In 2009 when Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale was looking for a pastor, I heard they were going to combine with New City Church and Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) was going to be the pastor. I had read things about Tchividjian, knew he was Billy Graham’s grandson and I had read things from his mother. I was excited for him. Soon after the merger however, there was dissension in the ranks. This caused Tchividjian to come to a greater understanding of the gospel and see the dangers of moralism that Christians so often get caught up in. As a result he wrote Jesus + Nothing = Everything.
Tchividjian has a casual writing style and at first I thought the book was simplistic but as I continued to read, I realized that yes, there is simplicity to the gospel and that is what often causes us to think we need more. We try to add our works to it. Tchividjian starts with Jesus and then explains how we need nothing more. Not the moralism, the legalism or the performancism (his word). They cause us to trust in ourselves and lead so slavery. “It’s all law (what we must do) and no gospel (what Jesus has done).”
He uses Scripture, especially focusing on Colossians and quotes Christians from the past and present that bring depth to his argument. Tchvidjian’s passion for the gospel comes out and I thought this made his writing became stronger as the book progressed. I think this book is helpful for the new Christian to understand the gospel or for those who want to learn what the gospel is. “The gospel isn’t the first step in a stairway of truths but more like the hub in a hub of truth”. This book is also for those who are older in their faith and who need to remember “Christian growth does not happen by working hard to get something we don’t have. Rather, Christian growth happens by working hard to daily swim in the reality of what we do have.”
Tchividjian has written a book that is readable, encouraging and challenging. It makes clear what the gospel is in a culture that often confuses the gospel with moralism. As his title says, it is Jesus + Nothing that equals Everything. Not our good works, not our trying to live up to a standard. It is Jesus.Jesus + Nothing = Everything has not yet been published but can be pre-ordered. I received a copy from the publisher in the hopes that I would publish a review but there were no restrictions on the type of review I wrote and I did not receive any compensation.