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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing (LifeChange Books) [Hardcover]

By C. J. Mahaney (Author)
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Item description for The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing (LifeChange Books) by C. J. Mahaney...

Encourages readers to adjust their lives toward a more gospel-focused existence, presenting suggestions on how to find joy in the gospel, avoid condemnation and legalism, and use Scripture to make daily decisions.

Publishers Description
Remember Jesus Christ? Although it seems almost too obvious, the center of our faith is surprisingly easy to forget. Dynamic pastor C.J. Mahaney shows how to overcome our tendency to move on from the gospel of grace. Finding joy in the gospel -- whose promises allow us to escape condemnation whenever it attacks -- helps us avoid the prevalent trap of legalism. With practical suggestions, Mahaney demonstrates the difference between knowing the gospel... and making it the main thing in daily decisions and daily living.
What Are You Centered On?
Sometimes the most important truths are the easiest to forget. It's time to get back to the starting point of the Christian life--the cross of Christ. Jesus' work on your behalf must be the central motivation for your life and faith--the "main thing. "
"Never move on," says C.J. Mahaney, who shows you how to center "every" day around the cross of Calvary and how to escape the pitfalls of legalism, condemnation, and feelings-driven faith.
Tap into the gospel's power and see how a cross centered focus can transform your life today

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing (LifeChange Books) by C. J. Mahaney has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christian Retailing - 10/07/2002 page 13

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Multnomah Books
Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.4" Width: 4.7" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 12, 2002
Publisher   Multnomah Books
Series  LifeChange Books  
ISBN  1590520459  
ISBN13  9781590520451  

Availability  77 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 20, 2017 01:08.
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More About C. J. Mahaney

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C. J. Mahaney is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He has written, edited and contributed to numerous books, including Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology; Don't Waste Your Sports; and Sex, Romance and the Glory of God. C. J. and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of three married daughters and one son, and the happy grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don't Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, A Peculiar Glory, and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.

Dave Harvey (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is the teaching pastor at Summit Church in Naples, Florida. Dave has over 25 years of pastoral experience and has traveled nationally and internationally teaching Christians, equipping pastors, and training church planters. He is the executive director of Sojourn Network, founder of, and serves on the board of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). Dave is the author of Am I Called?, Rescuing Ambition, and When Sinners Say I Do, as well as a contributing author to Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

Bob Kauflin is a pastor, songwriter, worship leader, and author with over thirty-five years experience. After pastoring for 12 years, he became director of Sovereign Grace Music in 1997. He oversees the production of their albums and teaches on congregational worship through WorshipGod conferences, seminars, and his blog, He is currently an elder at Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife, Julie, have six children and an ever-growing number of grandchildren.

C. J. Mahaney currently resides in the state of Maryland.

C. J. Mahaney has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Lifechange Books

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
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Reviews - What do customers think about Cross Centered Life?

For Me To LIve Is Christ  Nov 21, 2008
A necessary part of life is assessing what are the most important things to us.Whether we reflect on this much or not,what is central in our thoughts and how we live,will make evident what is truly most important to us.
What is most important to God's people?What should be uppermost in the minds(and therefore will be most reflected in their actions)of Christians? C.J.Mahaney exhorts believers to have the cross of Christ as the priority of their lives and his assertion is Biblically sound.He writes on p.54"We make time for what we truly value.We build habits and routines around the things that really matter to us." That is so true.
As Christians it promotes God's glory and does us much good if we live with the cross of the saviour as the center of our lives.'The Cross Centered Life's' message is simple but profound and powerful.
Here is an example of how profound and, what a significant impact this book can have on ,the lives of those who embrace the emphasis of it "Reminding ourselves of the gospel is the most important daily habit we can establish."
There are five excellent suggestions in chapter six on how to center every day around the cross.One of them is to sing the gospel.There are some old hymns that are so cross centered.A couple of examples would be:Issac Watts' 'When I Survey The Wondrous Cross' and Fanny Crosby's 'Near The Cross'(one of my favorite hymns).
The author notes on p.11 "The cross was the centerpiece of Paul's theology.It wasn't merely one of Paul's messages;it was the message."
Similarly,the cross should not be just one of the central things in our lives,it should be 'the central thing in our thoughts and lives'.
Are your priorities a little misplaced? Are you uncertain if they are?'The Cross Centered Life can help to get your priorities focused but don't be surprised if it helps to transform your life.
The Cross Centered Life  Oct 12, 2008
Inspirational discussion of the Cross, based on reformed theology that Dr. Sproll so masterfully explores.
Read it Once a Month  Aug 26, 2008
This brief book from CJ Mahaney brings Christians back to the main thing, the cross of Christ. It is worth reading again and again. It would not be a bad idea to read it several times a year, so valuable is this book for helping Christians stay focused on what matters most.

