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Editorial Reviews

Review

 In Creature of the Word you will learn that the Bible is not about us; it is about Jesus and how to live all of life with Him, like Him, and for Him. This is a foundational, practical, and helpful book for both Christians and church leaders.
Mark Driscoll, pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle, Washington

I love Matt Chandler, his heart for the gospel and his love for the church. I am so glad that he, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger wrote this book addressing the fact that God’s Word should be the foundation of the Church rather than the latest trend that seems to be working in the world. This book provides a fresh challenge for all of us and will help us establish a biblical foundation in regard to the ONE THING that Jesus promised He would build!
Perry Noble, senior pastor, NewSpring Church, South Carolina, and author of Unleash!: Breaking Free from Normalcy

Our homes, communities, cities, and nations need churches that are immersed in the gospel and fueled by the gospel. Why? Because the good news of Jesus Christ changes everything! I am encouraged and excited by the strong gospel challenge found in Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church. Matt, Josh, and Eric provide a clarion call for our churches to recapture their awe for Jesus and His perfect work accomplished on our behalf. They help us see how the beautiful bride of Christ can be possessed by both a doctrine and a culture centered on Jesus. This is the kind of book the Church has needed for a long time.
Daniel L. Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Creature of the Word is a crystal clear call to the Church to recenter around Jesus and the gospel. Practical yet theological, I recommend this book as essential reading for anyone who would lead or plant a church.
Matt Carter, pastor, Preaching and Vision at The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas

Too often Jesus Christ is central to our theology but not to the way we do church. This book serves as a needed reminder and a powerful corrective for those of us who must continually recalibrate our ministry for Jesus with the person and work of Jesus.
Larry Osborne, pastor, North Coast Church, Vista, California, and author of Sticky Church

When a church goes vertical, it’s the small adjustment that leads to a major renovation. It’s an active, hard-hats-only construction zone where every decision has just one goal: to honor God. When we get that right, God Himself shows up and builds. My friend Matt
Chandler and his colaborers Josh and Eric are calling us to make church about Jesus, again.
Dr. James MacDonald, senior pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicago, Illinois, and author of Vertical Church

Be careful if you read this book. Creature of the Word will make you rethink much of what you think you know about the Church, its message, and its mission. Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger have conspired to write a book that will make you think more faithfully about the church and what it means for Christ’s people to be formed by the gospel. I welcome the conversations this book will spark.
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

Lately many books are coming out with a title that has “gospel” in it. As you begin to read the philosophical and allegorical talk about the gospel, there is a disconnect from the Word of God. However, what is phenomenal about Creature of the Word is that it is gospel-centered and rooted in the Word of God with uncanny readability. I hope that thiswork will devotionally impact the whole people of God and increase our intimacy with our God.
Eric Mason, lead pastor, Epiphany Fellowship, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Bible has been referred to as the “Him Book” because it’s all about Him. In Creature of the Word, we will be challenged to keep everything Jesus centered. This commitment always leads us into His work.
Johnny Hunt, pastor, First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia

There is no greater need for church leaders than for the reality of the person and work of Christ to permeate our entire being. This not only results in personal holiness but spills out all over the people to whom we minister. Creature of the Word will change you and those you shepherd.
Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and author of Church Planter

Godly leaders from my generation have prayed and deeply desired for a new generation of church leaders to lead His bride well. Works like Creature of the Word are an answer to our prayers. I am excited and hopeful for the local church after reading the encouragement and challenges Matt, Josh, and Eric offer. What an incredible book by three incredible leaders!
Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tennessee

I look for five things when reading a book: readable, accessible, practical, helpful, and fresh. This book by Chandler, Patterson, and Geiger scores highly on all counts. It is a book church leaders should read,but it would be a great pity if the target audience was limited to that select group. Whatever your role or place among the people of God, do not hesitate to pick up this book and be refreshed by the insights, observations, and challenges you’ll find here. But primarily, the fresh encouragement to us to focus on, and be all about, Jesus.
Steve Timmis, director for Acts 29 (Western Europe) and coauthor of Total Church

Creature of the Word excites me because I know the result of churches centering themselves on Jesus, and His redemptive mission will result in God’s people engaging in kingdom work. Church leaders and staff teams should read and discuss this book in community.
Ed Stetzer, lead pastor of Grace Church, president, Lifeway Research

Creature of the Word paints a compelling and exciting picture of what a church can be under the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Matt, Josh, and Eric offer sound and practical insight that will encourage and challenge church leaders. How refreshing it is in a model-driven church world to read the call to all to be a Jesus-centered church! This alone makes me want to shout!
Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd, senior pastor, Cross Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and author of Our Last Great Hope

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Matt Chandler serves as Lead Pastor of Teaching at The Village Church in Flower Mound, TX. He has served in that role since December 2002 and describes his tenure at The Village as a re-planting effort where he was involved in changing the theological and philosophical culture of the congregation. The church has witnessed a tremendous response growing from 160 people to over 10,000 with campuses in Flower Mound, Dallas and Denton.

Alongside his current role as lead pastor, Matt is involved in church planting efforts both locally and internationally through The Village and various strategic partnerships. Prior to accepting the pastorate at The Village, Matt had a vibrant itinerant ministry for over 10 years where he spoke to thousands of people in America and abroad about the glory of God and beauty of Jesus. His greatest joy outside of Jesus is being married to Lauren and being a dad to their three children, Audrey, Reid and Norah.

