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Rightly understood and rightly communicated, the Christian faith is one of great joy. It is an invitation to God’s kingdom, where tears are replaced by laughter and longing hearts find their purpose and their home. This is the heart of the gospel: God’s search to reclaim us and love us as his own. But have we truly grasped this? Those of us who have disdained Christianity Rightly understood and rightly communicated, the Christian faith is one of great joy. It is an invitation to God’s kingdom, where tears are replaced by laughter and longing hearts find their purpose and their home. This is the heart of the gospel: God’s search to reclaim us and love us as his own. But have we truly grasped this? Those of us who have disdained Christianity as a religion of bigotry—have we repudiated the genuine article or merely demonstrated our own prejudice and ignorance? Those of us who are Christians—have we deeply apprehended the mission of Jesus, and do our ways and character faithfully reflect his beauty? From the nature of God, to the human condition, to the work of Jesus, to God’s coming kingdom, and all that lies between, how well do we understand the foundational truths of Christianity and their implications? The Faith is a book for our troubled times and for decades to come, for Christians and non-Christians alike. It is the most important book Chuck Colson and Harold Fickett have ever written: a thought-provoking, soul-searching, and powerful manifesto of the great, historical central truths of Christianity that have sustained believers through the centuries. Brought to immediacy with vivid, true stories, here is what Christianity is really about and why it is a religion of hope, redemption, and beauty.


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Rightly understood and rightly communicated, the Christian faith is one of great joy. It is an invitation to God’s kingdom, where tears are replaced by laughter and longing hearts find their purpose and their home. This is the heart of the gospel: God’s search to reclaim us and love us as his own. But have we truly grasped this? Those of us who have disdained Christianity Rightly understood and rightly communicated, the Christian faith is one of great joy. It is an invitation to God’s kingdom, where tears are replaced by laughter and longing hearts find their purpose and their home. This is the heart of the gospel: God’s search to reclaim us and love us as his own. But have we truly grasped this? Those of us who have disdained Christianity as a religion of bigotry—have we repudiated the genuine article or merely demonstrated our own prejudice and ignorance? Those of us who are Christians—have we deeply apprehended the mission of Jesus, and do our ways and character faithfully reflect his beauty? From the nature of God, to the human condition, to the work of Jesus, to God’s coming kingdom, and all that lies between, how well do we understand the foundational truths of Christianity and their implications? The Faith is a book for our troubled times and for decades to come, for Christians and non-Christians alike. It is the most important book Chuck Colson and Harold Fickett have ever written: a thought-provoking, soul-searching, and powerful manifesto of the great, historical central truths of Christianity that have sustained believers through the centuries. Brought to immediacy with vivid, true stories, here is what Christianity is really about and why it is a religion of hope, redemption, and beauty.

30 review for The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

    "The Faith" is a very basic primer in the basic tenets of the Christian faith. It's very readable, but a bit light. It does a terrific job of focusing on the things that all Christians--Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant--have in common rather than the things that divide them. The author makes a strong case for the positive contributions Christianity has been making for the last 2000 years and how they are a direct result of living the Gospel. Personally, I didn't learn anything new in reading t "The Faith" is a very basic primer in the basic tenets of the Christian faith. It's very readable, but a bit light. It does a terrific job of focusing on the things that all Christians--Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant--have in common rather than the things that divide them. The author makes a strong case for the positive contributions Christianity has been making for the last 2000 years and how they are a direct result of living the Gospel. Personally, I didn't learn anything new in reading this book. In his preface, Colson says: Most professing Christians don't know what they believe, and so can neither understand nor defend the Christian faith--much less live it. This book tries to solve that problem.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robin Hatcher

    Every professing Christian ought to read this book. As more and more secularism and liberalism sneaks its way into the church, the more truth we lose sight of. I also wish every unbeliever, every self-professed atheist, and everyone who embraces other religions could read it, just to understand what true Christianity is now and what it has been for the past 2,000 years. I have always appreciated the depth of Colson's writings. While this book may not have been as "deep" as others he wrote, what h Every professing Christian ought to read this book. As more and more secularism and liberalism sneaks its way into the church, the more truth we lose sight of. I also wish every unbeliever, every self-professed atheist, and everyone who embraces other religions could read it, just to understand what true Christianity is now and what it has been for the past 2,000 years. I have always appreciated the depth of Colson's writings. While this book may not have been as "deep" as others he wrote, what he had to say is important. The "remembrance" at the end of the book says Colson was passionate about the writing of this book, and it shows. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristel

