Book Review: Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Tullian Tchividjian is a pastor here in South Florida. He's well known in our neck of the woods for his famous grandfather, his casual clothes and his controversial preaching about grace.

Jesus + Nothing = Everything is, at its core, a book about grace. Tchividjian's main point is that everything we have with God we receive because of Jesus. Salvation is a free gift, but so is sanctification. And the grace we receive through Jesus is what molds our lives and propels us into his mission.

The book contains some close exegesis of sections from Colossians, as well as glimpses behind the curtain of the turmoil that rages in a pastor's heart when he isn't getting approval from his congregation. Jesus + Nothing = Everything started out as a sermon series and didn't make the transition to book-form smoothly (frequent repetition, scant illustration, frequent repetition). It would be helpful to read it at a pace of a chapter per week, like a sermon series.

The most helpful piece of the book for me was Tchividjian's reflection on the "nowness" of the gospel. It's easy to see how Jesus work for me on the cross affected my past (ransomed) and how it will impact my future (heaven). But how the gospel shapes my today proves much more difficult to pin down. Jesus + Nothing = Everything helps with that. From gifts of courage to holiness to service, the good news about Jesus has a hand in shaping the way we live in the here and now, if we let it.

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