In Real Christianity: How to Be Bold for Christ In a Culture of Darkness, author and pastor Dale Partridge offers a sober, concise and profound reminder of the biblical characteristics and requirements of a Christian and challenges modern-day believers to see how they measure up.
“I did not write this to accuse the lukewarm, but to rouse the faithful,” Partridge, a Bible teacher who operates a global church planting ministry at RelearnChurch.org, declares in his introduction. “Real Christianity is a book for Christians looking to be more like Christ. It is not an out-looking book aimed to highlight the contrast between ‘real Christians’ and ‘fake Christians.’ It is an in-looking book aimed to highlight what the Bible says about being a real Christian and a careful examination of your personal walk with Jesus.”
Partridge makes his case by using biblical evidence to support the need for Christians to establish a deeper relationship with Christ. He challenges popular theologies like the prosperity gospel and the idea that belief in Jesus alone, for example, is enough to qualify someone as a Christian.
“Ultimately, salvation isn’t simply dependent on belief in Jesus’ existence. Jesus’ own brother, the Apostle James, knew this when he wrote, ‘Even the demons believe — and tremble.’ (James 2:19). In truth, salvation (and a fruitful Christian life) is dependent on three things: belief that Jesus is the Christ, a willingness to make Him Lord, and a recognition that God raised Jesus from the dead. Together, these three postures create the bedrock for divine relationship,” Partridge argues.
“Jesus is Lord. And until we fully renounce our lives and relinquish the desire to direct our own paths in this world, we will not understand what it means to be a real Christian — a Christian who has died in the flesh, been born again of the Spirit, and who now walks by faith in a precious relationship with their Lord,” he explains.
Real Christians, Partridge notes, also accept the complete truth of Scripture with the full understanding that God’s Word doesn’t change. He adds that if there is something that Christians find disagreeable in Scripture, it’s usually the individual who needs to change and not God’s Word.
“God’s Word is unchanging. It’s immovable. Jesus Himself says in Matthew 24:35, ‘Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.’ Real Christians don’t avoid the text because of its unpopularity or discomfort or difficulty within a modern culture. Real Christians embrace God’s Word in all times, hoping that it will mature their faith and glorify God in the process,” he says.
“It’s peculiar to me how many pastors dismiss difficult parts of Scripture — from the creation narrative and the Garden of Eden to Noah’s flood and Jonah’s time in the great fish. May I please remind you that these are all portions of God’s story that Jesus personally mentions during His earthly ministry? In other words, are you really going to believe in Jesus, but not believe in Jesus’ belief in the Scriptures?” he asks.
And this is where faith in God’s Word is expected from followers of Christ, he says, because “we will not fully understand everything we read.”
“We must make room for faith or what theology calls ‘divine accommodation’ — meaning intellectual compromise when heavenly ideas hold earthly ambiguity. Thankfully, we serve a God who is very logical with us and has sufficiently revealed Himself in many pragmatic ways. Yet still, it requires faith, humility, and a decent tolerance for mystery to believe in the total accuracy of Scripture,” Partridge says. “We have to admit that we don’t understand everything God has written.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair