If you are looking for reading material that is both informative and inspirational while, at the same time, covers the fundamental aspects of positive Christian living, let me make a recommendation.
Chip Ingram’s Living on the Edge: Dare to Experience True Spirituality is an excellent treatment of the struggles and rewards of living the Christian path on a daily basis. Recognizing that the church has been woefully inadequate in presenting the “whole gospel,” Ingram, Senior Pastor at Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, takes the view that the second half of the gospel, the half that presents the basics of spiritual formation and empowerment, has been largely ignored. It is a view that I share and have often discussed on this blog. In order to glean a picture of Ingram’s take on all this, consider the following synopsis, taken from the book’s introduction:
The great majority of Christians have been taught that life is about coming to know Christ personally, being saved, being good, and then helping other people “get saved.” Before long, they become a part of the religious machinery whose primary goal is to help more people enter the kingdom of God.
Please do not get me wrong: evangelism is very important and leading people to Christ is at the top of God’s priority list. But the second half of the message has been sorely neglected: the part about God’s dream that you become a precious and cherished son or daughter living in deep union with Him.
God’s dream and plan for each of His children is not about rules or religious activity but about relationship. God’s desire is not for our performance, but for us to learn to live out of the grace and favor you already possess. God’s primary agenda is to make us more and more like His Son so we can enjoy and love Him and others the way He loves them.
This life can be yours. I have tasted it and watched countless other ordinary people like you and me experience it. My passion is that you will dare to step out to the dramatic and exciting edges of life – the place where you are in sync with God and feel alive and vibrant and filled with purpose.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, Ingram’s treatment of the subject matter is both inspirational and informative. Sharing deeply of himself, the author candidly discusses not only the pinnacles of the Christian life, but also, the numerous pitfalls along the way. Again, if you are looking for a read that will provide not only a detailed discussion of the principles of Christian living, but practical “where-the-rubber-meets-the-road” guidelines as well, I highly recommend Pastor Ingram’s Living on the Edge.
(I apologize for the brevity of this review, but I am quite busy preparing for this week’s surgery).
© L.D. Turner 2012/All Rights Reserved