Groeschel, senior pastor of livechurch.tv, opens the book by quoting Titus 1:6, They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. This has to be one of the most convicting passages in all of Scripture. God has called us, no commanded us, to live a certain way and those of us who claim to know Him usually do a poor job of being obedient to the commands found in Scripture. Groeschel chooses to address certain areas of the Christian life that he believes Christians behave more like atheists than Christian. Each chapter begins with “When you believe in God but…” Some of the topics covered deal with not really knowing God, being ashamed of your past, a lack of prayer, not believing God is fair to worry, money and evangelism amongst others.
The chapters that stuck out most to me dealt with the church and happiness for different reasons. First his thoughts on the church. He titles that chapter “When You Believe in God but Not in His Church.” One false notion he is addressing are those who don’t go to church because they haven’t found a church that fits their liking. He states that if we don’t like the church then be the agent of change the church needs. He also speaks to the fact that in the body of Christ each part comes together in church and minister’s to the other needs, wants and for their encouragement. He writes that if we are not ministering and using our gifts in the church then something God wants done isn’t getting done. This chapter ministered to me more than any other. It caused me to examine my view of my role and participation in the church I serve in and for that I am grateful.
As for the chapter on happiness he is spot on in confronting the false notion that we pursue happiness at all costs. We desire the things that the world tells us will make us happy but in the end they leave us feeling hollow and/or wanting more. What is lacking in the chapter little mention of what true happiness is. He does say that it is found in Christ but never says how. The Beatitudes found in Matthew 5 is where we find the Biblical instructions on perfect and pure happiness but Groeschel never takes the reader there and that is unfortunate.
With that said I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter if they are living fully devoted lives to Christ or are living as though God doesn’t exist. You will be challenged, at times moved to tears and hopefully encouraged to run the race with greater zeal for Christ.
You can purchase it as Christianbook, Amazon or at the books site.