If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Many people would like to say ‘yes’, to this question that Greg Laurie and others have asked, but there’s a slight problem: much of the evidence they have to present wouldn’t be compelling enough for a conviction.
Martin Thielen’s book What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? sets out to give us enough information to be able to do the things that will lead to a conviction. Granted there are some people who just don’t care, but there are many others who thanks to the movies or the press, and perhaps an occasional off-the-mark sermon, have the wrong idea of what’s involved in being a Christian, and living a Christian life style.
Thielen book consists of two sections; the first consist of “Ten Things Christians Don’t Need to Believe”. This are the things that we’ve learned over the years, and know in our hearts that are sound bible teaching, except for one small thing: they’re not biblical. In the section he talks about misconceptions concerning disease, doubt, evolution, homosexuality, social justice, the environment, women preachers and a number of other hot buttons. For the most part I agree with his assessments, but sometimes he pushes things just a little farther than I’m willing to go.
Section two is “Ten Things Christians Do Need to Believe.” This section is about Jesus: His identity, His priorities, His work, His resurrection, His vision, His legacy and His promise. In this section I tended to be more in agreement theologically speaking.
Overall I think Thielen has done a good job of pointing out some of the misconceptions of modern church-goers, and pointing out what the important things are when it comes to following Jesus.
Just Chapter 18 – “Jesus’ Legacy: Is the Church Still Relevant” makes the book worth reading.
I received a galley copy of this book in exchange for a review.