Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book review: Tullian Tchividjian- Jesus+Nothing=Everything

Tullian Tchividjian
Buy the audiobook/Buy the printed version

In Jesus+Nothing=Everything, Tullian Tchividjian shares what he learned during struggles in ministry about the gospel and the sufficiency of Christ.

There is a lot of books about the gospel out there right now and it has been one of the themes I’ve been choosing to read on over the last year. There is a couple of aspects that make this book stand out from other books on the topic. One was that I thought it struck a good balance between engagement with the message of the bible and with telling stories of personal experience. The author tells compelling stories from a very difficult period in the ministry that provide good context and applications for the things he learned from scripture that he shares in the book. Some books don’t achieve this balance and feel a bit like the bible text was accessorising for personal stories or drift too far the other way and become quite dry.

Another aspect I think is really valuable about this book is the emphasis it makes for the importance of the gospel not just for when people are saved but for its ongoing importance and necessity in the Christian life. He really strongly emphasises that Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient for our being made right with God and for sustaining us as Christians. In compliment to this, he explores some of the ways we can unwittingly try to make God love us or become overly focused on gaining approval from people, possessions or achievements to validate and fulfill us rather than focusing on what we have in Christ. I think these reminders relating to how the gospel enables and empowers the ongoing Christian life are really valuable and need to be given often.

In regards to writing style, Tullian Tchividjian is a compelling and easy to read/listen to writer in this book. He has quite a knack for memorable one liners that encapsulate biblical truths, as evidenced in the book’s title. I found the structure of the book reasonably easy to follow. I "read" the book in audio format. The narration was clear but at times didn't seem like quite the right tone for the text.

Overall, I think this is a helpful book. I think most Christians could find something of benefit in it. It may also be valuable for interested non-Christians who have the impression that Christianity is about doing the right things to make yourself good enough for God.

Review copy courtesy of