December 1, 2010 2010 Reading List Reviews 0

I have long known Groeschel to be a capable speaker who led a breakthrough multi-campus church environment, Life Church. I had not, however, considered him to be an author worth my limited amount of free time. Yet, the title of his latest book intrigued me greatly – the Christian atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist. So, when he took the stage at Catalyst, I turned to a friend and said, “How he does today will determine whether I buy his book or not.” Well, Groeschel blew me away.  One takeaway that I hope to never forget was, “Public praise leads to private influence.” – a topic for a future post. At the closing of his session, I went to honor my word and purchase his book.

Based upon the title, I knew the book could take a lot of different directions. I had a tremendous hope that its purpose was not to confuse otherwise happy Christians into wondering whether or not they were indeed a part of God’s family. This is the direction I am sure a book of this title would take if it were written by Francis Chan. As I began reading, my fears as to the purpose of this book were quickly subsided. Craig was so open and honest about his own personal struggles with applying that which he believes to be true in his own life that my guard came down. He didn’t simply give credence to the trials of others by saying, “Ya, I’ve been there too.” He actual gave the exact details and stories of his journey through Christian atheism. It is clear that Craig understands the old proverb saying people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. This was achieved by opening the door into his own life and allowing the reader to roam freely.

Criag’s personal encounters (many of which I personally identified examples of in my own life) include,
When you believe in God but:

  • don’t really know Him
  • are ashamed of your past
  • aren’t sure He loves you
  • not in prayer
  • don’t think He’s fair
  • won’t forgive
  • don’t think you can change
  • still worry all the time
  • pursue happiness at any cost
  • trust more in money
  • don’t share your faith
  • not in His church

The book ends with an encouragement toward 3rd line faith. You’ll have to read the book to understand what that’s all about.