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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing Hardcover – October 12, 2002
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About the Author
C.J. Mahaney is the senior pastor of Covenant Life, a thriving body of 2,500 in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. A dynamic preacher, Mahaney speaks to thousands each year at conferences around the world. He leads Sovereign Grace Ministries, a church planting support organization with more than fifty churches in North and South America, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
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Top Customer Reviews
What is was designed to do was to RADICALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE GETTING YOUR MIND FOCUSSED ON THE CROSS and what Christ accomplished there. I know that the book achieved its goal because it has had a profound effect on me. There are very few books which so vividly stand out in my mind as tools that God has used to mold me into the image of His Son.
So often as we progress in the Christian life, we think that we must "move on" to the "deeper" things of the faith. We begin to prioritize Bible study, then prayer, and maybe fasting. We begin to serve in the church, and we develop doctrinal bases for doing all this. Then maybe we begin to develop systematic theologies that define the way that we live encorporating everything from creationism to eschatology. Then finally as "mature" Christians having spent tons of time thinking about the difficult and mind-stretching things of faith, we wonder where all of our growth is. We aren't really much more useful than we were when we began, and we might long for the joy that was ours when we first repented and saw God's glory, grace, and grandeur. What CJ points out is that so often we so distracted by important, but not central, points of the faith. WE FORGET THE CROSS.
CJ Mahaney spends about 100 very small, very easy-to-read pages painting the picture (See Galatians 3:1) of Christ on the Cross and the consequences of that scene in the lives of God's elect. This book walks us through the completeness and finality of justification, onto the continuing work of sanctification, and on into how all of these should effect our everyday lives.
This book stands in my lives in the ranks of Desiring God (John Piper) and The Enemy Within (Kris Lundgaard) as one of the three books that have most impacted me (aside from the Bible). It isn't a book that is going to impress your friends by making them think that you're really smart, but through the Spirit's work in your heart, it will daily bring you to knees in repentence and to your feet in rejoicing. Thanks CJ.
The book is easy to read and grasp. C.J. Mahaney is not writing a purely theological study of the cross but rather a devotional look at the finished work of Christ that so often we miss in our pursuit for everything else when in reality nothing will satisfy like knowing God is satisfied with Jesus' finished work of atonement. Praise be to God for His wonderful Son!
FYI: You won't see it on amazon, but in the actual book, there is someone else who wrote at least part of the book because he is also listed as an author. The book is only 96 pages. Who wrote what sections? Did Mahaney just sign off on this as something he would write if he wrote it???
(1) Instead of people becoming cross-centered, they could easily take this book and become C.J. Mahaney-cross-centered--i.e. they just replace their own rules in the Christian life with C.J. Mahaney's suggestions on how to be cross-centered and still be based on works, not grace.
(2) The book seems to say that if you have the disciplines of the Christian life (Bible reading, sharing the Gospel, praying, fasting, etc) and have not read this book, then you're most likely doing those things because you feel like you can earn your salvation and you are not cross-centered.
(3) The section about preaching the Gospel to yourself is severely lacking. I have to ask myself if the author actually understands who he quoted. His "practical" suggestions on how to preach the Gospel to yourself are a woefully superficial, almost a plug for where to buy his church's music, get their sermons, etc.
Really would have liked to have seen something with more meat. I wish I could get my money back.