Thursday, December 29, 2005

Book Thoughts: The Cross Centered Life

After hearing this book recommended several times, I picked up The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing by C. J. Mahaney. It's one of those small books published by Multnomah (after Jabez hit the big time, they went a little crazy with small books). But size is not always correlated to content, as this book demonstrates.

In seven short chapters, Mahaney discusses how to live a life intentionally centered on the gospel. This book reminded me of (and made me again grateful for) the abundant teaching I have received on this matter in the last 8 years or so. It wasn't until I went away to college and sat under certain teachers, all the while attending an amazing church, that my understanding of Christ and the gospel was truly deepened. And, thankfully, this intentional cross-centered teaching and preaching continues to inform my thinking as I sit under the ministry of Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

So this book was a source of gratitude for me as I read it. After establishing the gospel as the necessary primary focus of the Christian, the book addresses three common areas into which we can allow ourselves to drift and thus get "off-center": legalism (performance as a means of earning grace), condemnation (guilt/shame), and subjectivism (listening to ourselves). He also offers some practical ways to intentionally place the gospel at the center of our daily thinking. If you'd like a short yet focused reminder of the grace and gospel of God in Christ, read The Cross Centered Life.

"We never move on from the cross, only into a more profound understanding of the cross."
~David Prior (quoted in The Cross-Centered Life)

And when, in scenes of glory,
I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story
That I have loved so long.


Anonymous joel said...

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8:36 PM  

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