Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Review: The Radical Cross

The Radical Cross.  A.W. Tozer. Christian Publications. 148 pages.

The Radical Cross would make a good devotional book. This little book contains thirty-one (relatively) short readings related (in one way or another) to the cross. There are seven main divisions: "The Radical Cross: Its Power," "The Radical Cross: Its Price," "The Radical Cross: Its Purpose," "The Radical Cross: Its Pain," "The Radical Cross: Its Provision," "The Radical Cross: Its Paradox," and "The Radical Cross: Its Promise." These entries mainly concern the Christian life and suffering: on how the Christian is not called to live a life of convenience and comfort, thinking only of one's self.

I would definitely recommend the works of A.W. Tozer. Some of Tozer I absolutely love; some Tozer I merely like. But there are gems to be found in all of his works. I love Tozer because he was passionately devoted to God; he treasured the Bible and preached boldly.

Favorite quotes:
The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment. (4)
The changed attitude toward the cross that we see in modern orthodoxy proves not that God has changed, nor that Christ has eased up on His demand that we carry the cross; it means rather that current Christianity has moved away from the standards of the New Testament. So far have we moved indeed that it may take nothing short of a new reformation to restore the cross to its right place in the theology and life of the Church. (5)
Everybody has been or is under the sentence of death. (7)
When God justifies a sinner everything in God is on the sinner's side. All the attributes of God are on the sinner's side. (9)
Christ was born that He might become a man and became a man that He might give His life as a ransom for many. Neither the birth nor the dying were ends in themselves. As He was born to die, so did He die that He might atone, and rise that He might justify freely all who take refuge in Him. His birth and His death are history. His appearance at the mercy seat is not history past, but a present, continuing fact, to the instructed Christian the most glorious fact his trusting heart can entertain. (12)
Christianity embraces everything that touches the life of man and deals with it all effectively. Because suffering is a real part of human life. Christ Himself took part in the same and learned obedience by the things which He suffered. It is not possible that the afflicted saint should feel a stab of pain to which Christ is a stranger. (62)
The work of Christ on the cross did not influence God to love us, did not increase that love by one degree, did not open any fount of grace or mercy in His heart. He had loved us from old eternity and needed nothing to stimulate that love. The cross is not responsible for God's love; rather it was His love which conceived the cross as the one method by which we could be saved. God felt no different toward us after Christ had died for us, for in the mind of God Christ had already died before the foundation of the world. God never saw us except through atonement. The human race could not have existed one day in its fallen state had not Christ spread His mantle of atonement over it. And this He did in eternal purpose long ages before they led Him out to die on the hill above Jerusalem. All God's dealings with man have been conditioned upon the cross. (118)
Here are two important truths. The first truth is that no one ever was saved, no one is now saved, and no one ever will be saved except by grace. The second truth is that grace always comes by Jesus Christ. The law was given by Moses, but grace came by Jesus Christ. This does not mean that before Jesus was born of Mary there was no grace. God dealt in grace with mankind, looking forward to the Incarnation and death of Jesus before Christ came. Now, since He's come and gone to the Father's right hand, God looks back upon the cross as we look back upon the cross. Everybody from Abel on was saved by looking forward to the cross. Grace came by Jesus Christ. And everybody that's been saved since the cross is saved by looking back at the cross. Grace always comes by Jesus Christ. It didn't come at His birth, but it came in God's ancient plan. (120-1)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: