“The blog almost ruined my wife’s life.” These were the words of Tullian Tchividjian when reflecting on a painful time as the newly-installed pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. A ton of people didn’t want him in the church, and they were trying to oust him, maligning his wife, and keying his car. They even started an anti-Tchividjians blog. It was a good ol’ fashion evangelical Christian free-for-all church fight (in the worst possible sense). As God grew him, Tchividjian emerged from the fray with a greater realization of the character and work of Jesus Christ.
Book Review of Jesus + Nothing = Everything, by Tullian Tchividjian
- Title: Jesus + Nothing = Everything
- Author: Tullian Tchividjian
- Audio Narrator: Adam Verner
- Publisher: Crossway
- Date: October, 2011
- Length: 209 pages, 6.35 hours
The Big Idea of Jesus + Nothing = Everything
Tullian Tchividjian’s book, Jesus + Nothing = Everything contains the lessons he learned during this time of trial. The point of the book goes like this, our struggle for fulfillment and our propensity for failure as Christians stems from an incomplete understanding of what Jesus accomplished for us — in all its dazzling completeness and fullness. Jesus’ all-sufficiency liberates us from the bondage of our insufficiency, and enables us to live with true hope and joy.
I realize that 19 million other people have reviewed this book already. I also realize that I can’t spell the author’s name without looking it up. I wanted to write a review, though, because the book was profoundly helpful for me. I am grateful. It’s not often that I read a book that guides me to a biblical vista that takes my breath away. This was one such book. It’s not like a the-biggest-secret-you’ve-been-missing-out-on kind of a Christian success book. It’s solid theology — a big arrow that points straight to Jesus, showing him for who he is…and how that reality changes us.
Thoughts on Jesus + Nothing = Everything
Many people have criticized the book. I have read some of the criticism. To (overly) simplify it, the concern goes like this, “If the Christian life — sanctification — is all about God’s grace, then what do we do? Where’s the human responsibility part?” Here are a couple thoughts:
- Grace as demonstrated in salvation and sanctification is mind-shatteringly paradoxical, and I don’t even know if “shatteringly” is a real word. The paradox is this: On the one hand we’re involved. On the other hand, God does it all. We think that there has to be something more to do — some way of earning it, deserving it, receiving it, or enjoying it. But to do so is to despise the very essence of such grace. We just can’t get our heads around this.
- We have a responsibility. Of course. The Christian life involves work, toil, pain, discipline, practice, and striving. The New Testament is full of such words in relationship to our walk. To dismiss these as involving nothing of human responsibility would be to overlook the necessity of true obedience. And yet I feel that paradox coming back again, because the enabling for this responsibility all comes from God.
Jesus + Nothing = Everything is both deeply convicting and incredibly liberating book. I am thankful that through reading this book, God allowed me to get more of a glimpse into his glory in salvation.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this review copy for free as part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program of christianaudio.com. I was not required to write a positive review, even though I did…this time. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”