Let me begin with shameful honesty. I was asked to write a review on Basic Christianity, to which I obliged. As I began to read the book, I was easily taken by pride and arrogance because I thought I had a good and sufficient knowledge of Christ. I must apologize.
You see, I know that God is the creator.
I know he keeps the distance between the earth and sun. It certainly isn’t Eskom that switches on the seasons of the year. Who dictates gravity?
But when I read the first five words of the bible, ‘In the beginning God created . . .’, I realized that I should not bother reading on if I cannot accept those words as true in my heart. It will and should change everything.
And so I go on . . . .
I know that it’s all about Jesus.
But then this book unpacks the ‘ALL’ in Jesus.
I know that I am a sinner.
And then the book chipped and eventually broke down what that meant by showing me the God I sin against. Now I can stop measuring the standard of the goodness I think I have against others. For that attitude brings a false meaning and understanding of what sin is; and this is when we start treating sin with a sigh.
I know that God is love.
But then I read about Jesus and the many testimonies of those who were privileged to journey with him face to face. Only God can be both humble and great, making friends with the ordinary and waking the dead. Why did Paul and Peter endure such suffering? I won’t tell you, but read and set alight love’s meaning.
I know that he died and rose for us.
On a real scale, God, the holder of the universe, came to this broken world, proved his eligibility, was broken down to fix the damage, built himself up again to give us birth. He then shares his inheritance. And the church worships evermore.
I know that I need to repent.
But then I read repentance is a 360 degree transformation and not a part-time practice or something I do after watching Passion of the Christ, which may keep me emotionally charged to be sorry for a day or two.
It is not just about reading. This book is an invitation to bring you to a place of understanding, to be able to respond to God rightly because his truths are orderly accounted for you thanks to John Stott, a servant of the Lord.
The book even makes clear, it cannot save you, nor will accepting it as true save you. True faith shall turn you around. Your response will make you a new creation or not. This book has enlightened, refreshed and brought great comfort to my heart.
Review by Alida Ganesan