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Salvation by Crucifixion

By Philip Graham Ryken
August 2014 | Review by Andrew Wheeler
  • Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1-78191-307-9
  • Pages: 96
  • Price: 5.99
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Book Review

Salvation by Crucifixion

Philip Graham Ryken
Christian Focus Publications
96 pages, £5.99
ISBN: 978-1-78191-307-9
Star Rating: 4 stars


This little book is deceptively simple to read, yet leaves the reader with a fresh appreciation of the wonder of our salvation and how it was achieved.

In seven short chapters, Dr Ryken deftly paints before our eyes the ‘Necessity’, ‘Offense’, ‘Peace’, ‘Power’, ‘Triumph’, ‘Humility’ and ‘Boast’ of the cross.

Each chapter takes just a few minutes to read, but preserves weight and reverence. The angles adopted are sometimes striking. Each chapter is headed by a verse of Scripture which it expounds, the most frequent approach being ‘how this could come to be said’, rather than directly ‘what this means’.

The book originated as messages given at half-hour Friday lunchtime services in the weeks before Easter, the aim being largely evangelistic. As evangelism, it perhaps assumes a bit more than we often can, in the UK context. But then, unless someone was interested enough to overcome a few such hurdles, we probably wouldn’t give them a book even of this small size, so perhaps that doesn’t matter much.

Other niggles are few. One is the inclusion of ‘believing that Jesus died … for your own personal sins’ in the definition of saving faith (p.25), which might trouble a believer who lacks assurance.

Perhaps more room could have been made for the attraction of the cross, though something of this is done in the chapter on its power. But the book glorifies the Saviour in clear language and is suitable for both believers and interested unbelievers.

Andrew Wheeler



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