I think every Christian has a time in his or her life when spiritual growth goes into overdrive. God calls us past our conversion experience into a deeper walk with Him that progressively affects more of our lives. Justification results in sanctification. For me, that time was in college thanks to the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, a house full of brothers in Christ, and a God-loving church home. That was significantly removed (chronologically) from my acceptance of Christ. For others, the time difference between these two experiences is significantly shorter or even nonexistent. This is just a theory I have, but it passes the smell test. What I do know is that Being A Christian is a perfect book for those Christians in that critical, dynamic time of life.
Jason K. Allen has produced a work that gives Christians a succinct explanation of what the Gospel means in application and, as the subtitle accurately describes, “how Jesus redeems all of life”. The topics, helpfully employed as chapter titles, include how the Gospel affects your past, your marriage, your family, your time, your money, your work, your recreation, your mind, and your church.
My initial interest in this book was partially due to the essential and practical nature of these questions, but part of it was also the possibility of using the book as a resource for a future discipleship group. In the right context, this would be perfect for such a study. The chapters are broad enough to produce great discussion, but they are short enough for a weekly reading that is easy for anyone to complete. The book and ensuing discussion would be helpful for any Christian, but I feel that it would be especially impactful for new Christians or those in periods of fundamental growth.
As a whole, Being A Christian gives a clear if concise picture of what the Christian life is when Jesus redeems it. There are other books that go deeper on a single topic (my recommendations include the Gospel For Life series and my pastor Jared Wellman’s book The Church Member), but this one is valuable for its overview of multiple facets of a life shaped and redeemed by Christ.
I received a review copy of this book courtesy of B&H Books and Lifeway, but my opinions are my own.