Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus
Jared C. Wilson (Crossway)
The gospel is about saving individual sinners. You hear the message of Christ's atoning death and resurrection, you believe it, and you get to spend eternity in heaven. Sounds great! But is there anything else to the story? More, says pastor Jared Wilson, than we could ever imagine. "[T]he gospel of Jesus Christ," he writes, "is big. Like, really big. Ginormous, if you will. And deep. Deep and rich." In this follow-up to 2011's Gospel Wakefulness, Wilson plumbs the depths of our gospel's ginormousness, revealing something far grander than a one-time transaction between sinner and Savior. Not only does he address our tendency to diminish, through individualistic notions of salvation, the cosmic dimensions of God's redemptive plan; perhaps more importantly, Wilson reminds us of the gospel's continuing relevance in the lives of believers. It's not something we move beyond or "graduate from" once we've heard it and believed it. Like the author's MacBook Pro computer, there are "functions" of which we are entirely unaware, and layers upon layers of mystery to explore.
The Life of the Body: Physical Well-Being and Spiritual Formation
Valerie E. Hess and Lane M. Arnold (IVP)
I love to exercise. I also love eating foods (in immoderate quantities, alas) that negate the benefits of that exercise! Clearly, this split-personality disorder has implications for my health and outward appearance. And anecdotally, at least, I've often sensed a connection between my physical condition and intellectual sharpness. Until encountering The Life of the Body, however, I hadn't really pondered the spiritual impact of oscillating between workout warrior one moment and glutton ...1