Christians need a wake-up call. We are living in a more of me less of God world where we have diluted the message to suit our own needs and desires. We want blessings without obedience and comfort without sacrifice. Our churches are taking on characteristics of the world so that people will come to church. People aren’t being changed. They are being entertained.
In Glen Berteau’s “Christianity Lite, he says, “Christianity Lite promises we can live the way we want to live and do what we want to do. The kind of life Jesus offers is very different.” What if we died to ourselves and our desires and lived our lives totally and completely for Jesus? What if we refused to absorb the new gospel and demanded the church preach repentance and sacrifice?
Berteau, senior pastor of The House Modesto in Modest, California, is bold in this new book addressing the issue many churches face today—balancing the demands of the “me generation” with the demands of the gospel. The only way to find meaning in this life is outside of ourselves; however, the world wants us to believe life is all about us. Instead of finding a compromise, Berteau recommends presenting the real thing—the narrow way—which is the only way to change lives.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Booketeria, as part of their Book Review Blogger 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 2 for Christianity Lite: Stop drinking a watered-down Gospel - eBook
Many church leaders today give pleasant, positive, and inspiring messages. On the surface, that might look like Christianity. But, Glen writes, it is not. It is only half the gospel. It is Christianity “lite.” It emphasizes the blessings but ignores the requirements. (This has been named Moral Therapeutic Deism, p.121.) We don't need Christianity lite. We need the real thing. We need to die to self and live to Christ. Why don't we? Glen writes that there is a war going on in our hearts. “In Christianity Lite people are in control. They think they can choose to respond to God on their terms and on their schedule.” (23) True Christianity? The Father is in complete control.
Glen identifies the anorexic version of the gospel – it doesn't challenge and it doesn't inspire. At best it ignores the power of God and at worst it denies it. It thinks of prayer as an afterthought. It overlooks the clear, but uncomfortable, cost of discipleship.
“Jesus didn't come to make us happy. He came to humiliate our flesh so He could transform us and raise us to a new life.” (15) “When we follow Jesus, everything isn't always bright and sunny. We experience suffering, pain, and loss.” (96) Glen reminds us of the cost in pride, comfort, habits, and reputation. “If we're serious about following Jesus, nothing is off limits.” (110)
Glen is serious about living out real Christianity instead of the “lite” version. He gives many examples from his own life, the lives of others, and from the Bible. Just a note for all readers: Glen is charismatic and one aspect of his encouragement to live out the full gospel includes authority to cast out demons and other aspects of spiritual warfare.
At the end of each chapter, Glen has included questions to stimulate thinking, guide prayers, and propel to action. These questions may be used on a personal level but would also work well for group discussion. Glen has also provided an appendix with suggestions for using the book in classes and groups.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.