Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life   -     By: Jimmy Davis
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Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life

Cruciform Press / 2011 / Paperback

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Here in the 21st century we need more cruciform churches. Not lavish cathedrals but living communities of disciples being shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation. Our best hope is to cooperate with The Architect, who promised he would build his church (Matthew 16:18) as we join him to form our families, small groups, and church into "cruciform communities." Such communities visibly show and verbally share the message of the cross because they are made up of people who have been vibrantly shaped by that message. --From the Introduction

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 114
Vendor: Cruciform Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 7.5 X 5.0 (inches)
ISBN: 1936760142
ISBN-13: 9781936760145
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Product Reviews

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  1. Tecumseh, OK
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 22, 2013
    David Shaw
    Tecumseh, OK
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    In the middle ages churches were decorated with mosaics, stained glass windows and many other devices that were used to help the congregants learn about the gospel. Understand that during that time many didn't have a Bible in their home so the church was the main resource of understanding the gospel. And the way it was constructed was a huge help to understanding theology.

    The most important feature to the church building was that it was in the shape of a cross. This is called cruciform. This told those that came to the building that the central message to be heard there was the cross. This goes along with Paul's teaching in I Corinthians 2:2 where he tells the church in Corinth that he aims to know nothing among them except Jesus Christ and him crucified. The cross is and should be the main emphasis of a Christians teaching and life. That is what Jimmy Davis shows us in his wonderful little book Cruciform. As he states in the introduction, Here in the 21st century we need more cruciform churches. Not lavish cathedrals but living communities of disciples being shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation. And he spends the rest of the book showing us how to do just that.

    The cross was the most selfless act ever committed by a human. Christ gave up worship in heaven and became a servant, emptying himself, humbling himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-11). Christ did that to redeem because our first parents, Adam and Eve, ruined the perfect relationship we had with God in the fall. His redeeming act was to reshape us by the cross. His death and resurrection was to bring us new purity, new passion, new power and a new partnership. As a result of Jesus' work of shaping us by and into the cross we are to live a life in service to others, following the example of Christ (see previous paragraph).

    Davis shows that since we have been formed by and into the cross we will be watching, waiting, willing and welcoming of others in service to others. This is the natural result of a life that has been changed by the cross.

    This is a small portion of the truths found in this book. The 107 pages can be read in a few hours but it is filled with truths that will last a lifetime. It is a book that I will turn to again and again. If you decide to read it you won't be disappointed.
  2. Tulsa, OK
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A splendid little book on Christian living...
    September 29, 2012
    Joey Cochran
    Tulsa, OK
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Throughout history followers of Christ have utilized symbols to both remember and teach the uniqueness of the Faith. Pastor Jimmy Davis guides his audience towards a cross centered perspective on spiritual living by sharing anecdotes from his testimony and by using the pattern of the celtic cross. The heart of Davis's message conveys a "You first" perspective towards God. He writes:

    We were created to look away from ourselves toward God, other people, and all of creation and say, "You first." A person with a you-first heart recognizes that life is about using oneself to serve God, others, and all that God has made, thus living a life that takes the form of a cross. Can you see it? We were created to be cruciform (cruci = cross, form = shaped).

    This insightful observation gives me pause to elaborate the beauty of his "You first" language. You see, I've not heard spiritual life put this way before. Many years ago I was given an "I'm third" award. A few years ago I got excited about the "I'm second" campaign. Yet, in both of these models, "I'm" still in the picture. The "You first" model is fresh to me and it is a perspective marked by true humility. With the cruciformed life, self is forgotten altogether and Christ takes center stage. Simply put, I deeply appreciate Davis's model of spiritual life.

    Davis shares a number of endearing anecdotes from his own life, but none quite demonstrates the humility, patience, and enduring nature of living the cross-shaped life quite as clearly as the final story of how his wife suffered burns from a grease fire and endured a month of hospitalization and surgeries. This touching story is so impactful that the reader will assuredly glean the full value of purchasing Cruciform simply by reading this capstone final chapter.

    Valuable is Davis's use of the celtic cross to convey components of the cruciformed life. I would explain in detail how Davis utilizes this ancient symbol but then it would rob potential readers the joy of seeing how this symbol fits within the framework of the writers system for sanctification. In addition to the use of the celtic cross, I enjoyed Jimmy Davis's exposition on the value of the spiritual disciplines. He writes, "Practicing the spiritual disciplines enables me to enter God's presence and engage his power by embracing the good news that Jesus has already said and done the right things for me." What a freeing perspective! It is not that we do, do, and do for Jesus so that he might approve our work, but that His work has already proven are worthiness to enter into fellowship with Him through the spiritual disciplines.

    This splendid 107 page book on spiritual life is an excellent addition to any pastor or layperson's library. This book demonstrates yet again the quality of Cruciform Press's offerings and the worthwhile of purchasing an affordable subscription to Cruciform's bi-monthly book releases.

    View more book reviews by Joey Cochran at jtcochran.com.
  3. Louisville
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    September 19, 2011
    The Reformed Reader
    Louisville
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Book Summary

    There is a lot one can learn from the image of a cross. For Jimmy Davis the image of the cross instructs believers on several things. Davis's book is a mini-biblical theology. Davis takes the reader from creation, to fall, and redemption. The cross is the tool by which redemption is accomplished and a visualization for how believers out to live. The vertical line on the cross ties man to God (upward) and creation (downward). The horizontal line on the cross ties man to his fellow man (people). The cross is continually pointing outward. Because of the fall, man has a tendency to make the cross point inward. Man now believes God, creation, and mankind are there to serve him. The fall has distorted the created order. An example of this can been seen with sporting events and mankind's tendency to turn these into idols. Rather than recognizing and enjoying the athlete's abilities, which were given to them to glorify God, we now turn these persons and abilities into objects of worship. The cross and redemption changes this inward focus upon ourselves, outward and calls us to worship the God who created us, bless the people around us, and have dominion over the land under us. The Cross gives believers a new understanding on how to view all of reality. No longer is community here to serve us, but we can begin to see that we are now called to transform our communities for the glory of God. Davis devotes the second half of the book to discussing the life of the believer, both as sons and servants. A son resembles and is a reflection of his father. A servant is one who is responsible for seeking, shepherding, and sower. Once a person is adopted as a son, he is enlisted as a servant. These son/servants are empowered by the Holy Spirit to perform good works. These works are not the means by which one becomes a son, but are an expression of one's sonship. The law is not the root of one's salvation, but is the fruit. Davis correctly points out that believers are enabled to obey the law as a result of the cross. Davis concludes with a helpful discussion on cross-centered spiritual disciplines.

    Book Reflections

    There are several things that I enjoyed about this book. First, a chapter begins with an illustration about Neyland Stadium. Neyland Stadium is the stadium of one of the greatest football institutes in the nation and it also happens to be in my hometown. Second, another chapter begins with a Windy Gap illustration. Windy Gap is a camp location for YoungLife. These two things strike close to home for me, and thus naturally draw me to this book. The book is very short and an enjoyable read. Davis has a ton of great illustrations. All the illustrations are personal and easy to remember. The book is extremely simple and easy to follow. This book is a great introductory book for a new believer. The book covers the three uses of the law in an extraordinary way. My personal favorite section of the book was where Davis discusses "Cross-Centered Spiritual Disciplines." The term "Spiritual Disciplines" has been revived within our culture through many great modern writers (e.g. Don Whitney, John Piper, Michael Haykin, ect). The problem I encounter most often is people believing the spiritual disciplines are the rule by which one stands righteous before God. Although no one would admit that they believed that they stand before God by their faithfulness to these disciplines, their actions testify to the contrary. An example for this can be seen in man's constant condemnation of themselves when they miss one of these spiritual disciplines or when these disciplines become a checklist. I have done my quiet time, have fasted, and prayed, therefore God looks well upon me. I missed one of these disciplines this week; therefore God is not happy with me. Davis coins a new phrase that helps elevate this problem, Christ-Centered Spiritual Disciplines. These disciplines need to be seen correctly in light of Christ and his finished work. These disciplines rightfully seen become a tool created for the believer's joy. These disciplines rightfully applied are a means of grace for the souls of believers. I would highly recommend the book. This book is simple, short, and inexpensive.

    ~THE REFORMED READER~
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