What Do Real Christians Do?

Are you doing what is sufficient? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in one side of Christianity and think that’s where the real Christians are. I recently had to read a book on missions for a class and I remember at one point, one contributor (Each chapter written by another person) was talking about the people who go on missions and saying “These are the people who are really living out the gospel!”

So, everyone who has not been on a mission at all, you are not living out the gospel apparently.

Now I am going through one on evangelism and when talking about evangelism, well this is what real Christians have been doing for centuries.

So if you struggle with doing evangelism, are you not a real Christian?

I could easily list other examples. Why, if you’re a real Christian, you will be speaking in tongues! If you are a real Christian, you’re fasting! If you’re a real Christian, you pay that tithe! If you’re a real Christian, this is how much you study the Bible every day! If you’re a real Christian, you can pray for this long every day!

Also, yes, this includes my own field. It can be tempting for someone like me to say “Real Christians devote themselves to studying apologetics.” I’m sure at some points in my life I have thought that, but the thing is, I know plenty of real Christians who don’t. Am I about to say my own mother isn’t a real Christian, for example? What about my Dad or my sister or her husband?

Speaking for me, for missions, I wouldn’t mind doing one someday, but when I was staying with a friend in Florida for a wedding once, I had to make arrangements based on my diet beforehand. Being on the spectrum, I’m awfully finicky. Before I go somewhere, I want to make sure I can handle it on the spectrum.


Look. I’m an exception in that I will happily stand before a crowd to do public speaking. I thrive on that. One of the great joys of the internet is that I can better communicate with people this way and share Christian truth with them. I have met more and more people I have been able to help on the internet. Get me out talking to total strangers though and I am completely quiet for the most part.

The problem with when we say that this is what real Christians do or serious Christians do, we marginalize those who don’t and can lead them to question if they are a real Christian. I am not saying that these things are necessarily bad things. I don’t agree with everything I have listed on the claims, but the mindset is pretty much always the same.

So what do real Christians do?

Well, John said we must walk as Jesus walked. That seems sufficient enough. I think I could say it this way also. We should at least be striving to do that. None of us will be perfect, but we will try.

So if you want to know if you’re a real Christian, what I would encourage you to ask yourself is this question. Am I living more like Jesus every day? Am I showing love to God and to my neighbor more? This doesn’t mean an emotional response, but how you live. Is your life lining up?

If so, then yes, you are being a real Christian. Now could you want to go on a mission? Fine. Go ahead. Do you want to go out and do evangelism with people? Fine. Go ahead. Can you pray for an hour? Can you study the Bible this much? Can you give away this much to the church? Fine. Do what you can.

But make all of those secondary to walking like Jesus.

As Augustine said, “Love God, and live as you please.”

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: The Swedish Atheist, The Scuba Diver, and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails

What do I think of Randal Rauser’s book? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I honestly don’t read many books that are apologetics books often. Yet Christmas Eve came and I’d finished reading something on the Kindle and was looking for something else and I had this one and figured I’d give it a try. The name is certainly a curious one after all so I wanted to see what this was all about.

The book begins with Rauser’s definition of apologetics where he says it is a quest to get at the truth, whatever it might be. This is I think an important aspect to consider. Too often, we don’t really know how to honestly investigate the other side. We all come with prior commitments. I have them. You have them. The atheist has them. The Muslim has them. Everyone does. This is why it’s important to engage in real discussion with the other side and read real authors on the other side, including the best in scholarship.

The setting he gives for this is at a coffee shop and Randal is the apologist arguing for Christianity while you, known simply as “reader” sit nearby watching. The conversation begins when a guy named Sheridan comes in with a thumbs-up Jesus T-shirt with the line that a sucker is born every minute. He sees Rauser’s copy of The God Delusion placed on the table and immediately comes over to engage in a conversation about the book.

And off it goes from there.

The conversation is a give and take with each side making its own points and some answers on Rauser’s side are not the best. Rauser himself admits this as he tries to make the work as real as possible and we all know there are times we are in conversation and only much later do we think of the perfect thing we should have said. (I have even had times of having one idea jump into my head months later that I wish I could have used.)

You’ll find questions on science, God’s existence, and morality to be plentiful. Some areas are not dealt with as much and some I think are not dealt with as well. I don’t think Rauser’s argument is too convincing on the wars of the OT for instance. He doesn’t think the accounts are really true accounts, but that they were included by God for some purpose. That’s an answer that raises even more questions. I also don’t agree with Rauser on the nature of Hell (especially since I see it as more shame and my own view can be found here.

If there was another problem I had with this, it was also that too little was said about Jesus’s resurrection and the Gospels. The central claim of the Christian faith was never defended. Oh at the start, we do have a brief comment on Christ-myth nonsense with a hat tip to Paul Maier, but that’s it. I found this to be a disturbing lack and I hope that in later works, Rauser will deal with this question.

Despite these disagreements, overall, there will be much to think about and the setting does make the conversation much more lively. The chapters are also small enough that you can easily go through one and have enough to think about. While I do have problems with the book and the approach, I still do recommend it for those wanting to get a start on apologetics.

In Christ,
Nick Peters