Apr 302014

now-that-im-a-christian-what-it-means-to-follow-jesusLong time readers here will know that a few years back my birthday present was an opportunity to speak with Dr. J.I. Packer.

It took only a few minutes to understand his passion…and the passion that he wanted to transfer to anyone he spoke to…was to “catechize” the church.

He wanted all believers to be grounded in the fundamental truths of Scripture and to be able to understand and think clearly about those truths.


I believe he would be very pleased with what C. Michael Patton has contributed to the cause with Now That I’m a Christian: What It Means to Follow Jesus.

The book is written as a primer for new believers, but would also be very valuable for those who have been in the church for a long time, but have not been provided with a solid foundation in basic Christian doctrine and practice.

Patton divides the book into two categories;

Orthodoxy, with chapters on the Bible, Man, God, Christ, and Faith.

Orthopraxy, with chapters on Prayer, Study, Church, Suffering, and Mission.

Patton does an excellent job of laying these foundations with concision and clarity and in a fashion that anyone can understand.

He does so without dumbing down the material and with the wisdom that comes from years of teaching.

Maybe the most significant thing the author accomplished was that he was able to write such a volume without writing from a specific denominational point of view and thus has made this resource one that the whole Body of Christ can profit from.

Whether you’re Calvinist or Calvary Chapel or somewhere in between, you can learn from this book with great profit.

We needed this book…and I think every church should have a few on hand for both new converts and those in the assembly who need a refresher course on basic Christian doctrine.

When they are done with this one, give them “Knowing God” by the aforementioned Packer and you will have prepared a person for a life of discipleship and learning.

I recommend this book highly and wholeheartedly…I wish I had a bunch to give away.

  9 Responses to “The PhxP Book Review: Now That I’m a Christian: What It Means to Follow Jesus”

  1. I can’t wait to read it. All of us need a firm foundation under our feet. To build on sand or to build upon a firm foundation.

    The Word of God will stand.


  2. Excellent review. I’m reading it as well. Michael Patton (our other favorite Michael) has made good solid theology accessible to the lay person. Although everyone is a theologian this book will help you become a better one. BTW I loved the comparison you made of being “somewhere in the middle remark”. lol.

  3. Good to see you, Puzzletop!
    I think this book is going to be around a long time…

  4. Thank you for this recommendation Michael. Moved to the top of the reading list. With so much info out there it seems overwhelming. Thank you for steering your readers to the main and plain things..

  5. JoelG,

    Thank you.
    It’s a great joy to me to find and offer resources like this.

  6. Michael’s Credo House offers a whole theology course via iPad or iPhone for about ten dollars.

  7. I’ll stick with the Bible, this is just another in a long line of books most Christians won’t even read. As long as we got our holy scriptures we will be fine. I never even heard of the author. Who is to say his version of what being a Christian is is right on?

  8. Midnight,
    So are you saying that you don’t study under anyone? It’s just you and your Bible?

    When you do this, do you do it it the original languages so that you are not influenced by any particular person or committees bias?

    I always find lone ranger christians to be an interesting breed.

  9. Thanks for the review Michael.

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