Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"In My Place Condemned He Stood"

My favorite biblical doctrine and the one I cherish the most is the atonement of Jesus Christ.  If I ever return to school (yikes) this is the subject that I hope to study in depth.

Because of this, I enjoy reading about the atonement more than any other subject.  The latest book that I've completed on this subject is In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement.  This relatively short text (about 150 pages) is composed of a series of essays by J. I. Packer and Mark Dever.  I've enjoyed reading both of these men in the past so I assumed this book would be a good investment of time and energy.

Several positives stand out for this book.  First, the subject is at the heart of Christianity so the material itself is automatically compelling.  Second, both of the authors are great scholars.  Third, they both understand that the atoning work of Christ was a definite atonement as opposed to a potential atonement.

The only negative for me personally is that I struggle a bit with J. I. Packer's writing style.  In a somewhat ironic twist, in this book Packer describes John Owen's writings as difficult to read.  And I thought Packer was difficult!

The last section of this book by itself, which is not even one of the essays, is reason enough to purchase it.  Ligon Duncan has compiled an excellent annotated bibliography (25 pages) on the subject of the atonement.  This will come in very handy for later intensive study of this subject.

This book is a good read.  If you purchase it, I suggest reading it along with a few other books that may be a bit easier. 


Richard said...

I just finished reading this book today, actually.

It makes me want to tackle some of Owen's works.

Eric said...


Owen is absolutely brilliant. I encourage you to read him. However, be sure to be patient and read other things at the same time. Owen takes a while.