Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Book Review: "The Cross-Centered Life"

Title: The Cross Centered Life
Sub-title: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
Author: C.J. Mahaney
Publisher: Multnomah
Book Type: Christian Living
Page Length: 89
Chapters: Seven
SRP: $9.99
Suggested Audience: New Christians, Christians that needs a reminder about “the main thing” at the center of our faith, or Christians disciplining small groups of Christians.

Strengths: This book is brief and basic. It is meat and potatoes. There is no filler. It’s just seven chapters of Christianity 101. Mahaney writes this so well that powerhouse writers like John Piper, Jerry Bridges, and Josh Harris all recommend this book and suggest it to you to read. You could read this book in a week by yourself or seven weeks with a small group. Discussion flows easily from this read.

Weaknesses: I can’t really see any weaknesses in this book other than the fact that it is a hardback when it could be a really cheap paperback, but I actually prefer hardbacks. So I am really just thinking about the financial tight wads out there when I call this a “weakness” because I’m actually a book snob who really likes hardbacks. If you read this book to dive deep into serious intellectual thought, this book will be insufficient for you.

My thoughts: I liked this book. My roommate recommended it, so I read it and led a younger Christian through it over the course of six weeks. It’s easy, basic stuff. If you’re looking to read a book as a small group, whether you’re leading it or discipling the others in the group and going really deep with them personally, I recommend this book. If you can’t quite muscle through big books by Piper or Driscoll and maybe even Jerry Bridges’ books are too heavy for you at the moment, I would read The Cross Centered Life by Mahaney and then follow it up with Living the Cross Centered Life when you’re done. Find this on Amazon used for as low as $4 or just drop $10 at your local book store.

The More I read by Mahaney, and the more I read about him, the more excited I am about this book. Mahaney really is an unbeliever gift to both the present and future of Church goers...leaders, laymen and pastors alike.

Notable quotes: “But I find it surprising that any loving person would withhold this truth [the gospel of Jesus] from another person they love.”

“Don’t buy the lie that cultivating condemnation and wallowing in your shame is somehow pleasing to God, or that a constant, low-grade guilt will somehow promote holiness and spiritual maturity.”

“The Christian who desires to live a cross centered life will regularly face his or her own depravity and the seriousness of personal sin, squarely and unflinchingly. It’s a reality.”

“Let this day be governed by this one defining truth.”


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