Monday, October 10, 2016

UNION WITH CHRIST, or How To Know And Enjoy God by Pastor Rankin Wilbourne

The very first question in the Westminster Chatechism is, "What is the chief end of man."  And the answer is two-fold:  "Man's chief end is to know God, and to enjoy him forever."

Pastor Rankin Wilbourne sends forth this book with that aim in mind.

If you use your imagination, as the author suggests from the very beginning of this very challenging book, your life will never be the same again.

Rankin Wilbourne, commercial banker turned pastor of Pacific Crossroads Church in Los Angeles, California, recognizes the necessity of union with Christ.  In his own words, “As our understanding and appreciation of union with Christ has diminished, so too has our sense of what salvation means.  We may know what we have been saved from, but have we lost sight of what we have been saved for?

1 Corinthians 1:9 declares, “God is faithful; you were called by Him into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  And throughout scripture, we find example after example of individuals who recognized the necessity – and the joy – of this union. 

Taking readers gently by the hand, author and pastor Rankin Wilbourne explores four questions as he tries to close the gap between the Creator and His creation:  "Union With Christ:  What Is It, and Why Do We Need It?" "Where Did It Come From, and Where Did It Go?"  "What Problems Does It Solve?" and "Union With Christ Day By Day."

I’m writing this review, because the review is due today.  But my journey is not complete.  I haven’t finished the book.  While I have been a believer for over 30 years, have a B.A. and M.Div. in Pastoral Studies, and am called to minister the gospel, I can honestly say that I have never heard anyone speak about our union with Christ as Pastor Wilbourne does. 

He uses the illustration of the blind man from Bethsaida, who needed a second touch to completely cure his blindness.  That’s where I’m at with this book.  It’s long, 320 pages.  It’s challenging.  It’s not a coffee table book; it’s one that belongs in the “serious study” section of one’s library.  It’s not a devotional.  This is meat, and you are going to have to chew it. 

Having said that, when you consider the spiritual plight of our nation, it’s about time a few more Christians “grew up.”  The Apostle Paul lamented the fact that “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still fleshly." 1 Corinthians 3:2 – 3 (HCSB).

Please, purchase this book.  Purchase it for your church library; purchase it for your personal library.  Every believer needs to recognize the necessity of union with Christ.  And I haven’t come across a better introduction to the subject than this book by Pastor Rankin Wilbourne.

5 stars for a challenging read

Rankin Wilbourne
ISBN 978-1-4347-0938-7
Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth
David C. Cook
320 pages, hardback with jacket
$19.99 U.S.

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