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'The Christian Atheist': Book by Craig Groeschel

Updated on August 22, 2019
revmjm profile image

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

You have probably heard the statement, "It takes one to know one." That saying fits Craig Groeschel perfectly who wrote a book based on his former life as a "Christian atheist."

Craig Groeschel believes that there is such a thing as a Christian atheist and many of them are in our midst. He teaches and preaches about the situation that he himself was once in. Not only that, but he has written a book about the subject. He wants others to know about being a Christian atheist that he also has an online Bible course available that is based on his teachings.

What is 'Christian Atheism'?

Groeschel does not beat around the bush. Instead, he starts off by admitting that he was once a Christian atheist. Therefore, he knows what one is.

Right off the bat, he says that he is a recovering Christian atheist and because he knows all too well what it is, he can see it in others. His testimony is that although he believed in God, he was leading the church he pastors as if God didn't really exist. He was teaching others to be like him even though he himself was on a journey that he later described as Christian atheism.

Groeschel defines a Christian atheist as someone who "believes in God, but lives as though He doesn’t exist." Believing in God must lead to knowing God and having an intimate relationship with God. This can be accomplished by studying the world of God and spending time with God in prayer and meditation.

Christian atheism is not only attending a local assembly, but it is also going to every conference and workshop without displaying any spiritual growth.

Christian Atheism': The Book

The book Christian Atheism was published on May 7, 2011. Author Craig Groeschel is publicizing it nine years later because he is offering a six-session small group Bible study based on the 96-page book.

Groeschel leads the group on his personal journey from being a Christian atheist to not being one. He wants to allow people to open their eyes and admit that they believe in God but live as if God doesn’t exist.

The author warns that a person can believe in God, attend church on a regular basis, treat others fairly but still does not live like God is the head of their lives.

In an upcoming small group Bible study, Groeschel encourages others to be more than just Christian in name only. His aim is to get people to become honest by breaking free of hypocrisy and living a more authentic life that has been surrendered to God. That can happen when people not only believe in God but also believe that God exists and is close to them every single minute of every day.

Definitions from the Book

Not only does Groeschel gives a simple definition and explanation about Christian atheism, but he also gives a list and definitions of other related terms.

  • theism - belief in the existence of God
  • atheism - disbelief in the existence of God
  • practical atheism - acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest toward belief in God
  • Christian - one who professes belief in the teachings of Christ
  • Christian atheism - believing in Christ but living as if He doesn’t exist

Six Sessions of the Online Bible Study

The six sessions of the online Bible Study are based on the following topics:

  1. When you Believe in God but Don’t Really Know Him
  2. When you Believe in God but Don’t Think He’s Fair
  3. When You Believe in God but Aren’t Sure He Loves You
  4. When You Believe in God but Trust More in Money
  5. When You Believe in God but Pursue Happiness at Any Cost
  6. When You Believe in God but Don’t Want to Go Overboard

Who is Craig Groeschel?

Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of Life.Church The 51-year-old pastor and his wife, Amy, live in Edmond, Oklahoma with their six children. Life.Church began there in 1996 with a few people in a two-car garage.

As of January 2019, there are 32 campuses located in ten states. The church is also a global church online.

Groeschel has published other best-selling books.

  • Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World
  • Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most

  • Hope in the Dark: Believing God Is Good When Life Is Not
  • Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life
  • Discover and Pursue God's Purpose for Your Life
  • Daily Power: 365 Days of Fuel for Your Soul
  • From This Day Forward: Five Commitments to Fail-Proof Your Marriage

Are you a Christian Atheist?

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      blessedp, thanks for your comments. I am glad you read the article and shared your viewpoints which are similar to mine.

    • blessedp profile image


      2 years ago

      Margaret, when I saw the title of your article I said rubbish. How can you be a Christian Atheist? But after reading your article I understood what it meant.

      It is sad that Christians have made a mockery of the Divine Creator to live as they please and claiming they are Christians.

      These are the people that live and do what they want. These are the people that give followers of Jesus Christ bad name and hinder the unsaved to get saved.

      But we are living in the last and closing days. Many are called and few are chosen.

      We know better so let us proclaim Christ and live the way He says we should live.

      God bless.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Hello Margaret,

      Thank you for introducing this term to me and others here. Sadly, I think most "Christians" will fall in this category. It's easy to have belief in anything if it's not a part of your life. When you can live how you please and not be constrained into a certain way of's tempting!

      If you're going to identify as a Christian, then you must (try) to live like Christ.. that's where so many people fall off. They want one toe in Church while the other nine are @ da club twerking Sunday morning @ 2am...knowing they got Church @8 lol. We can't "be" of this world and expect a sit in the Upper room.

      Funny, we must've got hit with a similar spirit because I just posted a Hub about my past marriage w/ an Atheist. It's not so much about how we managed to make it work (or not)but how he used his non-beliefs to attack my beliefs to hurt me!

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Ellison, I agree with you. I had never heard that expression before I read about the book and the online Bible study. I personally think it is an oxymoron to describe someone as a "Christian atheist."

      It goes to show that everyone has an opinion of how we are to serve God. While some of those opinions work for some people, they do not work for all. Like you, I am not fond of the "Christian atheist" title.

    • Ellison Hartley profile image

      Ellison Hartley 

      2 years ago from Maryland, USA

      interesting! I sort of think it is a little too black and white sounding. I'am a christian, I believe in God, go to church on sundays, keep a prayer journal and try and live as he would want me to. That doesn't mean I always succeed at it, but I don't like the thought of being considered a christian atheiest


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