Books

The Cross of Christ: Resources for Further Study

As a follow-up to yesterday's message The Achievement of the Cross, here are a number of resources for further study as you seek to deepen your own understanding and joy in the cross.

1. Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing by C. J. Mahaney. This is a great book for new believers who want to understand how the cross stands at the center of the gospel and how the gospel is to shape our lives. Mahaney is an engaging, even entertaining, author and this book is an easy and enjoyable read. Very practical.

2. Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper. If you want short stand-alone chapters for devotional reading, this is the book for you. The chapters are only a couple of pages long and each chapter highlights some significant reason behind the cross. This book is also designed as an evangelistic tool and would be good to give to an unbeliever.

3. The Cross of Christ by John R. W. Stott. Stott's book was one of the definitive treatments of the cross in the twentieth century and one of the most articulate defenses of substitutionary atonement. This is the best book on the cross that I have seen. It is much more comprehensive than the two above, but still readable and engaging. I find myself returning to this volume again and again.

4. Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray. Murray's short, but meaty, book has probably shaped my soteriology (doctrine of salvation) more significantly than any other book I've read. His exegesis is careful and lucid. This is not a book for the faint of heart, but it is one of the best expositions of the atonement and its application to believers that I know of.

5. The Divine Substitute: The Atonement in the Bible and History by Ian Shaw and Brian Edwards. I've only dipped into this book, but I've found it quite helpful - especially the historical material. If you want a brief survey of the doctrine of substitutionary atonement in the history of the church, this get this one.

6. Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution by Steve Jeffrey, Mike Ovey, and Andrew Sach. This is a new book, just published in the USA after an earlier debut in the UK. I've not read it yet, but it comes with an impressive list of recommendations and promises to answer many of the contemporary challenges to the gospel. Its on my wish list!

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