    This is a work of nonfiction, an effort by the author to summarize what Christians believe which Colson refers to as the Christian World View. The author starts with an epigram of the definition of orthodoxy. 1. That which adheres to the accepted or traditional and established faith, especially in religion; proper,correct or conventional; 2. that which adheres or conforms to the Christian Faith as expressed in early Christian Faith as expressed in early Christian ecumenical creeds and confession This is a work of nonfiction, an effort by the author to summarize what Christians believe which Colson refers to as the Christian World View. The author starts with an epigram of the definition of orthodoxy. 1. That which adheres to the accepted or traditional and established faith, especially in religion; proper,correct or conventional; 2. that which adheres or conforms to the Christian Faith as expressed in early Christian Faith as expressed in early Christian ecumenical creeds and confessions. Charles Colson was President Nixons right hand man and was convicted and sent to prison for his part in Watergate. Colson died in 2012. He founded Prison Fellowship. Harold Fickett is an author of the novel The Holy Fool, cofounder of Image: Art, Faith, Mystery (magazine) and a web magazine GodSpy, www.godspy.com. Colson tries to address issues raised by atheist such as Dawkins and Hitchens, postmodernism and the death of truth and the clash of civilization. He uses history back to the early years of Christianity to the modern times of the class of fascism Islam, Christianity and the new religion of tolerance. The author explores twelve basic Christian beliefs starting with “God Is” with references to to the God gene and scholarly studies such as Wired to Connect. C.S. Lewis argued that we long for God because he is real as we hunger for food because food satisfies hunger. Dawkins rules out God on the law of probability. God is incomprehensible. St. Anselm argued that God is that which is beyond what the human mind can comprehend. Second Christian belief; He has spoken. This section addresses why Christians believe the Bible. It is the foundation of Catholics, Protestant and Orthodox. Third belief; truth. Christians believe there is truth. Truth through nature, truth through reason and truth through conscience. The fracture in our churches is over the authority of scripture. Without truth the gospel is perverted, there is biblical illiteracy, and ethical confusion. Sexuality is often the place where we want to make our own rules. In this section the author address the difficult subjects and states homosexuality is no more grievous than heterosexual sin. Rejection of truth undermines cultural development. German philosophy culminated in facism, liberal churchmen were vanguards of eugenics which led to Hitler's medical experiments. Secular tolerance is the new god. Further beliefs; God loves the world. Man has free will, Jesus died for us, the resurrection and ascension. The trinity. Not 3 gods, one God in three persons. This is a difficult belief to grasp and has been a cause of falling away from Christianity and is one of the beliefs that Islam finds intolerable. This also encompasses sovereignty, time and eternity. St. Augustine argued that time itself is God's creation. Time and the world were created together. The second part of the book addresses the Christian, changed identify, Grace, suffering, forgiveness, reconciliation, unity. Colson worked on unity between Catholic and Protestant in 1992 and created the ECT. Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Consensus on the main points such as faith alone. And I appreciate this quote; "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity." There are also chapters on the church, holiness, sanctity of life, and last things. The last chapter, The Great Proposal sums up a lot and challenges the current tendency of Christians to keep their beliefs to themselves avoiding offending others. Tolerance includes all except Christians. Christianity has contributed to democracy and law, and capitalism in positive ways. Also art, science and education. Christianity started the first universities and pushed for public education. The author counters Christopher Hitchens claim that Christianity has only contributed negatively to history. Christians nursed the plague victims in Ancient Rome and Catholic Charities has led in caring for AID victims. The book concludes with the news story of the killing of Theo Van Gogh by Mohammed Bouyeri. Because we deny our Christian foundations the east sees the west as purely secular and intolerable. They see the west eliminating moral behavior, denying truth and comic pornographers like Van Gogh as representative of the best the west has to offer. The author states, “Reason without faith leads to chaos; in Islam faith alone leads to tyranny.” The tragedy is that the two sides can never find common ground. Pope Benedict said, "a reason which is deaf to the Divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures," Christianity does not seek to impose, it proposes. I find reviewing works of nonfiction to be extremely difficult because every chapter is a piece of the whole. I enjoyed this book. I liked that Colson worked so hard on unity among Christians. I think those that choose to not believe in God, like Dawkins, would not be swayed by this book. Those that might like to find ways to explain their belief might find this book of value. The book really is a challenge to the Christian to be more intentional in their faith.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alain Burrese

