The Unsaved Christian
By Dean Inserra
There are Christians all over the world. There are lost people all over the world. Sadly, thousands of people die daily without knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. Whether they are a part of an unreached people group that have almost no engagement from missionaries, or live in a bustling city with churches on every other corner, lost people are everywhere. Now imagine this: Some of those people grace the pews in churches. Some might sit next to you. Some might regularly attend Sunday School and other church functions. And, according to Dean Inserra, most of them have no idea they aren’t Christians. They are, as his book’s title says, Unsaved Christians.
In The Unsaved Christian, Dean Inserra explains a relatively invisible phenomenon called “Cultural Christianity”, regarding those who do the right things, speak “christianese”, show up at all the right events, but have no idea of the seriousness of sin and the desperate need of the Savior. They know that Jesus died on the cross for sin, but not to the point that just doing good things and showing up to church is not what saves a person.
I am in middle of reading this for about my fifth time, and it convicts me each and every time I read it. There are many issues that Dean Inserra addresses in The Unsaved Christian, and not only how to spot them, but also how to help address the main issue: “You have to get them lost before they can actually be saved.” (p.12). One of the most eye-opening chapters in the book, as well as most convicting, is chapter 2, “Religion without Salvation: Characteristics of Cultural Christianity”. In this chapter, Inserra addresses the many characteristics of what cultural Christians look like. How they act. How they speak. And what is scary about it all, is that it’s incredibly difficult to recognize a cultural Christian from a true Christian. And even more terrifying is when you start recognizing signs of cultural Christianity around you, and sometimes within yourself!
Don’t worry, not everyone around you is a cultural Christian, and if you’re considering reading this book, I would think it is safe to say that you are a true Christian yourself.
I called this “a relatively invisible phenomenon” because it is a phenomenon, as it really is everywhere, but rarely to people see it, or even want to. Honestly, to think that you know a cultural Christian, or that their are cultural Christians sitting in the pews at the church you may pastor or teach at is a hard thing realize. When I first read through the book, it was an eye-opener for me. I knew what Cultural Christianity was, but the perspective put forth by Dean Inserra allows one to realize the enormity of the issue.
This is an excellent book that can give any Christian a gut-punch of a reality check to help them realize that we, as Christians, must do the work of the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4), which is much more than what happens at many churches today. We must be disciples that make disciples, sharing the gospel, including our depravity and inability to do anything about it on our own. We must teach the supremacy of Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. We must reach everyone, even those who think they have it already, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.