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Book details
  • Genre:RELIGION
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:44
  • eBook ISBN:9781667872506
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667872490

Basic Christianity

Viewed Through the Lens of Relationship

by Jim Allen

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It is my contention that Christianity is not a religion, but a personal, love relationship with the only true, living God. Therefore, God’s word, the Bible, is also about relationship.

God created the universe and everything in it. As creator, He has the authority to determine how it operates. His universe, His rules. We humans do not get to tell God how to run His universe.

God established the rules that define sin and established the penalty for breaking those rules––eternal death. He also defined how rule-breakers, humans, could be pardoned––only through the shedding of blood. The amazing thing is that God did not exempt Himself from His own rules. Rather, He chose to cover our sin by becoming, through Jesus, a human Himself so that He could shed His infinite blood to pay the price for humanity’s sin and satisfy His justice. He chose to put Himself where we humans deserved to be. This is how God demonstrated His great love for us.

On the front cover of this book is a figure that depicts the empty cross of Jesus on Golgotha hill. It is a symbol of that sacrifice, of just how far God is willing to go to establish a personal relationship with each and every person whom He created.

And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth (John 17:3).

How does a person come to “know” God? What does that relationship look like in our daily human experience? What does a personal relationship with God entail? Furthermore, looking at this issue in a broader context, what are the answers to the questions, How does Christianity work? and What makes Christianity go? I have used analytical tools, developed from my training as an engineer, to examine and answer these questions.

So, what is this book about? Simply stated, it’s about having a personal relationship with God in this crazy, messed-up world we live in.


If you were to chose one word that would describe what Christianity is about, what would that word be? There are many good answers to that question, for example: salvation, faith, Jesus, love, redemption, etc. However, there is one word that encompasses all other words. That word is "relationship." Christianity is not merely a religion––it's a relationship with God. The Bible tells us God desires that we know Him. It also tells us that He is unknowable. How does one come to know a God who is unknowable? The Bible says He is sovereign, and that He gives us choices. How can God's sovereignty be compatible with man's freedom to chose? Many other confusing, but knowable, issues are addressed in this book. Over the years, my own personal relationship with God has given me a better understanding of how Christianity works, i.e., who God is, what my relationship with Him requires, how He develops that relationship, and how incredibly important that process is to my walk of faith. I am a retired electrical engineer. Engineers want to know the answer to questions like: How does a system or device work? and What makes it go? That is part of the reason I've written this book. I wanted an answer to the questions: How does Christianity work? and What makes Christianity go? In Basic Christianity, Viewed Through the Lens of Relationship I have used engineering methods and diagrams, gained from years of experience, to answer those questions in a way that will provide a "plain language" explanation of "Christian relationship" from a Biblical perspective. The God of the Bible is infinite. Therefore, there are an infinite number of things to know about Him. Basic Christianity, Viewed Through the Lens of Relationship begins that journey of discovery.

About the author
Jim was born in May of 1946, one of the first of the Baby Boomer generation. As a young child he possessed an inexplainable desire to attend church, but when he went to Sunday school he encountered hostility from the other kids, both physically and emotionally. That confused him. He thought that church was supposed to be a good place, a peaceful place, a place of joy and acceptance. For him, it was the opposite. It led him to conclude that God and church were not something he wanted to be a part of. After he completed his military service in 1971, Jim attended the University of New Mexico and graduated with a bachelors degree in electrical engineering. He spent his career in electronic equipment manufacture and design. It was after his marriage in 1974 that the issues of God and faith were revived. Jim's struggle was intensified after their son was born in 1976, exactly two weeks before Christmas. On Christmas Eve day they were informed that he had hypothyroidism, a disorder that causes physical and mental retardation. It was a crisis that raised serious questions about the goodness of God. That evening Jim attended a church service where he had a personal encounter with God as he, for the first time in his life, earnestly prayed to God asking why this happened and for his son to be healed. God answered that prayer in a way that Jim had never experienced. It led to his confession of faith in Christ in 1981. He became actively involved in church, serving as a deacon and later as an ordained elder. As Jim's grown in his faith through the years, he's struggled to know how a personal relationship with God actually develops. In his quest to find the answer, he attended classes taught by theologians, pastors, and lay leaders. They used primarily academic, theological language that created more confusion than understanding. His effort to resolve this confusion has led him to write Basic Christianity, Viewed Through the Lens of Relationship.