Sunday, August 16, 2009
Title: CHRISTIANISH: What if We’re Not Really Following Jesus at all?
Author: Mark Steele
Publisher: David C. Cook
Genre: Nonfiction/Christian Living
Rediscover what it means to live like Christ and ditch the ish (from the back cover)
Modern evangelicalism is producing a lukewarm spirituality, finding many believers struggling to follow the straight and narrow path. The efforts of pastors and other spiritual leaders have become more how to cope with dysfunctional lives instead of what it truly means to give up all to follow Christ.
In Mark Steele’s new book, CHRISTIANISH, the author shares his own story about his transformation from living his “in-between” life to a life that is fully centered on Christ.
Inside the pages of this book, Mr. Steele revisits the words of Christ to help us rediscover exactly what it means to be a Christian. Mr. Steele also shares stories and insights that are sometimes quite deep, and sometimes humorous to demonstrate what faith is really all about. Mr. Steele details the symptoms of being CHRISTIANISH while encouraging us to drop the “ish” to become true Christ-followers.
The book has some works in it that the average reader might want to keep a dictionary on hand to understand, and is obviously written by a highly-educated man. Not quite as conversational as some of the nonfiction I’ve read recently, Mr. Steele still knows how to draw the reader in. Within the first few pages I not only gasped with shock, but then the end result had me laughing, while still teaching a valuable lesson. The rest of the book is written in the same style, making this a great teaching book.
If you are serious about being a true Christ-follower, and tired of “straddling the fence” then CHRISTIANISH would be a book to consider. I highly recommend this for all church libraries. $14.99. 320 pages.
In his new book, author Mark Steele transforms middle-ground, Christianish faith into a passionate, authentic pursuit of Christ
Modern evangelicalism has lost its balance. A lukewarm spirituality, somewhere between cold faith and hot pursuit, has taken hold and found many believers in the median between the wide path and the narrow road of the spiritual walk. The efforts of many have become more centered on how to cope with their own dysfunctional lives, and less concentrated on what it really means to follow Jesus. It’s something not quite Christian. It’s more like…Christianish.
In his new book, Christianish: What if We’re Not Really Following Jesus at All? (David C Cook, August 2009), author Mark Steele tells the story of his own personal journey from living in the “in-between” to a life that’s centered on Christ. “Somewhere along the road, I stopped being a ‘little Christ’ and instead began filling out the application that I had labeled ‘Christian.’ It was not a definition based on the actual namesake but, rather, on those who frequent the clubhouse. I allowed Jesus to seep into my church world—but not my relational world, my romance world, my business world, my creative world, my habits, my mouth. I had become Christianish.”
Christianish may feel like authentic faith. It may even look like the real deal. Yet it’s often easy to settle for the souvenir t-shirt—the appearance of a transformed heart—instead of taking the actual trip through true life-change. We find ourselves being contented with a personal faith that’s been polluted by culture and diluted by other people’s take on spirituality.
In Christianish, Mark revisits the words and life of Christ to find just what it means to be a Christian. Through stories and insights that are sometimes profound, often hilarious, and always honest, he delivers a compelling look at what authentic faith is all about. While carefully detailing the tell tale symptoms of being Christianish, Mark encourages readers to ditch the “ish” to become true Christ-followers.
“We have trained ourselves to cope well on a Christianish path: a path where we please the right godly people and don’t feel the guilt when our failings are seen by the world at large. But this is not the approach to Jesus that we were created to take. There is only one way for us to discover the right way to travel the right road. The way is not church. The way is not an ideology. The way is not Christian. The way is Jesus.”
Mark Steele is the president and executive creative of Steelehouse Productions, a group that creates art for business and ministry through the mediums of film, stage, and animation. He is also the author of Flashbang: How I Got Over Myself and Half-Life/Die Already and is a regular contributor to Collide Magazine and Relevant Magazine. Mark and his wife, Kaysie, reside in Oklahoma with their three greatest productions: Morgan, Jackson, and Charlie.
Christianish: What if We’re Not Really Following Jesus at All? by Mark Steele
David C Cook/August 2009/ISBN 978-1-434766-92-2/320 pages/softcover/$14.99