discerning questions on nominal Christianity

Just finished the book Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity by Owen Stracham and Doug Sweeney.  (BTW – a very good book if you find meat in the teaching of Jonathan Edwards – this book is one in a series of five books I believe).

Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity

At the end of the book, the authors offered seven questions to help nominal Christians discern the true state of the heart (Somewhat similar to Edward’s Five Distinguishing Marks of the Spirit of God).  For the purpose of this discussion, nominal is defined as existing or being something in name or form only.

You know you’re in trouble when you start a post with three disclaimers.  But here I go …

First, I am using these questions for personal self examination … you are welcome to look over my shoulder … but the questions are directed to me.

Second, these questions are not providing a religious checklist for one to achieve something beyond nominal Christianity.  These questions are used to test one’s declaration of faith to determine if one has experienced a true conversion.

Third, while I think there is much we can learn from the post-scriptural saints, I don’t believe we are called to base our Christian faith on anyone but Christ Jesus.  But there are lessons to be learned from the historical saints and Jonathan Edwards walk of faith resonates with me in many ways … but I also say to each his own.

So here are the questions that closed the book:

  • Do you love God?
  • Do you love the Bible?
  • Do you love living out and sharing the gospel?
  • Do you love Christians?
  • Do you enjoy church and draw nourishment from it?
  • Does the matter of eternity concern you?
  • Does the Bible shape your ethics and morals?

Well, if this was a test I feel pretty confident I have an 86 … but that still leaves me with one main concern … Do you love living out and sharing the gospel?  My answer on this in words is good … in actions not so good.  Sorta goes hand in with my break-thru area … need Boldness in speaking the word of God and sharing my faith.

At least I know I seem to picking a needed break-thru area …

Lord, please convict me and help me to break through and be all that you desire in this area of my spiritual life!



About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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2 Responses to discerning questions on nominal Christianity

  1. You and I may judge ourselves with an eighty-something, but thankfully (or not so) God knows and judges our hearts.

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