    I was given “The Faith” by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett for Christmas and worked it into my reading and finished it today. And while I don't agree with everything Colson and Fickett write about, or their conclusions on a number of things, I do feel they did a good job of writing about his topic, “What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters.” For those that follow the Christian Faith, this book will help them along their journey and reinforce their beliefs. For those who I was given “The Faith” by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett for Christmas and worked it into my reading and finished it today. And while I don't agree with everything Colson and Fickett write about, or their conclusions on a number of things, I do feel they did a good job of writing about his topic, “What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters.” For those that follow the Christian Faith, this book will help them along their journey and reinforce their beliefs. For those who are not Christians, I don't believe the book will necessarily convert one to the Christian faith, but you may find it interesting and better understand those that are Christians as I did. Others, who are anti-Christian, won't like the book and will find reason to dismiss and disagree with everything the authors write. For those individuals, I'd say pass on this book, you won't like it or agree with it. Colson has led an interesting life, and the stories he tells are interesting and I believe his convictions are genuine. His life work is to help others, especially those incarcerated in our prison systems. I commend him for that work, and if his Christian Faith helps him, and helps others live better lives, I'm all for it. Just because it is not my path, does not mean it is not a path. If Christianity is your path, or you want to know more about the path, this is a good book for you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This is a super read. I have really come to enjoy and appreciate the writings of Chuck Colson. This is a very easy to follow book, not heavy on theology or overly "scholarly." But, at the same time, it is not missing theology. In other words, it is not just another Christian "self-help" book, like so many are, with Colson giving his personal opinions on how to live the Christian life. Yes, he does provide some of his own personal thoughts and opinions on Christianity and what's wrong with it (an This is a super read. I have really come to enjoy and appreciate the writings of Chuck Colson. This is a very easy to follow book, not heavy on theology or overly "scholarly." But, at the same time, it is not missing theology. In other words, it is not just another Christian "self-help" book, like so many are, with Colson giving his personal opinions on how to live the Christian life. Yes, he does provide some of his own personal thoughts and opinions on Christianity and what's wrong with it (and us) -- but that's to be expected. However he balances his own opinions and thoughts with a steady dose of EASY TO UNDERSTAND theology -- lots of scripture verses, Christian dogma, history of the church, etc. Colson's underlying point is that God IS God, and moral truth DOES exists (ala, the Bible). Whether we as human beings choose to accept it or not is irrelevant to the basic fact that someday we will be accountable to our actions and choices of free-will. We can say God doesn't exist -- or as Christians, rationalize our actions, picking and choosing portions of the faith that we choose to live by -- but that doesn't change the fundamental fact that God IS, and will always BE. So our charge as believers is to accept this in our hearts, and live changed lives, ready to serve and transform ourselves, as well as the world around us.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Russell Glasser

    Zondervan sent me this book as an initiative to open a dialogue with atheist bloggers. While I appreciate the gesture, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that I didn't care for the book. For my full reaction, read on: http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com... Zondervan sent me this book as an initiative to open a dialogue with atheist bloggers. While I appreciate the gesture, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that I didn't care for the book. For my full reaction, read on: http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    you dont die for something you feel half hearted about. People dont sing in a huge cathedral for 1400 years (year after year) about something they feel half hearted about. First Jews of the Messiah. Then NT was there. Then Irish monks. themes: concern, love, forgive, overcome, same foundation. People "practice" faith they dont understand and present it wrong. Culture weakened the church. Secular. Ignorance is crippling. Can you define Christianity, ahem, ahem. (Ouch) Explore: What we believe, Wh you dont die for something you feel half hearted about. People dont sing in a huge cathedral for 1400 years (year after year) about something they feel half hearted about. First Jews of the Messiah. Then NT was there. Then Irish monks. themes: concern, love, forgive, overcome, same foundation. People "practice" faith they dont understand and present it wrong. Culture weakened the church. Secular. Ignorance is crippling. Can you define Christianity, ahem, ahem. (Ouch) Explore: What we believe, Why we do, why it matters Radical Christianity as to the root. As back to basics, as back to bible. "Hold fast that faith which has been believed everywhere, always and by all" We question God when things are hard. Theory 1: Its always been here. Nothing new. Black holes are cool. Big Bang. The moon just happens to be here, People are an accident probably in the first place. 2:God stepped away. We are chickens laying eggs because we just do. 3. God is alive. Dna beyond any computer software. Nature. Statistically impossible for things to be this perfectly detailed. If offers meaning, something else but people run because they dont want to live with it. Most impact of any book ever? Truth: textural integrity, historical accuracy, biblical authority. There is an attack on it in the USA as is anywhere else. When the texts were being written and collected, almost all done by second century. AD 150 Complete NT, AD 382 translated to Latin as we have it today. Also going back, there was no such thing as crucifixion before the Maccabean era, but dating says Psalm 22 was written well before. We look at records for North American peoples in 400 BC in North America and there is nothing to support Mormon theology. "Jewish tradition provides one answer: According to Hebrew practice, only eyewitness testimony was accepted; and when copying documents, the Jews would not drop one letter of a word or the entire document would be scrapped. " Moral law (right and wrong). Exists! 9-11 bad. sunset: good. Dont follow Cultural Christianity follow Biblical Christianity. Whos agenda are we following? God as man? resurrection a hoax? Devil exists? Jesus was perfect? Deeds over creeds is baloney if the creeds of the deeds are not foundationally sound. Focus on: creed. That Jesus was more than just a nice fellow. (On the other hand teachings not in the bible that people take as gospel truth as just as faulty. Rotting inside out and outside in. Lovely. God walked with people until good and evil battled. Why suffering allowed? We rejected his definitions. Free will makes us do things different than instinct. Free will also means consequences for problems. "Sin" is offensive but sins themselves are not. The blame game: bad influences, survival of the fittest, making money, surpressed desires, troubled childhood. A 9-11 suspect got out of trouble for helping kill thousands because he had a "bad life". Sin is not rejecting temptations to make wrong moral choices. Satan lies. Tolerance. Did God really mean xyz? What is truth? God also invaded this world, but with truth. He fulfilled the OT. Olive skinned Semite born miraclously, died, etc etc. Beaten, crown of thorns, carry cross to where skulls were littering the ground. The man besides him go, that says you are God, okay God, get us out of here. The Romans taunt him after 30+ things they did wrong that could have let him walk away. The King dying for subjects, thats love. The other goes, Wow, you are great and here I totally deserve death. Romans 5:8. The only promise given of heaven was to that guy ^. He responded by repenting. Christ is died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. Attack on Easter is attack on everything we believe in. Killing an innocent man is barbaric. Yet these first 12 never said anything about a conspiracy. They died without muttering anything of it being a lie. The same, Mathew 28:19 says God is 3 in 1. 2 Cor 13:14 says it again. The God of Jews and Muslims is distant- never called Father. Muslims think acts against the unrighteous (anyone else) are pleasing, its gets them brownie points so they have fought for 1000+ years. They said to Jesus, what do you mean, you are God? Are you God here and not in heaven... all three have existed at once. Therefore his suffering was real, praying to God is real. The spirit is our Lord too coming together for the fullness of God. The Father set the plan and listens to prayer to govern the world, Jesus did the saving act and has gone to prepare a place, the Spirit enables us to live it and comforts us. God is not dead, he's surely alive. He's living and any without the other is lacking. PART 2: Saved by faith. We dont have to be good enough, fact is we never will be. Baptism confirms that we want to follow but do we need that either? Goal: learn about, follow, be like to give back more to. Old self comes and dies, free from stains to follow. sees no change but impacted someone. Maybe even yourself. The author of the book went to jail and met life change. Forgive. You have been forgiven for every fault and sin. Show the same love. Love enemies. We need to do better ourselves with God's help. Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox. Live in harmony. one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body. (We dont go to church we meet with the Church, we are it) Church has the bible/gospel and communion, and baptism, and community, and a mission. one. holy. "The Church makes the invisible Kingdom visible" holy-- Conforming to God. We want to choose sin. That was a sin. It was wrong to do. I dont want to do it again. I will take steps not to and reform sinful addictions. Renew Mind. Acts of Kindness. (Old revivals: Born again, reform morals, compassion and kindness). They here tie in freeing slaves and going into slums and mines. Education and science. The Enlightenment. Capitalism and democrasy. They say Lincoln became pushy to free slaves, so should we be concerned. Propose not impose. Life matters, therefore we care about them. We woulkd not if they didnt matter. It is bad to put them in the elements but okay to kill? The lives that we deem important is a flawed concept. Man is 98.7% like ape but far superior. ) 1 Tim 1:10 Slavery is bad. Justice will be served. For us, 1 cor 15:55. 2 Peter 3:9 says that God wants this for all. Free will says he doesnt make anyone choose him. God will kick you out. Job 34:12. So clothe, feed, care, etc all. Its a worldview and response. We have things and with it, mental disorders and depression. Cultural pressures. This christianity moves people to act. transforming. sight to blind, etc. Europe is repopulating at 1.4 (needs to be 2.1 to maintain population). If the west doesnt fall, Islamic radicalism will just take over. Reevangelize the west, go east too. Christian = sees bad in the world and good in the world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    At first, I plodded along in this book and could not get anywhere. It skipped around too much; I felt overwhelmed and couldn’t keep up. I decided to read with a notebook by my side, to write down things that caught my attention. I am so glad I gave it that second chance. This book reaffirmed my belief that Christianity has to be an overarching view of life and the world/ universe. At first he used the phrase “true Christian” and it put me off because people use that phrase to be divisive. Colson At first, I plodded along in this book and could not get anywhere. It skipped around too much; I felt overwhelmed and couldn’t keep up. I decided to read with a notebook by my side, to write down things that caught my attention. I am so glad I gave it that second chance. This book reaffirmed my belief that Christianity has to be an overarching view of life and the world/ universe. At first he used the phrase “true Christian” and it put me off because people use that phrase to be divisive. Colson uses it to dissolve the petty lines that divide us. He talks about a return to orthodoxy and why it is the most vibrant, most complete way we can have to approaching our faith and the mysteries we can’t understand about this life. Christianity is fundamentally a fervent belief in the worth of every single life. Everything flows from this. So grateful for this book, and for the author’s imprisonment and work with prisoners and those that are marginalized, because his experiences brought a clarity that my everyday, fortunate, distraction-filled life tends to drown out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

    For anyone seeking a foundational understanding of Christianity, THE FAITH should be your go-to resource. Not only because the information is so rock-solid, but because said information is presented in such logical, well-organized fashion, demonstrating the incredible cohesion of the Christian worldview. This is a terrific book on which to cut your teeth before moving on to such classics as C.S. Lewis's MERE CHRISTIANITY or G.K. Chesterton's ORTHODOXY. As with most mainstream Christian authors t For anyone seeking a foundational understanding of Christianity, THE FAITH should be your go-to resource. Not only because the information is so rock-solid, but because said information is presented in such logical, well-organized fashion, demonstrating the incredible cohesion of the Christian worldview. This is a terrific book on which to cut your teeth before moving on to such classics as C.S. Lewis's MERE CHRISTIANITY or G.K. Chesterton's ORTHODOXY. As with most mainstream Christian authors these days, Colson's prose is very simple and to the point. If I have one criticism, it is that the writing felt a bit generic, though I'm sure Colson reached a larger audience by taking this heavy subject matter and transforming it into such "light" reading. Still, despite the entry-level theology and simplistic prose, Colson's presentation of the Christian worldview had me captivated from beginning to end.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carl Palmateer

    A fundamentals/defense of faith book that is a bit different. It is told in Colson's endearing story telling mode. The propositions of the faith are given but in stories, memories, history. You will enjoy the book, when you are finished you will think Colson has done a great job but when you try to nail down exactly what he puts forth as the fundamentals you might pause and scratch your head. This book would be great as an intro to give to those who do not know or are confused by unfounded stere A fundamentals/defense of faith book that is a bit different. It is told in Colson's endearing story telling mode. The propositions of the faith are given but in stories, memories, history. You will enjoy the book, when you are finished you will think Colson has done a great job but when you try to nail down exactly what he puts forth as the fundamentals you might pause and scratch your head. This book would be great as an intro to give to those who do not know or are confused by unfounded stereotypes and accusations. After it is over, however, a more standard approach will be needed to fill out the picture.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David

    This was well written and superbly read by Chuck Colson himself. He does an outstanding job defending the Christian faith and the application of reason and logic to the faith. The last chapter discusses how Christianity has and should continue to contribute to a free and righteous society in contrast to other belief systems and non-belief systems.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Some great ideas although a lot of the book was fluff and stories that explain the ideas. Since they were easy concepts to grasp for me I ended up skipping these sections to get to the heart of the book. Overall an amazing read for budding and current Christians or those interested in what the religion is all about

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    Excellent book! I listened to the audio version read by Chuck Colson himself and he made it interesting and understandable. An excellent source for Christians on our faith, what we believe and why.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

    Wasn't able to finish but so well written. Love the doctrine in it. Lots of questions

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lee Harmon

    For anyone who hasn’t heard of the late Charles Colson, he was known as Richard Nixon’s “hatchet man,” convicted during the Watergate scandal. He pleaded guilty and served seven months in prison. Just before serving, he converted to Christianity and underwent a radical life conversion. He founded a prison ministry and authored perhaps two dozen books about Christianity. In this book, Colson promises to explain what Christians believe, why, and why it matters. He succeeds in two out of three goals For anyone who hasn’t heard of the late Charles Colson, he was known as Richard Nixon’s “hatchet man,” convicted during the Watergate scandal. He pleaded guilty and served seven months in prison. Just before serving, he converted to Christianity and underwent a radical life conversion. He founded a prison ministry and authored perhaps two dozen books about Christianity. In this book, Colson promises to explain what Christians believe, why, and why it matters. He succeeds in two out of three goals, describing conservative beliefs and how the beliefs transform lives. He doesn’t, however, explain very well why conservatives believe. The book is in two parts, and the first part is painful, so bear with me until I get through this section. Hoping to explain why Christians believe the way he does, Colson instead highlights how differently many Christians really do believe. For example, a poll showed that “49 percent of Protestant pastors reject core biblical beliefs,” whatever that means. Colson is unfazed; he chops them out of the church, so they don’t count. One of his favorite phrases is “true Christians,” by which he means anyone who agrees with his “nonnegotiable, irreducible fundamentals of the Christian faith.” Colson argues with emotional appeal. For instance, he writes about struggling with his children’s illnesses, questioning God’s love, and then stepping outside the hospital to see the beauty of creation. God Is, he immediately concludes, and the book transitions into a discussion of three possibilities: A godless universe; a pantheistic universe; and a personal God. But why does he neglect to consider the most obvious fit to his observation: Deism. Doesn’t his observation imply a creative creator who then ignores his creation? Colson’s logic in this book seems to be that since the Bible is true, everything in it is true. The Bible is our rock, the ultimate authority, and because it came from God, it must certainly be true. And how do we know the Bible is literally true? Because “there has been no discovery proving the Bible false.” Sigh. Maybe the most obvious “fail” here is that archaeology has thoroughly debunked many of the claims of conquest in the book of Joshua. Elsewhere, Colson argues that Jesus’ resurrection must be true, because nobody has yet disproved it. I guess Elvis fans can take heart: Nobody has yet proved he’s dead, either. Colson especially goes on the offensive against liberal Christianity, labeling it “institutionalized agnosticism,” “no better than paganism,” and insinuating that liberal Christians were responsible for Hitler’s eugenics movement. I can handle the anti-liberal posturing by people who misunderstand the nature of Christ. I’m quite used to that. But the first half of Colson’s book is little more than fundamentalist rhetoric. After whittling the Christian community down to his own mold, he is ready to move on to part 2. But not before dissin’ even my man Einstein, claiming that Einstein detested the “religion of fear and morality” that a personal God brings (Einstein actually said something quite different … that development from a religion of fear TO moral religion was a great step forward, and he pointed to the Bible as evidence of that progression). Anyway. On to part 2 where the intolerance continues but where it now mixes with some very inspiring words about how Christians are to live out their faith. This is where “why it matters” rings true, and this section raised my rating from one star to three. God’s favorites, Colson notes from scripture, are the poor, the destitute, the widowed, the fatherless, the sick, the prisoners, and anyone suffering injustice. So we choose sides. We choose love, and plunge into the battle between good and evil. Once on God’s side, we come to understand God’s point of view and position ourselves to experience God’s love and friendship in a whole new way. This time, Colson is correct. He has identified the “true Christians.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    “The Faith” is God-breathed. I started reading it at about the same time as my pastor started a similar series of sermons and Bible studies. This is what God wants His people to know and do right now. There is affirmation, reassurance and awakening in these pages. If Charles Colson accomplishes only two things it is to say: Stand up for what you believe in, and by the way, here’s a reminder and greater understanding of what that is, or is supposed to be. Colson and co-author Harold Fickett put all “The Faith” is God-breathed. I started reading it at about the same time as my pastor started a similar series of sermons and Bible studies. This is what God wants His people to know and do right now. There is affirmation, reassurance and awakening in these pages. If Charles Colson accomplishes only two things it is to say: Stand up for what you believe in, and by the way, here’s a reminder and greater understanding of what that is, or is supposed to be. Colson and co-author Harold Fickett put all in one place answers to many of the questions asked by spiritually seeking nonbelievers and trap-laying disbelievers: What if someone dies never hearing the Good News? Why is there suffering? How does capital punishment fit within the Christian view that human life is sacred? It is well researched. The examples point out the modern detractors that try to distract or dissuade people from the faith and give ammunition for countering them. It’s cautionary and it’s empowering. “The Faith” says it is more than OK, it is imperative, to be intolerant, by the definition the world has rewritten for that label. But the book does more than just arm Christians to defend their beliefs, it equips them to evangelize by explaining the harvest field – who we’ll meet on the mission field and how their beliefs were formed by postmodernism. “The Faith” doesn’t blame secularization just on indulgent, excessive America. It gives a worldview of Christianity. And just as importantly, that view extends not just around the globe today but back over centuries to help Christians realize and claim their place in the tapestry of believers who are moving God’s plan for redemption toward its ultimate conclusion. The content is compelling and relevant and the narrative style helps get the message across. There is some beautiful writing such as when an Amish schoolhouse is described as “plain as notebook paper.” Colson and Fickett reach believers on their level and are not condescending or preachy. Their text is backed by tons of footnotes and modern-day examples. Readers probably will reread it to shore up their belief and understanding of that belief. And every time they read it, new realizations and applications will likely come to mind – much like studying Scripture.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia McCloud

