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Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News

4.51  ·  Rating Details ·  12,764 Ratings  ·  797 Reviews
Author Stephen Robinson illustrates the power of the Savior as he uses analogies and parables, such as his own bicycle story, and scriptures and personal experiences in this moving, best-selling book. “Mortals have finite liabilities,” he explains, “and Jesus has unlimited assets.” By merging the two, exaltation can come. As long as we progress in some degree, the Lord wil ...more
Hardcover, 125 pages
Published May 1993 by Deseret Book Company (first published January 1st 1992)
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Jan 20, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Mormons
Shelves: churchy-stuff
The concept of this book is pretty simple: Robinson distinguishes between "believing IN Christ" and "believing Christ." The idea is that while many of us believe in Christ's divinity - His role as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind - too many don't believe Christ when He says He can save us personally. Robinson always shares an important "saved by grace" emphasis that is helpful in an all-too-often works-based Mormon culture. "Believing Christ" has become a favorite for Mormons in need of ...more
Mar 13, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwjr
I need to read this one at least once a year. It's like having a bishop on a personal retainer. I feel like I'm being counselled by a very wise and understanding friend who truly "gets it". He makes the point that yes, we believe in Christ, but do we believe Christ? Do we really believe that he has the power to do what he says, that he can save even me? I read this book often so I'll never forget it. p.s. It was recommended to me by my bishop, a really nice guy :)

re-read: I really think this bo
Jun 06, 2008 Rachelpeart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The ideas were laid out clearly and very straight forward. I am glad to learn more about how both grace and works are necessary for our salvation. Some wonderful ladies from the Baptist church came by my door and showed me the steps to accept Christ and spoke of how we are saved by grace and not by works. They used the analogy that if I was going to give you a gift but said you had to go wash my car first, then it’s not really a gift. I felt inadequate in my attempts to explai ...more
Mar 13, 2008 Bree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books! I read it at somewhat of a turning point in my life and it dramatically changed my outlook and understanding of the atonement and the purpose of life. It teaches such simple concepts, but illustrates them so clearly.
I had Stephen Robinson as a New Testament teacher and learned much from him not only on the background of Jewish life in New Testament times, but also much about his lessons in the gospel. The glimpses I got about the premise of the book from class were thought-provoking and I think one we need to focus on more often. I have owned this book for years, but never finished it, so I finally pulled it out.

As Latter-day Saints, we tend to focus more on works that grace as we attempt to work out our o
Kim Berkey
This was my second time through this book. I think Robinson is fundamentally wrong about grace, and the book is riddled with contradictions as he tries to grapple with the flaws in his theological model. I was also stunned by how exhaustingly redundant Robinson's writing style is. Had he been more precise and careful, this book could easily have been just a lengthy essay, instead. Still, it's obviously a crucial work in Mormon thought, and has done a lot of good for Mormonism.

Read in conjunction
Jan 14, 2008 Tif rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was life changing. I listened to it on cd. I had not realized that I believed IN Christ more than I BELIEVED Him when He says I will be forgiven. Seriously, insightful and life-changing. I recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their relationship with Christ.
Apr 06, 2010 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book--a short, easy to read explanation of the Atonement, grace and works. I recommend it for all youth--and adults. The part I appreciate the most is that at times I lose focus on what matters most in our faith--I get hung up on the good I need to do, the rules I need to follow, how successful I or my children are being, and I forget the Christ came not just as an example but as a Savior. I need to re-read this periodically to remember that I need the Atonement in my life at all tim ...more
Aug 27, 2007 Trevor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: LDS
The author had some great insights. It deffinately got me thinking about my personal faith, and affinity to do the things which are commanded in the scriptures. I would have to say that the book was somewhat booring in the begining. The basic premise of the book was believing what Christ taught, rather than believing that he existed. That point seemed to drag on and on, but picked up again after sharing a few stories, and giving a unique perspective from Christ's vantage point.

It's a quick read
This book probably deserves more stars than I gave it, but I had had it recommended to me by so many people that I really had high hopes. I was told it would help me better understand the Atonement. In that, the book ultimately failed. I have had much more success with personal prayer, scripture study, and life experience.

