The past year or two has seen an increase in books written to address Christians and how they are to display the Christian life before a watching world. The Bible has much to say about this topic so it’s encouraging for me to see Christian writers, and authors pick up the Bible and explain what it teaches on this topic. In fact, the entire book of 1 John addresses this issue as does the other Pauline and general epistles. This is why when I first saw Real Christian Bearing The Marks of Authentic Faith by Todd Wilson, I was intrigued and interested in reading it.
This book takes a look at Real Christianity through the lens of humility, meekness, contrition, wholeness, hunger, perfected love, and perseverance. The best Christian books are biblical, practical, and personal. This book falls into that category. The author rightly examines the Word of God with a view to help the reader understand what the Bible teaches on these topics in order to help them walk the life of faith in obedience to the Lord Jesus.
Many people today wrestle with the relationship between faith and works. They think that what Paul is saying in Ephesians 2:8-10 and James 2 conflicts with each other. The truth though is that Paul is writing to primarily a Gentile audience and James is written to a Jewish audience. Both James and Paul come to the issue of faith and works and agree with each other. Paul’s point is the grace that causes us to believe is the same grace that will result in good works. James point is that works are the demonstration of the grace we’ve received. While different in emphasis, each point is the same. When we understand the relationship between faith and works, we also come to deal with another issue in the Christian life that of grace verses effort. The reason we can do anything in the Christian life is because of the grace we’ve received which then impels us to go and tell of the grace we’ve received. As we grab hold of these truths, we will also understand that our faith is not to be only a profession but a possession. When you combine all of these issues it’s really back to the same truth: We’re saved by grace through faith alone not of ourselves lest we boast. We are His workmanship saved to display or demonstrate good works to the praise of the One in Christ who completed the work and is yet returning to glorify His people.
Real Christian: Bearing The Marks Of Authentic Faith is an excellent book. This book would be good to get in the hands of new Christians. I could also see this book being used in Sunday schools and in small groups. Whether this book is used in this book or in other ways, I believe this book will help readers to understand that the Christian life is one where we are to know and serve the Lord. The evidence of our profession is to be displayed in our possession of it. This excellent book calls Christians to look at their lives and diagnose where they aren’t living for God. It will help readers to distinguish genuine faith from counterfeit spirituality by drawing on the Gospels, the Pauline epistles, and the teaching of Jonathan Edwards. The end result is a book that lays out the necessary marks of an authentic, transformed Christian life—that displays the marks that show evidence of a new heart and bear spiritual fruit through the work of the Holy Spirit. I highly recommend this book and believe it will challenge every reader to understand the key marks of real Christianity and their need to be displayed in our lives.
Author: Todd Wilson
Publisher: Zondervan (2014)
I received this book for free from Zondervan for this review. 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”