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J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  45 reviews

Do we have the wrong map for the Christian life? 

Life's inconveniences, disappointments, and trials can leave us confused, cynical, and eventually bitter. But the apostle Paul traces out the path of dying and rising with Jesus—what Paul Miller calls the “J-Curve”—as the normal Christian life. 

The J-Curve maps the ups and downs of daily life onto the story of Jesus. It grou

Kindle Edition, 327 pages
Published June 24th 2019 by Crossway
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Rod Innis
It was a good book and has some excellent biblical teachings. Some good spiritual insights.
However, I think that it could have been better. It was too long, too much repetition. The author had some excellent personal illustrations but at times they seem to more focused on his personal successes than was appropriate.
However, despite some issues, it is worth reading and I recommend it.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know a book has affected me when I start using the author's language. This book is exactly that. I can't help but now see all of life in terms of the dying and rising of Christ and how we can embody that in every day life. I find myself using "J-Curve" language all the time now!

This book is filled with wisdom from the book of Philippians and 1 Corinthians and what exactly Paul meant when he said he wanted to experience the sufferings of Christ. Although not exclusively a book on suffering, pe
Brad Peters
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knowing-jesus
Upon finishing this book, I couldn't help but recall Deitrich Bonhoeffer's famous line, "When God calls a man, he bids him 'come and die'".

Miller's J-Curve is not really a book about "suffering" (though it contains biblical guidance for those circumstances) but is more so about dying. (It's epilogue covers a few pages about the death of his daughter at 42 of cancer). But the death isn't the physical variety of which he writes, rather, it's of the spiritual, the daily "dying to self" that Jesus
Jeff Shelnutt
The understandable tendency of the Protestant church is to lean heavily on the doctrine of justification. After all, as Calvin rightly appraised, “Justification is the main hinge upon which salvation turns.”

The Reformation was largely a backlash against the Roman Catholic interpretation of sanctification--a “sanctification” divorced from the biblical foundation of justification. In summarizing Martin Luther’s appraisal of the matter, a modern scholar writes: “Sanctification is...simply the art
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. Succinctly, it is about understanding our sanctification through the lens of our union with Christ. And this is the main way in which the NT speaks of said topic, though few books on the pursuit of holiness mention it. And yes, this book has a terrible title, but it's quite simple when you think of it: just as Christ had lower himself through death before rising in resurrection, so we can be guaranteed in life to be brought low through the trials of sanctification befo ...more
I wasn't sure how many stars to give this book. The concepts in it are really important. Miller has some brilliant diagrams that explain things clearly. It has changed my thinking, helped me love Jesus more and shifted my attitude towards loving and serving others.

This book basically traces the path of Jesus in Philippians 2: not using his position for himself, but emptying himself to serve to the point of death, before being glorified by the Father - and argues that this is the shape of every
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
While this book could have used some editing as it gets super repetitive, the message is still super important! "If we want to be free of suffering, our life will be tragic and shallow. If dying and rising with Jesus is our master narrative, then we can look forward to a rich life filled with adventure, hope, and joy." This verse comes to mind even more so now: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21 ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only made it through the first part (chapters 1-9) of this book. I expected to love it, but I find it’s reasoning shallow.

I like the concept behind this book: when facing suffering we must lean into Jesus rather than trying to make our own way out. The J-curve imagery of death leading to resurrection is helpful, too. So often leaning into Jesus feels like a type of dying because leaning into Jesus means following Jesus’s way rather than my own desires. And when I do walk with Jesus through su
Brian Pate
Miller takes theology you already know (justification by faith) and applies it in ways that will change your life. The J-Curve is the process whereby we die and rise with Christ on a daily basis. “The normal Christian life repeatedly re-enacts the dying and rising of Jesus.”

We learn to die in love (we engage evil), repentance (evil is in us), and suffering (evil finds us). Suffering, whether big or small, gives us opportunities to know Christ better and be more like him. We need to be alert to
Aaron Nichols
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of my top 10 favorite books. This book was transformational in understanding how to apply the Gospel in every day life.
Rafael Salazar
Easily one of the best books to ever reach my hands. The concept of the J-Curve (embodying Jesus' life of love - union with Christ - having fellowship in his suffering and resurrection) is just enormously helpful. Thank God for this book! I pray it reaches many more people. ...more
Kyle Huber
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, recommend
Paul Miller describes the shape of a truly Christ shaped life. His examples connect with the details and pains of daily life. The book is challenging, because it doesn’t let us cling to forms of self-centeredness. And it is also uplifting, because it imitates Christ!
Tyler Hurst
full disclosure is important, it was requested that I review this book by the publishers. The good people at Crossway allowed me to download a free digital copy to read for this review, and in accordance with my agreement to post reviews to satisfy my addiction to books, this review will also appear on the Amazon page and in my GoodReads account.

That aside, I selected J Curve by Paul Miller because of my love for his book The Praying Life. Miller is one of those authors who is easy to overlook a
Bill Pence
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The latest book by Paul Miller, author of A Praying Life, is about an idea frequently articulated by the apostle Paul, that the normal Christian life repeatedly re-enacts the dying and rising of Jesus. The author calls this the J-Curve because, like the letter J, Jesus’s life first went down into death, then up into resurrection. The author’s goal is draw us into the dying and rising of Jesus—to reset our sense of the normal Christian life, freeing us from cynicism and despair.
This is a weighty
Anne Snyder
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great and challenging book to help us process suffering and learn to love.
Michele Morin
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starting with the J-Curve, a concept from investment and economics in which trend lines show an initial loss immediately followed by a sharp gain, Paul Miller traces the life of Jesus, the experience of the apostle Paul, and ultimately the normal Christian life: a journey that ends higher than its beginning. In defiance of the claims of prosperity Gospel adherents and other false teachers, Miller argues that in our following life, we will experience multiple J-Curves in the form of suffering, we ...more
Bryan Yue
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a my review on the book J Curve J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life (2019) authored by Paul E. Miller.

