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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2010
It seems that all it takes to receive a book offer nowadays is to have a successful blog (I'm still waiting for my offer!). Those popular bloggers that write often begin to develop their writing ability and develop an audience and it is no wonder that publishing companies notice them. As I am a frequent reader of Adrian Warnock's blog I can attest to Warnock's wonderful ability to communicate and to communicate important theological truths to those who might not have a seminary education. For those of us with a seminary education, we are put in our place on how to communicate the unsearchable riches of Christ to those around us! But I digress...

Warnock has authored a fascinating new book on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But not just the resurrection, but on the importance of the resurrection. The book deals with how the resurrection of Christ affects absolutely everything. There have been other books written on the historicity of the resurrection, the theological importance of the resurrection, and other concepts around the resurrection but Warnock has helped those who are simply striving to live the Christian life in the pew to understand how the resurrection affects everything. And he does this admirably. As the Western Church has in some areas denied the resurrection and the rest have often denied the power of the resurrection, it is so important to be reminded of the what and why of the resurrection of Christ today in our churches.

Warnock begins his volume with the standard fare of treating the historicity, the understanding of resurrection in the time of the Old Testament and New Testament, and some of the initial theological implications of the resurrection. But Warnock's book begins to really resonate when he begins dealing with the neglect of the resurrection in the church. "To only think of Jesus as a long-haired, gentle man in a robe and wearing sandals has devastating effects on the church.... The world seems blind to the Bible's description of the resurrected Jesus, full of power and authority" (p. 68). It is true the resurrection has never left the church but we may not always give full credence to it and to its effects in the life of the Christian and the church.

He continues to provide an overview of the importance of the resurrection and glimpses of the resurrection in the Bible. Moving on though Warnock gives to me as the most important section of the book, the second half beginning with chapter 8 and "What Did the Resurrection Ever Do For Us?" In this fascinating chapter Warnock outlines the importance of the resurrection in our lives. It is not simple theological abstract truth but is absolutely crucial for the Christian and the church. Surveying the preaching in the Book of Acts Warnock outlines a number of attendant results of the resurrection (p. 114):

* The sending of the Spirit (Acts 2:33)
* Physical healings (Acts 3:15-16)
* The conversion of sinners (Acts 3:26)
* Salvation by union with Jesus (Acts 4:11-12)
* Jesus' role as the leader of his church (Acts 5:30-31; 9)
* Forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:30-31)
* Comfort for the dying (Acts 7)
* The commissioning of gospel messengers (Acts 9; 10:42)
* Freedom from the penalty and power of sin (Acts 13:37-39)
* Assurance that the gospel is true (Acts 17:31)
* Our own resurrection (Acts 17:31)
* Jesus' future judgment of this world (Acts 17:31)

It is amazing. The resurrection does not just promise us eternal life, but is the basis for all of the above realities in the life of the church and the Christian and this simply from the book of Acts!

Warnock moves on to treat other theological realities in the life of the Christian and the church that have results from the resurrection that we don't always make connections: justification, sanctification, prayer, revival, glorification and other important areas in our Christian lives. Do we, for instance, believe in the resurrection as only once happened and never again, or do we believe that the Lord revives dead hearts to life? Do we pray to that end just as those in church history did for revival? "Where are the miracles? Where are the salvations? Where are the damatic acts? Where is God? The answer is, he is still here, he is still in the business of bringing life where there is death, and he still is the One who answers by fire. As churches we can ask him for the fire of revival... (p. 179)." Where indeed? The resurrection not only is the promise of our eternal life but is the promise of God that He is still in the business of resurrection!

This book is one of the most important, in my humble opinion, ever written on the topic of the resurrection. It is not that Warnock has necessarily said anything that has not been said before in different places and in different ways. Instead, the value in the book is that Warnock has made the sort of hum-drum reality of the resurrection come to life for the church and the Christian! The resurrection of Christ, far more than just some historical event, has ongoing ramifications in the our lives today! The resurrection has great implications for our lives and we fully grasp the nature of and importance of the resurrection of Christ it will profoundly change our lives. That is where this book is so important. It makes so much of the resurrection! And rightly, we should make much of it. Hopefully this book will drive more preachers and teachers to talk about the importance of the resurrection. I heartily recommend Warnock's book to this end. May the resurrection again be a topic of constant address in the church and may we live like a community brought from death to life in our own resurrection!

