I am excited to introduce to my blog readers the first book which I am reading through:
If you are interested in reading a description of the book and/or purchasing it, feel free to click the cover image to the left to go to its product page at Westminster Bookstore.
I have picked this book as the first to read through and interact with here on my blog for at least two reasons:
- I received this book free from its publisher NavPress in exchange for reading it and a review.
- I thank the Lord for how He has used previous books by Jerry Bridges in my own life. His more recent book The Bookends of the Christian Life has been extremely helpful to me in understanding the two “bookends” upon which I should lean all the elements of my life: the perfect righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in my life. I am hopeful that reading through another Bridges book will be extremely edifying for me, and I hope the same for my readers.
The book at hand, The Gospel for Real Life, is mainly about the implications of the gospel (i.e., good news) for the Christian’s present life. While Christians are well aware of the future impact of the gospel (e.g., going to heaven), many of them have little or almost no idea of how the gospel relates to their everyday lives. Furthermore, while some (if not many) Christians have the mistaken idea that the gospel is primarily for unbelievers, Bridges contends that we as Christians must “preach the Gospel to ourselves every day.” As Bridges summarizes in his preface, his book is intended to answer three questions:
- What is the gospel we should preach to ourselves?
- Why do we, who are already believers, need to preach it to ourselves?
- How do we do it?
Personally, this book looks very exciting to me. For a while I have had the hunch that believers should never grow weary of or “get over” the simplicity and beauty of the gospel. I am not suggesting Christians should prolong their time with spiritual milk when they should be pressing on to solid food (cf. Hebrews 5:11-6:1). Rather, I am arguing that in pressing on Christians never truly leave behind a love for the gospel. On the contrary, that love ought to be deepening as the Christian understands more fully the rich implications of the gospel for his present life and eternal state, as well as the inestimable cost to Christ to accomplish all of what He did at the cross.
I am really hoping that Bridges supports his idea that believers should preach the gospel to themselves with a ton of Scripture verses. Let us see whether he does this, and if so, how he does it. It is important to consider what verses he uses as well as the methodological presuppositions he employs in the task of interpreting Scripture.
As I hope has been already conveyed, I am just thrilled to read through this book and blog on various parts of it with a review to follow. Are you thrilled about it?