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The Bookends of the Christian Life

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  305 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The authors use an extended metaphor to serve up a little book with a big message about two essentials of the Christian life.

What do bookends have to do with the Christian life? They are a metaphor that Jerry Bridges has developed over the years, and which he and coauthor Bob Bevington flesh out in this small volume. The two "bookends" explain not only how we as sinners ca
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 9th 2009 by Crossway Books
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Summary: Being a Christian is about accepting Christ's righteousness (via admission that my own righteousness is inadequate), and living in the power of the Holy Spirit (via admission that my own strength is inadequate).

A helpful, encouraging short book which applies foundational Christian theology to real life in a very practical way. Bridges takes the doctrines of justification and sanctification (that is, the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit) and attacks the issues of
Ryan J.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the better books on how to live the christian life in a dependent and gospel driven way. No fluff, just solid application of biblical truth for everyday living. Highly recommend!
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This little book describes the Christian experience in two parts: The Righteousness of Christ and the Power of the Holy Spirit. In the first section - the Righteousness of Christ, Bridges and Bevington introduce us to the purpose of the Gospel and introduce two enemies that threaten to challenge us on our spiritual walk: self-righteousness (pride) and persistent guilt. In the second section - The Power of the Holy Spirit - we are taught to rely on God and not be self-reliant (enemy #3). The auth ...more
Excellent little book about the absolute necessity of the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit in the Christian's life. I found myself underlining a lot. Will update with takeaways.

Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
Good lesson on "How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself"

1st Bookend: "The Righteousness of Christ"

- He paid the penalty we should have paid, by enduring the wrath of God we should have endured, by His perfect obedience. And it required Him to give up HIS relationship with the Father so that WE could have one.

- FAITH involves my Renunciation of any trust in my own performance as a basis for acceptance by God and a Reliance entirely on the perfect obedience and sin-bearing death of Christ for my stan
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
While this book isn't particularly well written or brilliant, it did strike a few deep chords which were particularly helpful to me. I needed some reminders. ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A superb study of the two Biblical pillars of the Christian life, the righteousness of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Ryan Hawkins
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really great! One of the best simple gospel presentation books I’ve ever read. I expected it to be redundant or overly simply, but it wasn’t. Instead, it truly stirred my heart, making me more thankful for the righteousness of Christ and making me want to live more dependent on the Holy Spirit.

Speaking of, it’s that latter point that makes this book unique. The two bookends are 1) the righteousness of Christ, and 2) the power of the Holy Spirit. Often in gospel-centered circles, the first is emp
Rachel Menke
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
I have read this book several times and every time I find it to be chock full of valuable truth! It is definitely in my top 3 Christian books (besides the Bible) as far as how influential it has been in helping me better understand the Gospel and how to live in light of the Gospel. It is a tiny book and easily readable but because it is so packed with great truth it is best read just one chapter at a time with plenty of time to pause and reflect between chapters. The premise is that the Christia ...more
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had this on my bookshelf but hadn’t read it until my pastor’s wife recommended it. I’m glad she did. It’s a powerful little book. I read each chapter slowly over a few days to let it all soak in. Nothing here was new to me, precisely, but worded in a fresh and effective way to make the concepts highly accessible. I find myself applying what I’ve read in my thoughts and life. That’s growth. That’s what the best books help us do. This one can help you abandon false (“functional saviors”) and res ...more
Liezel Loyola
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow. Praise God for men who seek him first and point others in the same direction. God used these authors to encourage my faith and convict my heart. I'm super thankful for the clear presentation and explanation of God's word in these pages. ...more
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very solid, short book to ground the reader in what it means to be a follower of Christ. It provides a way of framing the Christian life between the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit with practical insights for your life in between these bookends.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very good
Tyler Wesley
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great short book reminding of the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: growing-faith
Absolutely amazing. A must read for every Christian or someone on the fence. It truly puts Jesus and the Holy Spirit into context in regards to living one's daily life. ...more
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Back before there was a gospel revelation at Cornerstone Bible Church, there were rumblings of the change to come. I read The Disciplines of Grace with my Bible study (then called "Flock") and it began to stir in my heart the beginning of a greater understanding of grace, mercy, and love of God.

