There is a fine line between criticism and correction, the author has found it. In “Is God religious” you will learn both through scripture, history and Marks intimate life experiences that there is a level of love, grace and commitment from father God that far surpasses what most believers are currently living in. If you’ve felt like you couldn’t live up to, or be “good enough” to be pleasing to God, this book will help you see how much your loved despite what others or certain organizations have told you. One by one Mark removes the bricks from your wheelbarrow of guilt, shame, and misunderstanding of what true religion is designed to be, until your load is light and your burdens are gone.
There is a freedom in relationship that is unwrapped and put on display in such a way you will realize it is within your grasp, just waiting for you, no strings attached.
You will feel at home instantly as the author draws you into his life and with great humor and humility exposes misconceptions that have bound believers for years. If you’ve been a Christian for five minutes or fifty years you will find truth unveiled, hope restored, and along the way meet some pretty cool characters which shaped the Authors life.
In closing let me say, the theology is sound and the conclusions are correct. You’ll be inspired, you’ll laugh, and maybe even cry, but mostly you will relate to the stories and life experiences making each and every point that changed Marks life, and will change yours too. Pastor Dave Levandowski
I LOVE this book. I had planned to read it & then sell it. Within a few pages, I had my yellow marker out. If you have been acquainted with Mark, than you know he speaks his mind, & says exactly how he feels. I had been trying for many years to force myself to grow to be what I though God wanted me to be. Now I am practicing letting Him be my friend & confident, & love me. It takes a lot of practice right now because I am new to this, but what a wonderful, free feeling. Just to allow God to love me, & my loving Him. Thank you, Mark. Hope to see you soon again at ONC.
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Cowper-Smith makes a brilliant (and often humorous, November 11, 2014
By using familiar Bible stories and personal experience, Mark Cowper-Smith makes a brilliant (and often humorous!) argument that God is not religious. With rock solid theology, well researched Biblical history, and the author’s own delightful, quirky sense of humor, this book will gloriously lift the religious burden that so many in the church carry. “Is God Religious” will cause the reader to fall more in love with our God – who comes to us not with the whip of regulations unfulfilled, but with the wide-open arms of sacrificial, unconventional love. About halfway through this book I found myself releasing deep happy sighs, my shoulders dipping with relaxed contentment, and my heart becoming more and more joyful as Pastor Mark reminded me again and again of God’s great love for His people. I believe that “Is God Religious?” will be transformational in lives of many!
You don’t often say a non-fiction book is a “pager turner,” but Mark Cowper-Smith’s book, Is God Religious? If not, why are we? is just that… a page turner. I found myself saying things like, “I didn’t know that” and “Is that how I react or behave?,” and “Am I religious?” I was raised a Catholic in the ’50s and so I understand the reverence, respect, and fear of God. God was too powerful, too perfect, too unapproachable for me. I became a rebellious product of the ’60s and left God and religion behind me. Thirty years later I truly met the real Jesus and everything changed. As I read this book, I found myself highlighting in yellow the author’s truths chapter after chapter. I applied myself to the questions at the end of each chapter and feel as if I have a greater understanding of Who the Lord is to be in my life and perhaps more importantly, how important I am to Him. I highly recommend this book.
Christianity has become so many things to so many people and churches, that sometimes I think we have missed the story. Mark’s book brought me to a place a realness in my walk with God. It helped to solve some basic misunderstandings, and support the experience of feeling God’s amazing love. It is easy to read, funny, and Biblical. It all comes down to relationship and “Is God Religious” is a fantastic tool to help in achieving a closer walk with our Heavenly Father. May it bless you as it has blessed me.
This book is phenomenal — a well-balanced blend of insightful theology and personal anecdotes. His stories are inspirational and his teachings about relationship with God are things I’ve never heard preached from the pulpit. This book helps me to take a step back and consider life in its full economy. Mark helps you ask those tough questions: “Who are you?” “Who were you created to be?” and “What is a relationship with God really supposed to look like?” If you ever find yourself asking those types of questions, then this book is for you. Mark’s mission to help connect Christians with the Father heart of God is something that will touch every seeker of truth.
