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In this provocative book, pastor John avant encourages readers to uphold a consistent practice of what they believe, not just a verbalization of what they believe. If Christians truly believe in God, they should live genuinely changed lives as the ultimate proof that He is real.

Many Christians live their lives as if they do not believe in God. They go to church and praise His name on Sundays, but in their daily lives they don’t think about the Lord that often. They don’t show much concern or charity for others. They don’t feel gratitude to the Lord for His blessings. They don’t allow God’s love to be reflected in their actions—giving Christianity a bad name in the process. In their practical, day-to-day lives, many Christians are almost living as though they are atheists.

Pastor Avant witnesses many Christians not living up to their claims, and he asserts that there is not much Christ left in that form of Christianity. In If God Were Real, he challenges Christians to consider whether or not they believe in God. If they do, Pastor Avant wants readers to consider what life would be like if they lived as if they believed in God. He advocates for the pursuit of a new Jesus movement that resembles Christ’s original followers—followers who were so steadfastly devoted to Him that their every action reflected His glory. With If God Were Real, readers will embark on an adventure of discovery of the real God and a life lived in praise of Him.
Published: Howard Books on Jul 7, 2009
ISBN: 9781439100851
List price: $10.99
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This was a difficult book for me to read. Emphasis: It was a difficult book for ME to read. The language, the style of writing -- I had no problem with those. It was the conviction I felt as I read that made it hard for me to keep reading. I had to read a bit, then set the book down to digest what I had read before I could pick it up again.I can understand the mixed reviews on the book. I think it will appeal to those who find in it a call from God for change in one's personal application of faith, but will be non-appealing -- perhaps even an affront -- to those who don't see the challenge presented by Avant as applying to themselves.read more
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Avant speaks directly to Christians about the the truly revolutionary spirit at the heart of Christianity - the command to help the poor, defend the weak, to be selfless. He discusses many of the flaws and hypocrisy that nonbelievers often point at as evidence that while Christians say one thing, they often do something else. He even, refreshingly, argues that politics should not be the battlefield for Christians to fight for, but rather the spirit of mankind - i.e., attempts to outlaw behavior do nothing but alienate and drive people away from the church, while wasting the energy of believers when they could be taking tangible steps to convince, rather than to force, people to change their lives. I was totally on board with this argument, but Avant made two offhand comments about "homosexual marriage" that set me back a bit - I'm hoping he's not engaging in the standard two-facedness here of arguing that Christians should get out of politics on all the topics they don't have a chance of winning on, but keep on pushing when they still have a chance to limit the freedom of others. Just as the Catholic church doesn't recognize divorce, but divorce is still legal, Christians churches can refuse to perform gay marriages while still supporting their legalization. If Avant is arguing that Christian churches should get out of politics, EXCEPT in the case of gay marriage, he's speaking with a forked tongue.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If God Were Real is a study in pushing Christians to live their lives as if what they believed really mattered. In a style that is easy to read and engaging, John Avant makes an impassioned call for the people of the Church to leave the institution of religion behind and embrace their faith in a way that makes a difference - not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of those that are living in the communities around them. This book is great for a study with a group of people who are ready to change their surrounding community for God.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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This was a difficult book for me to read. Emphasis: It was a difficult book for ME to read. The language, the style of writing -- I had no problem with those. It was the conviction I felt as I read that made it hard for me to keep reading. I had to read a bit, then set the book down to digest what I had read before I could pick it up again.I can understand the mixed reviews on the book. I think it will appeal to those who find in it a call from God for change in one's personal application of faith, but will be non-appealing -- perhaps even an affront -- to those who don't see the challenge presented by Avant as applying to themselves.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Avant speaks directly to Christians about the the truly revolutionary spirit at the heart of Christianity - the command to help the poor, defend the weak, to be selfless. He discusses many of the flaws and hypocrisy that nonbelievers often point at as evidence that while Christians say one thing, they often do something else. He even, refreshingly, argues that politics should not be the battlefield for Christians to fight for, but rather the spirit of mankind - i.e., attempts to outlaw behavior do nothing but alienate and drive people away from the church, while wasting the energy of believers when they could be taking tangible steps to convince, rather than to force, people to change their lives. I was totally on board with this argument, but Avant made two offhand comments about "homosexual marriage" that set me back a bit - I'm hoping he's not engaging in the standard two-facedness here of arguing that Christians should get out of politics on all the topics they don't have a chance of winning on, but keep on pushing when they still have a chance to limit the freedom of others. Just as the Catholic church doesn't recognize divorce, but divorce is still legal, Christians churches can refuse to perform gay marriages while still supporting their legalization. If Avant is arguing that Christian churches should get out of politics, EXCEPT in the case of gay marriage, he's speaking with a forked tongue.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If God Were Real is a study in pushing Christians to live their lives as if what they believed really mattered. In a style that is easy to read and engaging, John Avant makes an impassioned call for the people of the Church to leave the institution of religion behind and embrace their faith in a way that makes a difference - not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of those that are living in the communities around them. This book is great for a study with a group of people who are ready to change their surrounding community for God.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'm certainly not the target audience for this book. I do not believe in God, and find most religions hypocritical. Even with this in mind, this book was just poorly written and constructed. It attempted too much, and accomplished very little.
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What a good and timely book! This book is wonderful in that it does not necessarily tell the reader what he wants to her, but definitely what he needs to hear. The book is a challenge to Christians to begin to live for the real God, rather than for the system christianity has become. It is also an apology to our surrounding culture (atheists included) for not demonstrating the wonder of God's love in place of intolerant politicizing. The two biblical things constantly on my mind throughout the book were 1. Paul's concept of the remnant (see Romans 9-11) and 2. Elijah being very frustrated that he was the only one that served God, and God reminding him that he always keeps a remnant of true believers. God followers do seem to be pulling away from the parts of the church that no longer representative of Christ. McLaren and others are also recognizing the cancer in the church and are rejecting it in favor of God's calling and mission. Avant suggests that the Church (capital 'C', those who share God's heart) is different from the church (lowercase 'c', those who are a part of the system of christianity). For those of us who are tired of the church spiralling into moralism and culturally bound conservativism, we will find a comforting and familiar voice in Avant's book. My hope is that many in the christian system who have mistaken God's mission of love for conservativism and moralism will read this book and awaken to God's heart. And finally, Avant seems to enjoy conversing with atheists, because they share a dissatisfaction of the evil that has come into the church. While the book attempts to address the concerns of the atheist, i believe that an atheist would have much more reason to believe in God through a relationship with Avant (or someone like him) than they would through reading this book and the cursory treatment of the reasons for the existence of God.
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I think If God Were Real made a lot of good points about how the behavior of Christians and atheists are virtually indistinguishable, and how the Church is outdated and not needed anymore, and what Christians could do to live as if God were real. Not all of his points, however, are fully realized and I think the book runs into the problem that I see with a lot of Christian books, that it has a tendency to talk down to non-Christians, especially athiests, although not to the extent that many Christian books do. In the end I found If God Were Real to be quite enjoyable and made me think.
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