Christ our Life by Michael Reeves is the first book I have read this summer. In his introduction, he examines why, in this age, we tend towards books written about ourselves. He writes:
It's not just our self-focus, though; we naturally gravitate, it seems, towards anything but Jesus - and Christians almost as much as anyone. Whether it's 'the Christian worldview', 'grace', 'the Bible' or 'the gospel'; as if they were things in themselves that could save us. Even 'the cross' can get abstracted from Jesus, as if the wood had some power of its own. Other things, wonderful things, vital concepts, beautiful discoveries, they so easily edge Jesus aside. Precious theological concepts meant to describe him and his work get treated as things in their own right. He becomes just another brick in the wall. But the centre, the cornerstone, the jewel in the crown of Christianity is not an idea, a system or a thing; it is not even 'the gospel' as such. It is Jesus Christ.Christ Our Life is an astonishingly good book. It examines, and rejoices in, the person of Jesus. The book begins by looking at Jesus as the eternal Son of God, then takes us through his life and death, his resurrection and his glorious return. Michael Reeves manages to take complex theology, and help us to delight more in the character of Jesus, and the relationship that we can enjoy with him.
Why I loved this book:
Depth: This is a short book, but not shallow. The theology of Christ as both God and Man is richly expounded. Our union with Christ is explored with clarity and with depth. I particularly enjoyed the richness of how he demonstrates the work of Christ is echoed throughout Scripture.
Breadth: Michael Reeves leads us deep into scripture, but also draws on helpful insights from early church theologians, from Puritans, from Reformers and many others through the ages to help us see the wonderful character of Jesus, displayed in his life and work.
Brevity: At just over 100 pages, this book is not too daunting to begin. It is also broken into short, clear sections, which means that it is possible to read it a little at a time - in chunks while cooking tea or waiting for an appointment - without losing the thread of the argument.
Most of all,
Passion: This a book which delights in Jesus. It made me want to go back to the Bible and enjoy more the picture we have of a loving and merciful Jesus. It helped me to see more clearly what a great privilege it is to be united with Christ. It lifted my eyes to the realities we have in Jesus.
Christ our Life is a book which will expand your mind, stretch your understanding, and warm your heart.