What you believe drives everything. The way you behave, the habits you form, the character that defines you at your core, all are driven by what you believe. Admittedly, we are in an age where post-moderns believe in everything and skeptics believe in nothing. So, how strongly do we “believers” believe our beliefs? Can we articulate what we believe, and why it matters?
Believe teaches the big ideas of systematic theology without the four years in seminary! These ideas have been around a long time, and a surprising number of people really want to learn them, but the notion of digging them out of the Bible and trying to understand them can be daunting. Believe boils it all down to the top 30 ideas in the Bible, using only text from the Bible to teach the 10 key beliefs, 10 key practices, and 10 key virtues of the Christian faith.
The true power of Believe is in moving the beliefs from our heads to our hearts. Rodney Stark, a renowned sociologist, observed the power of transformative beliefs in his book, The Rise of Christianity. He was mesmerized by how Christianity grew from one man, Jesus, to a movement that by A.D. 350 had reached 56.5 percent of the western world. His analysis of the Christians’ radical response to epidemics and social issues led him to conclude that these people actually believed the teachings of Jesus. They believed them in such a way that they took on flesh, and they literally changed their world. When people grasp not only what they believe, but why it matters, this could very well be the key that opens the door to a new “rise of Christianity” in our generation.
My prayer is that the readers of Believe will understand and believe in our great God and his calling on their lives, and be able to declare, “I know what I believe and why, and in God’s strength, I will seek to live it out all the days of my life.”
It could change the world.
Randy Frazee, general editor and senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas