RCT: The Cross of Christ

Here we are, at the beginning of another edition of Reading Classics Together. This is a program I began several years ago in an attempt to read some of the classics of the Christian faith and to do so in community. To this point we’ve read 10 or 15 great books, ranging from Puritan to modern-day classics. Beginning today we will be taking 13 Thursdays to read through John Stott’s The Cross of Christ. The format is simple. Each week …

RCT2: Why Did Christ Die?

Last week we began reading through John Stott’s classic work The Cross of Christ. The book began by pointing out the centrality of the cross. This week’s reading was chapter 2 which asks and answers an all-important question: Why Did Christ Die? Why Did Christ Die? I enjoyed this chapter not only for what it teaches but also for its literary qualities. Stott writes in such a way that by the end, truth is cascading upon truth, and the heart …

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RCT3: Looking Below the Surface

Today we continue reading through John Stott’s book The Cross of Christ. In the past 2 weeks Stott has “sought to establish two facts about the cross. First, its central importance (to Christ, to his apostles and to his worldwide church ever since), and second, its deliberate character (for, though due to human wickedness, it was also due to the set purpose of God, voluntarily accepted by Christ who gave himself up to death). This week we come to chapter …

RCT4: The Problem of Forgiveness

This morning brings us to our next reading in John Stott’s classic work The Cross of Christ. This week’s chapter, chapter 4, looks at “The Problem of Forgiveness.” After last week’s “look below the surface” of Christ’s life, some may have wondered why our forgiveness would have to depend on Christ’s death. That is where Stott turns this week. The Problem of Forgiveness Some weeks I use this post as an opportunity to provide a synopsis of the chapter. This …

RCT5: Satisfaction for Sin

This morning brings us to our next reading in John Stott’s classic work The Cross of Christ. We are now in chapter 5 which is titled “Satisfaction for Sin.” In this chapter Stott argues that the cross was necessary because God “must ‘satisfy himself’ in the way of salvation he devises; he cannot save us by contradicting himself.” Satisfaction for Sin Stott uses this chapter to explain that the cross was necessary for satisfaction. This is something most people affirm. …

The Self-Substitution of God

This morning brings us to our next reading in John Stott’s classic work The Cross of Christ. This week I am simply going to offer up a few amazing quotes from this chapter. I hope that this will give everyone who reads this article something to chew on, whether or not you’ve read the book. At the very least read the final quote! The Self-Substitution of God In this chapter, titled “The Self-Substitution of God,” Stott addresses this key question: …

The Salvation of Sinners

Today we continue our project of reading through John Stott’s classic work The Cross of Christ. We’ve now moved onto Part III which discusses “The Achievement of the Cross.” Here Stott begins to move from the event itself to the consequences, “from what happened on the cross to what was achieved by it.” The Bible sums this up in three words: salvation, revelation and conquest. First up is chapter 8, “The Salvation of Sinners.” The chapters that follow will discuss revelation …

The Revelation of God

Today we continue our project of reading through John Stott’s The Cross of Christ. We’ve come now to chapter 8, “The Revelation of God,” where Stott explains that the achievement of Christ’s cross must be seen in terms of revelation as well as salvation. “To borrow some current jargon, it was a ‘relevatory’ as well as a ‘salvific’ event. For through what God did there for the world he was also speaking to the world. Just as human beings disclose their …

The Conquest of Evil

Today we continue our project of reading through John Stott’s The Cross of Christ. Stott has been writing about the achievements of the cross. He has already spoken of the salvation of sinners and the revelation of God.  This week he looks to “The Conquest of Evil.” Now there’s a great title for a chapter. The conquest of evil is such a prominent theme in books and movies and stories–we love to see evil vanquished. And maybe the cross of Christ …

Self-Understanding and Self-Giving

Today we draw one week closer to completing John Stott’s The Cross of Christ.  After this week’s reading, we’ve got just two remaining before we’ve finished the book and wrapped up another reading project. Thank you for bearing with me last week when I just wasn’t able to get things done on time.  Self-Understanding and Self-Giving You remember that last week’s chapter was about the community of the cross being a community of celebration. This week Stott shows that the …