Finishing up our series on the cross in the Gospel of Mark in the morning. The atonement is the doctrine of the cross, or in other words it is answering the Biblical question, “What did Jesus accomplish on the cross.” No subject is more important or has more weight in the cosmos than the atonement. I would encourage every person to read at least one book annually on this subject. There are lots of great books out there, but I will suggest a few that I used as primary sources in my study on this topic over the past couple months.
The Kings Cross by Tim Keller – OK, I love the way Tim Keller thinks. This is a fairly new book and I have been using it as a primary source for our entire study of Mark. Keller unpacks the Gospel of Mark, showing how every passage and story is leading us to the self-substitution of Christ for us. I would strongly encourage this to anyone who wants to understand the atonement better and to go deeper into Mark’s Gospel.
The Cross of Christ by John Stott – An unbelievable work by one of the foremost theologians and pastors of the 20th century, this is an extensive explanation of the doctrine of the atonement. Well worth the read if someone wants to dive in deep on the subject.
Death by Love: Letters from the Cross by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears – A very practical and application oriented book on the subject. The authors give each aspect of the atonement (new covenant sacrifice, Christus Victor, redemption…) a chapter consisting of a counseling letter to a real person with a real life situation, demonstrating how Jesus’ death on the cross accomplishes something real for them, and that the true answer to their struggle is the Gospel applied deeply to life.
Vintage Jesus by Driscoll & Braeshears – OK, this book isn’t specifically on the atonement, but it has great chapters on the death of Jesus and the resurrection. But this is a fabulous book explaining who Jesus is, why he came, and what he did. I strongly encourage this for anyone who wants to learn about the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
The Truth of the Cross by R. C. Sproul – A shorter and easier to read book on the different aspects of the atonement.
In My Place Condemned He Stood edited by J. I Packer and Mark Dever – A series of essays by some key Christian thinkers in our day on the cross, they also answer current day objections to the message of the substitutionary death of Jesus.
Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus by D. A. Carson – The book is based on four sermons Carson gave at Mars Hill Church in Seattle expressing some of the great ideas the Scriptures give about the work of Jesus on the cross.
Living The Cross Centered Life by C. J. Mahaney – A fabulous little book that applies the story of Jesus’ death to our everyday lives. He shows how the event that happened 2000 years ago has impact and relevance, and gives real strategies how to take the cross deep in the soul and live out the implications every day.