For more information on this book see the website that goes along with this book, [...].
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2010
The Christian community knows Adrian Warnock as an avid Evangelical Christian blogger. With the release of Raised with Christ, Warnock will also be known as an accomplished theologian who understands how to relate truth to life. What Warnock shares in his Conclusion, aptly summarizes the power and point of his entire book.

"Christians have the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead living inside them. One day that power will complete the work of saving us, but in the meantime the normal Christian life can be one in which we are very aware of the change that the resurrection brings. We are citizens of the age to come, living in a world that is dead to God. But we are not dead to him. We live to him. May God help us live in the light of that fact more each day. One day we will all see that, thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus, everything really has been changed. The whole creation will have been renewed, and we will be like him."

In Christ

Warnock's consistent message proclaims that because Christians are in Christ, Christ's resurrection implies our resurrection. Raised with Christ unpacks the massive implications of this spiritual reality. His commensurate premise states that while the early Church and believers throughout Church history emphasized Christ's death and resurrection, Christians today tend to highlight Christ's death for our sin, while minimizing the importance of, or being ignorant about, the implications of Christ's resurrection.

Of course, unless the tomb truly was empty, our claims of resurrection power today are equally empty. Thus, Warnock begins by exploring the biblical evidence for Christ's resurrection. After this opening section, Raised with Christ addresses "two essential questions that will occupy us throughout the rest of the book: Can we believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ? And, what does it mean to live in light of the implications of that event?"

In laymen's terms, Warnock addresses every common and uncommon argument against the resurrection of Christ. He concludes this impressive section with N. T. Wright's conviction that, "The only possible reason why early Christianity began and took the shape that it did is that the tomb really was empty and that people really did meet Jesus, alive again."

Sadly, those prone to disbelief will likely be left unconvinced by these two foundational chapters, no matter how well-written and researched. Nonetheless, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, Warnock builds the rest of Raised with Christ on this platform of biblical truth, reliable historical evidence, and logical rational suppositions.

Resurrection Accepted and Applied or Neglected and Ignored

Perhaps equally sad is the realization that motivated Warnock's writing of this book. Even among those who accept the reality of Christ's resurrection, our daily lives all-too-infrequently evidence a depth acceptance and application of that earth-shaking, heaven-invading actuality.

Warnock encapsulates his message beautifully and powerfully when he states:

"I am not con¬cerned that there is too much emphasis on the cross. I am, however, anxious that as we "survey the wondrous cross" we also study the resur¬rection. We must remember that the cross is just as empty as the tomb, and Christ is now glorified, having completed his work. The truth is, we cannot be truly cross-centered without also being empty-grave-centered! Jesus was not just our prophet and priest--he is our reigning King."

If you forget everything else, remember this about Raised with Christ. We must be empty-grave-centered!

After a brief summation of why we tend to neglect the resurrection, Warnock returns his readers to the first-century Church to expose their resurrection-centric theology and lives. Additionally, he traces the theme of resurrection throughout the Old Testament. Clearly, the Bible is resurrection-centric.

What Did the Resurrection Ever Do for Us?

To motivate believers today to become resurrection-centric, the rest of Raised with Christ emphasizes the with Christ aspect of the resurrection. Bravely, Warnock introduces this essential topic with an illustration from Monty Python's Flying Circus (you'll just have to buy and read Raised with Christ). He derives from this the principle that we can assume things without ever realizing their full impact on our lives.

