Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Union with Christ

Union with Christ
By Rankin Wilbourne
David C. Cook, 2016


Nothing is more basic or central to knowing and enjoying God than Union with Christ.

Have you ever had difficulty connecting what you know to be true about God with how you feel or how you live each day? Have you ever longed to change but just felt stuck?

The Bible makes a stunning claim: God has provided a way for your life to be united to Christ's. What does that mean? Is it really possible for me, now? What would it look like?

In Union with Christ, Rankin Wilbourne makes union with Christ accessible and beautiful, for you. Union with Christ is not an abstract idea. It is a powerful reality. And recovering a sense of your union with Christ can change everything for you, like finally putting on a pair of desperately-needed glasses.

Discover how coming to see your life through the lens of union with Christ can help bridge that gap between your head and your heart, between your belief and your experience. Union with Christ is what we most need in order to know and enjoy God.

My thoughts

Rankin Wilbourne has written an in-depth book that explores a topic that believers should find exciting, and that is being in union with Christ. The Bible refers to this extensively, yet few probably understand the concept fully. Union with Christ is a book for all believers, but one that the serious student of the Bible would especially enjoy.

In the simplest of terms, union with Christ means that you are in Christ and Christ is in you. Although it is difficult, maybe even impossible, to explain a mystical concept, the author has done a thorough job in exploring the subject and his writing is easy to follow. The greatest benefit for me personally is that I’m giving a lot of thought to all that this means and want to go back through the book slowly and in depth.

Union with Christ is divided into four sections:

-- What is it and why do we need it?
-- Where did it come from? Where did it go?
-- What problems does it solve?
-- Union with Christ day by day

In the Introduction, the author talks about the role imagination plays in our faith, something that I found very interesting. I also liked how, in one of the early chapters, he talks about living in the gap between what we believe and what we experience. I suspect that many believers find themselves in this gap – at least from time to time.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Chapter 3, where Wilbourne talks about the necessity of union with Christ:

“The song of grace without union with Christ becomes impersonal, a cold calculus that can leave you cynical. The song of discipleship without union with Christ becomes joyless duty, a never-ending hill that can leave you exhausted. . . . Union with Christ allows us to sing of a grace that asks nothing of us to love us – amazing grace – but at the same time, demands everything from us – my soul, my life, my all.”

Union with Christ is very informative, thought provoking, and spiritually uplifting. Recommended.

I received this book free of charge through Litfuse Publicity.

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Rankin Wilbourne grew up in Louisiana and was educated at the University of Mississippi and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is now the senior pastor of Pacific Crossroads Church in Los Angeles.

As a former commercial banker, Rankin understands the "gap" between the gospel preached on Sunday and the world people face on Monday. Leading a thriving church in a city driven by stories, he's concerned with drawing connections between what we believe and how we live. Rankin and his wife, Morgen, reside in Los Angeles with their three children.


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