Evangelicals are known for their emphasis on conversion. But what about life after conversion and beyond justification? What does it mean to be a mature Christian?
Desperately needed is a comprehensive theology of the Christian life from beginning to end, along with the means of formation and transformation. In Called to Be Saints, Gordon Smith draws on a distinguished lifetime of reflecting on these themes to offer us a theologically rich account of our participation in the life of Christ.
Both profound and practical, this book is a trinitarian theology of holiness that encompasses both justification and sanctification, both union with Christ and communion with God. Smith unfolds how and why Christians are called to become wise people, do good work, love others and enjoy rightly ordered affections.
Also included are two appendices: the first is to for pastors and asks what a vision for maturity in Christ would mean for the character of the congregation and the second is for institutions of higher education and asks if the university might design curriculum around the idea of transformation in Christ.
Gordon Smith compellingly connects Christian maturity and holiness in a way that reminds us that we need not shy away from calling ourselves saints as we grow in our life with Christ. Indeed, it is in reclaiming the idea of sainthood for every believer that we find the doorway into a proper understanding and practice of the holy life.
Asbury Theological Seminary
To be saints is to be mature in Christ. Smith explains what this statement means theologically, and thoughtfully works out its ramifications in work, relationships and one's own emotions. The book contains many profound insights couched in disarmingly simple language, making it readily accessible to a wide readership. But what sets it apart is that it locates the foundation of sainthood in divine wisdom, and thus contributes a distinct perspective to the ongoing conversation on Christian spirituality.
Trinity Theological College, Singapore
This is a much-needed book today. It answers the pressing yet almost forgotten question of character by articulating how the sanctification gap came to be and how to bridge it. This book is a wise guide to abundant living, not through self-help techniques but by learning how to live an abundant life in Christ. Read this book, study this book, live this book, and you will find wisdom, goodness, love and joy.
-James Bryan Smith
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