Am I Really A Christian is written by Mike McKinley, Pastor of Guilford Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia. In this book Mike explores the teaching of 2nd Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” In an effort to help the reader see if they are “in the faith” or outside of the faith Mike explores the biblical teaching on what it means to be born again, loving Jesus, hating sin, perseverance, loving others and treasuring Christ.
There are three things about this book that make it a unique contribution to the field of Christian living: first the author explores in my opinion a topic that needs to be taught on more, which is the importance of the believer examining themselves to see if one is in the faith.
The second and most important contribution of this book is that Mike loves Christ and the Church. Because of the author’s love for Jesus and His Church he pleads with and encourages his readers about the importance of examining oneself in the faith by asking for the counsel of other brothers and sisters in Christ who are living with them in community in the context of the local Church. Most authors in the Christian living category do not teach on the importance of spiritual growth in the context of the local Church so it was encouraging to see Mike in this book flesh out what it means to live and grow in community with other brothers and sisters in the context of the local Church.
The final thing that stood out about this book is how Mike doesn’t stop at just explaining how one has failed in their Christian life if they have failed the test but shows how they can deal with that failure and have assurance that they are Christians. In fact, Mike spends a whole chapter—chapter nine discussing if one can know if they are a Christian.
Overall, Am I Really a Christian is a really helpful, well-written and biblical treatment that touches on the issues of easy believism, nominalism, and assurance. Whether you struggle with assurance of your faith or you are wondering if you are really a Christian, I encourage you to pick up and read this book. Reading this book will challenge you, at times convict you but it will always point you back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway as part of their Blogger Review Program. 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 Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.