Review: Making the Most of the Cross

So each year I try and read a book about the cross around Easter and this year it is Making the Most of the Cross by John Chapman, published by Matthias Media.  Let me say up front, I think it's great!

It is only 99 pages long, with 17 short chapters in three sections:

  1. The death of the Lord Jesus
  2. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus
  3. The death and resurrection as a pattern.
Each chapter is short, pithy and faithful teaching about the cross and resurrection and how it should change your life.  There is a prayer at the end of each chapter and it is definitely suitable for devotional reading, which is how I used it really.  Big hitting theology (e.g. substitution, propitiation, judgment) is here presented with simplicity, clarity and a deft touch.

It's worth saying what this book is not.  It is not an in depth, theologically academic investigation of the cross.  That's not the point.  It is a book for Christians in the pews.  If you ever heard Chappo speak, then I felt at times I could here his voice as I read it.  Given his relatively recent death, there are points that are especially moving.  There was so much good here and it is the ideal book to get into the hands of new Christians or people who have never been taught well about the cross.  It also seemed like a good book for people who don't read much or haven't read many Christian books.

A couple of very minor quibbles.  Although the passages dealing with the resurrection are directly addressed, those about the cross are not which I thought was a bit of an omission.  I also didn't quite follow the chapter on the cross and resurrection being the pattern of all future judgment (it was a good chapter on how God uses evil for good...).

Very minor quibbles aside, this is a great book on the cross.  Most churches would do well to get their congregations reading it and would I think find Christians who are clearer about the cross and more passionate to follow Jesus.


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