Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Review: Precious Blood: The Atoning Work of Christ

Precious Blood: The Atoning Work of Christ. Edited by Richard D. Phillips. 2009. Crossway Books. 240 pages.

I definitely liked Precious Blood: The Atoning Work of Christ. It is a collection of essays on the atonement, on the blood of Christ, on what Christ accomplished on the cross. There are many contributing authors in this collection. The first half of the book is centered on the Bible. It presents atonement as seen through varied Scriptures. Each chapter complements the others, each seeking to bring out all the details, all the richness in the doctrine of the atonement.

  • Necessary Blood by Joel R. Beeke
  • Redeeming Blood by W. Robert Godfrey
  • Atoning Blood by Philip Graham Ryken
  • Cleansing Blood by Richard D. Phillips
  • Offensive Blood by W. Robert Godfrey
  • Precious Blood by R.D. Sproul

The second half of the book focuses on how "the atonement" has been viewed or treated through the centuries. These trace the development of a doctrine surrounding the atonement, and examine the doctrine in its theological context. Was the atonement viewed differently in 300AD as opposed to 1600AD, etc.

  • Early Church Reflections on the Atonement by Derek W.H. Thomas
  • The Medieval Achievement: Anselm on the Atonement by Philip Graham Ryken
  • The Reformation Concensus on the Atonement by W. Robert Godfrey
  • The Blood of Christ in Puritan Piety by Joel R. Beeke
  • Post-Reformation Developments in the Doctrine of the Atonement by Carl R. Trueman
  • Penal Substitutionary Atonement and It's "Non-violent" Critics by Richard D. Phillips

I can't promise that you'll find each and every essay wow-worthy or life-changing. But I found all of them to be interesting. Some more interesting than others, perhaps, but still I'm glad I read all of them. I thought it was important to show that the doctrine of atonement--penal substitutionary atonement--is being attacked by some, and how this attack is changing the gospel to a certain degree. I think it's good to know what to believe, what is biblical, so that you can take a stand and recognize problematic teachings.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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