While I LOVE books and think they are positively beautiful, I am picky. Busy, homeschooling, bloggy mom of four... I don't have time to waste on a non-fiction with bad theology or a fiction with too much fluff and non-sense. When I read, I want to know the time is spent being filled with meaningful words which can grow me as a Christian (yes, even good fiction should do that!)
So. As my kiddos browsed for treasures in another section of our city library at the beginning of summer break, I felt Led to wander through the 'Faith and Spirituality' section. Highly skeptical but, as I've admitted, loving all those lovely bindings standing in a row, something caught my attention.
"What Every Christian Ought to Know" Hmmm. Mr. Adrian Rogers, you have caught my attention. I slid the book off the shelf, still a bit skeptical after so many fluffy-faith-types I've read before, but something was compelling me to give this one a chance. I turned it over to read the synopsis on the back.
Whether you are just beginning your faith journey, or have been a believer for decades, What Every Christian Ought to Know will establish you in the core Truths of the Bible, equip you to confidently articulate your faith, and empower you to live a dynamic Christian life. In his refreshingly relateable style, Dr. Rogers covers essential topics such as salvation, eternal security, prayer, the Holy Spirit, resisting temptation, and finding God's will, and unpacks their practical application for your every day Christian walk.My eyebrows went up. Thinking a book like this must be meant for new believers, the claim here said it was meant for ALL believers, no matter how long they had been Christians. Oh, and the part about finding God's will, have you noticed the blog lately? Purpose has been kind-of a theme for me. Glancing down at the list of endorsements I saw Billy Graham's name sprawled under his personal statement.
More intrigued then ever, and just about certain the Holy Spirit was nudging me, I flipped the book back over, and thumbed through the index and subsequent pages... into my library bag it went.... and a short month later, after I had gone through more tabs then I can count in marking passages and pages, it arrived in a nice little box from Amazon... my own copy.
Ladies (and gentlemen if you are reading this too), remember, I am a HUGE skeptic of "Christian" 'self-help' books. HUGE. But I'm telling you, this book gripped me from the Preface.
What I thought would be a basic 'introduction-to-the-faith' and how to walk out the precepts better has turned into my ALL-TIME, #2 (The Bible gets #1) book to recommend to EVERYONE (did I mention every.single.person.I.know kind of everyone?) I have already bought 4 additional copies for people and my oldest daughter (now 19) was so moved by it she bought one for an old co-worker! If I could, I would give one to every.single.one of YOU! Sadly, I have to pay bills and buy food and stuff like that though!
But I digress.
So what is all the hype?
Well, Dr Rogers lays out the precepts of our faith in such a way that anyone can understand but no one feels as though he is infantilizing the topic. He serves up steak and you can chew it like a burger. He begins with the basic thesis that Education is costly, but ignorance may be devastating. Essentially, what you don't know CAN hurt you. He quotes Proverbs to drive home his point:
Buy the truth, and do not sell it
- We must prize the truth
- We must purchase the truth
- We must preserve the truth
He goes on to suggest we should Get a bulldog grip on the truth and never let go. Hence, and so, What Every Christian Ought to Know.
He covers the entire gamut of topics and, as someone who grew up witnessing a deeply devout grandmother and has been a Christian most of my adult life and served in full-time missions, I can honestly say I had chapter-after-chapter of WOW moments reading this book. I felt so filled, so equipped with knowledge and truth, that I couldn't stop talking about it to anyone I could get to stand still long enough to hear me carry on with animated excitement! It isn't Adrian's word that sells this message, it is God's Word as Dr. Rogers unpacks it in big A-HA pieces you want to gobble up.
He shoots out of the gate discussing the foundation of knowing the Bible is the True Word of God and how It can be Trusted.... showing the reader, through God's Word, this truth. He has an overtone of apologetics without being argumentative but, rather, tastefully compelling.
