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Existentialism and Theological Famine Relief
July 10, 2012
You don’t have to be a philosopher to find yourself occasionally asking the kinds of existentialist questions that can make your head spin — Who am I? Why am I here? What’s the purpose of my existence? You pretty much just need to be human. As Christians, the Bible gives us a leg up on the process of figuring out who we are, but even then it’s not like you can simply flip to the Table of Contents and get a comprehensive answer.
That’s where Jerry Bridges’ new book comes in. After several decades of a teaching and writing ministry that has transformed countless lives around the world, his most recent book distills to fewer than 100 pages the essential teachings of the Bible on the question: Who am I? In a masterfully concise endorsement (fitting for a concise book), J.I. Packer writes: “Jerry Bridges’ gift for simple but deep spiritual communication is fully displayed in this warm-hearted, Biblical spelling out of the Christian’s true identity in Christ.”
Sometimes you can tell just from the chapter titles that a book is going to be helpful. This is one of those books.
- I Am a Creature
- I Am in Christ
- I Am Justified
- I Am an Adopted Son of God
- I Am a New Creation
- I Am a Saint
- I Am a Servant of Jesus Christ
- I Am Not Yet Perfect
Depending on the teaching you receive and the books you read, these are things Christians can take years or even decades to grasp clearly, and I’m sure many never completely get it at all. But really “getting” who you are in Christ—how your identity as a child of God is integrated with the gospel of grace—has a way of transforming your walk with the Lord and equipping you for added fruitfulness and effectiveness. Jerry Bridges has done a great service to the Church by making these essential truths so clear and accessible. So it’s no surprise that the youth group at Covenant Life Church (pastored by Joshua Harris) is studying the book, or that The Gospel Coalition wants to distribute 3000 copies to Christian leaders overseas as part of their newly unveiled program of Theological Famine Relief.
In fact, I encourage you to see what TGC is doing now under the leadership of Bill Walsh with this Theological Famine Relief effort. You can pick from a wealth of great resources (Piper, Dever, Carson, Bridges, Tchividjian, and more) and contribute any amount toward their delivery to targeted Christian leaders in needy nations. It’s a fantastic idea and a great example of taking the crowd-funding idea popularized by Kickstarter and adapting it in service of the gospel.
And if you’d like, you can find out more about Jerry Bridges’ new book Who Am I? (from Cruciform Press, the publishing company I co-founded) at Amazon or the Cruciform site , where you can pick up the ebook for as little as $3.99.