Book Review: Union With Christ

I received a free copy of Union With Christ by Rankin Wilbourne to be part of a blog tour for an honest review.  Below you will find my review which will also be posted at Amazon.

Wilbourne writes, "One of the major arguments of this book is that union with Christ was once considered to be at the very heart of why the gospel is good news. Nothing is more basic or more central to the Christian life than union with Christ."

I would highly recommend this book because of the topic as well as a thorough treatment of the subject. The book is divided into four parts: Union with Christ: What is it and why do we need it; Union with Christ: Where did it come from? Where did it go?; Union with Christ: What problems does it solve?; and Union with Christ day by day.

Rankin Wilbourne does an excellent job explaining what union with Christ is and why it is important.  His definition is union with Christ means you are in Christ and Christ is in you.  For the rest of part one, he explains what it looks like to live in the gap between what we know and what we experience.  I found Chapter 2 helpful and almost highlighted an entire page because of the good news there.

In Part 2, Wilbourne shows from Scripture where the idea of union with Christ is found. He also cites various people throughout church history and how they viewed union with Christ.  Chapter 6 is helpful to explain why union with Christ is not understood or known about in the church. His reasons for this were helpful as I have found them to be true as I try to explain the concept to others.

In Part 3, Rankin discusses how union with Christ answers our deepest questions: Who am I?; Where am I headed?; What should I be doing?; and What can I hope for along the way? As one who often talks about our identity in Christ, I appreciated the chapter on identity.  Wilbourne clearly points to how union with Christ is the root of our justification and our sanctification.  The final chapter in this section cites how important staying focused on Christ is.  He writes about Jesus being seated, being our sympathetic high priest, and that He is with us and for us along the way.

In Part 4 of Union with Christ, we see how union with Christ is important in our day to day lives.  Wilbourne uses the image of abiding and what that includes.  With a topic like union with Christ it is difficult to explain how to make it practical.  Often most attempts fall flat as they focus too much on self and not enough on God.  Wilbourne's perspective of abiding was helpful and kept the focus on Christ not the Christian.

If you "acknowledge the gap between the inheritance we've been given and our present experience of how we see ourselves," then Union With Christ is the book for you.  I don't know that I have read any book on the subject that answered so many questions that I have been asking regarding the discrepancy between our knowledge of Christianity and our experience of it. 

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