Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
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Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  1,954 ratings  ·  94 reviews
What Really Matters
Have the extremities taken over and left the core of your faith forgotten? Do you get confused by what you feel versus what is real? Let dynamic pastor C. J. Mahaney strip away the nonessentials and bring you back to the simplest, most fundamental reason for your faith: Jesus Christ. This book is packed with powerful truth that will grip your heart, cle...more
Hardcover, 166 pages
Published January 19th 2006 by Multnomah (first published February 17th 2005)
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Feb 14, 2008 Gordon added it
I haven't been a fan of gospel tracts for years. I remember the old Chick Tracts that were little cartoon presentations of the "gospel" but they were more offensive than helpful to my memory. I'll never forget one that was against Christian rock music. The band was called "Green Hell" or something like that and in the end we found out that their manager was Satan. One of the band members turned out to be gay and their manager gave them AIDS as a wedding gift. The "gospel" was clear in that track...more
If I could give this more stars, I would! It is that good. It will pierce your heart and you will see much more of the cross than ever before. It is about the gospel it is about the cross. In Chapter 1, Mahaney clearly tells you what moves you away from the cross. Subjectivism, which is we base truth on our feelings instead of the word of God. Legalism which i when our obedience and service is not centered to the cross, we can become legalistic. Mahaney was very helpful in this area to me. So ma...more
Mandy Hoffman

Living the Cross Centered Life is a book that has found a permanent home on my bookshelf. It's short, it's sweet, and it's simply simple. I greatly appreciate how C.J. Mahaney takes us back to the basics of the Christian life - the gospel - to which all the Bible points to.

I enjoyed this book that made me stop and fully look at God's love for me through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I was convicted of my check-list spiritual habits that take away from keeping the gospel the main thing...more
Casey Boyd
The contents of this book literally changed my life.

This book combines two of Mahaney's earlier works (Christ: Our Mediator and The Cross-Centered Life) along with some added material. I first read those two books (both of them on the same day, as I recall) a little over two years ago. On that wonderful day, C. J. Mahaney helped me to catch a vision of the beauty of the cross, and of the Savior who died in my place.

Mahaney, in simple, straightforward language, explains what Christ accomplished...more
This was a good, short book focused on the events in the last week of Jesus' life. While primarily looking at the cross, Mahaney uses different events of the week (like the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane) to teach about Jesus' atonement and other gospel truths.

For me, the book was a simple but fresh look at Jesus' death for sinners. It would be a good gift for a new/young Christian, but it makes for edifying reading for older Christians too.
A must read for all Christians who desire to draw nearer to God! In this book C.J. Mahaney brings home the real message of the cross and the sacrifice that was made on our behalf. If you have ever had the slightest doubt in your salvation ... this is a book for you!
This is essential to every Christian's bookshelf. The cross is the centre of the Christian faith and this little, easy to read book reminds you of the importance of the cross in everyday life for the Christian. Loved it!
I absolutely loved this book. It was very easy to read but still contained so much truth. It was an easy reminder on how to keep the gospel always before me instead of listening to the lies that I tell myself.
"The gospel should be woven throughout our praise, our petitions, and our intercession, because our approach to God the Father is only--ever and always--through God the Son and His work on the cross" (138).
C.J. Mahaney explains what the Cross accomplished, and how we can make that central in our lives. It is well worth reading.
Loved this book! If you want a deeper understanding of the Christian faith, read this book!
Became a Christian while reading this book :)
Taylor Edmonds
Vocation and Calling Fall 2013 (sophomore)
EVERY Christian should read this book.
Jay Risner
Concise. Excellent.
As the three stars suggest, I liked this book. It was simple and straightforward; however, I'm not sure if I'd consider it a "must read." I'm certain that it would be treasured by many though.

I read the book as part of a community small group study, so it might also be preferable to read the book in one or two sittings as opposed to over 10 months. Perhaps following that advice would have bumped up my star score.

I appreciate Mahaney's transparency and I think he offered some good examples (and...more
Eric Hoff
In Living the Cross Centered Life, C. J. Mahaney proposes that the gospel and the cross are to be the driving passions for the Christian life. One who has believed in the message of the gospel never moves on. The Christian is to view all of life through the lens of the gospel.
Maheney’s book quotes extensively from Scripture, both Old and New Testament, as well as theologians contemporary and dead. The first nine chapters look at different aspects of the cross. The reader is escorted into Geths...more
Carlos E. Montijo
Mar 25, 2013 Carlos E. Montijo rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Carlos E. by: Tim Shaughnessy
This little book on what the cross of Christ means and what its implications are for believers (and unbelievers) is outstanding. Mahaney belongs to a dying breed of authors who understand the very heart of the gospel--Christ's death:

What we face is the righteous threat of furious wrath from a holy God. That is the threat faced by all who have gone astray, by each one who has turned to his own way.... We are indeed guilty of sin and deserving punishment.
But the innocent One, the holy One--God the
Courtney Huskisson
Mahaney is a great author with sound theology, and this book really brings you back to the main thing in life; true reality.

Favorite Quotes:
"We let our feelings tell us what's true, instead of letting the truth transform our feelings."

