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[Review] Grounded in the Faith, An Essential Guide to Knowing What You Believe and Why by Kenneth Erisman

Title: Grounded in the Faith, An Essential Guide to Knowing What You Believe and Why
Author: Kenneth Erisman
Foreword: J. I. Packer
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group July 15, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Discipleship, being grounded in what you believe.
Format: eBook, Kindle 1017 KB/in paperback 288 pages
Age: Adult
Source: Net Galley, Baker Publishing Group, provided a free copy to me for the purpose of review.
Rating: 5 Stars

"One of the most important traits of being a follower of Christ is to 'follow Christ.'"

If the following questions were to be asked: Do you know basic Bible doctrine, or why do you believe in Jesus Christ, or what does it mean to live as a Christian? Would you be able to answer them?
Many people attend church Sunday after Sunday, maybe they've been coming to church most of their life; yet they don't know what they believe nor why. Maybe they feel that by attending a church service they will absorb all the religion they need. These same people because they lack knowledge: grasp hold of unsound doctrine, they're swept up in political drama, they quote Scripture out of context, and they fall off a cliff when a crisis arises. They are not grounded in their belief.
Kenneth Erisman has written a brilliant book that teaches solid doctrine in an applicable format. 

My Thoughts:
I loved every facet of this meaty book.
My reasons for giving this book a 5 star review:
  • Each session (chapter): has a stated purpose, three simple step approach, questions that dig deep, examination of scriptures that are applied to our lives, scriptures to memorize, and a journal area.
  • Erisman is a born teacher and it illuminates off the page. 
  • Erisman is a patient teacher. I felt as if he were sitting alongside me asking questions and pausing to wait for my reply. 
  • He is straightforward and speaks plain. His teaching and explanations are easy to grasp.
  • He is unafraid. His questions are ones I've struggled with asking because I was too timid to ask. His answers really opened up my eyes (so to speak) and I clearly understand some areas I'd not understood fully before. 
  • Bible history and archeology findings are given.
  • Erisman quotes: Martin Luther, B. B. Warfield, Dorothy Sayers, J. I. Packer, John Piper, Tim Keller, R. C. Sproul, C. S. Lewis.
My favorite sessions including quotes:
  • Session one is on the Ten Commandments. What does it mean "to put God first in your life?" People tend to shape God into what they want Him to be. "The human heart is an idol factory."
  • Session four: "Overcoming Temptation." I loved Erisman's explanation of "old self" and "new self." "You are a new man, with a distinct identity as a new creation in Christ. The tyrannical power of the flesh is broken. It has been dethroned. Now the Spirit of God is the dominant factor, and you have a new identity, a new heart, with a new nature. Although the flesh is still present within you, there is a life changing difference."
  • Session seven: "The Power and Value of the Word." Erisman states several reasons as to why the word of God is important.  "God's word is a reference point, a beacon." Five reasons are given as to why scripture is important.
  • Sessions twelve and thirteen: "Knowing God's Will." "A call is an inner desire given by the Holy Spirit, through the word of God, and confirmed by the community of Christ." Seven points are given in knowing how God guides us.
  • Sessions fourteen and fifteen: "The Mystery of the Trinity." His explanation is the best I've read on the Trinity! "Each person of the Trinity is fully God. One being. Three distinct persons."
  • Session eighteen: "Kept by God, Preservation, Perseverance, and Assurance (Part One.)" He taught on mistaken beliefs about salvation, that some people look at it as "fire insurance." We cannot live however we want and "still be right with God...Remember it is God who preserves us." "Why would it be reckless and spiritually dangerous to think that you could persevere in the faith yet neglect the very things that God has told us are so crucial, such as the Word, prayer, service, and on the perseverance of the Saints the gathering together with the church for fellowship, communion, instruction, and worship?"

Kenneth Erisman has an MA in New Testament Literature and exegesis from Calvary Theological Seminary (Kansas City) and a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has pastored for thirty years with Converge Worldwide (formerly known as the Baptist General Conference), and he has been part of two church plants and served on a church-planting coaching team with Converge. He lives in Missouri.

Link @ Amazon:
Kindle $10.43
Paperback $13.49