This short book addresses five key Bible passages, meditating on the most scandalous aspects of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Don Carson’s writing is clear, easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow, and fundamentally biblical. The themes he picks up are controversial because they are so orthodox, but there’s nothing old-fashioned or boring here.
There’s probably relatively little in here which will be brand new to the more spiritually mature Christian, but there’s certainly not nothing, and the depth to which Carson goes is outstanding.
For that reason I’d recommend this book to absolutely any Christian out there. If you’ve never collapsed in awe of God’s mercy and power displayed on the cross, this book would be as good a place to start as any.
The audio version I listened to was enjoyable and clear. Thoroughly recommended.
I got this audiobook for free from christianaudio.com. I’m not required to give a positive review.
Statement of fact: all religions lead to God. The problem is, they lead to him as Judge rather than as Father.
The only thing that leads to God as Father is not so much a thing as a person, Jesus Christ. So I’m not even going to say that Christianity leads to God as Father, because really it’s not – Jesus does. He said ‘I am the way’ in John 14:6.
Now, there ought to be a differentiation made between religion and culture. Some people are born Muslim, or born Hindu, or whatever. Are they destined for God as Judge because of their birth culture? No. You can become a follower of Jesus, relate to God as Father, yet still culturally be a Muslim.
But they are destined for God as Judge. Ultimately, we all are – not because of our birth culture, but despite it. We’re sinners by nature, and we’re sinners by choice. Thankfully, Jesus redeems us from our sinful nature by faith, and in him we receive adoption into God’s family.
Encounter God as Judge and you’ll be judged a sinner. Encounter God as Father and you’ll be welcomed into his joyous house.
Which would you rather live in: a world that’s only ever merciful, or a world that’s only ever fair?
My heart leapt to saying ‘merciful’! I instantly thought of something I’d done wrong, and was so grateful for the mercy I received.
But then I thought, ‘what if someone did something shocking, like raped a friend of mine?’ Surely, in the grand scheme of things, I’d want a fair world where justice would be done.
But the moment I thought back to myself, my mind returned to wanting mercy.
The whole of creation cries out for justice, yet we all have a personal desire for mercy. But you can’t have both – as much as the rapist wants mercy, that would be unfair.
Isn’t it wonderful that justice and mercy met at the cross? Gerald Sittster said:
It is the tension between God’s justice and mercy that makes God so capable of dealing with wrongdoers. God is able to punish people without destroying them, and to forgive people without indulging them…Mercy does not abrogate justice; it transcends it.