Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: Christ Formed In You

 Title:  Christ Formed in You
Author:  Brian Hedges
Publisher:  Shepherd Press
First Copyright:  2010
Paperback
Price:  $15.95
ISBN:  978-0-9824387-7-0


General Subject Matter:  Christian Living
Theme:  The Process of Transformation in the Christian Life
Thesis:  God's purpose is to change believers by progressively making them more like Jesus which only happens when the gospel is understood and applied to the believer's life

Brian Hedges is the Pastor of Fulkerson Park Baptist Church in Niles Michigan. He blogs at Light and Heat.

"The purpose of this book is to explain where the process of transformation fits and how it happens in the Christian life. The author states that is personal journey towards Christ-likeness has certainly not been a straight line form conversion to transformation. I have often felt disappointed with my lack of progress and confused by the conflicting perspectives on how to change." (p. 20)

Hedges writes on this subject in particular because he feels keenly about spiritual transformation or "grace-driven development process in which the soul grows in conformity to the image of Christ." As a pastor, Hedges could have written on almost any topic but felt this was one that needed to be not only clarified but "codified" in order to give clarity to a subject that for most is anything but clear. Hedges writes with the purpose of giving straightforward, down-to-earth practical information that will help the reader to understand the process of transformation, or sanctification and how it is worked out in the believer's daily life.

The genre, or general field that defines this book is Christian Living. This is a most excellent guide book on how to live out the Christian life in a most practical and yet God-honoring manner. This is not necessarily a theology book, although biblical doctrine is is expounded upon and clearly explained. This book would fit nicely in a Theological section of any library and yet it is so clear and practical that it is just as at home in the Christian living department.

The intended audience for this book is every believer from the Pulpit to the Pew. This book is intended for every believer. It is written in such a manner that it will hold the attention of a pastor/theologian and yet with some diligence (which is only expected) any Christian in the pew can grasp these truths and practice them in their daily lives. Hedge's style is warm, friendly, inviting, earthy, and clear. He does not live in an ivory tower. He is easy to read. His writing is very coherent and contains great clarity. He does at times use technical or theological terms and is very quick to explain and/or illustrate these terms.

Hedge's book is a very good and much needed read. This book challenged me and moved me as it made me examine my own progress and process in everyday sanctification or Christian Growth. This book has caused me to hunger more deeply for the power of the gospel to effect personal change in my life as I am moved towards Christ-likeness. Hedge's book has only reinforced my understanding and commitment to fulfilling Peter's command, "...but grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ." (II Peter 3:18)

I highly recommend this book to every true believer and child of God. This book, I believe, deserves to be the number one book on Christian Living, Christian Growth, or Sanctification in every believer's library. This book deserves to be next to your bible as it will help you to apply the biblical principles necessary to further develop you Christian life as you are transformed into the image of Christ's dear Son.

In summary, this is an excellent effort at understanding and explaining the transformation process in the life of a believer. The book is divided in two three parts which are designed to clarify this much confused and oft forgotten subject. Hedges writes of The Foundation for Personal Change in Part I, The Pattern of Personal Change in Part II, and the Means of Personal Change in Part III. Twelve full and nourishing chapters fill out the 235 pages of material plus a section of end notes, and a General Index. Each chapter is filled with solid information, illustrations, quotes, and scripture. This book needs to be carefully, prayerfully, devotionally, and frequently READ.

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Watch for periodic book reviews by the Gospel-driven Disciples. Solomon said there was no end to the making of books, therefore we have to choose what we read wisely and with great discernment. Not every book is worthy of its purchase price. From time I will offer reviews, both good and bad, of various books.


2 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

This is an excellent book Gregg, I do try to read more but with blogging, doing my new book, visiting my daughter and housework there don't seem enough hours in the day at times.

Have a great day.
Yvonne.

Petra said...

Excellent review. I will put this one on my wish list. Blessings!