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Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life Paperback – March 23, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jimmy Davis is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. In more than 20 years of ministry he has served as a pastor to youth and college students, a youth ministry consultant, a church planter, a pastor of discipleship, and has taught Bible courses on the high school and college level. He also serves as a staff writer and associate editor of the Colson Center’s Worldview Church Website, and maintains The Cruciform Life Blog at www.cruciformlife.com. Jimmy earned an M. A. in Christian Education and M. A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Cruciform Press (March 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936760142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936760145
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #506,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the Middle Ages, Christians built grand cathedrals in which to worship. "Everything about the way a cathedral was built . . . was designed to help folks discern, delight in, and declare the great, biblical doctrines concerning God and the gospel," explains author Jimmy Davis (p. 7). They were works of art designed to communicate the message of the cross.

We need more cruciform churches today, says Davis. "Not lavish cathedrals but living communities of disciples being shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation" (p. 8). That's why he's written Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life.

Many of us, particularly if we've come to faith as adults, struggle to clearly and practically define the Christian life. What does it look like? Is it a list of things we do or don't do or is there more to it than that? But the underlying question--the question behind the question as it were--is not simply what does it look like, but why do we exist in the first place? Davis offers a very insightful answer: "We exist to exalt the glory of God and to help other people and all of creation do the same" (p. 15).

This understanding is essential for all who seek to live a cross-shaped life. If we do not understand why we have been created and for what purpose we have been redeemed by faith in Christ, we will flounder rather than flourish.

So what do cruciform disciples? Davis sums it up in two key points:

Cruciform disciples (imperfectly) resemble Jesus the Son. "The more we become like Jesus, the Beloved Son, the more we will fill up by faith on the love of the Father through the gospel as his beloved sons" (p. 37).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Throughout history followers of Christ have utilized symbols to both remember and teach the uniqueness of the Faith. Pastor Jimmy Davis guides his audience towards a cross centered perspective on spiritual living by sharing anecdotes from his testimony and by using the pattern of the celtic cross. The heart of Davis's message conveys a "You first" perspective towards God. He writes:

We were created to look away from ourselves toward God, other people, and all of creation and say, "You first." A person with a you-first heart recognizes that life is about using oneself to serve God, others, and all that God has made, thus living a life that takes the form of a cross. Can you see it? We were created to be cruciform (cruci = cross, form = shaped).

This insightful observation gives me pause to elaborate the beauty of his "You first" language. You see, I've not heard spiritual life put this way before. Many years ago I was given an "I'm third" award. A few years ago I got excited about the "I'm second" campaign. Yet, in both of these models, "I'm" still in the picture. The "You first" model is fresh to me and it is a perspective marked by true humility. With the cruciformed life, self is forgotten altogether and Christ takes center stage. Simply put, I deeply appreciate Davis's model of spiritual life.

Davis shares a number of endearing anecdotes from his own life, but none quite demonstrates the humility, patience, and enduring nature of living the cross-shaped life quite as clearly as the final story of how his wife suffered burns from a grease fire and endured a month of hospitalization and surgeries. This touching story is so impactful that the reader will assuredly glean the full value of purchasing Cruciform simply by reading this capstone final chapter.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is life changing! I'd recommend it for everyone. I originally purchased it for my kindle and will buy another hard copy to hold in my hands and refer to often. I'm going to read it again and know that I'll get more out of this book everytime I read it.
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As I have gotten to know Jimmy, I see is Heart coming out in the book he has written for us. What a challenge to live a crossed shape life! I loved reading this book in a relaxed environment and was greatly challenged by its content. I always love reading books when the author is sharing things that God has done in his heart rather than merely sharing knowledge. This is a great little book and well worth your time to read it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was so inexpensive I didn't have much expectation. Davis wowed me though. First, I love the visual of cruciform. It's an easy concept to carry in one's head.

He describes the cross-shaped life in terms of servitude-- who doesn't need more of that? (serving, I mean! NOT being served) He also reminds readers that God has adopted us as his sons (and daughters). The love, the security that comes from this relationship reminds us that we are approved, we are forgiven, we are loved.... such encouragement.

By serving others, we learn to become "other-focused" and anticipate their needs. Early in the book, I was already looking around for servanthood opportunities. God will open a lot of eyes through this well-written book.
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Format: Paperback
Jesus calls us to take up our cross daily, and in doing so, our lives will take the shape of His cross. Jimmy Davis describes such a life in his book, "Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life," possibly the best under-the-radar, Christian Living book this year. He writes, "We are shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross," and thus are transformed to fulfill roles of seeker, shepherd, sower and steward.

I will summarize these points.
* As children of God, we seek his kingdom and his righteousness first (Matthew 6:33). We desire to act like him, to love and think like him. We look to Jesus as our example for living well.
* "In relationship to other disciples," Davis writes, "the servant is a shepherd, one who encourages brothers and sisters in Christ, who loves and labors with them" for the kingdom (Colossians 3:12-16). There are caveats with this point, but generally speaking we love and work with each other keeping the abundant life of Christ in mind.
* To those who aren't disciples, we sow the gospel through actions and conversation. We have compassion for the crowds, like Jesus does (Matthew 9:37), praying for them and serving them for the sake of His kingdom.
* For everything in God's creation, we are stewards on His behalf of all the resources God has given us: "body, time, talents/gifts, money, head/heart/hands, words, work, creation" (Matthew 24:45-51).

We do this due to a focus on Christ's life, which is essentially cross-shaped, and out of the source of our spiritual strength, which is a cross-shaped spirit. Each of these roles intermingles with the community in which they serve, a give-and-take that makes Jesus' disciples interdependent.
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