    "The Faith" is God-breathed. I started reading it at about the same time as my pastor started a similar series of sermons and Bible studies. This is what God wants His people to know and do right now. There is affirmation, reassurance and awakening in these pages. If Charles Colson accomplishes only two things it is to say: Stand up for what you believe in, and by the way, here's a reminder and greater understanding of what that is, or is supposed to be. Colson and co-author Harold Fickett put all "The Faith" is God-breathed. I started reading it at about the same time as my pastor started a similar series of sermons and Bible studies. This is what God wants His people to know and do right now. There is affirmation, reassurance and awakening in these pages. If Charles Colson accomplishes only two things it is to say: Stand up for what you believe in, and by the way, here's a reminder and greater understanding of what that is, or is supposed to be. Colson and co-author Harold Fickett put all in one place answers to many of the questions asked by spiritually seeking nonbelievers and trap-laying disbelievers: What if someone dies never hearing the Good News? Why is there suffering? How does capital punishment fit within the Christian view that human life is sacred? It is well researched. The examples point out the modern detractors that try to distract or dissuade people from the faith and give ammunition for countering them. It's cautionary and it's empowering. "The Faith" says it is more than OK, it is imperative, to be intolerant, by the definition the world has rewritten for that label. But the book does more than just arm Christians to defend their beliefs, it equips them to evangelize by explaining the harvest field -- who we'll meet on the mission field and how their beliefs were formed by postmodernism. "The Faith" doesn't blame secularization just on indulgent, excessive America. It gives a worldview of Christianity. And just as importantly, that view extends not just around the globe today but back over centuries to help Christians realize and claim their place in the tapestry of believers who are moving God's plan for redemption toward its ultimate conclusion. The content is compelling and relevant and the narrative style helps get the message across. There is some beautiful writing such as when an Amish schoolhouse is described as "plain as notebook paper." Colson and Fickett reach believers on their level and are not condescending or preachy. Their text is backed by tons of footnotes and modern-day examples. Readers probably will reread it to shore up their belief and understanding of that belief. And every time they read it, new realizations and applications will likely come to mind -- much like studying Scripture.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mark Cooper

