A Review of “I Quit Being a Christian to Follow Jesus”

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By: Alan ScottListen
Published: 2014

Rest assured, author Alan Scott did not stop being a Christian. He has, however, challenged himself and others to think more closely about the labels we use to describe ourselves. What does it mean to be a Christian—and how have we allowed our culture to shape what Christianity looks like? Does having a committed relationship with Christ look differently than the image we have portrayed? These are the questions Scott tackles throughout the book.

Working through the book of Luke as a backdrop, Scott shares his wisdom about what it means to have an authentic relationship with Jesus. He asks his readers to think about the foundation on which they build their identity. He shares how a relationship with Christ is the only place we will find our true identity.

Scott is candid about the process of spiritual development. Often, we are our the biggest challenge to spiritual growth. “Like me, you’ve probably been stuck in a cesspool of spiritual uncertainty. Too often my quest for answers ends up with the inevitable, dreaded Bible glaze. The onslaught of the Bible glaze hits you when you’re trying to search and read the Bible … The Bible glaze builds no confidence when our search is already uncertain.” So what is the solution? As Scott later explains, having a relationship with Jesus in which we live in His presence is what transforms us.

It’s what Jesus’s followers and authentic Christians do. They live in God’s presence and listen to the Son. Living in the presence of God must go far beyond a few songs on Sunday morning. Living in His presence stretches to our family dinner times, our parenting, our jobs, our marriage, and to our money management. Living in the presence of God tempers you and directs you. His presence affects you, changes you, and transforms you. It transfigures you.

Scott’s love for his family is woven throughout the book. His fatherly love and plea for Christ-likeness shapes the message to his own children and to others; he even made the book a family project by self-publishing and giving his daughter an opportunity to help edit the book. It makes sense that this book feels like a having coffee with a friend—transparent and simple enough to be relate-able, and clear enough to have a poignant message.

So why the clever title? In his own words, Scott says “I titled this book with a hopeful edge because I wanted to connect with someone like you who has similar internal groans. You want more. I actually like the term Christian; it’s what this barely-Biblical word has become that pains me.” Scott knows well that there are many out there who have felt the tug to dig deeper, surrender completely, worship fully, and obey God as a single-minded pursuit. If you have felt that tug, Scott invites you to a conversation—one that points to Jesus as the only answer.

Thank you to Alan Scott for a copy of this book for review.

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