In a world filled with so much strife at times, many often wonder who God is, where He is and how He's working in the lives of His creations.
Author, renowned apologist, talk show host and preacher Alex McFarland seeks to answer some of these questions in his newest book, The God You Thought You Knew: Exposing the 10 Biggest Myths About Christianity, which will be released next week by the Baker Publishing Group.
"Much of society has a warped view of what Christianity really is," McFarland said. "So many people today believe they have to be good to be accepted by God, or that the Bible is just a list of dos and don'ts, or that God is far away and unapproachable. I used to think this way, too, until I realized that rather than providing 'proofs' about God and the Bible, we should strive to really know Jesus."
The God You Thought You Knew exposes 10 myths, along with the truths about these myths:
- Myth No. 1: Christianity is intolerant and judgmental toward others.
Truth: Christianity teaches to love neighbor as self and to share the love of Jesus with others.
- Myth No. 2: Christianity cannot be true because of the evil and suffering in our world.
Truth: Christianity offers the best hope and power to deal with suffering.
- Myth No. 3: Christianity is untrue because it is based on faith instead of facts.
Truth: The claims of Christianity are based on historical facts that can be tested.
- Myth No. 4: Christianity has been disproven by modern science.
Truth: The latest scientific evidence points to an intelligent designer behind all creation.
- Myth No. 5: Christianity is not a religion for the educated.
Truth: Many of the world's top past and present scholars are Christians.
- Myth No. 6: Christianity is boring and would be a waste of my time.
Truth: Christianity is the most adventurous life a person can experience.
- Myth No. 7: Christianity isn't real because it didn't work for me.
Truth: The Christian faith is difficult, yet also the most rewarding way of life.
- Myth No. 8: Christianity is false because it is based on the Bible, which is filled with errors and contradictions.
Truth: The Bible is the most accurately preserved book in history.
- Myth No. 9: Christianity can't be true because it is based on a dead man coming back to life.
Truth: If the best explanation for the empty tomb of Jesus is the resurrection, then Christianity can be true.
- Myth No. 10: Christianity isn't real because a loving God wouldn't send anyone to hell.
Truth: God has made great efforts to make sure many will spend eternity with him.
McFarland said that in spite of authoring dozens of articles and books, preaching in all 50 states and leading ministries, he still felt he was falling short—in the eyes of God and man.
"Though successful from a ministry standpoint, I began to realize my relationship with God was more transactional than unconditional," he said. "In other words, I unintentionally sought God's approval by how hard I worked and performed for Him—the same way I sought to earn my father's approval simply transitioned to earning God's favor. Though I had accepted His gift of eternal life by faith, I was too often living like it depended on me.
"It was during this time God revealed a new understanding of His love for me," McFarland continued.
"Rather than earning His love, I was simply to receive it. My attitude began to shift from earning to receiving. The example of John the Baptist became a personal theme during this time. When asked about the growing popularity of Jesus over his own ministry, John responded, 'A person can receive only what is given them from heaven' (John 3:27). In short, God clearly taught me that ministry is not achieved; ministry is received. Just as I did nothing to earn eternal life, I can do nothing to make God love me any more or any less. I am already perfectly loved, accepted, forgiven and redeemed. Though I had read these truths repeatedly over the years, it was if God had removed the blinders from my eyes to see His perspective on this issue."
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