THEMES IN GROWING UP CHRISTIAN ﷯I wrote Growing Up Christians for compelling reasons. Too often in American Christianity issues and reasons for and surrounding the faith and horribly misrepresented and construed. These misconstructions of truth have bothered me for a long time. Through narrative, I have attempted to reveal, discuss, defend and explain: The eternal importance for future generations for the present generation to OBEY GOD. This goes far beyond some intellectual pronouncement of faith. It requires concrete action. God has promised to curse the 2-3 generations that follow those who hate and disobey Him. That's bad enough. But the blessing is far greater in absolute value. To those that obey God, blessings will come to the 1,000th generation. Not only do I want to show how I am part of the blessed set of those 1,000 generations (an undeserved grace), but I also wanted to raise the salience of my own, our own, this generation's need to obey and the great blessings that can follow. By showing the grace that I received, I hope to show the beauty of living a life under that grace in the present as well as the future. Again, through narrative, it's easier to see how the foundation of Christianity is based on FAITH AND REASON, and not reason alone, and clearly not faith alone. Christ and the NT writers reinforce the importance of obedience (good works) far more than faith. (Matthew 5-7.) If by faith we mean the works as well, then fine. But too many Protestants believe that "faith alone" is only mental ascent. Stories prove that such a concept of "faith alone" is fallacious and dangerous. The PRAYERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS ARE ANSWERED WITH A YES. Okay, most Christians get that. But what is misunderstood is that "righteousness" is not defined as some kind, gentle hearted, meek soul. Righteousness means that the person seeks God's love and justice equally and not for his or her own glory but for God's. This is why I love Aronofsky's NOAH. In that movie, Noah's rancor is demonstrated as raw, selfless, righteousness. He was going to obey God if it killed him and his whole family. Sure the movie character misunderstood God, but the filmmaker didn't. And God's mercy finally gets through. Likewise, my mother was not kind or gentle hearted. Some would say she was abusive. I think she was at times. But there was no question about her God centered righteousness, and the answers she got to her prayers proved it. Only narrative communicates this, not didactic propositional preaching. The Scientific Method can and is used to validate Christianity and Catholicism. I spend some time at the end of the book explaining this. The heart of Christian reason is the Scientific Method. Such a position needs some explanation. Thus a few of the latter chapters. Everything that happens to the Christian who is seeking God has a purpose, even if it takes decades for that purpose to be realized. The end result may be the consequence of a long series of complex situations, but in the end it fits together like hand in glove. GOD CALLS US ALL TO RISK, to go on an adventure, not knowing exactly where it will lead. The adventure is the design of God, and we will not completely fathom it until the veil is pulled back on eternity. The results are the percipient of our personality, our strengths, our weaknesses, and what lies over the God defined horizon. It's a plan that unfolds and it's full of risks. But taking the risk is better than playing it safe. God has a sense of humor that surpasses our seriousness... and the path our lives take proves that time and again.

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