Dr. Tony Evans is the senior pastor of the 7,000 member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and the author of other books.
In A Whole New You, Dr. Evans has reiterated much that I have read in other transformation-according-to-God's-Word books, but he does state emphatically that his desire is for the reader to realize that "God is passionately devoted to one goal for each and every one of His children: Christlikeness." This should be the desire of each one of us who claims to have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives; Dr. Evans prepares a roadmap for readers that diligently pursues a Bible study in six chapters, from "God's Assignment for Us" to "The New You..It's A Process," with a chapter at the end, "A Guide to Study, Discussion, and Application," which is very easy to use individually.
How often we want to be wholeheartedly conformed to the image of Christ in our walk and our talk, but fail miserably when we have not adhered to the truths of God's Word to get us there. Dr. Evans uses the example of deity DNA connection in his first chapter to relate this lack of priority on the part of Christians.
"The Road to Transformation" brings out the Holy Spirit as the "Agent of Transformation," our helper in the changing process. In this chapter, Dr. Evans repeats the fact that many walked and talked with Jesus and still did not grasp the reality of His teachings, but that we have the Holy Spirit to be our Guide--"teaching us, convicting us, instructing us, empowering us...transforming us."
"Transformed by the Word" gives us a clear understanding of the Bible as being the only instrument that can aid the Holy Spirit in doing His Work. We are in need of putting on the "listening" ears, being "quick to hear, slow to speak," thus in tune with what God is trying to communicate to us.
"Transformed by Trials" gives a clear impression of taking on the the hardships in our lives as blessings and cause for praise to God for giving us a process of "being squeezed by trials to see how much spiritual reality has ever soaked in" before the sufferings had come.
"Transformed by Temptation" brings out the fact that temptation comes from our own fleshly desires or from Satan himself, but never from God, although He might allow it to happen, since "absolutely nothing comes into the life of the believer without God's approval. Being tempted is not the sin, but giving in to the temptation produces sin.
The final chapter takes the reader through the process of growth into a spiritually mature believer who is ready to be transformed to the image of Christ. This can only be achieved by having "a personal relationship with our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, not adherence to a set of rules." It is a beginning to ending progression story, much the same as our infancy to silver-haired status--stages of development that lead us to maturity, both physically and spiritually.
If one wants to achieve the Christlikeness proposed by Dr. Evans, then a reading of this process via his book is recommended. -- Sharon I. Rideout, Christian Book Previews.com