He moves on to share what it is to know the assurance of salvation and, for those reading the book who may be skeptics of the faith, he invites them to the opportunity of Knowing Christ. For the rest of us and everyone in-between, this chapter provides reassurance to our own walk as well as equips the reader to reach out to the unbeliever. Overall, the chapter on faith assurance pulls no punches - but you don't feel beat-up, you feel invigorated... even challenged!
He also jumps into those touchy topics of sin and temptation including the intriguing point of what happens when Christians sin. (after all, we are all sinners falling short of glory... right?)
I could go on and on about the AMAZING themes and messages within this wonderful book, but this article would get far too long and I bet you have other things to do today then read my blog!! So, to sum up the content, the basic chapter list is as follows:
Every Christian Ought to Know...
...the Bible is the Word of God
...The Assurance of Salvation
...about Eternal Security
...What Happens When a Christian Sins
...How to Handle Temptation
...about Believers Baptism
...How to Discern the Will of God
...about Faith and How to Have It
...How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
...How to Discover His Spiritual Gift
...How to Pray (with Power)
...How to Understand the Bible
...It's How Much you Grow
And he ends each chapter with thought-provoking discussion questions for personal reflection or group settings.
Dr. Roger's own words aptly sum-up the over-arching take-away in the Epilogue of this book:
The ultimate yardstick of your life as a believer is not how much you know but how much you grow. The purpose of this book has not been primarily information or inspiration but transformation...
And then he points the reader to Ephesians 4:13-16 to back this statement up.
My 17 year old son took this book to camp for his down-times and was completely absorbed. He ended up sharing what he was learning with one of the adult band members who was so encouraged that when the band pulled out they left behind a stack of their CDs for my son to thank him for his Godly inspiration!
So, remember how I said I want to buy this book for EVERYONE I know? Since I can't do that I thought I would start with one or two. I haven't decided for sure how many yet but what I do know is, if you are interested -or- if you are still skeptical as to whether or not this is a book you want to invest in, then take your chances with a drawing first! Yup, Giving Away a FREE copy!!!... or two.. or... like I said, I haven't decided how many yet! And all you have to do to enter is sign up for my monthly newsletter! See below for details.
While I believe What Every Christian Ought to Know is a phenomenal and, yes, transformational resource to have, whether you check into this book or not, always remember, your best 'self-help' and inspirational, transformational book you can get is the Bible itself. We are blessed with insightful, Godly leaders who pen great prose with God's hand as theirs, but let us not forsake the daily drinking in of the One True Word of God ♥
Be sure to go to the sidebar and sign up for my Monthly Newsletter (I promise, I won’t spam you!) It looks like this:
Why am I doing this give-a-way? #1- I'm super excited to share this book with YOU! #2- I'm just as excited to share my new newsletter as well! I am hard at work behind the scenes praying over and putting together a periodical which I think everyone can find something in to enjoy in their email box at the end of each month. There will be some exclusive content you won’t find on the website!
So, to be entered for a chance to win a FREE copy of "What Every Christian Ought to Know" by Adrian Rogers simply sign-up for my monthly newsletter by July 31, 2017*. That's it! Easy-peasy.
(If you already signed up prior to this announcement, don't worry, your name will automatically be entered!)
Please note: The Debut issue of my monthly newsletter comes out on July 27th, if you want to receive this issue, be sure to sign up before then.
*Give-a-way rules: Must be a U.S. resident, if you are not a U.S. resident, and would like to enter to win, please contact me to discuss alternatives. The drawing will occur on August 1, 2017 with a winner being randomly chosen. The winner will be contacted that day and will be announced on Facebook and this blog. If the winner does not wish to have name announced, this must be stated when contacted for mailing address. A copy of the book (up to $10 value) will be mailed directly to the winner from Amazon, shipping times may vary. I will contact the winner for address information using the e-mail submitted to my newsletter database. If you do not want to receive your package directly from Amazon, the winner needs to let me know when I contact them for their address and we can discuss alternative source methods. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.