Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Book Review: Gospel for Real Life
The Gospel for Real Life: Turn to the Liberating Power of the Cross...Every Day
By Jerry Bridges
English, 199 pgs
Why do so many believers live in quiet desperation?
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most explosive news of freedom the world has ever heard. Yet, why do so many of His followers experience so little of the gospel’s liberating power? Regrets over our past haunt us, fear and anxiety clutch at us, subtle legalism oppresses us, outright sin entangles us, and we spend much of the day without even thinking of God.
Jerry Bridges maintains that the poverty of actual Christian experience is the result of an impoverished understanding of the depths of the gospel itself. The key is not to try a little harder, but to know more fully the incredible work of Christ on the cross—and to live in a more vital awareness of that grace day by day.
Jerry does not flinch from the hard facts of human sin and God’s wrath—not exactly popular concepts today. But understanding them is absolutely crucial. For without a knowledge of the depth of our sin, we cannot experience "the unsearchable riches of Christ" that are available to us in the gospel. And when we know those riches, we are empowered to live every day "glorying in a sense of acceptance and the experience of grace."
This gospel is not just for the afterlife, but for today—it is the gospel for real life.
It took me a little while to get through this book. Not because it was hard to read or boring. Because it was so dense with truth and I didn't want to miss even a single word of it.
The Study Guide in the back of the book really helped me too. I mean, one of the first questions was "To what extend do you feel insecure about whether God loves or likes you?" Bridges doesn't exactly mince words or back away from the hard questions and truths.
I like that at times, he describes and helps the reader understand hard "church words" like propitiation, expiation, atonement, and redemption.
This is not a light reading book, but it's so good. It would be good for a personal quiet time or even for a group Bible study. Personally, we're probably going to use it in my Sunday School class in place of a curriculum for a few weeks.
I received a copy of the book from NavPress in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.