So, for the next 150 pages, Warnock delineates the impact of Christ's resurrection on our lives by answering the fundamental question, "What did the resurrection every do for us?" His answers comprehensively apply resurrection truth to our complete salvation. Unlike some Evangelicals who seemingly stop at justification (as vital as this spiritual truth is), Warnock addresses justification, reconciliation, regeneration, and redemption. What has the resurrection ever done for us? It has given us new pardon, peace, personhood, and power.

It is impossible in a review to capture all the theological truth packed in these 150 pages. Plus, it is important to realize that with each theological truth, Warnock offers not only personal application, but realistic biblical principles for practically applying the resurrection to our daily lives, relationships, and ministries.

One "motif" or running theme Warnock conveys throughout Raised with Christ is "revival." Christ's resurrection results in a revived new creation and it ought to result in revived prayer, revived relationships to one another and to Christ, revived application of the Word, revived unity in the Body of Christ, revived assurance of eternal salvation, revived filling of the Spirit, revived fulfillment of our mission, and much more.

The Resurrection of All Things

The Bible tell us that, "He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything" (Acts 3:21). Christ's resurrection not only has individual and corporate implications; it has universal repercussions. Powerfully, Warnock tells the tale of those everlasting ramifications. Then, as he consistently does, he addresses the "So what?" question. How do we live today in light of our eternal resurrection living? In his own words:

"God himself is living inside us! We experience the power and pres¬ence of a Jesus who is living, active, and doing things today. In every cir¬cumstance of our life the resurrection can make the difference, bringing hope when things are hard and joyful deliverances when the power of the age to come breaks through. The kingdom really is now and not yet!"

Adrian Warnock's Raised with Christ presents theological truth in a first-rate communication style. His compelling message is straightforward and profoundly life-changing. Jesus is alive. His resurrection changes everything for everyone.

Reviewed By: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., LCPC, Author of Soul Physicians, Spiritual Friends, Beyond the Suffering, Sacred Friendships, and God's Healing for Life's Losses.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2010
This review originally appeared on [...] on 3/4/10.

Special thanks to Connie of Crossway for a review copy of this book.

Whenever I hear about a book that deals with resurrection in some form, I get excited. As I've been teaching the Bible in a local church context for a few years, I've encountered few people with much knowledge regarding the Bible's teaching on resurrection. Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead, but that's about it. When I ask what the implications are of Christ's resurrection, I'm answered with confused looks and blank stares. Every now and then someone will refer to Romans 6:4, "...raised to walk in newness of life," in a discussion. Almost no one has mentioned the resurrection of the body from 1 Corinthians 15. Ephesians 1:18-19? Silence. You get the idea.

So naturally I'd gravitate toward a book like Adrian Warnock's Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything. Warnock, himself a local church preacher and teacher, has noticed a dearth of resurrection related sermons and books. He notes that there has been such a strong focus on the cross, which is certainly central, that we might forget just how crucial the resurrection is to Christian faith and life. Warnock helps us correct this neglect with this book.

In 260 pages, Warnock tries to cover a lot of ground. He delves a little into apologetics for the empty tomb, though not enough to convince an unbeliever (nor do I think he was trying to). His discussion on the central role of Jesus' resurrection in the book of Acts was extremely helpful. I'm not sure how anyone could not reference the resurrection in their evangelism after reading this chapter! I'd love to see Warnock take advantage of the related website (see below) and post more thoughts on the importance of the resurrection to the book of Acts and our evangelism.

But have you ever been a little disappointed in a book, only you have to admit that you aren't being entirely fair? That's my relationship with Warnock's book. I had an idea of what I thought the book would be when I started reading, only to find out that Warnock had a different idea. Is it fair for me to critique a book based on how I would have written it? Probably not. But let me explain where I'm coming from.

What I had anticipated was a series of sustained expositions and focused reflections on relevant biblical passages. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of Scripture references included; they are sprinkled all throughout the book. But I didn't want to be sprinkled; I wanted to be immersed (baptist humor, sorry).

Even in his helpful discussion on the resurrection of believers, I felt like Warnock missed some possibilities to demonstrate how the biblical writers applied this doctrine. For instance, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 contains a reference to God raising our bodies just like he raised Jesus' (v14). Warnock cites this verse once, and that at the heading of a chapter. But Paul doesn't mention this purely to teach about the resurrection of the believers (a topic he picks up in 1 Corinthians 15), he makes an important connection to how we should honor God with our bodies now. If there were less prooftexting and more exposition, I felt like passages like this wouldn't slip through the cracks. Adrian doesn't have to try to convince me that the resurrection "changes everything"- Paul does it for him!

I have a couple other smaller critiques. First, and this is more for the editors than Warnock himself, but when did it become acceptable not to cite authors of articles contained in books? For example, a footnote will cite the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, with the editors' names, but not the actual article and writer quoted. This happens multiple times. I guess I'm just sensitive to it because this practice would have been ripped apart by my seminary professors.

Second, there were a few times when I was confused about why Warnock chose to include something. There were a couple chapters on revivial, which included a number of good thoughts. In fact, if Warnock is looking for a topic for a second book, he'd probably do well with that one. But I kept wondering, what does this have to do with the resurrection? Spending multiple pages on Elijah as an example of reviving prayer is all well and good, but I'm not sure how we got from "Jesus is Risen" to "Pray like Elijah!"

Along those same lines, Warnock devoted a couple pages to the idea that the theophanies of the Old Testament (Ezekiel 10, Isaiah 6, etc) were actually visions of Jesus. Besides being a debatable interpretation, I kept wondering, what does this have to do with the resurrection? And when this interpretation forces Warnock to conclude that Jesus is "both the Son of Man and the Ancient of Days" (152, italics original), I have to think he's pushing it too much. After all, how is this different from saying "the Son is the Father," a theological position I doubt Warnock wants to convey?

I realize that these points will make it appear that I didn't like the book. In fact, I gained a lot from it. Like Warnock, I care deeply about this subject and burn to make known the glory of Christ's resurrection (hence a review over my self-imposed world limit). I'm so grateful to have a book on this subject that I can turn to and learn from. My guess is that this book will repay further readings.

There were a couple places where Warnock was simply outstanding. I mentioned his discussion on Acts, but perhaps the most powerful place for me was in his discussion of experiencing the risen Savior. As I read through quotes from the likes of Edwards and Spurgeon, I literally had to stop reading multiple times because I was so thoroughly convicted by my own apathy. Keep in mind, this almost never happens with me. If I truly believe that the same power that God used to raise Christ from the dead exists in me, I would not be so complacent. Oh Lord, forgive me!

So as you read my critique of the book, keep in mind that I came into it with an idea of how the book would be written. That alone can color how one reads a book, largely unfairly. I think this book would be a wonderful resource for Christians and small groups, and it can even be complemented with Warnock's website: [...]. Most importantly, this book will inspire readers to search the Bible more deeply to understand what the resurrection means for us, and how it truly does change everything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2010
Would you like to know more about the resurrection of Jesus and the implications that this glorious event has on your life? If so, then this book if for you!

Adrian Warnock, a popular blogger and preacher, has put together a powerful book that enlightens readers on the ramifications of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the resurrection of Jesus has been merely assumed by a lot Christians today, and Adrian does a great job of not only writing on the resurrection, but also writing on the implications that it has on people today. Filled with quotes, scriptures, and analogies, Adrian does an excellent job of communicating with his audience.

Personally, I found this book to be extremely beneficial as I learned on the enormous ramifications of Jesus' glorious resurrection. Not only did the book help me in my understanding of the resurrection, but it also increased my faith in Jesus all the more. Because of the book, I know the risen Jesus more.

Thus, whether you are a Christian, pastor, or an atheist seeking the truth, this book is a must read and one that will bless you in many ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2010
Many of us focus on the crucifixion of Jesus around this time of year. We don't focus as much on His resurrection. In `Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything,' author Adrian Warnock [...] takes at look at why Jesus' resurrection is of equal importance to his crucifixion.

Here is the `blurb' from the back cover of the book:

"Christianity is in its very essence a RESURRECTION RELIGION," writes John Stott. "The concept of resurrection lies at its heart. If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed." In Raised with Christ, Adrian Warnock shows just how true this is.

Here is the biography of Adrian:

Adrian Warnock has been a regular preacher at Jubilee Church in London for more than ten years and serves on the church's leadership team. A medical doctor by trade, Warnock runs a popular Christian blog at [...]

In the Preface, Dr. Warnock [...] makes this case for the importance of the resurrection:

When considering if Christianity is true, it all boils down to whether Jesus rose from the dead. The lives of Christians today demonstrate that the resurrection is still changing people. It changes fear into love, despair into joy. The resurrection changes people from being spiritually dead to being alive to God. It changes guilty condemnation into a celebration of forgiveness and freedom... It can change our sinful hearts so they want to follow the Lord Jesus, and the power of the resurrection is relentlessly killing sin in every true Christian. Because we neglect to emphasize this truth, many Christians have a meager expectation of the extent to which we can today experience resurrection life and victory over sin. The resurrection is far from being something we only benefit from in the future! (p. 13)

That is a wonderful truth, is it not?!

Dr. Warnock posits some hypotheses for why he thinks the resurrection might be neglected (pp. 61-66):

1. The Resurrection Could be Eclipsed by the Prominence of the Cross.
2. The Resurrection has Missed out on the Beneficial Effects of Controversy and Heresy
3. Our Neglect of the Resurrection Could Be Part of a Satanic Strategy
4. The Bible Seems to Rarely Mention Resurrection

I loved his perspective on the way we should view Jesus now:

The degree to which we neglect the resurrection is also the degree to which we neglect to think about Jesus as he really is, now. Jesus is enthroned in heaven and is reigning inside every believer. His powers are limitless, and he is at liberty to do as he wishes. While on earth he did not fully reveal his glory and divine power. To only think of Jesus as a long-haired, gentle man in a robe and wearing sandals has devastating effects on the church.... The world seems blind to the Bible's description of the resurrected Jesus, full of power and authority. This description is highly offensive to the world. But to worship Jesus as the artists have portrayed him, instead of the Son of Man in all his glory, is nothing short of idolatry. (p. 68)

Dr. Warnock provides an encouraging list of what the resurrection of Jesus has made possible for us - all from the book of Acts (p. 114):

* The sending of the Spirit (Acts 2:33)
* Physical healings (Acts 3:15-16)
* The conversion of sinners (Acts 3:26)
* Salvation by union with Jesus (Acts 4:11-12)
* Jesus' role as the leader of his church (Acts 5:30-31; 9)
* Forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:30-31)
* Comfort for the dying (Acts 7)
* The commissioning of gospel messengers (Acts 9; 10:42)
* Freedom from the penalty and power of sin (Acts 13:37-39)
* Assurance that the gospel is true (Acts 17:31)
* Our own resurrection (Acts 17:31)
* Jesus' future judgment of this world (Acts 17:31)

Adrian points out that we have the opportunity to have a personal relationship with the risen and living Christ. He concludes a chapter focusing on that subject this way:

...we should ask ourselves, do I really love Jesus? Am I awre of his love for me in such a way that I have a strong desire to be holy? Am I devoted to Jesus? Do I glory in him and value him in such a way that when someone looks at me they could say, "His life is all about Jesus"? This doesn't only mean that we turn up at church on Sunday morning, although it does include that. It's not simply about listening to worship songs in our car or our own personal time with God. Rather, it means that every moment of every day we actively seek opportunities to give God glory. (p. 206)

With regard to the Holy Spirit, Dr. Warnock thinks we would do well to want all of His benefits:

If we are more convinced that we need a more conscious awareness of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives and that we long to go on receiving the Spirit and being refreshed by him, what should we do? The answer is that we should pray and ask God to pour out the Spirit on us. As Jesus said, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:13) (p. 224)

Dr. Warnock concluded his book this way:

