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Book Review: Jesus+Nothing=Everything by Tullian Tchividjian

Sometimes I think that even though we have bills to pay, drive cars, and wear grown-up clothes---we still seek affirmation from others, just like we did when we were little children. I know I'm guilty of this. To one degree or another we want to be accepted by others. At what point is enough enough?
In Jesus+Nothing=Everything Tullian Tchividjian teaches us that we already have acceptance and approval in Jesus Christ.
If we continue to pursue affirmation from others, we will never be truly satisfied, we will constantly strive for the ultimate in positive affirmation, always reaching for it, yet never being satisfied.
It's time to make a change. Today. Right now.

Link for the book @ publisher:

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Hardcover $11.94
Kindle $7.69

Link for the book @ Christian Book:
Hardcover $10.99

Published October 2011 by Crossway
Christian Non-Fiction/Christian Living/Colossians
224 pages
Author last name pronounced  Cha-vi-jin
There is a video for each chapter:

Isn't it interesting how when reading a book it speaks to us differently than the next reader. Books are personal. A book meets us just where we are: intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and even meets us at our prejudices and fears.
This book addressed a problem I've had all of my life, wanting approval. How did it all begin? It began as a little girl because I feared punishment. I'll not rattle you with giving uncomfortable information, and it's not necessary. But that type of thinking became a habit, wanting approval. Another habit I've had is in wanting to be perfect, because if I'm perfect then maybe I won't fail or get in trouble. Ridiculous. But, not ridiculous to a small child. At 47 years of age it was time for me to stop this: to be aware of it and acknowledge it, to be convicted of it, to ask forgiveness of it, and to surrender it all over to Jesus. Let it go.

For the above reasons Jesus+Nothing=Everything was just what I needed to read. I have high regards for this book, I loved it!

Tullian Tchividjian believes that "what we are missing is the gospel-a fuller, more powerful understanding of Jesus and what his finished work means for everyday life." 
The author believes that "we are looking to something else other than Jesus to be what only He can be."
In Jesus+Nothing=Everything Tchividjian points out that we are trying to attain by works, our own works, affirmation, which we already have in Jesus Christ. "Performancism leads to pride when we succeed and to despair when we fail. Slavery either way."
"We are justified by grace alone, we're glorified by grace alone." See Ephesians 2:8-9.
Tchividjian states that even though we know in our minds what is the truth, we still seek approval from others.
In summing up this brief summary---and in my words and my interpretation. Let go of our need for approval and rest--be at peace in what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus shed His blood so that we would have eternal life. And in that we also might have "real life." Not some messed up warped thinking about things that do not matter or cannot be achieved or does not satisfy, but real soul quenching life.

A few more things I liked about the book:
It is a thinking book, a book to ponder over and over again. Days later I'm still thinking about this book.
I loved the questions from the book and I wrote down on a large index card most of them, for example:
1. Who am I trying to please?
2. What are you living for?
3. What are you depending on to provide the freedom, worth, and value you crave?
4. Am I working hard to perform? Or am I working hard to rest in Christ's performance for us?
5. How is your present disappointment, discouragement or grief a window on what has actually captured your heart?
This book directed me to where I needed to refocus, the Gospel message. 

What I disliked about the book:
On page 22 the author states, "the glorious message of which we'll investigate together in the pages to come" in his statement he was referring to being enlightened by the message of the New Testament book of Colossians. I thought that when he referred to this book in the opening chapter and to a few of the verses from this book, Jesus+Nothing=Everything would be more guided by this NT book. It is not. Another words it is not a book on Colossians.
I do believe that the author used too many quotes, especially from the same people over and over again.
I do believe that the author could have used a different word instead of "relax" page 206. I think peace would have been a better word, explaining more accurately what Jesus has done for us. We are at peace with God because of what Jesus did on the cross.
The word "works" has been a burr in most Christian's saddle for centuries. Even in explaining the book of James against what Paul wrote. We're uncomfortable with that word, and don't know what to do with it. I state this because the author used the word "works" several times and I feel another word could have been used, especially in light of the theme of this book. 

I'm always saddened by what Christians do in the name of "their belief" etc., etc. What Tullian Tchividjian encountered at his new church (which is the basis of what led him to write this book) was disheartening and I have great empathy for him. I have been him, not to that large of scale, but I had a bad encounter with a class I had was reminiscent of the gunfight at the O.K Corral. Instead of reflecting on what "they" did wrong (which I might add is easier to do). I have decided to look at what I needed to learn from this, because there is always a lesson to be learned.

Thank you to Crossway for my free review copy in order that I would write an honest review!

Blissful Reading!


Becky said…
I loved this book, for the most part. But it was one I could not really rush through. Which is why I agree with you that it is a 'thinking book.' I do feel that I would benefit from rereading it at least once or twice. Almost like once wasn't enough.

I do see your point about how this isn't really a book about Colossians. The first few chapters started out like he was going to share all this great insight he learned from that one particular book. But because the insights were still insights, I didn't mind that it went in slightly different direction.
Annette said…
Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment Becky.
I too may need to re-read this book and have decided to keep it.
Merry Christmas!