"There is another area in which cultural Christians have faulty thinking regarding authentic faith. It has to do with the role good deeds and living a so-called "good" life play in the spiritual life. The error has to do with placing the proverbial cart before the horse. By that I am referring to the erroneous belief that if you are good enough and practice enough good deeds, that in and of itself is adequate to earn the favor of God and make up for the lack of placing God and His will first in your life."
-----William Wilberforce, Real Christianity
This book, Real Christianity, by William Wilburforce---revised and edited by Bob Beltz---is the only one I took on my trip to Israel. I can honestly say, it's one of the most powerful, convicting books I've ever read. His insights are penetrating to the quick. One of the few books I will read and re-read over and over, until it's threadbare. It also reminds me of how far I have to go in God's economy.
The premise of the book is how many so called Christians are nominal---anything goes---rather than real Christians. Too often we take Christianity on our own terms, rather than on God's. Jesus warns us frequently about where this leads us and encourages us to do God in God's way, and not our own. To accomplish that we have to read and study the Bible and pay close to what it says. Transformation of our will and lives by the Holy Spirit is a lifelong process and not without many internal battles.
Though it was written back in the early 19th Century, it could just as well have been penned today. I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind being moved and challenged in their walk with Christ. Sobering and stunning indeed.