Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

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dash1730
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Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by dash1730 » 22 Oct 2009, 12:25

Here's a great book that may be of help to some folks. Following is a couple summaries from amazon.com that explain it

Learn how the atonement can be applied in your life.,
By David H.

Brother Robinson has captured the fundamental truths of the Gospel in this highly readable book. He explains the 'Good News' that Christ loves us all. His basis thesis is this...'They believe in Christ, but they do not believe Christ.' (see page 9) Many people believe in the atonement but do not believe it works for them personally. I have found this book's explanation of the atonement, grace, works, justice, and perfection very clear. He has a way of showing what all these things really do point to our Savior Jesus Christ. If you are having a difficult time, Brother Robinson helps show the way to new joy thru applying the atonement of Jesus Christ to YOUR LIFE. That process is intensely personal but the rewards are worth the effort. Read this book and then reread the Book of Mormon. You will see how the atonement of Jesus Christ comes alive in your life.

--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

Product Description
Author Stephen Robinson illustrates the power of the Savior as he uses analogies and parables, such as his own bicycle story, and scriptures and personal experiences in this moving, best-selling book. -Mortals have finite liabilities,- he explains, -and Jesus has unlimited assets.- By merging the two, exaltation can come. As long as we progress in some degree, the Lord will be pleased and will bless us. We must not only believe in Christ but also believe him - believe that he has the power to exalt us, that he can do what he claims. People will better understand the doctrines of mercy, justification, and salvation by grace after reading this book.
I may not walk the straight and narrow, but I try to cross it as often as I can.
---J Golden Kimball

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Heber13
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Re: Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by Heber13 » 22 Oct 2009, 19:45

Yes, I liked this book and the whole idea that Christ MUST be the center of our hope and faith is something I think all church members must be reminded of...for it seems we sometimes take this for granted and begin to just be focused on "all we can do" forgetting the rest of the sentence.

However, I thought after the book established this wonderful thought of not just believing IN Christ, but sincerely believing Christ and what He says and what He promises...the book had nothing else to offer, and at times I thought it was just repeating itself.

Still, it was a good read, and a quick one you can finish off on a Sunday afternoon.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by Brian Johnston » 01 Nov 2009, 20:36

I give two thumbs up for this book. I really liked it. It is very positive. I wish I heard more of this viewpoint in the Church. I even offered my children $20 if they read it. None of them have taken me up on it yet... which is lame because they all read so much.

The only criticism I can think of is that the whole book could have been a really long pamphlet. After getting about half-way through, I just sort of skimmed the rest. It isn't a very long book either way.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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MisterCurie
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Re: Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by MisterCurie » 01 Nov 2009, 21:06

I'm not quite sure this book will be very helpful for letting go of unrealistic expectations.

Don't mind me . . . just some grumbling from my "dark night of the soul."

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Heber13
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Re: Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by Heber13 » 02 Nov 2009, 07:07

MisterCurie wrote:I'm not quite sure this book will be very helpful for letting go of unrealistic expectations.

Don't mind me . . . just some grumbling from my "dark night of the soul."
For me, I think it is helpful in setting REALISTIC expectations, and helping church members let go of unrealistic ones. That was the benefit I got out of it.

I still think there needs to be faith...which includes expectations. We just need to have the expectations set correctly based on learned knowledge of the true characteristics of God, as Joseph Smith taught in the Lectures on Faith.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Rix
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Re: Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by Rix » 02 Nov 2009, 10:32

This is one "church" book I actually really liked. I read it about 10 years ago while I was in my "dark night of the soul," and found it to give me a real feeling of hope. The message of grace was surprisingly powerful to me at the time. I say that, because I came to understand that I had been living in a paradigm of works, rather than grace. Robinson helped me see that, and I found that this book really improved my self-love -- which was really needed at the time.

Today, my view of works, grace, sin, guilt, etc. is completely different (I believe it is all man-made), but this book was influential in helping shed the guilt I did have at the time.

So two thimbs up from me! :lol:
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

Roy
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Re: Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by Roy » 04 Nov 2010, 07:29

Like Rix, much of my reaction to this book is influenced by where I was mentally and emotionally at the time. So this is not so much a review of the book as a description of how I ricocheted off of the book in my own faith journey.

