Authentic Christianity: Why it Matters for Followers of Jesus


As a follower of Jesus, you value honest and transparent relationships with others. Yet you continue to discover that these characteristics seem to be rare within Christian churches. It doesn’t help the matter that a culture of detached professionalism pervades, not only in the contemporary workforce, but within these same Christian communities.

Because of this, Christians are not widely known for authenticity. You may even feel stifled in the congregation you’ve been part of for years—and you wouldn’t be the only one. When silence permeates a church, the domino effect can topple the members’ ability to truly relate to and understand one another.

Yet the path of Jesus offers lessons in authenticity that are still relevant to his followers today. Authentic Christianity examines what Christ’s life tells us about living authentically and explores cultural reasons for our inability to flourish in this area. This book demonstrates that you don’t have to choose between being a Christian and being an authentic human being. Following Jesus will lead you on a risky but meaningful (even necessary) path that faces and engages with our common need for authenticity and authentic relationships with others.



“Say more.” You have opened a box, and you have hinted towards something that could be meaningful. Say more. If you are in a therapy or counseling situation and you hear this request, it may mean that you are onto something that could be good, but you are just scratching the surface. Say more. Go deeper. Get more personal.

“In his book Authentic Christianity: Why It Matters for Followers of Jesus, Peter Watts seems to be saying the same thing. He implores the reader to be more honest in their relationship with God and their relationships with others. Watts offers the observation that our self-made, individualistic culture pushed against such authenticity because authenticity leads to a reliance upon each other and upon God. This goes in the face of the self-made ideals. In our society of facades and fronts, of fakery and lies, it is indeed a worthy ideal to push and desire an honest approach to faith and relationships. Let it be said that Watts’ ideas are not new or original. Many have pushed for an honest and authentic way of living (secular and sacred) and have extolled the values of such honesty (see Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Merton, Socrates, Tillich, and many others). Watts joins the throng of mystics, philosophers, and theologians speaking out into a sea of stubborn individuality for courageous stance that requires an honesty in their own faith…” -Jonathan Malone

“Full disclosure: I am the brother of the author. 🙂 And in knowing the author and having read the book I can confirm that the message comes from a true practitioner of that message. He has been a great example for me in his vulnerability and honest transparency. Because of that I am interested in what he has to say. In this book he warns us against the tendency of mirroring the common patterns of our surrounding culture with its play-acting and self-made man ideologies and behaviors. All the while, he encouraging us to pursue a life of authenticity and honesty during the journey of following Jesus.

I was compelled by his message about ‘Becoming More Human, Not less’. That emphasis resonates with me. He rightly brings attention to the misguidedness of an escapist other worldly based soteriology that devalues the goodness of the created order. He tries to redirect our affection toward participating in God’s intentions for renewing our individual and collective lives and the world we inhabit…” -Nick Watts

“Being authentic” in today’s world has become quite a loaded statement. Is it me being authentically me to myself or is it me being genuinely what your, or society’s, expectations of whom I am supposed to be? How have these types of questions and situations shaped American church culture and is there a way to restore what has been damaged? Peter Watts lays out this type of dialogue in his book and invites the reader into his own experiences to shed some light on the value and deeper need for a more authentic Christianity.” -Ronald Barker


About the Author

Peter E. Watts is a teacher, blogger, and follower of Jesus. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies with an emphasis in pastoral ministry from Life Pacific College, and he later earned a master’s degree focused on teaching the social sciences from George Fox University.

Watts’s passion for Christ has led him to serve Christian churches in various capacities, including youth ministry, teaching, internships, small group leadership, and behind-the-scenes work. He particularly enjoys studying the historical Jesus and discussing faith in a modern context.

His blog, Authentic Christianity, can be found at

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