Christ All Sufficient by Brian G. Hedges, An Exposition Of Colossians: A Book Review

christallsufficientChrist All Sufficient by Brian G. Hedges, An Exposition Of Colossians

In Christ All Sufficient, Pastor Hedges shares a snippet favorably, even prior to the introduction, from John Calvin and his Institutes of the Christian Religion. That’s a promising indication to a Reformed reader.

However, by page 34, I put the book down and had to prayerfully consider whether to finish or not because Pastor Hedges quoted, heartily, from NT Wright. To put it in theological terms, this created a double-mindedness of sorts I needed to ponder.

Reformed men I respect endorsed Christ All Sufficient so when Pastor Hedges, even in his introduction, stated up front that he views NT Wright, Douglas Moo, and a couple of others as his primary teachers in his own study of Paul’s letter to the Colossians and ‘incorporated many of their insights into this book’ I found it difficult to reconcile, especially upon reading the first quote credited to NT Wright.

NT Wright has garnered significant controversy, including opposition from Douglas Moo, regarding his New Perspective On Paul,*{not to mention other controversial views he holds} so as not to sound redundant but Christ All Sufficient is an exposition of the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, giving rise to my hesitation.

Nonetheless, as a wise fellow once pointed out, discernment isn’t about knowing right from wrong, but rather, knowing right from almost right.** That would be my exhortation for anyone reading anything – be a Berean.

I picked Christ All Sufficient back up with the decision to finish so long as I prefaced my review with my initial pause and the reminder that we are to examine all things through the filter of Scripture to see if what is said is true.

“The Gospel surges through all of Paul’s writings, including Colossians.”

I appreciate Pastor Hedges adamant stance of Christ Alone. Particularly, in Chapter 2, when he is speaking of prayer and thanksgiving and our tendencies to treat ‘prayer like a crystal ball or Ouija Board’. He goes on to remind us that our duty is to;

“…ground our decision – making not in the fluctuations of feelings or mystical discernment of future events, but rather in the unshakeable purpose of God’s saving plan to redeem his people…”

In Christ All Sufficient, Pastor Hedges walks us through the four chapters, verse by verse, of the book of Colossians.

Chapters 1-4 cover the first chapter of Colossians.

“The believers in Colossae were threatened by something like spiritual whooping cough: false spirituality that, if embraced, would rob them of spiritual health. One reason Paul penned this letter was to provide a course of theological vaccines that would protect them from false teaching and keep them spiritually, morally, and theologically healthy.”

Chapters 5 and 6 cover the second chapter of Colossians.

“Through the saving intervention of Jesus Christ, we have been rescued and brought safely to the solid ground of a peaceful and secure relationship with God. Why then would we allow ourselves to be plundered by people who insist we need something more? There can be no addition to Christ, only subtraction.”

Chapters 7 and 8 cover the third chapter of Colossians.

“But Calvin was right when he said: “We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ (Acts 4:12). We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else.” We cannot say it too frequently or with too much fervor: Christ is sufficient! A thousand schemes and to-do lists may threaten to enslave you, but Christ died to free you from them and He is enough.”

Chapters 9 and 10 cover the end of the third chapter as well as the fourth and final chapter of Colossians.

“A good finish is more important than a great start.”

Pastor Hedges wraps up each chapter of Christ All Sufficient with a conclusion.

Pastor Hedges states, “This isn’t designed to be a technical commentary…my foremost aim in writing has been to clearly explain and apply the letter of Colossians to everyday believers…In a world where the gospel is increasingly threatened by legalism, subverted by syncretism, and diluted by moralism, the message of Christ’s complete sufficiency could hardly be more urgent.”

He has accomplished what he set out to do in his exposition of Colossians.

Disclosure: This book was provided by Shepherd Press and Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my review.

Purchase Christ All Sufficient by Brian G. Hedges

*Ligonier Ministries has several articles to introduce the reader to the New Perspective On Paul controversy
**Charles Spurgeon paraphrased quote


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