Raised with Christ
271 pages, £12.99
This is one of those books that addresses something that is blindingly obvious in the Bible, but which has been persistently overlooked in the church. The book’s subtitle (drawn from a Tim Keller quote) says it all – ‘How the resurrection changes everything’.
It’s impossible to read this book without being challenged by just how true that is! Dick Gaffin of Westminster Seminary addressed it years ago in his book The Centrality of the resurrection, but in the context of a more academic discussion. Here Adrian Warnock does so in a more accessible way.
He writes ‘as an ordinary Christian and not as a theologian’. But that statement belies the breadth of reading and depth of understanding that lies behind all that he says.
The book is laced with valuable quotations from early Church Fathers through to present day thought-leaders in the worldwide church. More pointedly, it is thoroughly Bible-focused as the author interacts with a wide range of Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation.
One thing that makes it particularly interesting is the way he draws common threads from diverse groupings. It is one of the intriguing aspects of the church in the 21st century that it has become increasingly eclectic in its flavour – particularly as classic Reformed theology is juxtaposed with more recent interpretations of the Holy Spirit and his work. And this kaleidoscope of theological colours comes out here.
Its chapters move from the widespread neglect of the resurrection in church life and ministry, to the factuality of the resurrection, and to the way it is handled in Scripture and applied widely to every aspect of the life of faith.
Its treatment covers regeneration, justification, sanctification, experiential Christianity, assurance, mission and our future hope as believers. The exegesis is thorough, thought-provoking and carefully argued. The book’s application (regardless of one’s personal views on particular points) is heart-warming.
The author devotes a significant proportion of what he covers to the link between resurrection and revival. That is a fascinating discussion and one that will evoke different responses from differing viewpoints within the Christian community. His underlying point is indisputable: the people of God, especially in the English-speaking world, are much in need of God’s reviving grace.
I found this to be a rich and rewarding book for all kinds of reasons and it has served to reinforce convictions I have held deeply in my own ministry for over 25 years.
Mark G. Johnston