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4.0 out of 5 stars To live is Christ; to die is gain, 22 Jan 2014
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This review is from: To Live is Christ to Die is Gain (Hardcover)
His cancer is only mentioned once in the book (and then only in passing). But it certainly lends this book credibility to know that a few years ago its author suddenly had to face the news of a malignant brain tumour. That experience, and the medical treatment which followed, must surely have honed Matt Chandler's thoughts on life, death and eternity.

The book's title, of course, comes from a famous verse in Philippians. And its theme, in a nutshell, is that Christians are made for maturity; and that maturity comes from having a gospel-centred perspective on life.

Matt Chandler doesn't so much expound Philippians as explore some of its key threads: joy, humility, passion, perseverance, contentment, etc. He starts in Acts 16 with the founding of the Philippian church, and wonders how the three converts mentioned there (the wealthy Lydia, the demon-possessed slave girl, and the 'blue-collar' jailer) are doing 10-15 years later when Paul writes to them. That's an interesting perspective.

Overall the style is informal to the point of being slangy at times...and sometimes (for me) to the point of being irritating! The authors are listed on the cover as 'Matt Chandler with Jared C Wilson'; the book doesn't give any clues as to what their respective roles were, and it may be that a certain amount of Chandler's spoken material has been adapted for the book.

The book could, for me, profitably have been fifty pages shorter by being written in a less chatty way and being tightened up a little more. Nevertheless, it presents a solid and challenging picture of what it might mean for us to say, as Paul did, "To live is Christ and to die is gain".
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Location: Crowborough, East Sussex, UK

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