Friday, August 25, 2023

Impossible Christianity by Kevin DeYoung Book Review

About the Book:

The apostle Paul described the Christian life as a race, but to many believers it feels more like a punishing obstacle course. Fearing they’ll never be able to do enough or give enough or be enough, they see themselves as spiritual failures. But Scripture offers good news: even in ordinary life, Christians can be faithful, fruitful, and pleasing to God.

Impossible Christianity reassures readers that they don’t need to feel a collective sense of guilt for sins in the past and solve every societal problem in the present. Through biblical wisdom and engaging personal stories, Kevin DeYoung challenges the misconception that we need 40 hours in the day just to be good Christians. By reflecting on what Jesus actually taught about Christian discipleship, readers will be newly encouraged to pursue single-minded devotion to God and find lasting joy in a life of sincere and simple obedience.

You can read chapter 1 here.

My Review:

For many, living the Christian life is plagued with guilt and shame. Am I reading my Bible enough? Am I praying enough, giving enough? Am I to feel ashamed because I do not share the gospel with everyone I meet even though I am an introvert? Am I a failure at living the Christian life?

DeYoung's book is a breath of fresh air. He notes that many Christians feel living the Christian life to the approval of God is impossible so just give up. DeYoung brings a realistic exploration of biblical commands and our living to the glory of God. We are not perfect and will never be so. We will never live up to the impossible standards many have imposed on themselves and others.

DeYoung does not let Christians live any way they might please, however. We are certainly to aspire to obey biblical directives. He encourages us to do away with the emphasis on “never” and “always” and rather live by serving the Lord with a clean conscience, realizing we need mercy and grace and forgiveness daily. Living the Christian life may be hard but it is not impossible to live pleasing to God. 

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Kevin DeYoung
(PhD, University of Leicester) is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, and associate professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte. He has written books for children, adults, and academics, including Just Do SomethingCrazy Busy; and The Biggest Story. Kevin’s work can be found on Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have nine children.

Crossway, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest reviews.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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