Sometimes, the most obvious truths are the ones we need to be reminded of the most. The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing is a short book written by CJ Mahaney with the purpose of reminding followers of Christ to center their lives around the gospel. CJ calls the reader to live in a way that looks only to the cross – not focused on the world around us, but focused on Christ. So frequently, Christians try to move on from the cross, to move on from the glorious display of grace that God has given to us. Christians, we must never grow past the gospel – the gospel is the reason for everything that we do. As we grow in the grace of the gospel, we will also move away from legalism – we will be living our lives in a way that glorifies God not beause we have to (that is legalism) but because we want to (worship). CJ concludes The Cross Centered Life with a reminder that we must continue to preach the gospel to ourselves daily. We can do this in several different ways: we can memorize the gospel, we can pray the gospel, we can sing the gospel, we can review how the gospel has changed us, and we can continue to study the gospel. I found this final chapter to be incredibly helpful, as it lists practical ways to grow in our love for the cross, and to grow in gospel-centeredness.
While this is a small book (less than 90 pages!) don’t rush through it. Spend time considering the weighty principles that CJ lays out for us through the pages of The Cross Centered Life. The truths examined in this book are central to Christian living, and I cannot think of a better person to write this book than CJ Mahaney. CJ’s passionate love for our God and for the cross shines throughout this book; as he leads the reader to rejoice in the glorious work of Christ that was done for us on the cross. This is a book that Christians need to read, and re-read, to be reminded of the greatness and centrality of the gospel.
Mahaney, CJ. The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing. Colorado Springs: Multnomah, 2002. 96pp. Paperback, $12.99.
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