The book has been instrumental in helping me to think about my relationship with the Father. My relationship with the Godhead has been colored first by a Catholic upbringing, and second a strict father whom impressed as strong sense of independence on me. In fact in my early life I would only go to the Father with thanks for good things, but would not bring problems or burdens to Him. This was a cognitive decision based on my limited understanding of His nature.
The myth God helps those who help themselves, and the woe untos through out the bible (which I had not read just relied on other sources) combined with my limited understanding painted a picture of a God who is jealous and proud of it; a control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, and a homophobic, bully.
Mark’s book helped solidify, and confirm my current experiences with the Godhead: a loving, forgiving friend, confidant, lover, counselor, and so much more. I have an ACTUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE… how cool is that. Jesus loves me for no other reason than he loves me. Not just a statement of love but a palpable accessible, interactive love, and He does so totally and unconditionally!
I’m not a religious person and I liked Cowper-Smith’s book, Is God Religious? How we have come to view faith over the course of millenia is more based on how organized religion has shaped it rather than the original relationship with God. Cowper-Smith uses some very insightful and fresh approaches to force the reader to question their own concepts of God, faith, right and wrong. Cowper-Smith presents a compelling case for a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is not diminished because it is follows convention but rather enhanced because it so much more meaningful and enduring for the writer.
5.0 out of 5 stars I had firm belief in God and had experienced His love, but had no idea how to incorporate that …,October 17, 2014 By shelley cowpersmith This review is from: Is God Religious?: If not, why are we?
As the authors wife I did not know if it would be legitimate for me to post a comment, so I have hesitated for awhile. I also realized that Mark’s message has affected me so deeply it’s hard to put into words. But words are way to share and spread the message so here goes.
When I started to attend Mark’s church in Canada in 1989 I was a person who was desperately trying to live a life of faithfulness to God. I was studying the Bible trying to learn as much as I could to live a pure life and working hard to help other people. I was worn out and weary from self effort. I had firm belief in God and had experienced His love, but had no idea how to incorporate that love into my life. The content of Mark’s sermons combined with the light-hearted and sincere delivery was unlike anything I had ever heard. It sounded too good to be true, so I just kept trying hard to “do” everything to please God. I started working in children’s ministry and playing in the worship band right away just to be with the people of this church. They were different. They were relaxed, fun and very much in love with God.
As time went on I saw how Mark’s message was his life, and his life was his message. I saw how the people who were with him for any length of time were accepting of others and accepting of themselves. The later may seem silly to mention, but to a performance driven perfectionist, acceptance of myself was the hardest nut to crack. But over time, Mark and his church accepted my awkward striving and took the time to call out acceptance for myself from me.
I believe many of us in the church today have been presented with a view of God that is too small. People get their understanding of God by how they see us live.
Mark’s book presents a logical and careful analysis of God revealing Himself in the Bible through relationships and history. He shows us an immense God of love and power who wants to have a relationship with us. Mark does it with such humor and transparency of his own journey that it can’t help but bless people’s socks off. I for one am blessed and deeply thankful that the message that transformed my life is in print for all to enjoy.
This was a great book for me because I was so sick of Christian books that promised that if I did A, B, and C then God would do D and my life would be as great as that of the author (“it worked for me, and it will for you after you buy my CDs, workbook, and T-shirt, and learn these 17 easy-to-follow steps” you know the books I’m talking about). This book is REAL and describes God’s love for us in a way that is transformational. That what God wants from us above all else is RELATIONSHIP with us so he can lavish his love on us. Simple really, but devoid of all the “shoulds” that can make you feel like a failure 2 weeks after buying the workbook of those “other” books. This is a game changer and highly recommended, especially for folks like me who are really burnt out on Christian books, but NOT burnt out on God’s love! It is also a very easy read. Although you can tell the author has a deep understanding of the Word, he doesn’t use “big words” to impress you with his theology. Just simple but powerful stories that make his message clear. Awesome book!