Tag Archives: Christ’s resurrection
As a pastor for over twenty-four years now, I am amazed at how fresh and new and exciting the depths of my understanding of the gospel keep getting – largely due to books like this one. This insightful book offers a very refreshing and much needed look at the necessity of a paradigm shift in our thinking through the lenses of the resurrection rather than through the cross as the appropriate symbol of the church in today’s world. In this book the authors make the very effective case that the resurrection is the lynchpin upon which Christianity stands or falls: without it – there is no atonement for sin, no justification by faith alone, no empowerment for living a holistic life, and no basis for ethics, spiritual growth, human rights, and missions.
One of the most important contributions this book makes is how they cogently and with convincing evidences show how a theology of the resurrection was in the thoughts and heart of the worldview of the most missional Christian of all time – the apostle Paul. The authors also demonstrate how resurrection theology is present in all of Biblical revelation. This book is not so much a case for the evidence of the resurrection, but a case for the necessity and reality of our belief and application of the ramifications of the resurrection for all of life.
I immensely enjoyed this book and will be adding it to an increasing list of books that I will be reading on a yearly basis to remind me of the importance of the resurrection lenses through which I should be seeing all of life each and every day – until Jesus returns – of course, made possible because of His literal bodily resurrection from the dead. As a result of my reading of this book I believe and feel even more empowered and equipped to live out and share the past, present, and future realities of the gospel consisting of the death, burial, resurrection, and return of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Dr. Peterson gives four reasons for reading this book in his introduction: 1) The current debate over the meaning of Christ’s death; 2) The abysmal failure of evangelicals’ to teach that not only the death of Christ saves sinners, but also the significance of the resurrection in relationship to salvation (Scripture teaches that a literal bodily resurrection is absolutely ESSENTIAL to Christ’s saving work); 3) Jesus’ death and resurrection do not stand alone – but are part and parcel of the GREATEST STORY ever told – “His becoming a genuine human being and living victoriously are essential prerequisites for his death and resurrection. If he had not become one of us, he could not have died in our place. If he had sinned, his death could not have rescued others; he would have needed rescue himself.” And 4) Events (Christ’s death and resurrection) do not interpret themselves; they need words to explain them.
I would like to add a fifth reason to read this book: Christians need to go deeper in our understanding of the gospel and integrate this into our worldview of everything. Dr. Peterson’s book is not an easy read, it is lengthy, but well worth the effort because you will come out of reading this book with a greater appreciation of the central message of the Bible, of the depth of God’s love and work on our behalf, and you will have a greater appreciation of the person and work of Christ – especially how aspects of His present work (post-resurrection) impact our lives in the here and now. I can’t recommend this book highly enough – it is simply outstanding. He brilliantly integrates Systematic and Biblical Theology and balances this out with its practical ramifications for all of life with Christ at the center. My prediction is that it will be the new standard textbook replacing John Stott’s – The Cross of Christ – for 21st century students of the Person and Work of Christ.