Christians have the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead living inside them. One day that power will complete the work of saving us, but in the meantime the normal Christian life can be one in which we are very aware of the change that the resurrection brings. We are citizens of the age to come, living in a world that is dead to God. But we are not dead to him. We live to him. May God help us to live in the light of that fact more each day. One day we will all see that, thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus, everything really has been changed. The whole creation will have been renewed, and we will be like him. (p. 262)

I was so blessed by this book! In addition to Dr. Warnock's own insights, he also provided many affirming Scriptures, as well as teachings by some of the greats over time - F.F. Bruce, Don Carson, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, C.S. Lewis, J.I. Packer and Dr. Charles Spurgeon, among many others. Many Christians are not living with the power that the Holy Spirit, which was sent to believers after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and this book provides all of the information - and all of the incentive to pursue it - that we need to strengthen our walk with the Lord, and to glorify Him more fully in our daily lives.

This book was provided by Crossway Books [...] for review purposes.

Reviewed by Andrea Schultz - Ponderings by Andrea - [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2010
Adrian Warnock, a well-known Christian blogger, brings his meticulous training and readable style to one of the most important subjects of Christian theology: the Resurrection of Christ. It is a sad, but well-known fact, that very few books have been written on this subject, and that many of them are quite academic in their nature. As Warnock theorizes, this may be because few Christians challenge the reality of the Resurrection. Those who do, as the Apostle Paul says, make Christianity into a dull, meaningless set of beliefs which have no power in this world or the next. Jesus becomes just another great teacher who got framed for a crime He did not commit, was executed and any kind of appearances He is supposed to have made would be an empty delusion.

Beginning with the standard, but all-too infrequently discussed apologetics for the reality of both the Resurrection and the true death of Christ, Warnock seeks to first answer the skeptics. Although I am seminary educated, this sort of specific apologetic is lacking in my own training. Often it is not until you take some very extensive advanced courses in Apologetics that this truth is defended by evidence. As I see it, this is probably because of our modern Evangelical outlook: that if the Bible says it, not only must a proposition be true, but it is utter foolishness to ask for evidence outside of Scripture. Although I agree that Scripture is infallible, we must still be able to give evidences for some issues so fundamental as the Resurrection when such evidence is available. Warnock, aided by his training as a medical doctor, shows us careful evidence for both the actual death and the resurrection of Christ. If only more people would do that!

Having established the truth of the Resurrection, Warnock shows its theological significance, both in Scripture and out, for the past, present, and future. First of all, the Resurrection shows that the sacrifice Jesus offered for us on the cross was perfect and acceptable to the Father, or Jesus would have stayed dead. Since this sacrifice was perfect, we now can have peace with God, adoption as sons, and union with Christ: in other words, our entire relationship with God rests on this one event. When Christ rose from the grave, He fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecy and vindicated the faith of the saints of old as well.

As if the fruit of the Resurrection discussed already isn't enough, Warnock shows us how much of our present reality is based on the power of the Resurrection. Everything in the ancient Church and today depend on it, from the sending of the Spirit into all believers, to the miraculous coming of the Kingdom. Of course, as Warnock points out, this coming of the Kingdom is both future and also in the present. Both the resurrection of the dead and the present-day healing of the sick would fit in this category, as would really any answered prayers of us Children to our Father. Whatever God does, whether great or small, in the contemporary Church is also done in the power of Christ's resurrection. Revivals too are the breaking through of Christ's resurrection power into society, changing people to be more like Him and changing society with them. In short, the resurrection means our hope, our fortress and deliverance, both from sin and the powers of this world. Because of the Resurrection we are able to draw near to God as children to a Father, and know that we will be comforted in His love, and someday brought safely home to be with Him.

