by Kenneth Samples
Have you ever been asked to introduce yourself in a public setting? What if you were asked to introduce your Christian faith to a group of non-Christians—what would you say?
As you think about the question you might consider conveying that the Christian faith is a set of beliefs—but it also involves an important collection of values, and it is also very much a way of life. The Christian faith genuinely encompasses all three of these critical components, with their importance likely in the order given (beliefs, values, way of life).
It is important that a Christian be able to talk about their faith, and not just in terms of their personal relationship with God, as important as that is. Christians should be able to talk in an informed manner about their faith as a historic movement that affirms specific doctrinal truths (Trinity, Incarnation, atonement, resurrection) and embraces an identified code of values (moral objectivism grounded in humans bearing the image of God).
If you need help in thinking through historic Christianity and knowing just how to introduce your faith’s core elements, I have three fine books to recommend to you.
Three Brief Introductions to Christianity
All three of these books introduce Christianity but they do so in different ways. Allow me to briefly describe these works.
This book is a contemporary classic and was voted the most important Christian book of the twentieth century. In the preface, Lewis presents the idea of “mere Christianity,” which reflects far more than a book title. This term refers to a group of essential and “agreed, or common, or central” Christian doctrines (such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the atonement) that all branches of historic Christendom (Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant) affirm…
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