Book Review: A Christian Survival Guide

A Christian Survival GuideThere’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. Continue reading

Jesus’s Example; preaching the Gospel

“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15 (ESV)

All through the Gospels, Jesus gives us examples of how we are to be his followers, treat our neighbors, who our neighbors are, and how to minister to the world around us. Mark 1:14 is about the very beginning of Jesus’s public ministry. The first thing he does is tell his audience of Jews the time is fulfilled. Without going into an Old Testament history lecture, Jesus’s listeners would have known he was talking about the prophesies of the Messiah. Saying the “kingdom of God is at hand” probably got them thinking the wrong thing, namely that we was the military leader type Messiah that would throw out the Roman Empire and sit as king on the throne in Jerusalem. Yes, he was beginning to build the kingdom of God if that’s what you’re thinking; I also think he’s announcing the kingdom of God is close to them, close at hand, as in himself. Jesus is the way into the kingdom of God, so in a sense, the kingdom of God was within arm’s reach of the people listening. Then it gets really good. Continue reading