The Truth Of The Cross

The Truth of the Cross is a 167 page book written by R.C. Sproul.  The book is divided up into ten chapters with the first nine chapters dealing with the atonement and the tenth chapter being written in a question/answer model.

This is a great book if you are looking for a high octane dose of theology that is orthodox in teaching and very easy to understand.  This is classic Sproul arguing eloquently for the biblical doctrine of the atonement.  If you have read his work The Holiness of God you have tasted some of what he touches on in this work.

Sproul starts in Chapter 1 by looking at our need for an atonement and builds upon this thesis with the subsequent chapters of the book.  Sproul states, “If we are defective  in understanding the character of God or understanding the nature of sin, it is inevitable that we will come to the conclusion that an atonement was not necessary.”  Chapter 2 (The Just God) and Chapter 3 (Debtors, Enemies, and Criminals) works this theology out further.  The necessity of an atonement is needed because God is holy and man is unholy.  “Thus,” Sproul writes, “the necessity for the atonement of Christ finds it genesis, . . . in the character of God.  Because He is holy and righteous, He cannot excuse sin.  Rather He must pass judgement on it.  The judge of all the earth must do right.  Therefore, He must punish sinners–or provide a way to atone for their sin.”

From there Sproul goes on to explain why Christ became our penal substitute.  And how, as our substitute, he took the full measure of God’s wrath that was duly ours (Chapter 5 – The Saving Substitute).  He then explains how this happened in Chapter 6 (Made Like His Brethren).  We can only be made righteous and have fellowship with God through the atoning work of the God who became man.  It is the God-man, Jesus Christ, who mediates us to God and placates his wrath.

The chapters mentioned above were some of my favorite chapters, but again the whole book is a very worthy read.  I highly recommend the book to you.

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