeable reasoning he was laying out the story. To put it this way, it was clear all along that these were sermon illustrations.

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2 thoughts on “The Christian Atheist

  1. “The very definition of following implies movement from both parties. If you’re not moving, you’re not following.”

    I like this insight a lot. It’s good to remember that God is always on the move (regardless of whether we “feel” it or not), and that we must also be constantly on the move if we truly want to follow Him. Sitting back and reflecting on the glory days when God did big things in/through you means that you’ve fallen out of step with Him.

    • Thanks man. I don’t know, it just kind of hit me as I was writing it. And you’re exactly right – looking on the glory days means I’ve sat down on the sidelines. +1 for you!

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