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Review: Know What You Believe by Paul E. Little

Title: Know What You Believe
Author: Paul E. Little
Publisher: InterVarsity Press revised and republished 2008
Genre: Non-Fiction
Labels: Bible, Knowing God, Basic Foundation Beliefs, Core Beliefs
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 214
Rating: 5 Stars

Do you know what you believe? Yes, I'm asking you this question.
Basic doctrine is something that many Christians would stumble on. They could answer with who God the Father is, Jesus Christ, sorta answer who the Holy Spirit is; but then when asked further many would stumble on those basic beliefs about Hell, Satan, Angels, Sin, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus' return.
Why is this? I believe there are a variety of reasons.
  1. Ignorance. The meaning of ignorance is "lack of knowledge". The reason for this lack of knowledge is because people have not read and or studied the Bible.
  2. Prejudice, and this includes preconceived beliefs about issues, as well as hang-ups about why God would allow certain things. For example their are some Christians who adamantly deny a Hell, even though Jesus spoke about Hell. See Matthew 5:22 and 18:9 and 23:33. We do not know everything about Hell, pertaining to what it looks like, or how large it is, etc. We do know it is a real place.  
  3. Motivation. I recently had a conversation with another blogger friend about the attitude of many people including some people in the Church. It's called the "what's in it for me? If I'm going to get something out of this, especially if there is a bonus like money or prestige or notoriety, then I'm in, if not I don't have time."
  4. Busyness and prioritizing. All of us are busy, this is a given. We're busy with our jobs, families, yard work, shoveling snow, paying bills, etc. We're so busy yet we still make time to check our Facebook page, or take a peek over at Pinterest, or Twitter, or watch our favorite program on television. All I can say is we know deep down in our heart....if we're honest, we make the time to do those things that are important to us. 
Paul E. Little wrote Know What You Believe in 1970. There are a couple of other titles related to this book that he also wrote: Know Who You Believe and Know Why You Believe. Paul E. Little died in a car wreck in 1975, his wife re-edited these books for its 2008 publication.

Examples of chapters in Know What You Believe are: "The Bible, God, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ's Death, People and Sin, The Holy Spirit, Salvation, Angels, Satan and Demons, The Church, Things to Come."

"What we believe about God, is the most important thing about us." A.W. Tozer
This quote began chapter two on God. Little goes on to state,"Our belief or lack of it inevitably translates itself into our actions, our attitudes and our view of the world." page 34
This chapter on God explains God's omnipotence, omnipresence, transcendence, God is personal, his moral attributes, and the trinity. When explaining the trinity what I loved most about it was that Little expressed what surely we already know, our "inadequacy of human words to express divine reality." page 47.
One of my favorite chapters was on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the "executer of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit convicts, produces fruit, believer's must be filled with the Spirit if they are to act in His power, believer's are sealed with and secured by the Holy Spirit.
"A seal is a symbol of a finished transaction, of ownership and of security." page 126

I loved reading this book! In the early 1980's my dad taught his Bible class from this book, writing his own curriculum based on this book. I still have the notes that as a high school student I typed up for his class.
Link @ Publisher:
http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=3423

Link @ Christian Book:
http://www.christianbook.com/know-what-you-believe/paul-little/9780830834235/pd/834235?item_code=WW&netp_id=513535&event=ESRCG&view=details
Paperback $9.99

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