Saturday, October 26, 2013

What I'm Reading...Found in Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick

I first heard of Elyse Fitzpatrick when my husband and I signed up for a seminary/pastor conference this fall. She was on the list of speakers, and her books were highly recommended by the event sponsors. I must say, I fell in love with the cover of her book long before I bought it - the aged ombre background overlaid with bright white branches and text is beautifully enticing and piqued my interest pretty quickly.

Fitzpatrick actually spoke on the topic of this book during the conference, comforting me with the discerning words and cadence of a wise grandmother. She spoke of our relationship with Christ as one of joy, peace, and intimacy, one that both empowers and humbles us.

She asked, how would your life change if you knew you weren't an outcast? Because you're not. You are the cherished bride of Christ. 

I bought her book before the end of the day.

Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ by Elyse Fitzpatrick

This book is divided into two parts, Incarnation and Union with Christ. It also includes study questions at the end of each chapter, making this a great option for small groups or book clubs. In the first section, Fitzpatrick outlines who Jesus is and highlights echoes of his presence in the Old Testament. She spends time describing the importance of the Old Testament stories in light of Christ's presence in them, including the story of Creation, Israel's wandering in the desert, and the relationship between Abraham and Isaac. She reminds us that "all of the Old Testament was meant to point forward to Christ, to the one who would live a perfect life and die a substitutionary death in our place."

In the second half (which I have not yet read), Fitzpatrick describes what union with Christ actually means - how we are "chosen, betrothed, beloved, and named," and how that impacts our faith, our relationships, our future, and our past.

All of this is done with a quiet, humble, thoughtful passion that leaves you meditating on each paragraph before moving on to the next. I found myself underlining and writing in the margins within the first few pages, and I've pulled my husband from his studies more than once to share passages with him. It's the kind of book that manages to balance the emotional and theological sides of our faith, one that you can easily read while curled up in a chair with a cup of coffee on a cool fall evening. 

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