Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: Christ the Eternal Son

Christ the Eternal Son. A.W. Tozer. 175 pages.

Since I gush so much about Tozer, you might expect me to agree with him 100% of the time. That isn't really the case as Christ the Eternal Son shows. While I enjoyed a good deal of this one, probably agreeing with him over half the time, there were places I just couldn't accept his statements. However, I really liked most of this book.

I love the gospel of John. I do! It is my favorite book of the Bible! So I was definitely interested in reading Tozer's thoughts on the opening chapters of John. (I know we go through chapter three at least.) The chapter titles include "Great is the Mystery," "God Manifest in the Flesh," "The Self-Existent God," "Eternity in Man's Heart," "The Redemptive Plan," "Divine Love Incarnate," "The Divine Intention," "The Divine Appointment," "The Essence of Faith," and "The Gift of Eternal Life."

Favorite quotes:
Any theological position that pits one Testament of the Bible against the other must come from a false theory. 
The idea that the Old Testament is a book of law and the New Testament a book of grace is based on a completely false theory.
There is certainly as much about grace and mercy and love in the Old Testament as there is in the New. There is more about hell, more about judgment and the fury of God burning with fire upon sinful men in the New Testament than in the Old.
If you want excoriating, flagellating language that skins and blisters and burns, do not go back to Jeremiah and the old prophets--hear the words of Jesus Christ!
Oh how often do we need to say it: the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. The Father in the Old Testament is the Father in the New Testament.
Furthermore, the Christ who was made flesh to dwell among us is the Christ who walked through all of the pages of the Old Testament. Was it the law that forgave David when he had committed his great sins? No, it was grace displayed in the Old Testament. Was it grace that said, Babylon is fallen, the great harlot is fallen, Babylon is fallen? (Revelation 18:2) No, it was the law expressed in the New Testament.
All that Moses could do was to command righteousness. In contrast, only Jesus Christ produces righteousness... All that Moses could do was to forbid us to sin. In contrast, Jesus Christ came to save us from sin.
Brethen, there can be no argument about Jesus Christ's glory--His glory lay in the fact that He was perfect love in a loveless world; that He was perfect purity in an impure world; that He was perfect meekness in a harsh and quarrelsome world. There is no end to His glory. He was perfect humility in a world where every man was seeking his own benefit. He was boundless and fathomless mercy in a hard and cruel world. He was completely selfless goodness in a world full of selfishness. 
The eternal Son came to tell us what the silence never told us. He came to tell us what not even Moses could tell us. He came to tell us and to show us that God loves us and that He constantly cares for us. He came to tell us that God has a gracious plan and that He is carrying out that plan.
We must meditate on the eternal nature of God in order to worship as we should. 
In a time when everything in the world seems to be vanity. God is depending on us to proclaim that He is the great Reality, and that only He can give meaning to all other realities. 
I confess that I am struck with the wonder and the significance of the limitless meaning of these two words: He came. Within them the whole scope of divine mercy and redeeming love is outlined. 
We are the guests and we are here by sufferance. It is time for us to stop apologizing for the Lord Jesus Christ and start apologizing for ourselves! We have a lot of apologists who write books and give lectures apologizing for the person of Christ and trying to "explain" to our generation that the Bible does not mean "exactly" what it says.
Brethren, I am not ashamed of his world--I am only ashamed of man's sin. If you could take all of the sin out of this world; suddenly extract it, there would be nothing in all the world to be ashamed of and nothing to be afraid of. 
If we were to judge John 3:16 on the basis of its value to the human race, we would have to say that it is probably the most precious cluster of words ever assembled by the mind of an intelligent man; a twenty-five word compendium in which is contained the eternal Christian evangel, the message of genuine good news!
He did not preach to the multitudes as though they were a faceless crowd. He preached to them as individuals and with a knowledge of the burdens and needs of each one.
Dwight Moody said at one time about the effect of God's love. He is quoted as having said, "If I could get everybody in the world to believe God loves them, I would get everybody in the world converted!"
In the light of His love, let us always remember that every individual has eternal significance and meaning in the heart of God and that He is emotionally concerned with the individual. 
All of the general faith you have about God will not do you any good at all unless you are willing to believe that He meant you--you yourself--when He said "God so loves that He gave His Son for you!"
Faith is not a plant that grows everywhere by the way. It is not a common plant that belongs to everyone. Faith is a rare and wonderful plant that lives and grows only in the penitent soul. 
To accept Christ in anything like a saving relation is to have an attachment to the person of Christ that is revolutionary, complete, and exclusive.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: