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Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: A Review

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Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J. D. Greear is a funny, applicable, honest book about the very real problem people have of only understanding the justification element of salvation. Greear takes a look at misconceptions, bumper sticker theology, and gives some perspective into the long haul of what it means to be a Christian. This book, while easy to read, delves into the superficial, egocentric theology so many Christians have embraced.
An application that Greear uses all the way through his book is the importance of a life of repentance. He in no way purports justification through works; he never even hints at salvation through works. Instead, he shares that once justified we should rest in Christ through a life of repentance. The author uses a number of excellent analogies to walk the reader through exactly what this means and what it does not mean. In doing this, he exposes many of the misconceptions that skip the repentance (sanctification) step of salvation. Additionally, Greear encourages those who do not fully understand the sanctification process and therefore feel that they need to recommit themselves to Christ again-and-again (thus the title) by showing what it means to live a life of repentance.
About three-fourths the way through the book, Greear shifts into a style of writing that roughly resembles a detailed checklist to help the reader self-evaluate the state their walk with Christ. He augments this with his appendices at the end of the book to offer the readers a clear, cogent way to appraise themselves. Greear does not present this in a “to do” list format. Neither is he dogmatic to a certain system of theology. Rather, he offers a diagnostic to correspond with the advice that he has offered throughout the book.
One of the things that I appreciated about this book is how clearly Greear differentiated between works based salvation and living a life of repentance. Repeatedly through the book, Greear points out that we must rest in the finished work of Christ. His “chair” analogy really drives home this point. His book offers arguably the best explanation of what a repentant life looks like without promoting works based theology. This point is touchstone in the ideas of faith and repentance and is unfortunately misunderstood (or just skimmed over) by many Christians and some pastors in the world today. Greear has written an amazing book that will affect many lives provided his readers can put their self-serving “Just as if I never did it” or “Once saved always saved” theologies on the backburner for a moment and really hear what he is saying.

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