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Book Review: The Gospel for Real Life, by Jerry Bridges

  • NavPress
  • October 2003
  • 199 pp.

Recommended. A book focused on the gospel and its practical implications for our present lives.

The subtitle for Jerry Bridge’s The Gospel for Real Life describes something remarkably uncommon in today’s church: turning to the liberating power of the cross every day. Sadly, the gospel is often presented the first step of the Christian life. It is only “Christianity for Infants.” Once you accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice as the necessary substitution the debt owed by you for your sins, you move from the “good news” of Jesus’ death and resurrection on our behalf onto more advanced spiritual matters.

This would have been completely foreign to Paul, who refers to the gospel as “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). To Jesus, to Paul, to believers across the ages, the gospel wasn’t the door into Christian life–it was the entirety of the life.

Here is where many Christians today scratch their heads–how can that be? This is exactly the question that Bridges sets out to answer in The Gospel for Real Life.

One thing I really appreciate about this book is that Bridges takes seriously the “real life” part of his title. He is not writing for the minority in the church who love to read good theology texts. Instead, Bridges has taken great pains to write for everyday Christians working everyday jobs. He and his pre-publication readers have looked at his chapters–which address theologically complex topics like adoption, substitutionary atonement, sanctification, and more–and asked of each line, “Would the common reader be able to access the joy of this, or would it come off as academic jibberish?”

The Gospel for Real Life sets out to show the reader how the gospel indeed is all of the Christian life, how it radically transforms and infuses even the most mundane aspects of everyday living. I think Bridges succeeds. I recommend picking this up and using its chapters as rich food for feasting and sharing with friends.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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