Book Review | The Unsaved Christian

You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. —AUGUSTINE

The Unsaved Christian by Dean Inserra was my first book of 2021. It articulated so much of what I have been feeling. The drift from the truth and the simplicity of the gospel. The use of the gospel as a manipulation tactic, a political pawn, and so much more. There were parts of this book that drew attention to areas in my own life that I need to address and ask the Lord to search my heart on. There were other parts of this book that simply broke my heart and renewed the urgency of the calling that God has placed on every Christian to love God and love people. Sometimes we make it so complicated that we truly miss the point.

Asking the Lord in 2021 to keep my eyes on Him and to shield my heart and mind from anything that is not truly of Him. This book is a great read and a powerful resource for anyone, particularly those in any type of ministry context.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • Thinking that I deserve heaven is a sure sign I have no understanding of the gospel. —SINCLAIR FERGUSON Location: 129
  • Cultural Christianity admires Jesus, but doesn’t really think He is needed, except to “take the wheel” in a moment of crisis. Location: 168
  • The root of self-righteousness is the belief that your own personal works justify you before God. Location: 216
  • Cultural Christianity is a mindset that places one’s security in heritage, values, rites of passage (such as a first communion or a baptism from childhood), and a generic deity, rather than the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Location: 234
  • Cultural Christians are those who genuinely believe they are on good terms with God because of church familiarity, a generic moral code, political affiliation, a religious family heritage, etc. Cultural Christianity is largely based on confusion, whereas the hypocrite and the false teacher have a “Christianity” based on deceit. Location: 316
  • You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. —AUGUSTINE Location: 402
  • Civic religion promotes a god without any definition and a generic faith that demands and asks nothing of its followers. Location: 445
  • Al Mohler identifies this as the “new American religion,”2 and its tenets can be summarized as follows:
    1. “A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth.”
    2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”
    3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”
    4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”
    5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”3 Location: 453
  • The antithesis between the Christian life and the life of bourgeois respectability is at an end. The Christian life comes to mean nothing more than living in the world and as the world, in being no different from the world, in fact, in being prohibited from being different from the world for the sake of grace. The upshot of it all is that my only duty as a Christian is to leave the world for an hour or so on a Sunday morning and go to church to be assured that my sins are all forgiven. I need no longer try to follow Christ, for cheap grace, the bitterest foe of discipleship, which true discipleship must loathe and detest, has freed me from that. —DIETRICH BONHOEFFER Location: 517
  • Starting points are important for any intentional spiritual conversation. Location: 547
  • There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one. (Rom. 3:10–12) Location: 600
  • He asked his first disciples, and he has asked every disciple since, to give him their thoughtful and total commitment. Nothing less than this will do. —JOHN STOTT Location: 764
  • A doctrine I believe to be essential in understanding our salvation in Christ is “the perseverance of the saints” or “eternal security,” which is sometimes referred to as “once saved, always saved.” Theologian Wayne Grudem defines the perseverance of the saints as “the means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.” Location: 776
  • A man may pine for peace and have no interest in the Prince of Peace. Many who claim they are questing for God are not thirsting for God as He has revealed Himself in Scripture, but only for God as they want Him to be, or for a god who will give them what they want. —DONALD WHITNEY Location: 1,064
  • What ways is your church pointing people to a life of following Christ instead of to a rite of passage? Location: 1,439
  • It may be that America is not “post-Christian” at all. It may be that America is instead pre-Christian, a land that though often Christ-haunted has never known the power of the gospel, yet. —RUSSELL MOORE Location: 1,445
  • When God and country are excessively intertwined, it’s easy to see Christians in other nations as “them” rather than “us” or “we.” Location: 1,578
  • “we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Location: 1,590
  • C. S. Lewis famously wrote: It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.3 Location: 1,691
  • Preaching that points everyone and everything to Christ, insisting upon His lordship and our submission, our repentance and faith, tends to separate wheat from chaff and to make the unconverted uncomfortable. —THABITI ANYABWILE Location: 1,906
  • You don’t have to bring the fire, bring the thunder, bring the whatever. Just bring the gospel. It will do the thundering. —JARED WILSON Location: 2,262
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (ESV). Location: 2,319
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