Back to working my way through Steve McCoy’s Big 5 Books, today the Cross. As Spurgeon once said:
“Endeavor to know more and more of Christ Jesus. Endeavor especially to know the doctrine of the sacrifice of Christ.” C.H. Spurgeon
Here are the best books I’ve read:
- The Atonement by A.A. Hodge. He views the atonement like a diamond, with many facets, but the main theme (to change the metaphor) would be substitutionary atonement. Find it, buy it, read it!
- The Cross in the New Testament by Leon Morris. I love this book and used it for much of my research on the atonement. I think it is out of print, but The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross by Morris is quite good as well. Update: The Atonement: It’s Meaning and Significance is not available.
- Pierced for Our Transgressions by Jeffery, Ovey and Sach. This is a great, contemporary treatment of this issue that interacts with the recent misunderstandings and charges against the penal substitutionary view of the atonement.
- The Death of Death in the Death of Jesus Christ by John Owen. It deals mostly with understanding the extent of the atonement. He absolutely crushes any version of a universal atonement. The edition with the intro by Packer is best.
- The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper (aka Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die). Short, concise and the unestimitable John Piper. What more need I say?
- The Doctrine of the Atonement According to the Apostles by George Smeaton. Another classic work which works through the NT to develop a full understanding of the atonement. It was Morris before there was a Morris, or Jerry Bridges’ book.
- The Cross of Christ by John Stott. One of the contemporary classics.
The books I have yet to read, and hope to:
- The Cross by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I’ve got it, and I need to read it.
- The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul. My old prof and boss most likely produced a very solid and accessible treatment of the atonement. I hope to read it one of these days.
- The Work of Christ by Robert Letham. This is part of the Contours of Christian Theology series, which I’ve enjoyed and found helpful. I’m sure this will follow that trend.
- Death by Love by Mark Driscoll and Gary Beshears. I’ve heard great things about it. Driscoll’s passion without his earthiness. See, he’s maturing.
- Christ Crucified: A Puritan’s View of the Atonement by Stephen Charnock. Sometimes you have to return to the Puritans to drink deeply.
- The Atonement: It’s Meaning and Significance by Leon Morris. Probably a more accessible version of Morris’ fine work on the atonement.
- Living the Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing by C.J. Mahaney. This combines The Cross-Centered Life (which is a very good and practical book) and Christ Our Mediator: Finding Passion at the Cross.