My Life For Yours

My Life For Yours

A Walk Through the Christian Home

by Douglas Wilson
Publisher: Canon Press
Trade Paperback, 163 pages
Price: $15.00

Originally a sermon series, My Life for Yours has the conversationalism and spontaneity we expect from good preaching. Doug Wilson takes us through each room of the ideal Christian house and shows us what it ought to look like when the Gospel principle of "my life for yours" is properly applied. The result is a foray into creative theology that embraces psychology, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, etc.

Don't let that list worry you, though—this collection of essays is eminently readable, understandable and just plain fun. Wilson rightly discerns the key to the Gospel as the kind of selflessness that leads one to lay down his life for another. In the context of the home, it means that each member of the family is to sacrifice himself or herself to the needs and desires of the others, and thus to live in harmony and love.

Starting on the porch, Wilson takes us through the living room, the kitchen, the dining room, the guest room, the closet, all the rooms that a normal house would be expected to have, even the bathroom. Some rooms (notably the bedroom) are treated in multiple chapters, with specific space given to the various functions—the bedroom, for example, is discussed in terms of sleep, lovemaking, kids' rooms and death.

Pride, bitterness and lust are given space as "unwanted guests," sins particularly harmful to the kind of surrender required within the family. For each room biblical principles are explored as they relate: while exploring the kitchen, for example, Wilson talks about the Israelites in Egypt forced to make bricks without straw, likening this situation to a man who expects his wife to cook meals for him and the children without providing her the food needed to do so.

There are surprises, like the fact that "The Junk Drawer" is the longest chapter. And there is humor—the junk drawer chapter happens to be about loving your children. But what is obviously central is Christ, and the ways His presence affects (and should affect) the organization and daily operation of the Christian household. Inspired by an older work by a Roman Catholic, My Life for Yours is a beautiful Protestant celebration of and meditation on the centrality of the home in Christian life.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Summary: Renowned applier of Christian thought Doug Wilson takes us on a theological tour of each room in the typical house.

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