BOOK REVIEWS · Theology

IT IS WELL: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement – Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence (2010)

One of my most vivid memories of my Grandfather has to do with the cross of Christ.  “I do not hear enough about the cross in sermons and in songs,” he would lament.  His complaint was valid twenty-five years ago.  And it is valid today.  In fact, his warning is even more significant today as the cross appears to be on the decline in the evangelical church.  And whenever the cross is compromised, historical Christianity is weakened and the church wanes.

The cross appears on billboards.  It hangs around many necks.  It is even seen tattooed on human flesh.  But make no mistake. The precious truths of the cross are being compromised in pulpits across the land.  The reality of the substitutionary atonement is being neglected at best and scorned at worse.

Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence intend to set the record straight in their new book, It Is Well.  They argue that Christianity appears to have become domesticated which is to say, “there is no place for a bloody cross.”

Dever and Lawrence carefully unpack the vital doctrine of substitutionary atonement.     It is in many ways, an excellent companion to Pierced for our Transgressions by Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey, and Andrew Sach.  The authors carefully unpack crucial doctrines concerning the cross including propitiation, reconciliation, redemption, and justification.

Dever and Lawrence not only write precise expositions concerning the substitutionary atonement; they make direct application to followers of Christ.  Each chapter includes penetrating challenges to believers and non-believers alike.

4.5 stars

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