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What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? New Edition with Study Guide: A Guide to What Matters Most Paperback – February 13, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Thielen is Senior Pastor of Brentwood United Methodist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee. He has been a national worship and preaching consultant, seminary professor, and has led more than one hundred church leadership workshops across the country. Visit his Web site at GettingReadyforSunday.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; New edition (February 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664239382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664239381
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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GREAT! I read the book & then re-read the book. It is that GOOD! Thielen is a supurb writer. He openly tackles honest questions people have about Christianity & faith. And, he does it in such a way that is clear and easy to understand. He writes in plain English & not complicated theological terms. Many of the subjects he writes about are never honestly talked about from the pulpit. Thielen is a person of intense faith as am I. Reading this book increased my faith. It is REALLY well written.
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For "baby Christians," this is a great book -- well-written, easy to understand. It might also give some insight to conservative Christians about the liberal point of view. But for me, Thielen didn't say anything new, didn't really offer any deep insights for my personal reflection. The women in my study group (all liberal Christians, but not deeply educated in religion or theology) all enjoyed it, however. Definitely a liberal perspective on Christianity, but all we seemed to do was nod and agree -- nothing too meaty to discuss or debate.
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It is well worth the read if you are turned off by dogmatic religions. It is interesting that the author's take on religion evolved with time as do many people from conservative religious childhoods.
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Outstanding and easy to read book of essential Christian beliefs, and purported "Christian" beliefs that are NOT practices doe followed by mainstream Christian faith communities. I particularly appreciated the theological approach Thielen takes to debunking these myths. Great book!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book blew my mind! Let me just say right now that I wish I knew of a church like the one Pastor Martin is at, because that is exactly the kind of church I want to attend. This is the kind of book I have been searching for. One that tells me things that make sense about the Bible and about the Christian faith. On topics like whether or not God causes bad things to happen, doubting, the rapture, and whether or not to take the Bible literally. I'll admit, I questioned at the beginning of this book how much use I was really going to get out of it. I really wasn't convinced, especially that I could be convinced out of believing in the rapture, because that's all I've ever believed is that it's going to happen. But in fact, I have been.

What really blew my mind, though, was the section about Noah's flood. Pastor Martin presented ideas I've only ever heard on the History Channel, so to see them affirmed by someone of the Christian faith just blew me away. And left me with questions too.

But he says several times that this was not meant to be an all-encompassing book, and he could only cover so much. So I don't mind being left with some questions.

For its purpose, I think it is an amazing book, and probably one that some people would find controversial. The Pastor did an excellent job of laying out, briefly, varying viewpoints on the various issues, so I know some people would not agree with everything in this book. But for me it was just what I have needed all these years.

And for the record, this book isn't so much about the least you can get away with believing in as it is about doing away with outdated ideas and correcting incorrect ideas. And the last 10, the things you need to know, are all about affirming Jesus.
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Without any judgement or instruction this book tackles many of the controversial issues facing the faith today. It also bores down to the very fundamentals of our faith. Don't let the title fool you, this is written by a deeply devout pastor who is trying to bring as many people as possible into the fold.
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At first glance this book seems to take a liberal view of Christianity, but it turns out to be more factual and pragmatic than that. Fundamentalists might have problems with it, but the points taken by Rev. Thielen are all supported by scripture. A good discussion-type book.
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Well written for the interested reader. Definitely debunks some commonly held false beliefs. It is also intended as a textbook and would probably be better in a community of readers. Good starting point for the intrepid seeker!
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