The book provides an accurate, concise, clear presentation of the Gospel in very a Pauline, protestant, evangelical, and Reformed fashion. He explains the Gospel in very “Romans’ road”-like terms and uses penal substitution as his foundational motif in explaining the Gospel (hence very Pauline, protestant, evangelical, and Reformed). Gilbert uses the well-known, often used, and quite excellent, “God, man, Christ, response” outline to explain the Gospel. This outline demonstrates a fantastic and simply model to help one get a solid grasp of what the Gospel is really all about. It also prompts one to ask important questions about what the Gospel message assumes (sometimes called the “bad news”), means, and implies.
St. Athanasius’ second treatise written to Marcarius, On the Incarnation, is an apologetic work in which Athanasius considers “the Word’s becoming Man and His divine Appearing in our midst.” The work is not intended to be a doctrinal explanation of the incarnation but a defense of it against its 4th century critics.
First, Athanasius addresses the creation of man and his fall into sin, which is necessary background for a proper understanding of the incarnation. As Athanasius argues, humankind’s dilemma caused the Word to take human form.Through transgression man had broken fellowship with God and faced corruption and death. However, the same agent through whom the world and mankind was created would become the agent of its deliverance and re-creation. “For this purpose, then,” to maintain God the Father’s consistency in regards to his sentence of death on all due to sin and His ultimate purpose in creating the world and a humanity in His image, “the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world.” The Word took on a body capable of death to face humanity’s corruption in death for the sake of all. “Yet He Himself, as the Word, being immortal and the Father’s Son, was such as could not die.” And, therefore, death could not hold Him and He emerged victorious from the grave, defeating death and obtaining incorruption through His resurrection. As Athanasius states,
Today I was reading in The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper and I ran across the paragraph below. This paragraph really seems to be just a side thought in Piper’s argument, but nonetheless, it caught my attention. Read it for yourself:
It horribly skews the meaning of the cross when contemporary prophets of self-esteem say that the cross is a witness to my infinite worth, since God was willing to pay such a high price to get me. The biblical perspective is that the cross is a witness to the infinite worth of God’s glory, and a witness to the immensity of the sin of my pride. What should shock us is that we have brought such contempt upon the worth of God that the very death of his Son is required to vindicate that worth. The cross stands in witness to the infinite worth of God and the infinite outrage of sin.
I ran across this hymn a few weeks ago, although I have been acquainted with it before. I decided it was definitely worth sharing. This hymn is certainly not as popular as John Newton’s famous hymn, “Amazing Grace,” but I certainly recommend reading through the words and meditating on their truth. From a man who understood grace extremely well in light of who he was as a depraved, wicked, detestable man in need of saving, “In Evil Long I Took Delight”:
In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopp’d my wild career:
The following are my favorite quotes from the book Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing by C.J. Mahaney.
“‘We never move on from the cross, only into a more profound understanding of the cross.’ The cross and its meaning aren’t something we ever master.” – page 17.