I found the sections on how the cross defeats legalism, condemnation and subjectivism to be especially helpful.

This book is short, simple and profound. Highly recommended.
Solid with one caveat...  Dec 6, 2007
This book offers a challenge to all Christians that we should keep our minds constantly reflecting on the reality of Christ's sacrifice on the cross and the implications of this greatest of all gifts for not only ourselves but all of humanity. There is much to be gained from this corrective to our natural tendencies to spend our energies focusing on so many less important things and forgetting the most important thing.

As others have suggested, "The Cross Centered Life" is not meant to be a major theological treatise. It is short and digestible, though I would not call it an easy read. While Mahaney does include some interesting stories, he is careful not to waste space. Instead, he keeps coming back to his main point, the cross.

My gripe about this book centers around Chapter 5, in which he is critical that our emotions get in the way of what should be our focus on the cross. I was glad that on page 48, he was careful to acknowledge that our emotions are a gift from God. But the rest of the chapter seems to contradict this suggestion, as he goes on to illustrate how untrustworthy our emotions are.

A few months ago, I would have fully supported Mahaney's critique of human emotion. Ultimately, it sounds very spiritual to suggest that we need to allow our brains to always trump our emotions. But I recently read Peter Scazzero's "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality," and he suggests with great clarity and conviction that it is to our profound spiritual detriment if we discard or try to ignore our emotions. Instead, our emotions are one set of data that God has given us to help us navigate through life. The trick is not to abolish feeling but to figure out what to do with our feelings. And this is where I think Mahaney is missing something.

He offers a story in which he screamed and banged his chair on the floor in frustration after accidentally destroying his computer. He then calls this sin. Really? I would suggest that it is not sinful to react in verbal and moderate physical frustration when something terrible happens to us. I think it is just part of how we were created. To stay there is problematic, but I think we do a disservice to who we are as humans if we try to live essentially emotion-free.

Ultimately, my quibble is relatively minor, though the book is so short that this one issue left my impression of the entire book as less favorable. It's a good book worth reading, but it could have been much better had Mahaney approached Chapter 5 from a different perspective.
Helpful reminder of the basis for the Christian life  Sep 30, 2007
The first chapter of "The Cross Centered Life" is titled "Restating the Obvious". At first glance, that would seem to be a fitting description for the whole book, and a mature believer might be tempted to write it off as Christianity 101. The subtitle for the first chapter, though, is "the most important truth is the easiest to forget". Although Pastor C.J. Mahaney does not go into a great deal of depth in this short work, EVERY believer can truly benefit from his passionate encouragement to constantly maintain the cross as the focal point of our Christian lives.

Mahaney reminds us that the cross is the centerpiece of the believer's existence, and illustrates how keeping our focus on our justification through Jesus' death and resurrection keeps us from trying to earn His approval (through legalism). If we try to evaluate our Christian lives by our feelings and continue to feel condemned even after we have confessed and forsaken our sin, he writes, these are symptoms that show we have taken our eyes off the cross and have failed to remember what Christ's work means to us.

The book includes several practical suggestions on how to be constantly mindful of the cross each day. It also contains a good basic summary of the practical difference between justification and sanctification, which makes it a helpful resource for new believers.

What prevents me from giving the book five stars is the failure to point out that the cross means far more than simply the forgiveness of sin. It's a place of surrender and a place to die -- death to self, death to the old life, death to sin. It's also only half of the gospel, the other half being the Resurrection. Romans 6:4 (NKJV)tells us "that just as Christ was raised from the dead...even so we also should walk in newness of life."

Despite this omission, "The Cross Centered Life" is an excellent work, and deserves to be read by every Christian.

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