A brief outline of the introduction for More Than a Sunday Faith:
- In the author’s experience, only 9% of those who self-identify as followers of Jesus actually know how to use the Bible to think critically and process daily life situations through a Biblical worldview/scriptural lens. They know the “what” of their faith, but not the “why” or the “how to”.
- Many “Christians” have little understanding of why they believe. It is, for many, little more than a “get out of jail free” card.
- Of the smaller percentage of Jesus-followers who know the “why” (i.e., only living God’s way truly satisfies), many of these are unable to do so consistently because they have never been shown how.
- We have been taught to modify our behavior without ever changing our thinking. Scripture is clear that we must focus on our thinking first (e.g., Romans 12:2) and win the battle there before we will ever have any success in modifying our behavior.
- The main battle in our minds is to assess every thought (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5), filter out the lies, and replace them with God’s truth as stated in His Word, the Bible. (Thus, it is critically important that we know what the Bible has to say!)
- When our minds and spirits are full of Biblical truth (Jesus), then we will find ourselves set free, as Jesus promised (John 8:34-38, Galatians 5:1). This freedom is at least two-fold:
- Freedom from the negative consequences of sin: guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, bitterness, failure, ineptness, worry, about tomorrow, anger, and eventually from death
- Freedom to live rightly, with joy, peace, and love as constants regardless of circumstances
A couple thoughts:
- The notion of freedom from all the consequences of sin is very encouraging to me. It holds true in my experience. There is nothing that can separate me from the love of Christ and His life-giving Spirit. The only thing that can prevent my experience of these good things is my own forgetfulness of who I truly am in Him.
- The approach of changing your thinking to change your behavior bears a strong resemblance to modern cognitive behavioral therapies. While I believe this sort of therapeutic intervention to be highly effective, what distinguishes what is being presented here from a mere repackaging of a humanistic psychological practice is the centrality of Jesus Christ to the endeavor. It is only with the Spirit’s help that we are able consistently even to want to experience life lived God’s way and then to undergo “tak[ing] captive every thought”, which is very hard work, indeed.