I feel obligated, however, to give the book at least two stars, because I know that it has indeed helped others, and it was not offensive in any way.
Sep 29, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this has given me a deeper understanding of the atonement, especially the dichotomy between justice and mercy. Robinson goes into detail in the chapters on GRACE to delineate all aspects of how it is perceived differently. He explains in simple language how justice and mercy are both needed to bring us back to God. Here is a Quote about faith and works:

"...for neither by faith alone (defining faith as mere passive belief) nor by works alone are we saved. Salvation comes through a covena
Apr 02, 2008 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book to read-- especially during the Easter season. The author gives several analogies and examples that help us to understand our relationship with the Savior and what He has done for us and how that can apply to our everyday lives. I would highly recommend it.
Mar 05, 2008 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious, adult
The parable of the bicycle is a classic, as it really does teach us how to understand the atonement of Jesus Christ. I also love how this book teaches us that we don't need to become perfect in an instant, but just continue to try in the little ways that we can.
Nov 06, 2015 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Josh by: Bob Whitney
Shelves: church
I can't believe it took me so long to get to this book, but I'm glad I finally read it. It wasn't much of a page turner for me, but I learned a lot. I guess "learned" might not be the best word. There were definitely some interesting facts and some great parables in there, but what this book really did for me was change my perspective. I knew about the atonement and understood its significance on an intellectual level prior to reading this book, but now I better understand the difference between ...more
Jun 27, 2008 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The explanation of our charge to "be ye therefore perfect" is brilliant. It is the best I've heard (read).
James Carroll
Feb 20, 2009 James Carroll rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to James by: Brother Robison when I took is New Testament Class
Again, this review is in answer to someone else's review who thought that the book was bad, and lead to spiritual decadence because we no longer worry about striving for perfection if we trust in Christ to perfect us. After I took the time to respond to their review, I decided that the response deserved to be posted here as my review:

The real question is, if the book is so bad, then why did Elder Oaks so strenuously praise it? It is one of a very few books actually RECOMMENDED in the Ensign by o
Jan 21, 2008 Jami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in college, and it had such a huge influence on me. I don't know if I just read it at a time in my life when I needed it, or what, but I really loved it. I even took his New Testament class at BYU -- an absolutely amazing teacher!

I particularly loved the parables and analogies he uses, especially the section where he talks about his wife having a huge meltdown because she just can't do it all. I have felt that SO many times in my life. This book really helped me keep thing
Mar 03, 2008 Vickie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Savior can and WILL make up the difference between our best and what it takes to qualify for the celestial kingdom! We just have to do our part, which is to do our level best and keep trying until the end!! At baptism we promised to take His name upon us and remember Him always, and to BE WILLING to keep His commandments. We are not perfect and will never be on this earth, He doesn't ask us to be perfect, He asks us to do our best and repent when we fall short, and keep trying.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...more
Jul 25, 2008 Aimee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For such a small book, I felt like it was jam-packed with good stuff. The story in Chapter 2 about the author's wife, Janet, was so close to my own predicament, I felt like this book was meant just for me. None of the doctrines are new, but they are set forth in such a plain, repetitive, and descriptive way, I feel like I really GOT it. I recommend this book to anyone, particularly anyone who feels burdened by life in general or who just can't seem to live up to all the demands they have placed ...more
Aug 26, 2015 Csinclaire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hope At Last

In my own scripture study, I don't believe I've ever really considered individual words at quite the same level as Elder Robinson has in this book. He examines scriptures almost microscopically, to get to the real essence of what they are saying, and reveals a meaning that I -- and I expect many others -- have missed. I was continually impressed at what he perceived and how obvious it was, once pointed out. I read with eyes wide open, amazed at what there was to learn that I had neve
Justin Rose
Good writing, but poor theology. The most blatant mistake that continually reoccurs is that people have something to add to their salvation. Here are a few of the many examples: It's as though two people with separate bank accounts got married and formed a joint account(24). To this union, we bring our righteous desires and our loyalty (25). "You do everything you can do, and I'll do what you can't yet do. Between the two of us, we'll have it all covered" (33). ...trying to keep the commandments ...more
Jun 09, 2016 Dustin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quick read - it is short enough I could read the entire thing in a single evening. It did shed some light on a particular thing I had been thinking about recently: What does it mean to be worthy since we are indeed imperfect and Christ's grace is the only thing that can purify us? Church leaders regularly teach on being worthy - with good reason, they do not (nor should they) want to give license to sin. But what does that mean since every human is imperfect and sinful? What kind of "worthines ...more
May 01, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the way he explains the atonement and love of our savior Jesus Christ! Simple and easy read but very thought provoking. I will refer to this again and again.
Tanya W
Jun 19, 2008 Tanya W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christian, LDS, religious
This is a great book. It teaches about Jesus Christ and the meaning of the atonement in a way that makes it very simple to understand. I guess it has almost become cliche since so many have read it and can understand it and now use similar metaphors in trying to explain the atonement and how it applies to us. It is written to an LDS audience (members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) but could certainly by appreciated by people of other faiths as well.
Jared Anderson
Aug 07, 2016 Jared Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This small, but impactful, book really did a fantastic job at putting the Atonement in perspective. I've always felt like the Atonement was something so far beyond my comprehension that I didn't put in a lot of effort into trying to understand it. What this book helped me see is that the Atonement is not merely another doctrine that, once understood, simply gives the person more knowledge. It is THE doctrine. Understanding it more fully (and the implications that come with it) helps me understan ...more
Jonathan Plowman
Fantastic book, and a wonderful, simplistic explanation of how the Atonement of Christ works for all who will lay claim to its healing power.
Gabriel Hughes
Nov 19, 2009 Gabriel Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to be more like Jesus
This book really touched my heart. The author put in so many of his own stories and personal experiences that the lessons he taught were almost tangible. I couldn't help but feel good as I read it. Come to think of it, I ought to read it again - it's not a very long one at all. And I should probably read the sequel.

Really, you should read it. It will help you visualize your relationship with the Savior. And like I said, it's not very long.
Wesley Morgan
Jul 08, 2015 Wesley Morgan rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book about grace and the atonement. Most Latter Day Saints have heard the parable of the bicycle, but we often overestimate our personal contribution. He explains that our 68 cents, or whatever it may be, is completely inconsequential compared to the bike's price. We aren't helping pay for it, we are just working hard to show gratitude for our Father's mercy. This also means that we shouldn't boast about having a few more pennies than someone else, nor should we feel inadequ ...more
Randy Powell
While I respect this book for making grace a part of Mormon discourse, I disagree with his conception of grace, which is purely sequential and instrumental in the parable of the bicycle. I prefer, and I believe the scriptures support, a traditional concept of grace as unearned, unmerited, and happening at all times and instances of our lives. While this book has its merits, it does not do full justice to grace.
Aug 23, 2015 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings on this one. It's certainly an accurate description about the doctrine of Grace; however, as I read, the concept seemed to have corrupted in the least bit on different points until he finally quit beating around the bush and got to the point--at the end of the book. His examples follow this same pattern.

Throughout the book, Robinson uses several examples from his own or someone else's life regarding how Grace applies in life. These stories kept my attention, but, from the e
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Stephen E. Robinson has taught at Brigham Young University since 1986. He received a B.A. from Brigham Young University in 1971 in English Literature and a PhD from Duke University in 1978 in Biblical Studies. He and his wife, Janet, have six children.
More about Stephen E. Robinson...

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“God uses no magic wand to simply wave bad things into nonexistence. The sins that he remits, he remits by making them his own and suffering them. The pain and heartaches that he relieves, he relieves by suffering them himself. These things can be shared and absorbed, but they cannot be simply wished or waved away. They must be suffered.” 18 likes
“We often think that having faith in Christ means believing in his identity as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. But believing in Jesus’ identity as the Christ is only the first half of it. The other half is believing in his ability, in his power to cleanse and to save—to make unworthy sons and daughters worthy.” 1 likes
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