Essential Virtues, Marks of the Christ-Centered Life by Jim Berg

Jim Berg, Dean of Students at Bob Jones University, has written a solid book concerning Christian life and virtues based on the text from 2 Peter 1:5-7.  As the Foreword indicates: “This book focuses on Peter’s call to cultivate essential Christian virtues (2 Peter 1)…What Peter urges upon us in 1:5-7, therefore, are virtues essential for advancing our call to Christlikeness (1:4), for assuring us that our relation to Christ is genuine and vital (1:8-10) and for defending us against false teachings that appeals to the mind while seducing the flesh (3:17-18) (pp. vii-viii).

The book would be a good resource as an applicational commentary on Second Peter, especially chapter one of the epistle, a personal study to aid in Christian maturity, or a group Bible study with the same aim.  To aid in the latter, an extensive Bible study guide (pp. 215-266) is included.

I found Essential Virtues similar to Ken Hughes’ Disciplines of a Godly Man, written many years earlier.   Both are well done and will guide toward biblical maturity.

Essential Virtues, Marks of the Christ-Centered Life by Jim Berg (Greenville: JourneyForth Books, 2008), 276 pp. + xii, $22

Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher at Southern View Chapel

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