Saturday, August 22, 2009

Christianish by Mark Steele - REVIEWED

“We know God has a purpose for our individual lives, but we are uncomfortable waiting for that purpose to become crystal clear. So we create our own purposes of our own design – and then we worship the acts that we do – we worship what we accomplish instead of worshipping Christ.” (p. 122)

Mark Steele’s book, Christianish is a frank discussion pointing out the false doctrines that have taken hold of many church-goers and caused them to live a Christianish life rather than a Christ-centered life in service to the Savior. Mark shares rather blunt insights from his own life as well as Scriptural examples of the direction Christ intended our lives to take once we committed our souls to Him. In this world of instant gratification, love of success, pursuit of a healthy self-esteem and the desire for the admiration of others, there has risen a false sense of what it means to serve Christ. Rather than study God’s word and learn its teachings, we have become content to pursue our own personal “gifts” and then past God’s name all over them and call them holy. Is it any wonder people are turning from the church in droves?

Mark addresses hard things like reaching the end of oneself and discovering that God’s grace is sufficient and that God’s will is indeed the best path for our lives. On page 82 Mark states, “We suddenly uncover the reality that His grace is not only enough stuff, but it is actually the only stuff that really matters. And when God’s grace becomes the only thing that matters in our perspective, all other stuff falls into its proper place.” Mark encourages everyone to stop believing the world’s false promises and nurture their souls instead on God’s Word. He encourages us to wait and be silent before the Lord in order to discern God’s perfect will for our lives. He tells us that sometimes the road won’t be easy, but if we trust God and follow Him, then we will learn and grow and find our meaning in Christ alone.

Each chapter ends with very thought provoking discussion questions. Christianish will cause you to examine your heart and discover whether or not you are following the Biblical example of Christian service or whether you have settled for something far less and often destructive to the testimony of God’s people. This book has been far different than I thought it would be. There are places where I think Mark could have been a little more careful in his bluntness, but then again, had he done that, his message wouldn’t have been as powerful. On page 274 Mark states, “The truth is, our Christianish path will only give way to following Christ when we determine that we are each willing to take the slower, more painful, more developmental approach to our daily life. It comes when we are willing to go through the rough stuff for the purpose of being transformed.”

I want to live that kind of walk with Christ. I want to be transformed. I don’t want to settle for the world’s fast food when I can be feasting at the table of God’s Word. I would encourage everyone to take a close look at this book. It is thought-provoking, and I think, convicting in a positive and powerful way. I’m still going over a lot of the information here. It’s not to be wolfed down like so many French-fries. It is a book to be savored with prayer.

Please, head back to my original post to read the first chapter of this terrific book and learn how to purchase your own copy. This would make an awesome tool for personal growth.

1 comment:

Scrambled Dregs said...

Lookin even more forward to reading it. It intrigued me and it's in my to read pile...but. Maybe it'll move closer to the top now.