Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing

by C.J. Mahaney

Hardcover, 2006



Call number



Multnomah (2006), 176 pages


Have the extremities taken over and left the core of faith forgotten? Is there confusion over what is felt versus what is real? Dynamic pastor C. J. Mahaney strips away the nonessentials and brings back the simplest, most fundamental reason for faith: Jesus Christ. This book is packed with powerful truth that will grip hearts, clear minds, and invigorate the soul. Chapters include 'Breaking the Rules of Legalism,' 'The Cross Centered Day,' and 'Assurance and Joy.' Get ready to behold a breathtaking view of what God intends to accomplish in and through believers every day. Listeners will discover how embracing this cross centered life is both the highest privilege and greatest responsibility.

User reviews

LibraryThing member 925
This is a 14 chapter, 166 page book with a descriptive and accurate title. The title is confusingly similar to the author’s related book “The Cross Centered Life” with 7 chapters and 89 pages. So note carefully that “Living The Cross Centered Life” is the superset, and combines TCCL and
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another of the author’s works “Christ our Mediator”, adds some new content, and gives us one of the top ten books of the year, if not the decade.

There is only one essential message in all of history: Christ died for our sins. Mahaney shows us this truth in clear, thought provoking terms. He goes on to show the reader why the Cross should define our lives, and then teaches us how to center our life on our Savior. If you lack joy, or aren’t consistently growing in spiritual maturity, or your love for God lacks passion, or you are always looking for some new way to pull all of the pieces of your faith together, you need to read this book - now.

The author shows us how our feelings and emotions drive us away from the Christ Centered Life – and how to change. And how our attempts at earning God’s forgiveness through personal performance is self-worship, not God-worship – and what to do about it. And finally, that we need to stop focusing our attention on our sin, get rid of our baggage, and live joyfully with the blessing of God’s grace upon us.

This book is pithy, powerful, and practical. This book, combined with God’s grace can change your life. If you aren’t daily in the Word, if you aren’t breathing prayers to God constantly, if you aren’t filled with joy, start reading this book today. You will grow in holiness and grace through the Holy Spirit by reading and responding to the message of Living the Cross Centered Life.
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LibraryThing member moses917
Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing written by pastor C.J. Mahaney, who leads the leadership team of Sovereign Grace Ministries. This book helps the Christian dwell on what is most important, a life centered on the cross. We thank God for the cross His and ours.
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Mahaney sums his thesis in a quote: "The Spirit does not take his pupils beyond the cross, but ever more deeply into it." It’s a small and quick read full of cross centered scriptures as I Cor. 2:2 “determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" which exemplifies a life centered on the work of the cross.

Those who have been Christians for many years and even those in leadership forget at times the most fundamental teaching in all of the Scripture – the message of the cross (I Cor. 15:3-4). Mahaney argues quite adamantly for the centrality o the cross in the life of the Christ follower. He offers an invitation given by John Stott: “The Cross is a blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough for its sparks to fall on us.” Then the question is raised do you consider the cross of Jesus to be the great and most glorious of all subjects?

Mahaney goes after stressing the importance of the cross in the introduction to explaining its meaning and revisits its most poignant scenes. He teaches that only the cross can give meaning and hope to our suffering, and offers assurance and joy. The book closes with some practical suggestions on how to cultivate a more cross-centered mindset and a final plea to keep the gospel the main thing.

For it’s through the cross we overcome not only the guilt of sin, but also the power of sin (Rom. 6:18). The gospel empowers and motivates us in our ongoing pursuit of holiness. This book helps one to grasp the need for the cross and develop a God-centered theology. Mahaney's book wants nothing less than the cross of Christ to be supreme at the core of our beings. In our theology and in practice, in faith and in works, in putting on Christ and putting off sin, the gospel must take center stage. If there's anything in life we should be passionate about, it's the gospel...passionate in thinking about the gospel, reflecting upon it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world and all of life. We also in the end of the book enter into Gethsemane and appreciate the Savior's final agonizing moments on the cross.
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LibraryThing member dvalliere
A worthwhile read. The essential message is captured in the title and earns high marks. I'm someone who most appreciates books that are so chock full of worthwhile nuggets that they cannot be read quickly. This was not such a book. You could opt to read the whole thing in an extended sitting, if
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you wished.
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LibraryThing member matthauck
Good book on the gospel. I especially enjoyed his narration of the gospel with the events leading up to it as well as the penultimate chapter which gave some good practical suggestions.


Original language


Physical description

7.28 inches


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