Who is Jesus?
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Volume 2 of the series, Can I Trust the Bible?, is Dr. Sproul's commentary on the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy. In the volume on prayer, Does Prayer Change Things?, there is a helpful discussion of human freedom vs. human autonomy and divine sovereignty. There is also a brief exegesis of the Lord's Prayer, some encouragements to prayer, as well as some reasons for frustration in prayer, and a reminder of the conditions for answered prayer.
The question of whether a Christian can know God's will is addressed in the fourth volume titled, Can I Know God's Will? Dr. Spoul begins by explaining what is meant by the decretive will of God, the preceptive will of God, and God's will of disposition. He then illustrates how these three work themselves out in biblical interpretation, and gives an analogy from the judicial system. Under the heading Knowing the Will of God for Our Lives, I found it interesting that Sproul states, . . . I find the practical question of the will of God pressing on my mind quite frequently. I doubt a fortnight passes that I am not seriously engaged by the question of whether I am doing what God wants me to do at this point in my life. This is followed by a detailed look at man's will: is it free? If so, in what sense? How is it related to God's sovereignty?
In the last book of the series, How Should I Live in This World?, the following premise is put forth: ethical decisions affect every area of life. It then goes on to answer the question of how these decisions are made. Chapter One opens with an explanation of the historical distinction between ethics and morals, and contrasts the humanistic model of ethics with the Christian ethic: God calls us out of the indicative by His imperative. Ours is a call to nonconformity to a transforming ethic that shatters the status quo (p. 5). Dr. Sproul illustrates the inconsistency of relativism, using the example of the moral and Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. He explains what is meant by an ethical continuum, or degrees of sin and righteousness, giving examples from church history and scripture. Other topics include the authority behind ethics and the sovereignty of God; the difference between freedom and autonomy, and between legalism and antinomianism; and the pros and cons of situation ethics. The specific ethical questions of war, abortion, capital punishment and materialism are also covered. The book concludes with a chapter on ethics and conscience.
R.C. Sproul has a unique gift for making intimidating topics accessible to a wide audience, and this series is an excellent example. Pam Glass, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
danniAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5ExcellentJune 9, 2014danniAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Meets Expectations: 5After I read Sproul's book, What is the Church? (#17 in the series), I decided I should read the rest of the series.
It seems he chose a very appropriate question to address for the first book in the series. Jesus has always been the defining factor that separates the many religions from one another. Sproul states the following to help us reflect on this: "There are a vast number of portraits of Jesus in the art galleries of this world. These images are often so conflicting that they offer little help in achieving an accurate picture of what Christ looked like during the period of his incarnation. This multiplicity of images parallels the widespread confusion about Jesus' identity that exists in the world today."
There are essentially three aspects he considers to help answer the question, "who is Jesus?": distinguishing the real Jesus from false christs, Jesus' titles as seen in Scripture, and the stages of Jesus' life.
In the first section, Sproul discusses the issue of how our perceptions of Jesus are framed. He touches on historical references as well as biblical circumstances that reveal our propensity to make Jesus who we think he should be based on our experiences. Thus we miss the real Jesus revealed through the Word of God.
The second section addresses some of the titles of Jesus that are imperative to his characterization. Sproul does a fabulous job of utilizing the original Greek and Hebrew to provide a clear understanding of the following titles: Christ (Messiah), Son of David, Suffering Servant, Son of Man, Lord, Son of God, and Logos (Word).
In his final segment, he speaks to the part of Jesus that seems to be the most challenging for people to believe with unwavering faith. Jesus' ministry, from the start, consists of miracle after miracle. Beginning with the virgin birth, Sproul dives into these miraculous events by tackling the origin of their skepticism. This is the most apologetic portion of the book. He includes the Jesus' baptism, temptation, passion (death), resurrection, and ascension.
R.C. Sproul answered a vital question to the totality of Christianity through solid evidence and thoughtful reasoning. He presents each piece with an impeccable clarity.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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