dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish

10.10.2008

Book Review: The Gospel for Real Life

Jerry Bridges is fast becoming a favorite author of mine. Bridges writes with a firmly gospel-centered approach and an engaging style. His books are composed of doctrinal content, not glossy words; yet he has a gift for expressing the glorious truths of the Bible with both wonder at the simplicity and awe at the mystery. And I know that I am far from being the only one who has been fed through his writings. I thank God for Jerry Bridges, yet don't be mistaken and think that the point of this review is to make much of Jerry Bridges. Rather, it is to encourage you to read his writings and be freshly amazed at the the person and work of Jesus Christ.

In one of his previous works, The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges wrote a chapter on how to "preach the gospel to yourself," and spoke of the transforming effect that such a practice can have on a Christian's daily walk with Christ. As he explains in the preface, Bridges wrote The Gospel for Real Life to answer three questions. (1) What is the gospel we should preach to ourselves? (2) Why do we, who are already believers, need to preach it to ourselves? (3) How do we do it?

To a new Christian seeking to better understand the full scope of the Gospel, or for someone seeking to learn more about what it means to place faith in Christ, The Gospel for Real Life would be an excellent resource--probably the best one that I am aware of. Chapter by chapter, Bridges examines topics such as Christ's obedience, propitiation, expiation, ransom, reconciliation, justification, adoption, and many more. But his point isn't just to get people to recite definitions of these words, but, more importantly, to understand their them. For instance, after writing on expiation, Bridges writes, "It is not necessary in your Christian growth that you make expiation a part of your vocabulary, but it is necessary that you make the concept of sin's removal, symbolized by the scapegoat, a part of your thinking and theology. Only then... will you be freed from your guilt so that you can serve God effectively."

Yet, as I quoted above, The Gospel for Real Life was written specifically with those who are firm believers in mind. Indeed, for a believer who has followed Christ for a number of years and who has studied theology and doctrine, The Gospel for Real Life would make an excellent read. Whether to fight vagueness in doctrinal understanding or to combat the tendency to become familiar and unamazed, Bridges' simple presentation of profound truths effectively answers the three questions he set out to address.

Rating: Highly Recommended

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2 Comments:

Blogger Megan said...

That's a favorite!
Jerry Bridges came and spoke at our church about 6 years ago. What a great opportunity that was for us.

10/10/2008 12:14 PM

 
Blogger Sterling said...

I always like reading your book reviews.

10/16/2008 10:01 PM

 

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