    [Audio:] I liked the book, and I have a hard time being anything but supportive of Colson given his heart and ministry for the service of Christ. However, this book I found to be a bit loose and not tightly reasoned (for lack of a better way of putting it). For instance, he speaks of the great advantages bestowed on mankind due to Christianity--which no doubt is true--but Colson has a tendency to make it sound like we're the only ones who do good things. Another is his call for Christians to foc [Audio:] I liked the book, and I have a hard time being anything but supportive of Colson given his heart and ministry for the service of Christ. However, this book I found to be a bit loose and not tightly reasoned (for lack of a better way of putting it). For instance, he speaks of the great advantages bestowed on mankind due to Christianity--which no doubt is true--but Colson has a tendency to make it sound like we're the only ones who do good things. Another is his call for Christians to focus on the critical matters of the faith and not fight amongst ourselves over secondary issues--a valid criticism of Christianity. But the Devil's in the details. He's part of a group called Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) that seeks to heal the rift between the two (Western) houses of Christianity. He speaks of how the group agrees on the centrality of being saved by faith alone and of Sola Scriptura (which is a bit surprising, I admit), but I don't see the Catholics in this group chucking the Pope or the Evangelicals submitting to the Pope, so is anything going to come of this? If this was written to counter Dawkins and his crew, I dont' think they'd have a hard time shredding it. Better an R.C. Sproul or Ravi Zacharias to take on the atheists. But one important thing that I think Colson brings to the discussion is the irrefutable evidence of lives that are changed by a relationship with Jesus. His stories of Mafia hitmen and violent mass murders who have come to know the acceptance and love of Jesus are incredible. While Colson is a bit loose in addressing broad matters of the Faith (probably because he attempts to take on something so multi-faceted) his first-hand experiences are gripping and important for his point. He has seen up close and personal the wondrous work of our Savior.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Will

    The good things - I like Colsons approach to introducing Christianity to a supposedly non-Christian audience. In certain cases, I agree with Colson very strongly - that Christianity rightly practiced produces peace, and that Christian orthodoxy reveals Gods nature the best. However - I completely disagree with his method. Probably because I'm a dirty, muddled, Postmodern-leaning thinker - or perhaps better said, a critic of Modernity. Colson has drank so much of Modernity's juice that he seems t The good things - I like Colsons approach to introducing Christianity to a supposedly non-Christian audience. In certain cases, I agree with Colson very strongly - that Christianity rightly practiced produces peace, and that Christian orthodoxy reveals Gods nature the best. However - I completely disagree with his method. Probably because I'm a dirty, muddled, Postmodern-leaning thinker - or perhaps better said, a critic of Modernity. Colson has drank so much of Modernity's juice that he seems to be unaware of the irony of invoking Kierkegaard in the last paragraph of the book. The book is riddled with straw-men arguments designed to show the reader how agreement with anything other than a thoroughly Modern understanding of Christianity leads to an implicit support of "Islamo-fascism" (I wish that was an exaggeration). He relies quite heavily on Abraham Kuyper, but seems completely ignorant of the fact that Kuyper was critical of Modernity (see basically anything written by James K.A. Smith. The book is supposedly written as an intro to the Christian faith and the joys of orthodoxy, but is rather a shining exemplar of confirmation bias. This is really a book written for Modernist Christians who already agree with its conclusions to say "Look, we're right, it says so right here!"

  20. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    Eh. It started out a good overview of Christianity, but I felt the 3/4 of it that was good was almost ruined by the last 1/4, when Colson started interjecting many of his own personal views, which I felt were extreme (he is Baptist; I am not). I finished the book to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I was offended by his comments that disabled people were "gifts" to everyone else so they could help these disabled individuals and get in good with God because of their actions. (I am disabled, Eh. It started out a good overview of Christianity, but I felt the 3/4 of it that was good was almost ruined by the last 1/4, when Colson started interjecting many of his own personal views, which I felt were extreme (he is Baptist; I am not). I finished the book to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I was offended by his comments that disabled people were "gifts" to everyone else so they could help these disabled individuals and get in good with God because of their actions. (I am disabled, and was surprised to hear this, as he has a grandson with Autism. I'd like to think I misunderstood him.) I am also childless-by-choice, and didn't agree that this made me a "bad Christian," as he says. I think there are so many ways one could serve God and the world besides having children, especially if doing so would compromise the parents' health, or the good of those children. I saw this as being very close-minded of him.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Joshua

    What this book does is take the reader on a journey through 12 basic beliefs of the Christian faith - starting with the basic concepts that God is, that He has spoken through His Word, that the Word became incarnate through the Truth - His son, Jesus - and they continue logically, step by step through basic beliefs that Christians must have in their hearts and minds so that they can live them out as a witness. Colson's strength is showing how our beliefs affect all points of life. He highlights What this book does is take the reader on a journey through 12 basic beliefs of the Christian faith - starting with the basic concepts that God is, that He has spoken through His Word, that the Word became incarnate through the Truth - His son, Jesus - and they continue logically, step by step through basic beliefs that Christians must have in their hearts and minds so that they can live them out as a witness. Colson's strength is showing how our beliefs affect all points of life. He highlights the chapters with personal and historical illustrations of how men and women have lived out their Christian worldview through the centuries. This is the easiest book of his to read, and therefore one I would recommend to those who don't read much I did get an uncomfortable feeling that in highlighting what all Christians have in common, he somehow fails to point out some harmful error, esp. in Catholicism - but I realize that is not the point of this particular book

