Authentic Faith

Publisher
Zondervan

Author
Gary Thomas

Central Theme
God reveals Himself and fosters our growth in the places we would least expect it.

Overview
There is a resurging interest in the classic spiritual disciplines (fasting and prayer) but Gary Thomas draws on the spiritual classics and the Bible to show how our growth often comes from disciplines that are initiated by God. The book is packed with illustrative stories and references to contemporary and ancient saints, to demonstrate how some of the very issues most likely to result in our spiritual depth, are the ones contemporary Christians try to avoid.

Beliefs num
–There is power in a fire-tested life
–Nine examples of disciplines we should master are:
a. Selflessness
b. Waiting
c. Suffering
d. Persecution
e. Social Mercy
f. Forgiveness
g. Mourning
h. Contentment
i. Sacrifice
–Christian live with the hope of hearing, ‘well done good and faithful servant’, and a fear, ‘depart from me I never knew you’.
–You will be counter-cultural to American and Christian culture as practiced today if you embracing these disciplines. As Stephen from Africa said to Gary, ‘It is difficult to fast in this country.’

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Is most of what passes as Christianity in America ‘authentic’, as described in this book?
–How has American Christianity become such a distortion when compared to authentic Christianity?
–Are you prepared to strive for authentic Christianity even if it means being counter-cultural?
–Would seekers be less or more attracted to Christianity if they were exposed to ‘authentic’ Christians as defined in this book?

Provocative Quotes byline
–The church is the one thing that saves a man from the degrading servitude of being a child of his time.
==G.K. Chesteron
–What we need now is for you to beef up the rewards section of your article on selflessness.
==An editor, sending an article back to Gary for improvements
–Some Christians, in becoming aware of their own imperfections, grow angry with themselves in an un-humble impatience. So impatient are they about these imperfections, that they would want to become saints in a day.
==John of the Cross
–The brilliance of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series was not achieved in spite being written under much personal stress, but because it was written in a situation of human suffering.
==George Sayer
–If Lewis had lived the cloistered existence of a bachelor don, his writing would have suffered from a loss of warmth, humanity, and the understanding of pain and suffering.
==George Sayer
–The President (Clinton) has been very clear in his opposition to whatever organizations, including the Southern Baptists, that perpetuate religious hatred.
==Clinton spokesman, in reaction to Southern Baptist desire to evangelize Jews, Muslims and Hindus
–Quit helping the poor or quit our mission!
==The ultimatum a missions organization gave to to Gene and Helen Tabor, in regards to the Tabors’ commitment to link serving the poor with evangelism (The Tabors went on to establish REACH Ministries in the Philippines)
–Living for yourself is too notoriously small an aim for any human soul.
==Klaus Bockmuehl
–Weaklings are those who know the truth, but maintain it only so far as it is in their interest to do so, and apart from that forsake it.
==Blaise Pascal
–There is no question in my mind that I would never have won the Tour (de France) if I hadn’t gotten cancer. The truth is, it was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it made me a better man, and a better rider.
==Lance Armstrong, champion cyclist
–It is difficult to fast in this country.
==Stephen, from Nigeria, about the U.S.

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