“If there’s anything in your faith that isn’t anchored in the person of Jesus, you’re living in an eclipse. You are not enjoying the eternal life made available by the gospel.” (p. 41). That sums up the big idea behind Rick Holland’s new book, Uneclipsing the Son. In this book, Holland aims to put an end to a complacent, half-hearted Christian walk by bringing us face-to-face with the glorious Jesus we see in Scripture.
Holland’s concise prose packs a powerful punch as he again and again directs us to the truth that Jesus is the answer and cure for our complacency. And to be sure, there is much in our world that causes us to be complacent in our faith (not the least of which being the remnants of our indwelling sin). And it’s not just the distractions of the cares of this world—sometimes it’s things that bring great value to others, yet we’ve lost sight of the “why.” And I think that’s the thing I most appreciate about this book. As he takes readers through the amazingness of God’s love for us, for His grace in providing a Mediator in Jesus Christ, in His revealing Himself through His Word and in so many other ways, Holland really wants us to get the “why” of the Christian life.
The point of the Christian life is Jesus. All we do and all we are is for His glory alone. He is the thing we’re to be about. He is to be the One we can’t stop talking about, thinking about, desiring to see made great. Holland describes this longing well in the following passage:
Love also longs to understand Christ, to “know Him.” Love craves knowledge of its Beloved. It is impossible to overstate how important the knowledge of Christ is to loving HIm. The less we know about Him, the less air flows into the lungs of our souls. The more we inform our minds with the truth about Jesus, the more captivated we become with wonder of the God-man Knowledge of the Savior provides an authentic, rational encounter with divine majesty. (pp. 64-65)
Do we have that kind of longing? Is our wonder at the person and work of Christ being “eclipsed”?
As I’ve re-read parts of this book while preparing this review, I’ve been confronted with a tendency to become distracted from marvelling at Jesus. It’s easy to have happen. A busy job, a growing family, a number of ministry commitments… none of these are bad things. In fact, they’re all very good things. But in trying to juggle all the demands, I often find myself losing sight of the main thing, and that just won’t do. I think that’s why I really appreciate the book’s nine chapter, “The Lost Supper.” Here Holland reminds readers why communion matters—not merely because of the event itself, but because of the opportunity it provides to reorient our hearts.
How do you uneclipse Jesus? You hold precious His death and remember His greatness. How do you hold that He is precious? By examining your life and seeing your sinfulness and loving His sacrifice on the cross on your behalf. Where does that come into focus most clearly? During the Lord’s Supper.
How does Communion function in your life? It functions as a catalyst, as a checkpoint, bu also as a pattern of living. Remember Jesus; examine yourself; repeat. As you do this, you’ll find fresh reminders that He’s alive and He’s going to come back. (pp. 119-120)
This is a wonderful reminder and one that I needed (and still need) to read. Reading a book like this, it’s easy to become discouraged—to become so burdened by the realities of how we may be “eclipsing” Jesus in our lives that we could risk falling into despair. And perhaps if written by someone else, it may have become that. But Uneclipsing the Son is anything but discouraging. It’s a deeply moving, compelling and captivating read. Do not rush through this book, as tempting as it may be. Read it carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully, and see how it might help you to recover your enjoyment of your life in Christ.
Title: Uneclipsing the Son
Author: Rick Holland
Publisher: Kress Biblical Resources (2011)
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes by the publisher.