Belief can exist in isolation, but faith requires a relationship
Why wade in the shallows of belief when you can plunge into the depths of faith? Belief involves a different way of thinking, but faith brings about a new way of living. It grows through direct experience and a close relationship, both of which come as you follow Jesus.
As Christians we often talk about developing a “personal relationship” with Christ, but instead of pursuing a relationship, we pursue knowledge. We are tempted to place confidence in our definite, settled beliefs, which offer a pale substitute for the daily adventure of an honest relationship with Jesus.
In What Matters Most, Leonard Sweet presents a challenging and compelling approach to belief that is joined by dynamic engagement with God. You are invited to explore the uncharted regions of faith by following Jesus, completely on his terms. Once you begin, you will never go back to mere belief.
Out There| Posted September 03, 2012
This book is very different from any book I've ever read, as it promised that it would be.
I was excited to start out in the book and it seemed to be getting off to a good start, and then he got into God's relationship with Abraham. Or rather, Abraham's relationship with God. To be fair, he did warn you that if you think well enough should be left alone, you should skip that chapter. I'm not one of those and I wrestled with his questions for awhile and I talked to several other people about it. In a way it was very good for me because it strengthened what I believe.
The middle of the book was great when he talked about our relationship with God. He encouraged me to fall in love with the Bible and to realize that my relationship with God is more important than what I know about him,..although I believe that we should not totally throw out Theology.
The end of the book was really hard for me to read and finish. When he started talking about our relationship with nature is when I really struggled to finish. God created the world for us to use for good. It started to get really odd when he started talking about our relationship with things like art and food. I can understand him saying "Enjoy the little things"...I do that. The little things in life delight me from head to toe. But when he started talking about having relationships with these things, it really bothered me.
So overall I didn't really like the book. It did encourage me to really work on my relationship with God though, so I'll give it that. It was just a little too New-Age ish for me.
I'll keep this brief so you'll have more time to start reading this book. I'm very critical of all I read, and I rarely give anything a rave review or a total 5 stars. This book is 100% a 5 star book and will rock your world and heart.
Leonard Sweet is an amazing speaker. I've had the privilege of hearing him many times at the NWLC throughout the years. This is the first time I've picked up a book of his and let me tell you.... it was an incredible journey.
This book is smart and theological, yet it doesn’t speak to the head. It speaks to the heart. Many Christians (like myself) totally get the point of the faith: love God, love others. We get that worship, discipleship, and service are critical and crucial parts of being a Christian. I would dare say most Christians strive to make those three elements a serious part of their faith.
But here’s the rub: we have missed the person of Jesus. We have missed the relationship.
Everything about loving God and loving others revolves around what Sweet calls ‘GodLife’ relationships. Throughout this book I discovered that those with the strongest relationships with God were those who didn’t blindly follow a law but engaged in dialogue with God, often questioning Him, arguing with Him, or even attempting to change his mind. God desires a real relationship with us that is intense. It isn’t about fearlessly following a law but following a leader.
I challenge anyone to dive into this book and not evaluate all they believe and who they currently are as a Christian.