In all, this is an excellent book, and arguably the best one I have read in a long time. Many theological books of the day are either dry as textbooks or are watered down to suit a popular audience. Although Warnock wrote for a more popular audience, it is nonetheless NOT watered down. Rather, it is involved enough to challenge the intellectual, yet accessible enough that anyone with a college education should be able to read it with ease. This is one of the hardest balances to strike as a writer, and Warnock does this really well. Also, the subject matter is of cardinal importance. The Resurrection has been ignored for all too long, and this has GOT to change in our world of theological confusion and philosophical skepticism. Otherwise, the subject is at risk of falling by the wayside and losing its power in the contemporary church, if not ontologically at least experientially. Because this subject is not covered nearly enough, I think this book is a must in the libraries of pastors, teachers, elders, and even everyday Christians who want to learn to defend the faith. Perhaps it should be used in small groups and Sunday schools, as we all learn more and more to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2010
It is always a joy to meet someone who is a kindred spirit in an area of importance, and so it has been a pleasure getting to know Adrian Warnock over the past year or so. Adrian is on the leadership team of Jubilee Church (New Frontiers) in Enfield and is one of the UK's leading evangelical bloggers. Each of us, it transpires, had independently come to feel burdened that the evangelical world had been somewhat neglecting the resurrection. And each of us, again independently, was in the process of putting pen to paper. We quickly became acquainted with each other's work - emailing drafts back and forth. In the process it emerged that we were writing quite different, though complementary, books. If mine is the starter, his is the main!

Raised with Christ is what the publishers like to call a `mid-level' book: neither introductory nor full-blown academic. If you are familiar with Adrian's blog his writing style in RWC will be of no surprise to you - accessible and thought-provoking. Adrian writes not as the expert but fellow-traveller. This is not a book that requires a dictionary in one hand and flask of coffee in the other. Yet it doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the importance of the resurrection.

In the opening sections Adrian surveys some of the factors that might account for our neglect of the resurrection in recent years, takes us through the events surrounding it and provides something of a historical apologetic for belief in the resurrection today. All this is helpful and of interest, but the real value of the book is in the chapters that follow, and which unpack the book's subtitle - Why the resurrection changes everything. These cover implications of the resurrection for Christian living, revival, prayer, Bible-reading, mission and the physical world.

But the stand-out chapter is `Raised for our Justification'. Warnock's purpose is clear: to steer us from the danger of making the resurrection `a mere auxiliary to the cross. And nor is this concern novel. Throughout the chapter (and throughout the book) Adrian peppers his arguments with quotations from some of the great ones - Calvin, Spurgeon, Edwards, Lloyd-Jones. It is in this wider historical context, and in comparison to some of these thinkers, that we can see just how much we have let the resurrection slip in our thinking and preaching. As I've said elsewhere, if your view of what Jesus accomplished on the cross doesn't require him to have been raised again then you are not preaching the apostolic message of the cross. And, it turns out, you're out of kilter with the greater part of church history.

The absence of much literature on this issue means that many will pounce on this book - and so they should. (I'm on my second reading already.) It is an excellent book on a much-neglected subject.

We Christians need to learn again to be Easter people, and Adrian has done us all a great service in producing this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2010
"Christianity hinges not only on the empty cross but also on an empty tomb," writes Adrian Warnock in Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything (p. 29). Warnock, a medical doctor, preacher and long-time staple of the Christian blogosphere, seeks to remind readers that the gospel isn't just that Christ died, but He also rose again--and His resurrection changes everything.

For such an important doctrine, there are shockingly few books written about it. Warnock discovered this for himself when he was asked to preach on Easter Sunday at his church in 2007. His study revealed that of all the sermons recorded in Acts, only one doesn't overtly focus on the resurrection of Christ (Acts 7)--but "the risen Jesus opened heaven and appeared to Stephen was preaching" (p. 21). His study of Scripture led him to realize that he'd not been giving the resurrection the attention it deserved.

He, like many of us, had assumed the resurrection. Because it's not been at the center of a major controversy or heresy throughout the history of the church, so there's never been a "need" to flesh out the doctrine and underline its importance in the same way that it's been necessary to with the atonement, the Trinity and the nature of Christ.

But this should not be, according to Warnock.

