It's a long way from the savannah grasslands and dirt roads of Central Africa to the paved highways of North America. That statement summarizes my life's journey.
I was born on a mission station in what was then the Belgian Congo, and gained an early insight into African culture. At age five my parents moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, but three years later relocated to what was then Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. At the time the country was less than 50 years old, but had rapidly developed a solid manufacturing, mining and agricultural base. I began my professional career with a major international accounting firm and then entered the corporate world as a senior executive. My career, however, was interrupted with military service; I was a commissioned army officer at a time when the face of Africa was rapidly changing due to communist expansion and the cry for freedom from colonial rule.
I trusted Jesus Christ as a boy of seven, but it wasn't until I was fourteen that I completely committed my life to Christ. From that moment on, my commitment to follow hard after Christ has never wavered. That commitment began a lifelong study of the Bible. In the midst of my professional and business career I spent many a night burning the midnight oil. This eventually led to my entering full-time Christian ministry at age thirty six as an ordained minister of the Gospel. Shortly after that I relocated to the USA.
This lifelong study of the Bible qualified me to teach and preach, and now write "Authentic Christianity." I draw on my experiences as a corporate business executive, Bible college professor teaching Bible and missions, my leadership of a worldwide Bible correspondence school, itinerant Bible teacher, pastor, and missionary. I have travelled to over fifty countries on five continents.
I first taught the book of Revelation when I was fifteen. A close friend had just committed his life to Christ and began witnessing to his family. His recently married sister expressed interest in studying the book of Revelation, so I agreed to lead the study and literally "jumped into the deep end" as I harnessed all the resources I could find in my father's library.
"Authentic Christianity" reflects over sixty years of teaching the Bible. In the book I provide insight to help readers and leaders evaluate their lives and churches from Christ's perspective. The book contains extensive research, and is an invaluable resource for Bible students. It also calls for repentance, revival and authenticity. The book is much more than a scholarly exposition of the first three chapters of Revelation. As your guide, I take you on a tour from the small island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea to the sites of seven cities in what was known as Asia Minor, now Turkey. Against the backdrop of each city's history, culture, geography and religion, I unfold the messages Christ sent to the churches in those cities nearly two thousand years ago. The messages Christ conveyed to the churches are as stunning today as they were then. I relate those messages into direct confrontation and challenge as I build a convincing case for the display of authentic Christianity in the church and in one's individual life.
Authentic Christianity captures attention from the outset as it not only examines Christ's critique of those churches at the end of the first century but exposes today's churches and shows the relevancy of God's Word for today. I make an exceptionally strong appeal to those who call themselves "Christians" to be authentic. Authentic Christianity is a compelling read if only for the reason it shows us how we are to live today in light of what is predicted in the remaining chapters of Revelation. The book, containing personal and practical illustrations, is a dynamic challenge to bring one's life into conformity with Christ's expectations. The reader cannot possibly remain indifferent after reading the book and seriously considering its timely message. Whitney T. Kuniholm, president of Scripture Union USA, wrote that "Authentic Christianity is an insightful and timely wake-up call to every Christian today". It is also a wake-up call for church leaders. The book is an appeal for action and change.
As I build my case for authentic Christianity, I highlight both Christ's commendations and condemnations of those churches and clearly reveal what Christ is looking for today. Interestingly, Christ commanded five out of the seven churches to repent. I ask the though-provoking question "Does that percentage hold good for today?" I develop that theme and boldly call for revival. In essence, Authentic Christianity is a charter for church leaders, and every Christian, to follow.
One critic wrote: "The book reads like a novel and I couldn't put it down".
Another wrote "The comparison of the churches then to the churches today was very eye opening. Reading this book made me want to be a more active Christian and to help my church avoid the pitfalls that some of the seven churches fell into. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a straight forward and well researched book about this time in Christian history."
A third critic wrote "If you want to learn more about living an exciting, dynamic, meaningful, and joyful life as an "authentic Christian" I suggest you get Gordon's book and study it in concert with the Biblical text itself."
Authentic Christianity is a must read for everyone who calls themselves a Christian.
Author of Authentic Christianity
Gordon Haresign is an ordained minister who has directed a worldwide network of Christian schools, visited more than 50 countries with various ministries and pastored two churches. Today he resides in Pittsburgh with his wife of more than 50 years.
"In light of the church's declining influence in the world, it's essential that Christians magnify the Lord by showing authenticity in their walk with Christ. The world has a distorted view of Christianity because it rarely sees authentic Christianity on display or in action. As Christians, it's our responsibility to ensure the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted and magnified."
By: Gordon Haresign
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