J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

By Paul E. Miller

... Show All


Crossway+ members receive 30% off books. Learn more.

Availability: In Stock

Retail Price: $24.99

J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life

By Paul E. Miller

... Show All

Do we have the wrong map for the Christian life? 

Life's inconveniences, disappointments, and trials can leave us confused, cynical, and eventually bitter. But the apostle Paul traces out the path of dying and rising with Jesus—what Paul Miller calls the “J-Curve”—as the normal Christian life. 

The J-Curve maps the ups and downs of daily life 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 lives in light of the J-Curve roots our hope, centers our love, and tethers our faith to Christ.

Read Chapter 1


Paul E. Miller

Paul E. Miller (MDiv, Biblical Seminary) is executive director of seeJesus, a global discipling mission that mentors through seminars, cohorts, and interactive Bible studies. He is the bestselling author of A Praying Life and J-Curve. Paul and his wife, Jill, live in the Philadelphia area and have six children and fifteen grandchildren. Listen to the Seeing Jesus with Paul Miller podcast or learn more at seeJesus.net.

Product Details

Category: Christian Living
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 336
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 15.3 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-6156-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-6156-6
ISBN-UPC: 9781433561566
Case Quantity: 28
Published: June 30, 2019

Table of Contents


Part 1: Discovering the J-Curve

1. “I Will Never Do This Again”: The J-Curve and How It Helps

2. "I Take Your Place": The Substitutionary Nature of Love

3. Marketing the Self: What We Do Instead of the J-Curve

4. Liberating the Self: The Foundation of the J-Curve

5. In Harvard: Union with Christ Comes Alive

6. In Sports or In Christ?: How Location Changes Everything

7. It’s All about Who You Know: Knowing Jesus in the J-Curve

8. Missing Justification by Faith: The J-Curve without Justification 

9. Missing the J-Curve: Justification by Faith without the J-Curve 

Part 2: Dying with Jesus

10. Dying to Self: Understanding Different J-Curves

11. A Cascade of Love: Weaving J-Curves Together 

12. Life at the Bottom of the J-Curve: Making Sense of Persistent Evil

13. Living in the Borderland: How to Thrive in a Broken World

Part 3: The Descent of Love

14. Love Loses Control: Discovering the Shape of Love

15. The Art of Disappearing for Love: How the Incarnation Defines Love

16. Recovering a Vision of the Good: The Wonder of the J-Curve

17. Celebrating Christ Bearers: Rediscovering Hidden Saints 

18. The Hinge of the J-Curve: Understanding the Will

19. The Four Steps of Love: Re-enacting Jesus’s Descent 

20. The J-Curve Calms a Quarrel: Creating a Path to Reconciliation 

Part 4: Rising with Jesus

21. Discovering the Power of Resurrection: What Makes the J Go Up?

22. Repersonalizing the Resurrection: Discovering the Forgotten Half of the J-Curve

23. Looking through a Resurrection Lens: The J-Curve Transforms Our Vision of Life

24. The Secret of an Irritation-Free Life: The J-Curve Cures Grumbling

25. Resurrection Realism: The J-Curve Protects Us from Cynicism

26. Delaying Resurrection for Love: Saying No to Good Desire

27. Becoming Human Again: The Emotional Life of the J-Curve

28. The Art of J-Curve Living: Dying and Rising in Twenty-Four Hours

29. Seeing the Big Picture: Multiyear Dying and Rising

Part 5: Forming a J-Curve Community

30. The Power of Weakness: How the J-Curve Defeats Tribalism

31. The Spirit at the Center: Learning Wisdom Down Low 

32. Love Treads Softly: Entering the Complexity of Love

33. Leadership Goes Low: Re-enacting Jesus in Community

34. Keeping Jesus Pure: The J-Curve Divides the Community

35. Jesus: The Ultimate Party Crasher

36. The Beauty of a Jesus Community: Including the Distant Outsider

General Index
Scripture Index


“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

“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 Biblical and Systematic Theology, Covenant Theological Seminary

“A masterly treatment of the Christian life from a biblical perspective. It takes full account of the absorption with self, the preoccupation with appearance, and the individualism that characterize our age to present a biblical model of living that is both liberating and joy generating. I hope this desperately needed, countercultural approach to life will begin to impact worldwide Christianity more and more.”
Ajith Fernando, Teaching Director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka; author, Discipling in a Multicultural World

“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. To date I consider it the most important book written in our generation on the subject! 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, Pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

“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, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary

“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., Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

“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, Late Executive Director, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

“I own my prejudice with respect to my excitement about Paul Miller’s new book, J-Curve. Written with the glory and grace of Philippians 2:5–11 at its core, 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 in J-Curve. 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 Smith, Pastor Emeritus, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee; Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“‘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, J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life. 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 and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

“The footnotes and shrewdness of this book point to an author who has read widely and pondered deeply. The stories and real-life focus of this book reveal an author who has paid a high price—the laceration of his ego—to begin to learn not only the power of Christ’s resurrection but the fellowship of his sufferings. And a healing, fruitful, even joyful fellowship it is! 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