Monday, 2 November 2015

Must reads about the Cross

I read an article in a university magazine where one of the chaplains claimed that the cross is not the crux of Christianity.  Similarly a youth leader explained to a group of us why the cross doesn’t feature in the logo of his organisation—he said that the cross is ‘bad public relations.’  I find all this staggering given the fact that the apostle Paul can summarise his message by simply saying that he preached Christ crucified.

When evangelicals are asked to define their core beliefs the cross is always included.  For example, the statement of faith for Evangelical Alliance Ireland includes our belief in the ‘substitutionary atoning death on the cross.’  Christ died the death I deserved.  He took the punishment my sin earned.  This is the grounds of my peace.  This is great news.

So, in this age of theological vagueness, I have two books to recommend.  One book is heavy, and the other is light.  One book is long, and the other is short.  One book should be read quickly, and the other should be pondered over and digested.

The first book is C. J. Mahaney’s delightful ‘Living the Cross-Centred Life.’   This is a refreshing and inspiring read that won’t take even a slow reader like me long to get through.

The second is John Stott’s ‘The Cross of Christ.’  Of all Stott’s books this is the best.  It is comprehensive and will take time to get through, but will more than repay the effort.

I finish with some words of John Wesley (the eighteenth-century evangelist and founder of Methodism).  Wesley declared that because of Christ’s death on the cross:

‘His [the Christian’s] sins, all his sins, in thought, word, and deed, are covered, are blotted out, shall not be remembered or mentioned against him any more than if they had not been. God will not inflict on that sinner what he deserved to suffer because the Son of his love hath suffered for him. And from the time we are "accepted through the beloved," "reconciled to God through his blood," he loves and blesses and watches over us for good, even as if we had never sinned.' [from Wesley's sermon entitled 'Justification by faith']


jmark said...

Great recommendations Paul - "The Cross He Bore" by Fredrick Leahy is also superb book (and by a Donegal man for extra goodness!)

To whom it may concern said...

Thanks a million jmark. I will seek to get my hands on the Leahy book. God bless you in your work. Paul

Al DeFilippo said...

Thank you for the post. For more on John Wesley, I would like to invite you to the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series. The trilogy based on the life of Francis Asbury, the young protégé of John Wesley and George Whitefield, opens with the book, Black Country. The opening novel in this three-book series details the amazing movement of Wesley and Whitefield in England and Ireland as well as its life-changing effect on a Great Britain sadly in need of transformation. Black Country also details the Wesleyan movement's effect on the future leader of Christianity in the American colonies, Francis Asbury. The website for the book series is Please enjoy the numerous articles on the website. Again, thank you, for the post.

To whom it may concern said...

Thanks Al