Author and Bible teacher Dale Partridge is on a mission to see Christians become more like Christ. A pastor, church planter and digital influencer, Partridge is a champion of Biblical discipleship and longs to see the people of God grow into all they can be.
His new book, “Real Christianity: How to Be Bold for Christ In a Culture of Darkness,” addresses how followers of Jesus can more effectively root themselves in the truth of the gospel and learn to walk out their calling as ambassadors of Christ.
“I did not write this to accuse the lukewarm, but to rouse the faithful,” says Partridge, who studied biblical theology at Western Seminary. “Real Christianity is a book for Christians looking to be more like Christ. It is an in-looking book aimed to highlight what the Bible says about being a real Christian and a careful examination of your personal walk with Jesus.”
Partridge’s message is simple: God’s people need to return to the Bible. The scriptures, he says, offer believers a spiritual guide to a life lived in true communion with Jesus. It is sacrificial living, Patridge writes, where the secrets to Christian life can be discovered.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer himself famously espoused, true Christian discipleship is always marked by a personal cost. And that’s a sentiment that Partridge feels must be impressed upon American Christianity as a whole, for such a time as this.
“Jesus doesn’t sugarcoat the cost, commitment, or consequences hidden behind the decision to come to the altar and follow Him. He’s upfront and raw,” Patridge explains, citing Luke 14:25-33. “Out of His abundant grace and love, He makes it profusely clear that there is no such thing as costless Christianity. He isn’t interested in winning people under false expectations. He wants you to know everything before you pick up your cross, die on that altar, are born again of the Spirit, and become His disciple.”
Taking a hard-hitting look at the thin “cultural Christianity” that has infected much of the American church, Partridge certainly doesn’t mince his words. The first chapter is titled: “Belief in Christ Doesn’t Make You Christian.”
“The question you must ask yourself is this: Is Jesus Lord in your life or do you just believe in His existence?” Dale writes. “Is Christ your everything or is He just something? Have you made Him an unrivaled priority? Or is He simply convenient comforter, good philosophy, your framework for conservative politics or someone who’s there only when you need Him?”
“For many Christians, Jesus has been reduced from Lord to savior, comforter, provider, or whatever is convenient bandage to the most painful element of their life at the time,” Partridge continues. “However, that’s simply a gross misunderstanding of who Jesus truly is.”
As you can gather from the name of his church planting movement, “Relearn Church,” Dale is also passionate about seeing the global Bride of Christ re-engage with the Bible and rediscover its first love.
“I believe much of the doctrinal naivety and biblical illiteracy among Christians in the West is merely a result of how we have chosen to do church,” he writes in the final chapter titled “Bringing the Church Back to the Bible.”
“Because we have converted the meeting of the saints almost solely into the outward work of evangelism, we have largely limited the more advanced and mature doctrines of Scripture from the pulpit,” Patridge writes.
The impact of such a doctrinal departure, Dale says, has rendered millions of Christians spiritually homeless. “They are Gospel believing nomads homesick for deep and committed missional community,” he writes at the conclusion of the book. “They are longing to be discipled and spiritually parented by mature men and women of the cross. They are craving the unabridged and rich truths of the Bible. But most of all, they want their church experience to match up with the explosive, vibrant, and powerful Christian account they see in the New Testament.”
In light of these pressing issues facing the church today, Dale and his wife, Veronica, have dedicated their lives to helping pioneer a new form of Christian community that is both dedicated to the mission of God and deeply rooted in sound theology.
“To this need, Veronica and I have been called. Called to bring the church back to the Bible,” Dale writes. “Called to restore the Scripture’s original design for the church meeting. Called to teach Christians how to establish fruitful thriving, Spirit-filled, Gospel-centered communities.”
You can pick up a copy of Dale’s latest book “Real Christianity: How to Be Bold for Christ In a Culture of Darkness,” here.