Five Great Books on Christ and the Cross (04-09-2014)

Recently, a church member asked if I could put together a list of some books that I would consider recommended reading. I thought that was a terrific idea. And I plan on putting that together real soon. In the meantime, the suggestion spawned another idea. With our Good Friday and Easter services getting close, I decided to put together a list of five books that would be edifying at this time of year. They are ranked from 5-1, based on accessibility; with 5 meaning that any person could read and 1 meaning a significant level of biblical knowledge may be required. Each one has it’s own strengths and weaknesses and there are bound to be some things that not everyone will affirm. Nevertheless, each of these works celebrate the gospel of Jesus Christ and hold it as central in the life of the church and each member. To borrow from Augustine, “Tolle lege!” (Take up and read!)


Honorable mention: The Final Days of Jesus by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Justin Taylor with Alexander Stewart

final days

This harmony of the final week of the life of Jesus, across all four gospels, includes the text from Scripture and clear, simple commentary. It is a wonderful, short read suited for family devotions.


5. Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die by John Piper

50 reasons

Only Piper could mine the New Testament and come up with fifty (50!) reasons for the Crucifixion. Saturated with Scripture and keen insight, proclaiming the sufficiency and exclusivity of Christ through and through, this is an excellent book to buy in bulk and share with believers and the lost.


4. Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus by DA Carson


Carson is one of the foremost New Testament scholars of our time. He is also a gifted expository preacher and author. Focusing on five different texts from the NT, Carson shows the Cross as the center of the whole Bible.


3. The Glory of Christ by John Owen


Puritans get a bad wrap for being difficult to read. Thankfully, Puritan Paperbacks has a series of easy-to-read, abridged classics. The Glory of Christ stands above them all. Written shortly before his death, Owen’s classic is a celebration of the excellencies of Jesus Christ. A beautiful and moving book.


2. The Cross of Christ by John Stott

cross of christ

John Stott’s masterpiece has been a favorite for over thirty years. This book is one of my go-to references for sermon preparation. A modern classic that should be on the bookshelf of every Christian; The Cross of Christ is theology at it’s absolute best.


1. Salvation Accomplished By the Son: The Work of Christ by Robert A. Peterson


The finest, most comprehensive study of the works of Jesus Christ that I have ever read. Don’t let the size of this one deter you. Peterson’s readable and expansive book is reformed scholarship as it was meant to be – nourishing to the heart as much as the mind. Reading Salvation Accomplished By the Son makes you want to read the Bible more. There is no higher compliment you can give a book.


So that’s my list of 5 great books on Christ and the Cross. I’d love to hear from you! What books would you recommend?

Sola Deo Gloria!

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