February 2, 2000

Jesus + Nothing = Everything, by Tullian Tchividjian

Jesus + Nothing = Everything is the equation that Tullian Tchividjian took away from a year of great trial and turmoil. He describes the bitter divisions that soured the beginning of his pastorate at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and the personal anchor that he found in the overwhelming power of the gospel. The book of Colossians forms the basis of Tchividjian’s call for Christians to rediscover the gospel and continually reorient their lives around Jesus. 
Tchividjian insists that many who assume they understand the gospel fail to actually apply its riches to their lives. He takes particular aim at self-righteousness, which motivates moral behavior by fear and guilt. In contrast, the gospel of grace, with the radical freedom that it brings, provides the only sustainable motivation for Christians. This book delves into the profound theological truths of the gospel, yet the message is intensely practical—Tchividjian sounds the call for believers to lean hard on Christ in every area of every day.
This book seems so simple, so straightforward.  I have to admit, though, that I struggled through it.  I had to read in small bites and process it, because much of what I read pertained to me. The premise is that all we need is Jesus, and we don't have to add anything to what He is and has already done, in order to have all we need.  Sure, every Christian can say we believe that, but how many of us live that out?  Despite how far God has brought me out of legalism, this book brought out more spots where I was trying to earn God's gift, not able to accept freely the work of the cross. 

While reading this, I had to overlook some style issues, such as how the author quoted other people so much that it started to seem more like a compilation than his own work.  I did feel like it got a bit bogged down and repetitive at times, too.  However, the nuggets I found to chew on were worth plugging through the dry spots.  My copy is full of notes and highlights, and I am sure I'm not done reading this book.  I'll be digesting it for some time.

**NOTE:  I received a free copy of this e-book for review, from Crossway via netGalley. THANKS, NETGALLEY!!  :)

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