In picking up this book, seeing that the first few pages were filled with good reviews by rather prominent pastors and theologians (such as Carson, Wells and Packer), and having not read any John Stott before, I had a good expectation of the value of the content, but was not prepared for its nature.
Make no mistake. This is a highly theological work on the cross of Christ. Stott constantly examines the history of biblical thought and makes countless references to philosophical and other theological works. He is extremely thorough with his exegesis of the text. I think I actually learnt some classical Greek reading this book.
With my volume measuring in at 408 pages, I thought it would be a short read. But the material is heavy.
Yet it is not complicated. There is much to be mined from these pages. In fact, I would be bold enough to go as far in saying there is no junk in these pages. I would classify it a ‘must-read’ for every Christian who is able to get his hands on such a book. It costs a bit more than your average book, but it’s really worth every penny.
And I think it would be worthwhile to conduct a group study of it too. I didn’t really use the study guide at the back, but I think that was down to my indiscipline and lack of accountability.
I’ll be picking up this volume again soon. Stott certainly has a gift for vividly painting the glorious realities of the cross. He has certainly refreshed my heart and mind, and renewed my wonder at the cross. I figured that you would easily pick him out from among the heavenly congregation – he’s going to be one of those really loud ones singing:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”