Christ-centeredness refers to the second person of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are YaHWeH. Jesus the Christ, who is YaHWeH, walked on earth over two thousand years ago; he died, and then he rose again from among the dead. Christians across time and space have a living and organic relationship with Jesus the Christ who is Lord and Christians also have a living and organic relationship with one another, through Jesus the Christ that Christ-centeredness is referring to.
While Christ-centeredness is a phrase you may have heard often before or perhaps read in many and various places, there is no standard definition of Christ-centeredness, and nor is there only one way of understanding the phrase. That is why the phrase is explained throughout this website as I mean it for me and as I know it from my own experience.
Human beings constantly seek to find some kind of meaning to life; they forever hope to find the answers to the deeper questions of life. Since I proclaim that Jesus the Christ is one whom we need to know and that he is the one that we need to have a meaningful relationship with, I must ask the important question: Why Christ-centeredness? If any Christian is to seek to be Christ-centered, they have to find answers to the question: Why the Christ-centered life? Follow the link.
I have heard it said to me on a number of occasions down through the years that I am ‘radical’ because of the kind of Christian that I am. Not so. Surely not so. Christianity is a love relationship with Christ, and those who live in the reality of that relationship are normal, not radical. Human beings are made to be relational, and that applies first and foremost in the context of relationship with the creator YaHWeH who made us. A relationship with YaHWeH who is the God who made us does not make us radical – it makes us how we were always meant to be.
Each generation must explore and discover the new things of YaHWeH for themselves. YaWHeH is the God of constant revelation of himself to his people and, to assume that we know all there is to know of YaHWeH – for whatever reason – is a dangerous thing to do. Do any of us really believe that we know all that there is to know of YaHWeH and that we know all that there is to know of the Christ? While none of us has exhausted the depths of the riches of Christ, even all of our knowing of Christ put together does not do justice to the wonder of Christ. No, I am not radical. But I say again that each generation must explore and know YaWHeH for themselves.
When Jesus walked on earth he simply called people to follow him. He still does. This ‘new’ paradigm that some attribute to me is actually over 2,000 years old. It is the paradigm that hears Jesus the Christ say “follow me” and then does exactly that. Follow Jesus. Follow the link.
Jesus was radical. Indeed, he still is. He used acts of kindness to draw near to people and to draw people near to him when he walked on earth, and he still does. Those who came close enough to him to listen to him heard him say to them, “Follow me.” Two simple words (in English) that carry so much weight and deep meaning. He is most certainly still calling people to follow him.
To follow Jesus in a meaningful sense is to have the very foundation of our life changed, and to experience it being changed continually. That is precisely where the simple words “Follow me” suddenly become very serious words as the implications of following Jesus begin to become known. You cannot run your own life as you wish and yet also meaningfully follow Jesus. It is one or the other. But meet Jesus for yourself, and you will see his beauty, you will realize his worth, and you will want to know him more.
One of the greatest struggles that people often had with Jesus was that he called people to completely change the foundation on which they were living their lives, and he did this by his calling them to follow him. Such a call by Jesus highlighted very clearly that he is not a mere add-on to people’s lives, but rather that he is to be the very center of people’s lives. That means a change of center is essential for us if we are to follow him, and we tend not to like having to change at the very core of our being. That is why changing our center can be very hard to do. Follow the link.
When we each consider what Jesus means to us in our lives at any given moment, we may think of what he has done for us in the past and of where he has brought us from, and where he has now brought us to. Life is a journey far more than it is an event. Every journey has a beginning and an end.
My experience is that the older I get, the more I look back in wonder at what Jesus has done in and through me over the decades and my amazement at how he did it. Times or events that seemed to me to be setbacks at the time, actually turned out to be real growing experiences that helped me to be a little more like Christ, and to grow ever more into his image as time passed. Surely, then, investing our time and energy in knowing Jesus is our life’s best investment? Follow the link.
I am a Scottish Baptist pastor and author and I am based in City Gates Baptist Church in north-west Edinburgh, Scotland. I am excited for the future at City Gates church, and I look to Jesus for what he wants to do there in the coming years. Before being at City Gates, I was pastor of Currie Baptist Church from 2003 to 2012. No matter where serving Christ may take me in the years to come, I always want to be solidly based in a local church where I can know and where I can be known.
I have been a disciple of Jesus the Christ for many decades, but being a Christian was much more meaningful for me from 1982 when I personally met Jesus for the first time. That first meeting began the establishment and continual deepening of a love relationship with Jesus, rather than just ‘believing’ in him. I went on continually meeting with Jesus over the months and years, and grew ever more to be like him as time passed. There is still so far for me to grow and there is still so much change for me to experience. You can read more about me on the “People” page and understand a little more about me and my ways. Follow the link.
I often think of where I am now as a Christian and where I have come from. From a background of difficult family life, to being addicted to many things over many years, including an addiction to gambling for around twenty years, to “making a decision for Jesus” that just made life worse; there are so many things that I have left behind and I often look back and bless Jesus for who and what I am today. I still follow Jesus and seek to be devoted to him in the best way that I can.
With thanksgiving in my heart, I do a lot of looking back, but I actually look to today a whole lot more than I look back. I also look to the future, to what God has in store both me, and for City Gates Baptist Church. The journey is precious because of the one who guides me, walks with me, and leads me. When I speak or write of my own past, it is to say one thing above everything else to those who read me or listen to me. It is to say this: If Jesus did it for me, he can do it for you. That is the value of looking back. Follow the link.
A good question! There are all sorts of reasons why books are written. There seem to be so many books. So many of those books seem to ‘saw sawdust’, as Tozer once described it. If a book is to be able to help us, it needs to be about real life – the kind of real life that we are all living day by day. That kind of book is of great value, and that is the kind of book that I try to write.
Why are books written?
It is a question I really cannot answer for other people, so I will try to give some sort of answer for myself. In doing that I can, at the moment, only answer in the context of my first published book and so tell you something about that book and about my journey to publishing it. It was a long journey that surprised me with the different directions that it took, but it is my book journey. Let me explain. Follow the link.
I had been teaching and preaching from a Christ-centered perspective for a great many years, and publishing my first book was a way to get the Christ-centered material to a much larger audience. It was a way of helping people to deepen their experience of relationship with Jesus by engaging with helpful teaching that they could read and absorb at their own pace. It was a way of making the Christ-centered teaching available to people across the world. It was a way of eliminating the kind of physical barriers that will always hinder or prevent travel in our world.
So many people cry out for real depth. So many people want more than they already have and know. In my preaching and teaching, I wanted to reach more people. I wanted to make a difference for more than just the people I could reach in the geographical area in which I lived. Thus was born ‘The Christ-Centered Life: Deep Calls To Deep’. Follow the link.
You are very welcome to journey with me. You are very welcome to contribute to my own life journey with Christ. Let us encourage and strengthen one another in the good days so that we together endure the dark days. Let us support one another and hold one another up when we would otherwise fall. Let us walk together.