I finished reading the book How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home on the bus, on my way to school this morning. I don't remember exactly when I started this book, but it was my "morning plug and chug" book.
How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home, by Derek Thomas is a book that is an exposition of Romans 8. Each chapter deals with a few verses from the chapter, explaining their meaning and their application in the Christian life, according to the larger context of the Epistle to the Romans.
The Gospel truly does bring us all the way home. The Gospel message is not just for those who are hearing it for the first time. It is not the message that gets you to be a Christian, but is never revisited... The Gospel is for when you were saved, when you are being saved, and for when you will be saved. The Christian lives and breathes the Gospel. We are to preach it to ourselves and remind ourselves of the Gospel every day of our lives. This book does a wonderful job of highlighting how the Gospel flows to every part of the Christian's life and being.
There are three things about this book that I would like to point out:
1) This book had a very "Pastoral" feel. While reading it, I felt as if I was being shepherded by a brother in Christ... someone sharing their learning experiences with this chapter in the Bible. I would assume that Derek Thomas is a pastor of a church, and I would make the guess that this book was an outpouring of a sermon series that he had worked (and preached) through at his church.
2) This book is very helpful. I suppose that this point could probably fit into the previous point, but not every helpful book is pastoral in nature. These two things don't always go hand-in-hand, but in the case of this book they were arm-in-arm. With each passing chapter, I found myself applying some point or other that Derek Thomas was making. Quite often there were aspects of the teaching that were directly applicable to that very day when I was actually doing the reading in the morning. Several times there were issues that sprang up one day, and the next morning, while I was reading, I found something perfectly relevant to the issue from the previous day. These are my favorite sort of books.
3) This book was full of relevant quotes. Sometimes when I read a book that is full of quotes, it is almost as if the author is attempting to show-off his literary prowess. It can feel bragadoscious to keep quoting obscure portions of text from famous authors. That was not the case with this book. I found many, if not all of the quotes that he shared to be very fitting for the occasion, and would often serve as a summary of one teaching or other that he was attempting to get across.