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[Review] The God-Centered Life by Josh Moody

Title: The God-Centered Life: Insights from Jonathan Edwards for Today
Author: Josh Moody
Publisher: Regent College Publishing 2007, first published by InterVarsity Press in 2006
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Living a God-centered life and not a self-centered life.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 196
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Self-purchase

Josh Moody website:

In The God-Centered Life, Josh Moody addresses problems in our current church: pride, arrogance, selfishness and self-entitlement.
From the foreword written by David Jackman:
"...our biggest problem is that we are centered on ourselves, rather than on God, which is why we find it so hard to imagine that things could ever be different. We need a radical realignment of our thinking and our living, and it is the genius of this engaging study that Josh Moody uses the eighteenth-century New England Puritan scholar-pastor, Jonathan Edwards, as his catalyst." page 7.
In the introduction Josh Moody reminds us that "we are born from above". When we became a believer in Jesus Christ, we "undergo a revolution of the heart". We must not live as the world lives anymore, we must live as children of God. Selfishness, self-entitlement, pride, envy, and a host of other descriptions that should describe an unbeliever, still live with-in us if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to take over our life.
"God always comes first. He is always at the heart of life. He influences and invades all of reality. He is, and there is no other. Why does this make all the difference? Because then my happiness is not dependent on my personal experiences, but on God's grace and love for me. Of course this is the very heart of the gospel. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. His love is not dependent on our moral performance, but on his divine affection. It was God in Christ who was reconciling the world to himself. It is not only the heart of the gospel, it is also the very core of what is means to become a Christian at all." Page 11.
Josh Moody reflects and teaches from the life of Jonathan Edwards, in order to teach us how we can live for Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Edwards was an American, theologian, pastor, intellectual. He lived during the first half of the 1700s. He is considered of the reformed theology and Puritan belief systems. Two things he is most remembered for is being apart of the First Great Awakening movement, and a famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."  

Examples of chapters:
  • "Jonathan Edwards in Our Times"
  • "True Experience of God is Heart Experience" 
  • "Human Leaders Fail" 
  • "The Edwards Message"
It's difficult to live in the world and yet not be of the world. We work, play, and commune, with unbelievers. Jesus Christ calls and requires His children to live differently. Our lives are to produce fruit in keeping with who we believe in and worship. Another words we are not a Christian in "name" only, yet how can this be accomplished? (I state this because many Christians believe they are a Christian because they have walked the aisle and believe in Jesus, but that is as far as they go.)
Several key points are needed in accomplishing this
  • surrendering our will to God, 
  • following His leadership and teaching, 
  • allowing our "whole" self to be controlled by God, 
  • and being "intelligent about the Bible".
Jonathan Edwards was a pastor that boldly preached and lived his life in accordance with the gospel message. As a Puritan believer Edwards did not shrink back from hard Bible doctrine. In our modern era some pastors will not preach about people doomed to eternal life in hell because of unbelief. They prefer to preach on sermons that are positive in nature and non-offensive. To pair Edwards with our modern church shows a stark contrast. It shows how far away we've moved to a secular society in the church. Sin is no longer sin, but an alternate lifestyle; and where milky-toast Christians are to look the other way and remain silent.

Several points in this book spoke to me:
  • "My whole soul must be oriented to God." 
  • How to test spiritual fruit. 
  • Biblical discernment. 
  • "Revival is not man-made." It is not an emotional hysteria. It is God made and fashioned, through the work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
  • Edwards was bold and decisive in being a servant for Christ Jesus; however, he was an imperfect leader. Moody addresses Edwards and slavery. 
  • Last chapter in the book is a summary of, "What it means to be influenced by Jonathan Edwards."
I feel Josh Moody has written an excellent book that accomplishes the goal set out by him, "to provide insights from Jonathan Edwards that will be useful for Christian life and ministry."