4 Stars Out Of 5
Christology At Its Best
January 30, 2012
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5 ESV
The Word is logos and "it conveys the notion of divine self-expression or speech and has a rich OT background. God's Word is effective: God speaks, and things come in to being, and by speech he relates personally to his people." ESV Study Bible Crossway, study notes, page 2019.
God has expressed himself through and in his Son Jesus. Jesus is "the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us." John 1:14 ESV
This begins our study of Salvation Accomplished By The Son the Work of Christ!
The introduction is an important starting point on what the author calls, "our journey." I love it that he invited us; we are not perceived as faceless reader's, but as fellow travelers on this journey to study Christ. In the introduction the author Robert Peterson is straight to the point in giving his reasons for writing this lengthy book. He tells us why we should read this book. He especially makes a point to tell us that Christ's death and resurrection is still debated, and as believer's in Him we should understand and "know" what we believe. The author believes this book can guide us in to knowing Christ's work more fully.
The book is divided in to 2 parts:
Part 1: Events, Jesus' Saving Events
Part 2: Pictures, Pictures of Jesus' Saving Events
In Part 1 the author looks at 9 important areas of Jesus' saving events, they are:
1. Christs' Incarnation
2. Christ's Sinless Life
3. Christ's Death
4. Christ's Resurrection
5. Christ's Ascension
6. Christ's Session
7. Christ's Pentecost
8. Christ's Intercession
9. Christ's Second Coming
In Part 2 he gives 6 pictures of Jesus' Saving Events, they are:
10. Christ Our Reconciler
11. Christ Our Redeemer
12. Christ Our Legal Substitute
13. Christ Our Victor
14. Christ Our Second Adam
15. Christ Our Sacrifice
I have chosen 1 chapter from each part to review.
From Part 1, Chapter 7 Pentecost~~~
~~~The definition of Pentecost is fiftieth. It was celebrated 50 days after Passover. This was the Feast of Weeks; see Deuteronomy 16:10, Leviticus 23:15-16; or the Feast of Harvest, see Exodus 23-16.
Pentecost in the New Testament and for Christian's is known as the point when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church, see Acts chapter 2. Jesus had promised to send His Spirit, the helper; see Luke 24:49; John 14:25-26, 15:26 and Acts 1:8. Definition summarized from Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary.
Robert A. Peterson explains that the "world" system is indifferent to, and does not believe in, something they cannot see. I find this interesting considering how many ghost movies and shows there are. But the "world" believes in what they can see, touch, and define by our senses. Thus the Holy Spirit is rejected as nonsense.
The Holy Spirit at Pentecost in chapter 2 of Acts was poured out, breathed out, on the apostles that were gathered together, and on the Church.
Robert A. Peterson states, "His breathing on the disciples in John 20:22 while saying, 'receive the Holy Spirit' symbolically predicts their reception of the Spirit at Pentecost. His breathing on them recalls God's breathing into Adam the breath of life, Genesis 2:7. Christ's action thus portrays Pentecost as the beginning of the new creation of God in the Church."
The word breath is pneuma in Greek. "Jesus uses pneuma twice: once for wind or air, and once for the Spirit." Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary.
Peterson explains, "God sent a mighty wind to indicate that He was about to pour out the Holy wind of God upon the Apostles."
"The sound of the wind signaled the arrival of the Spirit, who makes the dead alive. The wind was the breath of God, breathed into the new humanity."---quote used in book and taken from Dennis Johnson.
The Holy Spirit equipped the disciples for the ministry, and the Holy Spirit equips the Church which is us for the ministry.
~~~This was my favorite chapter in the book. I read it twice. I felt Robert A. Peterson stated his points perfectly. The reason I chose to read it twice is it is a deep deep book, I wanted to make sure that what I'd read soaked in.
Peterson addressed the "world" at large as well as the Christian community. He stated a fact that the "world" which is the cosmos does not accept Jesus' death, burial, resurrection. They reject the Holy Spirit, they believe it is a bunch of hullabaloo. It was important to bring this to our attention because as Christians we cannot live in a bubble, so to speak, we must work and live amongst people that are hostile to Jesus. In understanding a bit more, not only in how the "world" thinks, but also know more about what Scripture states we will better be able to encounter them in a different way other than by avoidance or judgmental attitude. The "world" may not believe as we do, but they are certainly watching.
I had not yet known or was not listening before I read this book, that, "Pentecost was a proclamation of the new covenant because Scripture sets Pentecost over against the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. The new covenant supersedes the old. Pentecost publicly marks the transition from the old to the new covenant." I thought that Christ's death on the cross was that pivotal point.
From Part 2, Chapter 14 Christ Our Second Adam~~~
~~~"Definition-The second Adam is the NT picture of Christ's saving work in which, through His 'one act of righteousness" He restores humankind's lost glory, honor and rule over the earth." See Romans 5:18. See 1 Corinthians 15 to read more about Christ Our Second Adam.
Peterson believes "this point is the most neglected of the 6 pictures of Christ's saving work."
I'm glad Peterson taught on Jesus' temptation in the desert. The first Adam had been tempted in the garden, and he had failed. Jesus was tempted in the desert three times and he passed at each point.
Peterson shows the Second Adam in Paul's epistles. The Second Adam is seen in Hebrews Scriptures as well, see chapter 2:5-10.
~~~This chapter on Christ Our Second Adam was rich in explaining the first Adam's failure, penalty of death, and our need for the saving redeeming work of Christ Jesus.
~~~At the end of each of his chapters he wraps up nicely summarizing what he'd written and we'd learned.
In the second part this wrap-up section is detailed; for example he gives not just a definition, but texts used, background, and relation to other doctrines.
I've noticed that as a writer Peterson is personable, approachable; he is not a dry monotone theological writer. I appreciated this so much!
This is a book that I felt was written for the Christian community, not just for pastor's, or theologians, or those of academic background.
Much of what was written about I knew, but I feel I now have a more solidity of bedrock after reading this book.
The last chapter in the book is geared to define Calvinist belief or Reformed teaching. The title is The Extent of the Atonement, listed as an Appendix. They believe in limited atonement rather than unlimited atonement. Another words they believe Christ died for only certain people, not for all. They explain several Scriptures and I felt they stated their case well, except for 1 important Scripture that they are stumped on. I appreciated it that he was honest on this point.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 ESV
Thank you to Crossway for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review.