What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?

New Edition with Study Guide: A Guide to What Matters Most


Pastor and author Martin Thielen has compiled a list of ten things people need to believe, and ten things they don’t, in order to be a Christian. This lively and engaging book will be a help to seekers as well as a comfort to believers who may find themselves questioning some of the assumptions they grew up with. With an accessible, storytelling style that’s grounded in solid biblical scholarship, Thielen shows how Christians don’t need to believe that sinners will be “left behind” to burn in hell or that it’s heresy to believe in evolution. And while we must always take the Bible seriously, we don’t always have to take it literally.

At the same time, Christians do need to believe in Jesus–his life, his teachings, his death and resurrection, and his vision for the world. A great benefit of those beliefs is that they provide promising answers to life’s most profound questions, including: Where is God? What matters most? What brings fulfillment? What about suffering? Is there hope? Thielen articulates centrist, mainline Christianity in a way that’s fresh and easy to understand, and offers authentic Christian insights that speak to our deepest needs.

This new edition includes a leader’s guide, previously only available online, and a new introduction from the author that reflects on the book’s reception. The leader’s guide features unique and easily implemented aids for carrying out a seven-week, congregation-wide initiative that will help local churches reach out to their communities. More information is available at thielen.wjkbooks.com.




This book gets to the core of basic controversies in a manner which makes all feel welcome. Easy to understand. Great stories to back up points.~ Wendy F.

Planning small groups using this during lent! Topic’s relevant and good discussion starter. ~ J. Dunn

We are using this book for a lenten bible study. We have only had one class and it went very well. Everyone likes the book very much. We will be having weekly meetings – every Weds. I am looking forward to reading more of the book and will review it after our study is over. ~ Margaret P.


Martin Thielen has served as a minister in the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention. He has pastored small, medium, and large churches, including a megachurch of ten thousand members. He also worked as a national denominational editor, consultant, and adjunct seminary professor. He holds a bachelor of arts, a master of divinity, and a doctor of ministry degree, plus a year of Ph.D. studies at Vanderbilt University. Martin is the author of hundreds of articles and eight books including The Answer to Bad Religion is Not No Religion: A Guide to Good Religion for Seekers, Skeptics and Believers and Searching for Happiness: How Generosity, Faith, and Other Spiritual Habits Can Lead to a Full Life. You can download for free his latest book An Inconvenient Loss of Faith at his website  www.DoubtersParish.com.

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