To live is Christ is a new book by Matt Chandler that works through the book of Philippians. Philippians is one of my personal favourites of Paul’s letters, and it is probably one of the most quoted books of the Bible, in particular Philippians 4:13 very frequently being used out of context. And with Matt Chandler being a pastor who has a reputation for being a solid Biblical preacher I was very interested to read his book.
To live is Christ is primarily a commentary on the book of Philippians, with each chapter covering a passage in order from start to finish. But it is not limited to the book of Philippians. In particular Matt draws from the book of Acts to expand on the people to whom the book was originally written to give us greater context and understanding of the background Paul was writing from, and what his words would have meant to the people who got them. For example by explaining the various people who made up the church in Philippi (from a slave girl to a wealthy cloth trader) Matt points out that the gospel should bring unity between different people groups, and if our churches are full of just people who look like us then something has gone wrong.
While this is a book full of theological truth that covers profound issues Matt has an engaging way of writing, throwing in a mix of humour and anecdotes from his own life that keep this from being a dry theological text. It is full of application, making this a very practical book. There is also an excellent passage pointing out how people often misuse Philippians 4:13 in a way that is very different to what Paul meant.
This isn’t an entry level book for brand new Christians, but it shouldn’t be without the reach of most Christians. Matt Chandler makes the deep truths Paul covers, like having joy in all situations, true humility and being totally content in Christ accessible and explains them in a way that is helpful, biblically backed up and interesting to read – this isn’t a book you will get bored of several pages in.
NB Legal stuff so that no-one can sue me – NetGalley provided me with a free copy in order to do a review. I requested the book from the publisher’s catalog and was not obliged to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.