Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jesus + Nothing = EVERYTHING


William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) is a Florida native, the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and a grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham. A graduate of Columbia International University (philosophy) and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Tullian is the author of Do I Know God? Finding Certainty in Life’s Most Important Relationship (Multnomah), Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different (Multnomah) and Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels (Crossway). Tullian is also a contributing editor to Leadership Journal. He speaks at conferences throughout the U.S. and his sermons are broadcast daily on the radio program Godward Living.  Some of his favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, J.I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer and Jonathan Edwards.

 The very generous folks at Crossway sent me a copy of Pastor Tullian's latest book Jesus + Nothing = Everything for the purpose of review.  In the book Tullian tells a little of his intense struggle to merge his five year old church plant, New City Church with Coral Ridge Presbyterian after being called as the Senior Pastor there.  In reference to this time (2009), Pastor Tullian says it was "the most difficult year of my life, the year God helped me rediscover the now-power of the gospel in the crucible of excruciating pain".  Not only was Pastor Tullian following in the footsteps of Coral Ridge's only Senior Pastor (Dr. D. James Kennedy) and merging two very different congregations, but his father Stephen was dying of cancer.  In God's bountiful grace toward Tullian during this time, He opened up the rich gospel truths in the book of Colossians which would serve as a healing balm to the wounds suffered in this most dark time of life.

In Jesus + Nothing = Everything, Pastor Tullian takes a look at the equation in reverse order beginning with the everything we all so deeply desire in our lives.  I believe that message is summed up beautifully in a quote from Pastor Tullian's invitation to his new congregation just one day after being formally installed as senior pastor of the newly combined church on May 10, 2009:
"I believe this one new church will thrive beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine if it's packed with gospel-intoxicated people:  people who understand that since Christ laid his life down for us, we must lay our lives down for others...A gospel-saturated church is a church filled with people who give everything they have because they understand that in Christ they already have everything they need."
Tullian spends the rest of the book sharing through his observations of truths in Colossians that "the gospel doesn't simply rescue us from the past and rescue us for the future; it also rescues us in the present" and "the power of the gospel is just as necessary and relevant after you become a Christian as it is before".  Throughout his powerful exposition of the book of Colossians, Pastor Tullian asks his reader some very probing questions such as:
  • Are you experiencing any restlessness in your life anywhere?
  • Where exactly am I experiencing agitation, impatience, unease, anxiety?  Why is it there?  What's that really all about?
  •  What are you looking to (instead of Jesus) for meaning in life, for purpose, significance, security, direction, acceptance, approval?
He goes on to offer this exhortation:
"Identify where your restlessness is rooted - because that's where a confrontation with the gospel is needed."
A confrontation with the gospel is exactly what Tullian experienced and he offers his readers the same in Jesus + Nothing = Everything.  Crossway offers supplemental chapter videos from Pastor Tullian that can be found at  Here is Tullian introducing the powerful equation in his book:

Jesus + Nothing = Everything: Intro from Crossway on Vimeo.

You can order Jesus + Nothing = Everything from Crossway by going HERE.

I encourage you to get a copy of this book.  All this world offers is a restlessness that is never really satisfied, but as Pastor Tullian reminds us in the closing of the book,
"The banner under which Christians live reads, 'It is finished.' "
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,