The Atonement – Book Recommendations

Had the pleasure of teaching on the Atonement last weekend. I gave three talks. I tried to compress as much as I could into them. It was too good an opportunity to miss. I was ably assisted by a number of great books in my library, some of which I was pleased to see that I’d used before!

I gave three talks

  1. The heart of the cross – a talk on penal substitutionary atonement
  2. The achievemnt of the cross – a talk on justifcation
  3. The example of the cross – a talk on the cross shaped life

Whenever I’m tackling a subject like this I usually head straight to the systematic theologies. The talks were doctrinal rather than expository. It made sense therefore to read something by someone who’s done the hard work of systematising the Bible’s key teaching on the issue. I accept that there’s danger of uncritically accepting their conclusions without doing the hard work yourself. But why reinvent the wheel! To guard against that danger I tend to go for the Systematic Theologies that I can trust.

The following list includes the books that I found helpful and stimulating.

A is advanced, I is internediate and E is easy. I hope none of the authors is offended by my categorisation; presummably they wrote their books to serve different purposes and audiences!

Systematic Theologies

  • R. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (A)
  • W. Grudem, Systematic Theology (I)
  • B. Milne, Know the Truth (E)
  • J. Frame, Salvation Belongs to the Lord (E)

Doctrinal Books

  • J.R.W. Stott, The Cross of Christ (A)
  • J. Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied (A)
  • L. Morris, The Atonement (I)
  • R. Letham, The Work of Christ (I)
  • A. Hoekema, Saved by Grace (I)
  • M. Meynell, Cross Examined – great illustrations many of which I purloined, it sounds better than stole … (E)

Devotional Books

  • C.J. Mahaney, Living the Cross Centred Life (E)
  • M. Driscoll, Death by Love (I)
  • J. Piper, The Passion of Jesus Christ; Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die (I)

The Resurgence has the following book recommendations

  • On the Atonement here
  • On the cross here
  • On justification here

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