I just finished reading D.A. Carson's The Cross and Christian Ministry. It came highly recommended by authors whom I have recently come to trust. Having read Dr. Carson's books before and having had him for a professor in seminary, I knew about what to expect, and wasn’t disappointed. Originally, these were talks Dr. Carson gave and have been revised into book form. The chapters are:
1. The Cross and Preaching (1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5)
2. The Cross and the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
3. The Cross and Factionalism (1 Corinthians 3)
4. The Cross and Christian Leadership (1 Corinthians 4)
5. The Cross and the World Christian (1 Corinthians 9:19-27)
Carson writes in the preface, “For too long, many evangelicals have viewed the cross exclusively as the means by which God in Christ Jesus achieved our redemption. Of course, no Christian would want to minimize the centrality of the cross in God’s redemptive purposes. But if we view it as the means of our salvation and nothing more, we shall overlook many of its functions in the New Testament. In particular, so far as this study is concerned, we shall fail to see how the cross stands as the test and the standard of all vital Christian ministry. The cross not only establishes what we are to preach. It prescribes what Christian leaders must be and how Christians must view Christian leaders. It tell us how to serve and draws us onward in discipleship until we understand what it means to be world Christians" (pg.9, emphasis mine).
Then, through solid biblical exposition and winsome illustration, Carson goes on to demonstrate how the Cross does all of that. Reading it was good for my mind and for my soul. It has spurred me on to "know nothing...except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).
[Note: Reading Carson isn't for everyone. Even though this is a "popular exposition" of 1 Corinthians, Carson is so erudite that some will have trouble following him. One book that has a similar theme but is more accessible to read is C.J. Mahaney’s The Cross-Centered Life. Mahaney was one of those who led me towards this valuable little Carson book. Of course, as John Piper says, "If all you do is rake, you just get leaves. But if you dig, you might find diamonds." So, I recommend you try your hand on the "harder" authors.]
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
6/07/2005 09:20:00 AM 0 comments