The Jesus Gospel
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In a book that R T Kendall says ‘every Christian should read’ and J I Packer describes as ‘gloriously head-clearing and heart-warming’, Liam Goligher brings us back to the great centralities of the gospel and particularly the vital place of Christ’s taking the penalty for our sins as our substitute.
The book includes a response to the recent sad book The Lost Message of Jesus with its dismissal of the Biblical doctrine of penal substitution. Liam Goligher answers the view expressed in that book which argues that Christ’s substitution for us seemed like ‘a form of cosmic child abuse – a vengeful Father punishing His Son for an offence he has not even committed’, which is seen by the authors as ‘morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith’.
Beginning and ending in the magnificent prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17, we are taken superbly through the Scriptures and their unyielding insistence on the need for atonement for human sin. In a fine chapter on Isaiah 53, for instance, Liam Goligher establishes the reality that ‘there can be no avoiding the fact that the Servant acts as a substitute on behalf of others’. He points out that eight of its twelve verses are quoted in the New Testament and demonstrates that no other passage from the Old Testament was as important to the early church.
Those of us who celebrate the incredible kindness of God and the magnificent sacrifice of His Son in taking the blame and bearing the wrath will find this excellent book very accessible in its writing style and very strengthening to our faith.