When is the Real Thing the Real Thing?

When is the Real Thing the Real Thing?

When I received the review copy of Peter Watts book, Authentic Christianity: Why It Matters for Followers of Jesus, I was less than excited. My first thought was, “Oh No! Not another ‘Here is the right way to understand Jesus/God/Scripture. Just read my book and you will be on the path to undeniable truth!’”

You are familiar with the expression, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Well, it’s also true that you can’t always judge a book by its title. I was way off!

I hadn’t read too many pages before I found my pre-judgement was putting Watts in a category he does not belong in.

Watts begins with reporting that “authenticity [is] the quality of being genuine and true. Genuine and true in relationships with others, God, and ourselves. It’s being honest …”

For a moment I thought the book was going to be “all” about getting relationships right, and relationship building. And while that is a major part of his thesis it certainly is not the whole of his book.

He sets the stage for us by having us consider pretending or play-acting we might see children engage in. And such is important for the psycho-social development of every child.

Then Watts takes us beyond childhood and the beneficial aspects of pretending to what happens when pretending becomes the main means by which we relate to others whether it be in the home, in the workplace or in church.

His book is a plea to learn how to be honest and humble in all our relationships. He does not sugar coat it. Authenticity involves risks. The possibility of being hurt. But without risk we will never know who we are or those we relate to, or who we can become.

As Watts moves to discussing “Moving toward Authentic Christianity” in chapter 5, he does an excellent job of demonstrating how the Gospel accounts of Jesus again and again show Jesus engaging in authentic relationships and opening the path for his followers to be authentic with him, with God, and with each other.

You owe it to yourself to give Peter Watts’ book a careful read. Let him show you ways to be more authentic in every aspect of your living.


{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.

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