There’s an old saying that goes something like this: People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan. The goal of A Christian Survival Guide: A Lifeline to Faith and Growth by Ed Cyzewski is to help Christian believers make a plan.
Cyzewski points out in the introduction that former Christians that have left the faith are often most aware of the serious issues Christianity presents. The last book I reviewed by Mike Hamel asks serious questions that the author doesn’t have good answers for; while he hasn’t left the faith he is no longer as certain as he used to be about the tenets of the Christian faith. A Christian Survival Guide wants readers to anticipates issues that will arise and be prepared ahead of time. From the introduction: This book aims to help the saints persevere, and so we’ll focus on answering that last question—what will help you survive as a follower of Jesus? Surviving as a Christian depends on having the right beliefs, putting them into practice in community with other Christians, and most importantly, meeting with God regularly. If we fail to address basic survival matters such as understanding God’s story from Scripture, defeating sin, or living in step with the Holy Spirit, we run the risk of missing out on the abundant life Jesus promised us, if not losing our intimacy with Jesus and leaving the faith altogether.
The book is divided, though not equally, into two parts: Christian belief and Christian practice. The Christian belief section covers basic topics such as prayer and the Bible, but also tackles tough issues such as violence in the Bible. Along some of the same lines as my own book, Survival Guide seeks to resolve the supposed difference between the angry, judgemental God of the Old Testament and the peace loving Jesus of the New. The author is transparent about the fact his own views are something of a work in progress. It’s worth noting that Christians don’t always have all the answers but can work on them together along our spiritual journey. The Christian practice section of the book, somewhere between a fourth and a third of the total volume, addresses such thorny issues as sin addiction and handling money. How do we respond to allegations (and for that matter live on a day to day basis) with the fact that sometimes our stated beliefs do not correspond to our practice? As with every subject Cyzewski offers Survival Tips. These are not direct answers chiseled in stone, but suggestions for how believers can work out the issues for themselves.
Money is the kind of topic that some churches talk about all of the time, others never talk about, and a few only talk about as a last resort before going broke. There’s a good chance that many of the Christians who don’t talk about money fear they’ll accidentally sound like a church that talks about money all of the time. -p.155
Shown below are a couple of the helpful infographics found throughout the book. Many offer practical advice, some are meant to be more humorous in nature:
Christian Survival Guide is about more than merely surviving; it helps the reader prepare for a spiritual life that thrives and serves others. I highly recommend this book to every Christian believer. Let’s plan ahead for success rather than look back at failure. Here are some links for ordering the book, reading other reviews and connecting with the author:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.