From debut author Stone, a beginner’s guide to the basics of the Christian faith.
“You can either ride in God’s triumphant chariot, or get crushed under its wheels.” So said J. Vernon McGee, the Christian theologian, as quoted by Stone. Though McGee heavily influenced Stone—his work is quoted quite frequently here—this book takes a very different tone from all-or-nothing reductionism. Self-deprecating and disarmingly humorous, Stone, “a long-time victim of ‘hoof-in-mouth’ disease,” shares the results of his personal study of the Bible, digging into Scripture and frequently drawing homespun biblical applications from his own life in order to clarify some truths about faith. He insists he’s not breaking any new ground, just “stirring things up a bit,” but his book abounds with scriptural insights of a very approachable kind, born of personal Bible study. In the book’s first half, his central observation relates to God’s intent for mankind: to walk with Jesus Christ while living day-to-day faith. In the second half, the central tenet is trust: in the promise of resurrection, in the individual love of the Creator for all his creations, and even in the unknowable nature of God. “We must trust in God to fulfill his promises,” Stone writes, drawing on classic Christian authors like St. Augustine and C.S. Lewis to emphasize that Christians seeking salvation must work to save themselves while also trusting in their savior. Stone directly confronts the hard work involved with grappling Scripture: “God wants all believers to dig out these truths and apply them to their lives, but He never promised that it would be easy.” The sentiment is somewhat at odds with Jesus’ “Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and it shall be given thee,” but Stone’s larger point will resonate with faith-and–good-deeds Christians. Stone admits he didn’t set out to write a spiritual autobiography, but that’s more or less what his book is, and it’s the book’s greatest strength for both newcomers and lifelong Christians.
An unassuming faith memoir and handbook for curious Christians.