This is a long overdue book review that I have been procrastinating to write due to the season of life I'm currently in. I do hope to continue building this rhythm of reading and writing in to my daily life.

Coming back to this book review, Dr. Paul Miller wrote in an immensely practical way of showing us how to live out the gospel in our everyday life.

Dr. Miller is no s
"Life's inconveniences, disappointments, and trials can leave us confused, cynical, and eventually bitter. But the apostle Paul traces out the path of dying and rising with Jesus--what Paul Miller calls the "J-Curve"--as the normal Christian life.
The J-Curve maps the ups and downs of daily life onto the story of Jesus. It grounds our journeys not in some abstract idea but in union with Christ and his work of love. Understanding our lives in light of the J-Curve roots our hope, centers our love,
Amber Thiessen
In J-Curve by Paul Miller, we see a pattern brought out through the teachings of Paul and the life of Jesus; a dying to self and a rising in Christ. This is illustrated by following the shape of a J.

Miller writes that the J-curve is meant “to reset your sense of the normal Christian life, freeing you from cynicism and despair. Inhabiting the J-Curve promises to transform your entire vision of how you engage life, freeing you from the world of resentment, touchiness and just plain old grumpiness,
Bud Hewlett
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was WORLD Magazine's 2019 Christian Book of the Year. I started it and got about half way through reading it before deciding to start over and read it out loud with my wife. It's that good.

Though the author uses a great deal of scripture to flesh out his theme of the J Curve, for me probably his key verse is Colossians 1:24: "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I do my share on behalf of his body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ
Bradley Somers
Paul Miller knows suffering, more than many of his fellow North Americans. Better yet, Paul Miller has learned how Christian suffering is a consistent place where we can meet Jesus and find new life. This book is not just for Christians who are going through a difficult struggle but for all Christians to learn the key means of sanctification through daily application of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Paul writes in a 'slow down' kind of pace through illustrations from everyday lif ...more
Drew Bennett
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know Paul Miller personally. He yearns for the church to believe the gospel deeply. He also yearns for the church to become the gospel powerfully. Faith expresses itself in love (Gal 5:6), the apostle said. However, love is not flowery sentiment. It has a cross-shape. This book clearly and profoundly describes a life of love. The cost of it. And also the promise. That every death opens the door to resurrection.

Paul writes books that are helpful. They touch everyday life. This one is no except
Ean Snell
I’m going to be honest. I couldn’t finish this book. I thought the concept of the J Curve was really good. But I just couldn’t keep up with the author’s writing. Everything had to have a story attached to it to explain it. Instead of just letting the concept do the talking. And the book is too long for the concept. I felt like after reading the first section of the book I understood the point, but the author attached multiple more sections to the book. Feel like it could have worked better as a ...more
Emma Kendrick
the beauty of this book was the way it pointed out that the primary focus of the Cross is not forgiveness of sins, but resurrection. forgiveness of sins is amazing, but resurrection is what Paul focuses on, even what Jesus focuses on when He mentions His death. and that's so cool, because if resurrection is the focus, then everything else has new meaning. every small death you die becomes a picture of the Gospel because you know that death always leads to resurrection. you can suffer with hope k ...more
Jared Stacy
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Top 5 for 2019 so far. Paul Miller writes with theological richness, pastoral gentleness, and an infectious appreciation for the beauty of Jesus. Our map for Christian living is gospel centered in doctrine only, he writes. We must not only believe the gospel, but reenact it as the chief pattern of our Spiritual life. We die, God brings us to life. This pattern he calls the J curve. Don’t let the technical terms keep you from the content.
Trevin Ascher
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For anyone wanting a clear, yet stirring read of what practical living in light of a believer’s union with Christ looks like, they will want to read this compelling work. The author shares many personal examples of how the reality of dying and rising with Christ plays out in day to day life where our lives touch many other people. A great small group or Sunday school study for teens through young at heart.
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul Miller is a favorite author of mine. He is humble and honest and loves his family and Jesus so much that it pours out into his writing. This book was a bit long and complex, but the message was so deep and impactful that I have to give it 5 stars. Life is a pattern of dying and rising, imitating our Savior, keeping our eyes on Him, leaning into difficulties instead of fleeing from them. This has changed my thought pattern regarding everyday challenges and larger trials!
Emma Smith
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although a bit repetitive, Miller’s book is convicting and based on scripture. His concept of the J-Curve opened my eyes to what the Christian life really looks like and freed me from earthly suffering and disappointments. There were a few claims where I didn’t see scriptural backing but overall his argument was sound.
Zaira Russell
Wonderful book! This book was a clear and great way to understand how to die with Christ in the Christian life and walk with life, lighter, more humble, and thus being sanctified to be more like our glorious Savior!
Erik Anderson
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
If it had been 100-150 pages shorter it could have been 4 or even 5 stars. Some really great textual insights on Philippians and 1 Corinthians, and some profound concepts throughout but it got away from him. And the lack of editing diluted an otherwise phenomenal book.
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