" 'When we behold the disfigurement of the Son of God, when we find ourselves appalled by his marred appearance, we need to reckon afresh that it is upon ourselves we gaze, for he stood in our place' - John Calvin"

" 'We little know,' Spurgeon writes, 'what we owe...more
Prayson Daniel

C. J. Mahaney’s book: Living The Cross Centered Life, Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing was my last advent Sunday’s gift from my dearly and lovely wife, Lea. I cannot shed light on the beauty and treasuring message in this book better than Mark Dever (Senior pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C):

“You’re holding the book you want to read to begin living the Christian life. You’re also holding the book you want to read to help you continue living the Christian life. There’s no o...more
Dec 21, 2012 Reid rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: discouraged Christians; Christians caught in habitual sin; weak Christians; immature Christians
Recommended to Reid by: Joni Eareckson Tada, in a daily devotional I get from JAF websit
Very readable and well written. This message of this book appealed to me because it is so practical and addresses, "Besides fire insurance, what's the big deal about the cross?"

The author takes the Pauline text, 1 Cor 15:1,3 - "Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you...For I delivered to you of first importance what I also received: that Jesus Christ died for our sins." ... and he builds on the premise that this is the main thing for a Christian, it is THE essential mes...more
Aug 09, 2007 clAViD rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those for whom the Gospel has lost its priority
I feel bad giving a Christian book anything less than 5-stars. But according to the meter, 3 stars means "I liked it." Sooo yeah. I liked it. But I wouldn't say it's up there with my favorite books of all time. But it is a refreshing reminder (it might be better to read this book in one-sitting, because I read a chapter-a-day and that might have interrupted the flow).

I think it did show me how I have put the Gospel on the backburner, how everyday was not a Gospel-centered day and for that I am t...more
Nathan Schneider
Simple, easy read. An encouraging book that reminds the reader that all of life should be reoriented toward the good news of Jesus Christ. It's the only thing that saves and the thing that helps us grow.
In this brief and simply-presented book, Mahaney exhorts Christians to be always mindful of the basic message of the gospel. We never “move on” from the fact that Jesus died on the cross for us. When we neglect the cross, we are in danger of falling into the following traps:
-We may slip into legalism, trying to earn God’s favor.
-We may become subject to our emotions and our circumstances.
-We may fall into self-condemnation.
Particularly helpful to me was the admonition that instead of “listenin...more
Jan 17, 2011 Devin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to Devin by: Meredith Mork
Shelves: christian
C.J. Mahaney does an excellent job of explaining why the Gospel is so important, defining what the Gospel is, and giving examples of how understanding the Gospel should transform the Christian's life. This book is written for the Christian. Because this book centers so much on believing the Gospel and learning more about he Gospel, those who don't want anything to do with the good news of the Christian message will have little to no interest in this book. However, this book, though not presentin...more
Jim Hughes
Sometimes retelling the most obvious must be told. C.J. Mahaney has done that well. For the believer, it would seem obvious that we need to keep the message of the cross central to our lives, but sadly, this doesn't seem to be the case in many of our lives.
It is way too easy to get so caught up in living and serving that we lose our sense of the importance of keeping the sacrificial death of Christ central to our lives.
This book is a wonderful reminder to us that returning to the cross is no...more
This book was a profound but easy read - C.J. writes with humor and humility about the most important aspect of the Christian walk - keeping the main thing the main thing. In a time when most Christians churches are teaching that the Gospel saves and then we graduate to discipleship, C.J. uses scripture to clearly show that the Gospel is also what enables us to grow as disciples of Christ. This was a practical, and very useful book that I will refer to again and again. Also suitable for a small...more
Read this book, and by God's grace have never been the same.
one of the best books on the cross of Christ.
This was one of the most incredible books I've ever read. I'm a big fiction person, but this was one reality check I needed. Mahaney is so real and simple, you get such a down-to-earth insight into life...and most importantly, faith. So often because I grew up in church, I lose view of how awesome and precious my faith is, and this book helped me ignite it again! A whole book wouldn't be enough to talk about the amazing qualities of Mahaney's creation. Every Christian (and even those who aren't)...more
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Getting into Focus 3 11 Apr 09, 2012 12:48PM  
  • A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God's Love
  • What Is the Gospel?
  • God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself
  • The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness
  • What Is a Healthy Church Member?
  • A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
  • The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?
  • The Enemy Within, Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin
  • Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives)
  • The Bruised Reed
  • The Gospel & Personal Evangelism
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness
  • The Trellis And The Vine
  • Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself
  • Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage
C.J. Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries in its mission to establish and support local churches. He spent 27 years pastoring Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

He currently co-hosts the Together for the Gospel conference with Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan and Albert Mohler and serves on the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and on the boards of The Council on Biblica...more
More about C.J. Mahaney...
Humility: True Greatness The Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know Christ Our Mediator: Finding Passion at the Cross (LifeChange Books)

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“The personal desolation Christ is experiencing on the cross is what you and I should be experiencing--but instead, Jesus is bearing it, and bearing it all alone.
Why alone?
He's alone so that we might never be alone.”
“Unless you see yourself standing there with the shrieking crowd, full of hostility and hatred for the holy and innocent Lamb of God, you don’t really understand the nature and depth of your sin or the necessity of the cross.” 3 likes
More quotes…