Monday, 29 March 2010

Christianity - a resurrection religion!

In Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything (Crossway, 2010), Adrian Warnock argues that the majority of evangelical Christians tend to overlook the importance of the resurrection, actually paying much more attention to the death of Jesus than his literal physical rising again three days later. In an at times passionate book, Warnock attempts to redress this imbalance.

Raised with Christ is not an academic tome on the resurrection, for that N. T. Wright's The Resurrection of the Son of God (2003) remains unsurpassed, and is likely to do so for a very long time! Warnock's book is aimed at the wider Christian community and aims to show the pervasiveness of the resurrection throughout the New Testament and the relevance of the resurrection in the life of the Christian today.

The book's opening sections elaborate on Warnock's chief contention that the resurrection is neglected among contemporary evangelicals. There is then some more familiar material on the evidences for the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus, before the rest of the book concentrates on the present implications of the resurrection. These include some excellent material on the place of resurrection is confirming our justification. One senses that Warnock is most comfortable in the more practical applicatory sections of the book. He's good on the transformative power of the resurrection, but I did get the impression that the actual focus of the book became a little blurred somewhere around chapters 12 through to 16. Here Warnock has some excellent material on the minstry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian, there's nothing wrong with it whatsoever, but its link to the resurrection is tangential, aside from the obvious point that the risen Christ sends the Holy Spirit! There lots of good material in these chapters, especially on experiencing the risen Christ in our own lives and experience, but quite a lot of this section read like a defence of the Baptism of the Spirit, along the lines of Martyn Lloyd-Jones than anything else.

The book is rounded off with a terrific description of the way in which Jesus' resurrection is an intimation of our own final resurrection - the eschatalogical significance of the resurrection in other words. Maybe this seciton might actually have been expanded somewhat?

Warnock's main influences are clear on most pages of the book: Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones and John Piper are his most frequently cited authors, but there's a liberal sprinkling of Jonathan Edwards too!

This is an excellent read, warmly recommended for close study over the Easter period.


klatu said...
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