Since that change in my understanding of the complete work of the gospel began with a Jerry Bridges book, it's only fitting that another should contribute so much to my growing understanding of the magnit
Amber Fuller
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So good. A zillion highlights. Foundational truth for every believer.
Bob O'bannon
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are lots of good books on the essence of the Gospel, explaining the centrality of the cross and the importance of imputed righteousness, and there are lots of good books on spiritual growth, explaining the importance of walking in the Spirit and pursuing spiritual disciplines, but there aren't too many books that do both. That's what sets "Bookends" apart.

In typical lucid Jerry Bridges style, it is explained that the two bookends are the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Sp
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: charactor, favorites
A most Excellent book, that lays out a practical view of the Christian life, in a personal sense. I don't want to simplify it as a how-to guide to sanctification, because it went far beyond that! Bridges lays out three enemies of the Gospel-- Self-righteousness, Guilt, and Self-reliance. The Cure for these rests in leaning on the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, the two bookends that support our lives. We cannot merit salvation, favor, or blessings by our goodness, only ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Powerful, Succinct & Practical

My Bible Study teacher recommended this book to a friend of mine who was struggling with sin, guilt and depression. In wanting to be a supportive friend, I read it too, and boy am I glad I did. This is a powerful, succinct and practical manual on how to live a fulfilled and joyful Christian life, useful in service to God, not through our own power and righteousness, but through Christ's alone.

Christians of any age and maturity level will find this small book helpful
Liza Buckman
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. This book is for the new believer, the struggling believer, and the established believer. It was so encouraging and met me right where I was. Jerry unpacks what it means to truly live a life transformed by the Gospel of Christ and the freedom and peace that entails. He also discusses at length four enemies of the Gospel that rob us of our joy and rest in Christ. This book fueled and propelled me in my walk with God and is one I will read many more times in my life!
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
An overview of what Jerry Bridges talks about in other works, notably 'Pursuit of Holiness' and 'Discipline of Grace' (both of which I highly recommend). Basically, Christians need to preach the gospel to themselves every day, having two bookends as their anchor: the righteousness of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. A down-to-earth, accessibly written work for even the newest of believers, it challenges readers to really lean all of the "books" of their lives between those two truths. ...more
Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A very simple word picture - bookends that hold up and stabilize this life lived as a follower of Jesus Christ. Bookend #1 is the righteousness of Christ. Bookend #2 is the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a book well worth reading!
Gary B
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
I'm a little ambivalent about this book. Some parts of it were quite good and helpful whereas other parts didn't resonate at all. I think I found the first half more informative and useful than the second half. Perhaps I was losing interest as I read? ...more
Jeffrey Mcpheeters
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a book best read as an annual reminder to order my faith-perspective according to some over all principles that have guided believers through the centuries, as the Psalmist asks in the 121st: from whence comes righteousness and the strength to be so?
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book has helped me understand the Gospel better than any other.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Book was ok, interesting and insightful, not really what I was looking for to read.
Matt Mason
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love this book. It's an extended meditation in the vital truths that nurture Christian faith and fuel Christian living. Wish I could hand out boxes and boxes of them. Simple goodness. ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Logan by: Cornerstone Bible Church
I think there is definitely room for clarification and expansion. Seems to reduce everything down to "the gospel." I hope to have a better review once I've gathered my thoughts. ...more
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JERRY BRIDGES was an author and conference speaker. His most popular book, The Pursuit of Holiness, has sold over one million copies. Jerry was on the staff of The Navigators for over fifty years, and currently served in the Collegiate Mission where he was involved primarily in staff development, but also served as a speaker resource to the campus ministries.

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“Because we have a natural tendency to look within ourselves for the basis of God’s approval or disapproval, we must make a conscious daily effort to look outside ourselves to the righteousness of Christ, then to stand in the present reality of our justification.” 1 likes
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