In the middle ages churches were decorated with mosaics, stained glass windows and many other devices that were used to help the congregants learn about the gospel. Understand that during that time many didn’t have a Bible in their home so the church was the main resource of understanding the gospel. And the way it was constructed was a huge help to understanding theology.
The most important feature to the church building was that it was in the shape of a cross. This is called cruciform. This told those that came to the building that the central message to be heard there was the cross. This goes along with Paul’s teaching in I Corinthians 2:2 where he tells the church in Corinth that he aims to know nothing among them except Jesus Christ and him crucified. The cross is and should be the main emphasis of a Christians teaching and life. That is what Jimmy Davis shows us in his wonderful little book Cruciform. As he states in the introduction, Here in the 21st century we need more cruciform churches. Not lavish cathedrals but living communities of disciples being shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation. And he spends the rest of the book showing us how to do just that.
The cross was the most selfless act ever committed by a human. Christ gave up worship in heaven and became a servant, emptying himself, humbling himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-11). Christ did that to redeem because our first parents, Adam and Eve, ruined the perfect relationship we had with God in the fall. His redeeming act was to reshape us by the cross. His death and resurrection was to bring us new purity, new passion, new power and a new partnership. As a result of Jesus’ work of shaping us by and into the cross we are to live a life in service to others, following the example of Christ (see previous paragraph).
Davis shows that since we have been formed by and into the cross we will be watching, waiting, willing and welcoming of others in service to others. This is the natural result of a life that has been changed by the cross.
This is a small portion of the truths found in this book. The 107 pages can be read in a few hours but it is filled with truths that will last a lifetime. It is a book that I will turn to again and again. If you decide to read it you won’t be disappointed.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Cruciform Press blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”