Book Review: We Live As Christ
Author: Dennis F. Kinlaw
Publisher: Francis Asbury Press ISBN: 9781928915232
I was first introduced to Dr. Kinlaw almost nine years ago having the opportunity to hear him speak at a minister’s conference over the course of three days. I don’t think I exaggerate or over dramatize the point when I say that encounter still impacts my life and theology even today. Upon my return home from the conference, I promptly ordered a half-dozen books and publications written by Dr. Kinlaw. One of the books, We Live As Christ, was among my favorites. When I first read it, I wasn’t doing regular book reviews on my blog, but I recently pulled it from my shelf and spent some time rereading it and reflecting on my highlighted passages and margin notes. I’m convinced this book is one of my personal favorites and would probably rank in my Top Twenty-Five books every Christian should read.
I think the reason this book has had such a profound effect upon my life (spiritual development, practical out-living of my faith, and general Theology) is the deep truth that has been revealed in such a simple format. This is not a big or long book. By theological or exegetical standards it is very short (less than one hundred pages), yet every single page is loaded with gold. The style it is written is very conversational, almost as if I were sitting in an audience listening to a lecture given by Dr. Kinlaw. It is very easy reading, but I recommend taking your time, so your soul and brain have ample time to soak in what Dr. Kinlaw is sharing.
The title of the book sufficiently reveals what the book is about, We Live As Christ, but the notes from the back cover probably do more to explain what that means.
Finally, [Christ] says, “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me” (Matthew 10:40.) What He is describing is not mere in habitation. It’s getting close to identity, isn’t it? Christ and the believer are so closely identified that when you receive a believer, you receive Christ. If you reject a believer, you reject Christ… What an amazing thought, that God could bring us into such intimacy that exists between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! How is such a thing possible? Only through he cleansing blood of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying power of His Holy Spirit within us. Then, wherever we are, Christ is there. -Dennis Kinlaw; We Live As Christ, pp. 23-26
Jesus prays in the Gospel of John, chapter 17, the following words:
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. -John 17:20-23
This is what this book is about, unity with the Triune Godhead. It is the essence of what God desires for his children and a teaching that has been, for the most part, lost in the contemporary church. People, in general, do not believe we can live as Christ, but Dr. Kinlaw believes “the church should be challenging Christians to lead godly lives. He says the gospel is not only an invitation to be saved, but a call to represent Christ in the everyday world”. I believe it too…and it’s the reason I recommend this book so highly.