The Christian Experience

 

 

By E. B. Alston

 

 

A  21st Century Christian examines
his faith
 

 

ISBN 978-1-938527-21-0

 

Paperback- 70 pages- $10.00

 

 

“Truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.” St. Augustine.

 

In the spring of 1946, when I was 12-years–old, I was baptized in Porter Creek, downstream from the wooden bridge on Porter Road. It was close to Hollister, North Carolina. Reverend Wiley Guthrie baptized me along with my cousin Joseph Powell and our classmate and friend, Lil Shearin. Most of my extended family observed from the bridge. My Aunt Mary was pleased and said so when she hugged me, wet clothes and all. Since then I have continued to study Christianity. I owe a lot to St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Milton, G. K. Chesterton, Samuel Johnson, C. S. Lewis, Mortimer Adler, and many others. This is a brief summary of what I have learned.

Reviewed by Judy Jacobs

 The Christian Experience is a book where one man,   a 21st century lay-Christian, has taken the time to examine his faith and then verbalize his findings.   This book is not a guide to understanding one’s faith in five easy steps.  Rather, the author sets forth a series of thought provoking statements.  He does this without pushing an agenda or elevating one religion over another.  The book is only 41 pages long, but the author has managed to pack a tremendous amount of insight into these pages. The following sentences, taken from the book in no particular order, show the clarity of the author’s thoughts.

 

--Knowledge must be more than having a belief that happens to be true. 

--Do not persecute others who do not share your ideas.

--We are supposed to achieve salvation in order to further our usefulness to God.

--Rewards are not tacked on to the activity for which they are given.  They are the result of the activity itself.

--Saved people do good works in the sense that people who breathe live.

--Even though we are drawn to interesting, distracting, less rigorous substitutes, we are doomed if we stop seeking Heaven and accept a substitute for the real thing.

--We cannot avoid parts that seem strange or ugly.  Remember, something that seems repellent, or even senseless might be something we need to know.

--The first promise of Scriptural Heaven is that we will be with Christ.  Why do we need more promises than that?  Because, that promise alone is not enough for God.  God has a universe to run and we are assigned a responsibility in God’s universe.

 

Faith, like everything else, is a process.  It is not necessary to completely understand something to appreciate it.  The author knows this and reassures his readers that the important thing is to keep moving.  The goal of religion is to make each believer as virtuous as possible while accepting each believer’s individual imperfections.   Do not beat yourself up if, after one reading, you do not fully understand what the author is trying to convey. This book is meant to be pondered.  Any statement that makes one think and moves one forward in the faith journey has accomplished its objective.

The Christian Experience will be a welcome addition to your Christian Living library.  Pull it out whenever you need assistance determining how to become the best version of yourself you can possibly be.

 

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