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Thomas

    I didn't read the whole thing. It's a good book, but I saw Colson speak recently and after hearing him speak, I stopped reading. I thought he had some incredible thoughts and he's a brilliant man, but he's part of an evangelical church/denomination. I have a mental block when it comes to listening to guys in denominational churches. That's probably not the PC thing to say, but I have some issues with denominations. Most, if not all of them, follow human tradition more avidly than Jesus Christ. T I didn't read the whole thing. It's a good book, but I saw Colson speak recently and after hearing him speak, I stopped reading. I thought he had some incredible thoughts and he's a brilliant man, but he's part of an evangelical church/denomination. I have a mental block when it comes to listening to guys in denominational churches. That's probably not the PC thing to say, but I have some issues with denominations. Most, if not all of them, follow human tradition more avidly than Jesus Christ. They also have habits of removing certain things from the Bible and adding other stuff to it. And that...I have a huge problem with.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Preston

    powerful, hard - no index, perhaps on purpose, for writer reasons (for example, casually referencing people such as Tho. Friedmann in the last few pages, idk) leaves me curious about Colson's peculiar relationship with those people who are close to the Owners - Colson seems unaware of his privilege or not interested in discussing it openly The author, if still alive, could better develop his clarity around the relationship between "counseling" and "accountability." This book has useful information powerful, hard - no index, perhaps on purpose, for writer reasons (for example, casually referencing people such as Tho. Friedmann in the last few pages, idk) leaves me curious about Colson's peculiar relationship with those people who are close to the Owners - Colson seems unaware of his privilege or not interested in discussing it openly The author, if still alive, could better develop his clarity around the relationship between "counseling" and "accountability." This book has useful information for those readers who are able to read on regardless of disagreement or discomfort. Recommended

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cliff

    Written by one of the few truly great men of the last 50 years, this book is a combination comprehensive theological overview and personal confessional. The combination is a bit awkward at times, but both are so outstanding it still makes for an excellent book. My Catholic friends say that the Saints have demonstrated what it would be like to live like Christ in various times and places. If this is true, I think it can be said that Chuck Colson would be someone I would hold up and an example of Written by one of the few truly great men of the last 50 years, this book is a combination comprehensive theological overview and personal confessional. The combination is a bit awkward at times, but both are so outstanding it still makes for an excellent book. My Catholic friends say that the Saints have demonstrated what it would be like to live like Christ in various times and places. If this is true, I think it can be said that Chuck Colson would be someone I would hold up and an example of such a person. His thoughts and beliefs are as worth hearing as if this was true.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Presnell

    I received a copy of Colson's book from Colson himself a few years ago. Inside the front cover he wrote: Wayne, defend the truth. Jude 3. I finally got around to reading it. It was an excellent read by an awesome writer. He frames why defending the truth is so important with a chapter at the end which speaks to the threat of radical Islam. Colson writes: "...we have a dilemma: in the West, reason alone without faith leads to chaos; in Islam, faith alone without reason leads to tyranny." The answ I received a copy of Colson's book from Colson himself a few years ago. Inside the front cover he wrote: Wayne, defend the truth. Jude 3. I finally got around to reading it. It was an excellent read by an awesome writer. He frames why defending the truth is so important with a chapter at the end which speaks to the threat of radical Islam. Colson writes: "...we have a dilemma: in the West, reason alone without faith leads to chaos; in Islam, faith alone without reason leads to tyranny." The answer for modern culture today is "the faith, once for all delivered to the saints."

  26. 5 out of 5

    John

    A must-read for all serious Christians. Colson accurately identifies the key positions of orthodox Christianity. Key points: 1. Clearly points out the implosion of western civilization and how orthodox Christianity is the only hope of restoration. 2. Accurately identifies the seemingly unrecognized threat of Islamic fascism. 3. Challenges the "emergent" church to get serious about the truth (Jude 3).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Seth Hanson

    At a time when I just wanted to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of mainstream, Protestant Christianity - and wanted to hear it from a true believer's perspective - I picked up this book and it did not disappoint. The guy does not mince words and I respect that. He also doesn't get too preachy. Just lays out the orthodox, Protestant positions in a very competent way and basically leaves it to the reader to make up his or her own mind about it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    DAMON WINTERS

    This is a great book for anyone to read that wants to know the foundations of Christianity! A better book to read would be The Holy Bible! :) However, if you haven't any plans on reading it straight from Scripture, this is a good representation...and it is much shorter. Though abridged, that is the point. There is a bit of speculation in the retrospection and future-casting of Christian life, but can be overlooked as this book certainly lives up to its subtitle. Happy Reading!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Vegter

    Excellent book! Colson first lays out the basic tenets of Christianity, which unfortunately many nominal Christians do not know or adhere to in the West. Then he describes the positive influences that Christianity has had on Western culture from its beginnings. He also describes the cultural changes and current challenges faced by the West. A must read for Christians lamenting the current state of things around us.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve Robbins

    Great, Great book. A must for every Christian. It really emphasizes the importance of our roots and why it is important to know what we believe as Christians. It shows the big picture of how the truth not only has the power to change us as individuals, but also how it changes and renews culture. I also recommend the small group study.

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