Do we have the wrong map for the Christian life? The apostle Paul traces out a pattern of dying and rising with Jesus—what Paul Miller calls the “J-Curve”—as the normal Christian life. Life's inconveniences, disappointments, and trials can leave us confused, cynical, and eventually bitter. But the J-Curve plots the ups and downs of our lives onto the story of Jesus. It grounds our journeys not in some abstract idea but in union with Christ and his work of love. Understanding our life in light of the J-Curve roots our hope, centers our love, and tethers our faith to Christ. Watch videos about the J-Curve here.
Better Together With...
“Paul Miller has carefully observed Jesus. He has carefully observed how the work of grace unfolds in the apostle Paul’s life and in his own life. Take time with this book. You will become a deeper, wiser, truer person. You will become more humble, more joyous, more purposeful. And you will walk more steadily in the light.”
—David Powlison, Executive Director, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation
“Paul Miller’s earlier book on prayer, A Praying Life, had a profound impact on how I understood prayer and reshaped how I taught it. I am delighted to see him turn his attention to another misunderstood and forgotten subject—the power of new life that comes from reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. Paul has a way of taking profound truths and making them accessible, and in this book you’ll see why—because he lives them. This is not a book of theological posturing, it is simply a guide written by someone who has walked the path and wants to show you how you can also.”
—J. D. Greear, President, Southern Baptist Convention; author, Not God Enough; Pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
“‘Take up your cross and follow me.’ What was Jesus asking us to do—or be? How does it play out in everyday life? These questions are intensely practical from the moment I wake up in the morning. And that’s why I love Paul Miller’s new book. Never have I read a more practical work on how a Christian can flourish through deep affliction. This book will revolutionize the way you look at your sufferings and your relationship to Christ. If you’re craving a life with your Savior that utterly transforms, this book is your best hands-on guide.”
—Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder, Joni and Friends
“I can’t express how refreshing I have found this book to be. I’ve been studying these themes of union with Christ, dying and rising with him, and growing in likeness to him for many years in Scripture and in academic writings. What I’ve been missing is a book with the practical, real-world focus that Paul Miller has captured so powerfully. The examples he uses from everyday life, from the lives of ‘ordinary saints,’ and from his own life make it so easy to envision what these gospel truths look like in practice. More than once I thought to myself, ‘This one sentence will be worth the price of the book!’ I can’t wait for this book to come out because I would like my whole church to read it.”
—C. D. "Jimmy" Agan III, Senior Pastor, Intown Community Church, Atlanta, Georgia
“In just three dozen brief and engrossing chapters, Paul Miller helps the reader see what’s missing in many of our Christian lives—namely, they are sub-Christian! This book demonstrates how faith in Christ can more nearly attain its God-intended goal of a 24/7 immersion in Christ and expression of Christ-like love. Integrating the cross with the resurrection in an unusually graphic and encouraging fashion, this book is sure to not only challenge but also change many lives.”
—Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
“Miller has given us a most accessible, timely, and theologically sound introduction to life in Christ. Miller has always been known as a great lover of the gospel and a master illustrator, and both are on display in copious measures. This book shows us how to live by the rhythms of the gospel at the pace of grace. A life of union and communion with Jesus has never seemed more beautiful and practical.”
—Scotty Ward Smith, Pastor Emeritus, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee; Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee
“Nothing is more important for the gospel and for our lives as Christians than the reality of our union with Christ as Scripture teaches us about that union. Paul Miller is to be commended for seeking to apply that teaching to issues of discipleship.”
—Richard B. Gaffin Jr., Emeritus Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary
“I enjoyed this book on many levels. The apostle Paul tells us that believers have died and been raised with Jesus. Paul Miller helps us discover what this looks like in everyday life. His teaching rings true and will be helpful to many.”
—John M. Frame, Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary
"Simple but brilliant...Miller summarizes well the difference between the once-born and the born-again person...and shows how the J-Curve is not a one-time ride but a recurring necessity."
—Marvin Olasky, World Magazine
“I love this book. I feast on Miller’s emphasis on resurrection. I’m enthusiastic about his stress on union with Christ; there’s more to the gospel than justification. But the J-Curve community (part 5) seems best to me. This is a wonderful, bigger, more Jesus gospel! It’s much-needed, and Miller’s style is just right, building on scholarly contributions but with personal experience and examples of others. It’s just what you need to equip you for gospel living in our crumbling Christian culture.”
—D. Clair Davis, Emeritus Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary
“This wise and readable book shows how the beloved doctrines of justification and union with Christ shape the thoughts, words, emotions, and actions of believers. I highly recommend this book for everyone who pursues gospel-driven discipleship.”
—Dan Doriani, Professor of Theology, Covenant Theological Seminary