Prior to reading “Believing Christ,” I had been struggling with the visualization of “enduring to the end” as a perpetual handcart journey. Where only if I pulled until I literally fell over dead would I measure up.

I wrote in my introduction:
Roy Wrote:
In reading, I have been seeking “The Answer.” When I read “Believing Christ” I was floored with “The Answer.” :idea: “Wow, of course God doesn’t expect me to be a saviour for those dearest to me- He loves me in my weakness and accepts my offering as long as my heart is in the right place. Why didn’t I know this before?” :idea:

I had been working out my relationship with God. “Believing Christ” comes along and confirms many of my “God loves me in my imperfections” feelings/revelations and presents these theories as core (if underemphasized) Mormonism. Here I was wondering if my new beliefs were compatible with the church, and suddenly - through this book - I felt that my new beliefs were the new true doctrine. :D

I could now interpret that to “endure in faith on his name to the end” (D&C 20:29-30) is an exercise in maintaining a “broken heart and a contrite spirit.” This was much easier for me to swallow as my heart was never in question, just my fortitude.

It was one last grasp at binary thinking. This lasted for two or three weeks and then came the second portion of my introductory post:
Roy wrote:
In attempting to answer some questions by a very sweet and sincere missionary as to how I could believe in “easy grace,” I looked up some of the relevant scripture verses in my institute manuals. I found that the interpretation and emphasis given these verses in the institute manual are not the same as that given in “Believing Christ.”

I looked up “grace” in the bible dictionary and found the following definition:
It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.
Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”
Now I was back to my visualization of the perpetual handcart journey only now “grace” seemed to be that extra little shove to keep you going when every muscle is screaming at you to stop…until of course, you fall down dead in mid-step. :cry:

I was not so sure of myself to think that the church authorities quoted in these institute manuals and the editors of the bible dictionary were somehow in error while I was enlightened. Nor could I dismiss the differences as S. Robinson seems to dismiss those differences in his students’ understandings as being “a function of age and maturity” or being “soft in the middle.”

In the end the viewpoints presented in “Believing Christ” fell from the pedestal where I had placed them. Instead of being “the way,” they became “a good way.” In the end I received a healthy dose of hope at an important time, some permission to forgive myself, and at least a realization that this is a tenable position to take in the church and not an apostate or degenerate one. I am very grateful for these footholds.

In summary:
Roy Wrote:
What I have found in my searching is a breadth of answers from lay-members to General Authorities. I have been intrigued in pondering what these answers mean for those individuals and what makes them resonate for them. I have also found that we, as LDS, are not so different in this regard as people of other faiths, each seeking answers that add meaning for them.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Heber13
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Re: Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by Heber13 » 05 Nov 2010, 10:27

Great post, Roy.

This part struck me, as you worded it so well because it is what I struggled with also:
Roy wrote:Prior to reading “Believing Christ,” I had been struggling with the visualization of “enduring to the end” as a perpetual handcart journey. Where only if I pulled until I literally fell over dead would I measure up.
I also really really like this part of your post:
Roy wrote:In the end the viewpoints presented in “Believing Christ” fell from the pedestal where I had placed them. Instead of being “the way,” they became “a good way.” In the end I received a healthy dose of hope at an important time, some permission to forgive myself, and at least a realization that this is a tenable position to take in the church and not an apostate or degenerate one. I am very grateful for these footholds.
I like the way you mentioned it became "a good way", not "the new way". Very poignant.

To put it back in Fowler's Stages of Faith terms, when you believe you find "one way" I think you are mostly in Stage 3.

Then something happens to kick you out of Stage 3, and then you struggle through it in Stage 4, think you can't see it as the "one way" anymore.

Then, some people find a "new way" and that becomes their "one way" again, putting them back in Stage 3.
Or, you can accept there are many good ways...and they all make one feel at peace...and you find yourself in Stage 5 with Conjunctive Faith.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Roy
Posts: 5013
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson

Post by Roy » 01 Sep 2011, 10:52

I also wanted to "bump up" this book review for reference and juxtoposition.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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