I am beginning the book discussion on The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel today. I don't know how many participants I have, but have been told by some they have gotten the book so I want to get started. I have been reading and I am eager to talk about it and see what everybody else thinks.
Anybody can jump in at any time. If you are just following along, it is never too late to get the book and participate. Also, if you aren't reading the book, but keeing up with the discussion, you are more than welcome to add comments. I want anyone who has something to say to do so. There are no rules. This is supposed to be an easy going, comfortable way of talking about what you have read or your thoughts.
The title of the book is a little odd. I remember learning the word oxymoron in high school. It's when you put two totally opposite words together. The Christian Atheist is about as opposite as you can get. It is always a little awkward and imtimidating when you talk about religion. Atheists have a much easier time talking about their disbelief than some Christians have talking about their belief.
We don't want to say the wrong thing and seem unChristian-like. I think I just made up a word, but unChristian-like sounds so much more delicate than Atheist. When I think of Atheists, I sometimes think of dark people, even goth-looking, that not only don't believe in God, but maybe worship the devil. That isn't always the case. There are many people, normal, nice people walking around that don't believe God exists.
I think it is so interesting that the author of this book is a pastor and admits he has been guilty of being a Christian Atheist. I think it is also interesting he said he holds off on telling people he is a pastor as long as he can because they react differently when they find out. Most people don't say in front of a pastor what they would say in front of other people. Which is kind of funny because if we think impressing the pastor will also impress God, we are mistaken. The pastor might not know what we are thinking instead of saying, but God does.
The topic of how good of a Christian are we is an uncomfortable one. I know that my life is for God. I know that it doesn't matter what else I do, I am supposed to revolve everything else around being a Christian, not the other way around. God is my to do list. I am not supposed to be too busy or tired to go to church or pray. I know all of these things, but at times I am guilty of not doing all of them.
It is uncomfortable and embarrassing to say that I don't go to church every Sunday. I have fell asleep before saying my prayers. I have put chores ahead of reading my Bible. According to the author, I am a Christian Atheist. And that's not enough. The sound of it makes me more uncomfortable than my confessions. I don't want more because it is socially acceptable or it is supposed to be that way. I want more because I know my life is not completely full and filled with peace unless I put my whole life, heart, and faith in God.
I know this book is going to challenge me, but in a good way. What do you think so far? What about the Introduction and Chapter 1? I keep thinking about the word "know" and how to truly "know" God. We use the word in so many ways, but I am thinking about the concept of what it means to truly know God.
I like the author's way of explaining the idea of believing in God but living as though He doesn't exist. He has a good sense of humor too! I think we should be able to go 2 chapters at a time. (Next Wed. will be on Chapters 2 and 3). If we get on a topic or Chapter that takes longer, we will just move at the pace that comes naturally. I am really excited about hearing what all of you think. It might be a little uncomfortable at times, but I think there is a lot we can learn from each other. At least we are at our computers and nobody can see our discomfort like when the preacher has a sermon that makes us nervous and we turn red or start shifting on the pew!