Recently, Matt was named president of Acts 29, a worldwide church-planting organization. Over the last 10 years, Acts 29 has emerged from a small band of brothers to over 400 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries.

Matt speaks at conferences throughout the world and has written a book, The Explicit Gospel, published in April 2012.



Eric Geiger serves as the vice president of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best-selling church leadership book, Simple Church. He is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters, Eden and Evie.



Josh Patterson serves as lead pastor of Ministry Leadership at The Village Church located in the Dallas/Fort Worth region of Texas. He and his wife, Natalie, are the proud parents of Lily, Luke, and Liv.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: christianaudio; Unabridged edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610455924
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610455923
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,651,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading thematically--following a certain theme through a variety of books. Recently I noticed that some of today's most popular Christian mega-pastor authors had released new books and I thought I'd work my way through that list. The list includes new titles by Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald and David Platt. Not surprisingly, the books and their authors are all tightly connected. Driscoll and MacDonald endorse Chandler's book; Chandler and Driscoll return the favor in MacDonald's Vertical Church. Chan's book has a foreword by Platt and Platt's book has a foreword by Chan. And so on.

Having reviewed MacDonald's Vertical Church, I turned my attention to Chandler's Creature of the Word (co-authored with Josh Patterson and Eric Geiger). Written primarily for pastors and church leaders, but applicable to all Christians, this is a book that looks to gospel-centrality, a very popular theme today. It calls Christians to "view the essence of the gospel as the foundation for all of ministry." After all, there is a huge difference between "knowing the gospel and being consumed by the gospel, being defined by the gospel, and being driven by the gospel." Chandler wants the reader to "start a fresh journey into the heart of the gospel, prepared to be newly amazed by it, resolved to let its principles begin shaping how our churches worship, serve, and operate."

Rather than focusing on the individual, he focuses on the gospel in the local church, calling the church "a Creature of the Word." "Yes, a Creature. She is alive. A living, breathing movement of God's people redeemed and placed together in a collective community. But she is not alive in her own doing. She has been made alive by the Word.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Vernon on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
As I was reading through Creature Of The Word it was greatly encouraging to see the breadth at which Chandler, Patterson, and Geiger covered this topic. The tone of speaking boldly, while doing it through the lens of gentleness, is an accomplishment that very few books seem to reach these days.

Here are a few quotes from Creature Of The Word that I hope will encourage you to pick up a copy.

1. Abhorring what is evil in the context of community requires true love--love that dares to inflict "the wounds of a friend" (Prov. 27:6 esv). The weakest, saddest, most hypocritical form of pseudo love is the kind that sees someone in danger and simply hopes everything works out in the end.

2. We become what we behold.

3. Not everything is the gospel, but the gospel is for everything.

Enjoy the wisdom that is expressed in this book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Timothy S. Milner on October 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Loved this book. Does an incredible job at linking what we do to the Gospel. When we realize that what we do is in light of what Jesus has done for us, it gives purpose to even the small things in life that we do.

I would recommend this book to anyone. As someone who has been to seminary, I believe this should be one of the first books any seminary student has to read - simply because it will help Christian leaders shape their understanding of why they do the ministry they do. Also, anyone who interested in hearing about "Gospel centered churches," or "Gospel living," or "Gospel [fill in the blank]" should read this book because the authors do a great job of giving a well rounded view of what it means to be guided by the good news of Jesus. Finally, any Christian who serves in their church or any Christian ministry absolutely should read this book, because again, it does such a great job at connecting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to all that we do - small and big things alike.

Get this book and read it. It will get you thinking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Richards on March 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although a popular phrase these days, I appreciate the practical advise rendered here. Especially helpful was the authors' treatment of children's ministry and all other "ancillary" ministries and the importance of them all focusing on the reality of the gospel message. Enjoyed this and would recommend to any leader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Mondragon on February 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If there is just one book that I could recommend to the church, it would be this one. This book has challenged the way our community thinks about the church, community, the gospel, and one another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angel Roman on October 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
First Impressions

As a youth leader at my church I’m always interested about learning from those with more experience in the ministry. Matt Chandler has become a favorite of mine since The Explicit Gospel, so this was a good opportunity to read his thoughts, along the two others authors, about a Jesus-centered church.

Content

For Chandler the gospel is about Jesus, with this concept in mind, all the sections of the book establish the way each part of the church is and must be influenced by the gospel.

The gospel centers us on Jesus’ person an work or it isn’t the gospel… and it isn’t where our first love should be. Ultimately, the gospel is not a nebulous or ethereal concept, but Jesus Himself. – Matt Chandler p.7

There are two main sections of this book, the first one is about the way the church functions as a body or as a building. It’s easy to follow the basic idea: A gospel saturated church and its implications versus the lack of the gospel in the church and its negative implications.

Worship gatherings are not always spectacular, but they are always supernatural. And if a church looks for or works for the spectacular, she may miss the supernatural. p.42

The other half of the book deals with the different ministries in the church and the dynamic between them. For this, Chandler believes the ministries of the Old Testament: Priest, Prophet and King are still present in the leadership of each church in different forms but still with the same essence.

Some leaders are primarily prophets, uniquely gifted to declare truth. Some leaders are primarily priests, uniquely gifted to shepherd people to wholeness and maturity. And some leaders are primarily kings, specifically gifted to provide clear direction. p.
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