Radically Whole: Gospel Healing for the Divided Heart – David Gibson

Radically Whole David Gibson
Radically Whole: Gospel Healing for the Divided Heart by David Gibson
Published by Crossway on October 11, 2022
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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An Expository Journey through the Book of James Helps Christians Move from Double-Mindedness to Wholeness

Everyone longs for wholeness and honesty in their lives. In reality, people are often double-minded--pulled between good and evil--in their speech, actions, and character. These rifts can be spiritually and relationally devastating. So how does God heal a fractured heart?

This exploration of the New Testament book of James helps readers identify double-mindedness in their own lives and understand God's grace as he "pulls apart the divided heart to make it whole." Explaining James's challenging epistle chapter by chapter, David Gibson helps readers embrace the painful yet profound process of redemption, defeat double-mindedness, and experience wholeness in every area of their lives.

Theologically Rich: Thoroughly examines major themes in the book of James, including double-mindedness, pride, spiritual maturity, suffering, and God's grace
Winsome and Accessible: This clear, expository study is ideal for pastors and laypeople, including college students and those involved in small groups or adult Sunday School
Written by David Gibson: Author of Living Life Backward: How Ecclesiastes Teaches Us to Live in Light of the End
Includes Study Questions: Each chapter ends with questions for deeper reflection

Radically Whole goes through the biblical book of James, drawing out each theme and exploring important implications for our lives. At the beginning, David Gibson addresses ways that Christians have often misunderstood James, and he handles its complex themes in a careful, insightful manner. He begins each chapter with a striking quote, and then he shares the next section of James, unpacking its content throughout the chapter. He emphasizes the unifying theme of being “whole” rather than double-minded and inconsistent, and he interprets James’s teaching on a variety of ever-pertinent issues in church life and individuals’ faith. The chapter about the impact of words is especially helpful.

Radically Whole: Gospel Healing for the Divided Heart shares lots of wise reflections and practical encouragements, but it doesn’t fully live up to the subtitle. This is a commentary on James, not a topical book, and the focus on double-mindedness fades away about halfway through. Nonetheless, this is an excellent, highly readable commentary, with great insights for both pastors and laypeople. Gibson breaks down the eminently practical wisdom of this book of the Bible in a very helpful way, sharing life applications for our modern context and clearing up confusing things that people often misinterpret.

I found this book to be very logical, well-organized, and carefully reasoned, and I appreciate Gibson’s insight and strong communication skills. This is an excellent refresher on James, and because Gibson goes through the entire book, he addresses parts that would rarely come up in a topical study, such as the sudden shift in chapter five towards denouncing the ungodly rich who exploit and trample on the poor. People often don’t know how to handle this section, which seems to come out of nowhere, but Gibson clearly relates it to the overall themes and progression of the letter, and gives a well-balanced, helpful look at every element of this often underappreciated book of the Bible.