"[W]ithout the resurrection we would still be in our sins. Without the resurrection we are lost and there is no hope! There is no salvation without a living Jesus. We need the resurrection to have its power-generating effect inside of us if we are to be born again. We really are 'saved by his life' (Romans 5:10)." [p.67]

As he builds his argument, Warnock takes us through a journey through history and the Scriptures seeking to answer the crucial question: Did the resurrection actually happen or is it a bit of mythologizing? And if so, does it matter?

"Any contrary theory needs to explain how a small group of Jews became passionately convinced of the truth of the resurrection and spread it rapidly across the Middle East and into Europe," challenges Warnock (p. 47). And the reality is that no alternate explanation can adequately explain it.

History supports the validity of the resurrection. Roman Administrator Pliny describes Christians (who we was persecuting due to their growing number) as worshipping Christ "'a god,' by people raised as Jews would only be possible if had risen from the dead" (p. 53). Justyn Martyr wrote to the Roman emperor c. AD 150 citing that the Christians' claims about Jesus could be verified in the official reports of Pontius Pilate--something that could have been easily disproven had it actually been false. Celsus' The True Word, written c. AD 175, "tried to discredit the resurrection as being witnessed by `a hysterical woman'" (p. 54). The examples are numerous and compelling.

It wasn't a later addition to Christianity as "there are no traces of early Christians who denied the resurrection" (p.45). The disciples didn't steal the body and lie about the resurrection. While people die for lies they genuinely believe to be true, it's ludicrous to suggest that anyone would endure horrible persecution, boiling in oil, beheading and crucifixion if they were knowingly deceiving people.

The authorities didn't steal the body; if they had, they would have produced the body at their earliest opportunity to refute the disciples' claim.

Jesus didn't have a near-death experience or faint on the cross, as some suggestion in a theory that lacks any degree of historical plausibility.

Mass hallucinations? Warnock, a psychiatrist, confirms that hallucinations tend to make one weak, rather than embolden. To suggest that hallucinations drove the disciples to boldly preach the gospel throughout the Roman Empire "is completely inconsistent with the results of hallucinations as described in any medical textbook" (p 51).

What it boils down to, as Warnock writes is that, "[t]he church did not create the resurrection stories; instead the resurrection stories created the church" (p.47).

This is critical for Christians to remember, as it's tempting to shuffle the resurrection off into a corner and ignore it, or suggest that if we learned that if Jesus didn't rise physically, but only spiritually, we wouldn't lose anything. But the fact is, if Christ didn't rise, we have lost everything.

"If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins," wrote the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:17. There is no hope for us outside of the resurrection of Christ. If He did not rise, then no one else is going to, and we should be pitied above all others. Hope for this world alone is no hope at all.

But the resurrection gives us everything.

It is the practical application of Christ's work of the cross.

Because Christ rose from death and ascended to the right hand of the Father, we have an advocate, a great High Priest who intercedes before the Father on our behalf. We can pray to Him and He hears us, and He speaks to us.

And He sent the Holy Spirit, who raised Him from the dead, to live inside us.

A dead man can't do these things.

But the God-man can, because Christ rose--and He's coming again. This is why we can have confidence in Christ. And that's what Adrian Warnock seeks to remind us of in this book.

Raised with Christ is an important book. That's not something I say that lightly. Warnock's passion for the resurrection of Jesus saturates this book. It's what makes the good news "good news." And to neglect it would be to our folly. Read this book and be inspired to see how the resurrection changes everything.

Highly Recommended

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by Crossway Books
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2010
I'm a pastor of a recently planted church in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. As with many other church planters down here in Latin America, I lack a formal theological education. My little Bible background was acquired through Sunday school in a classical Pentecostal church (a lot of zeal, with a lack of depth!). But, solely due to the grace of God, a deep hunger for the Word of God was always present in me. When confronted with God's call to preach (twice a week!), I started to realize how little I knew the gospel, and how little I knew my Savior and his work. One of my main concerns was my utterly lack of understanding of the implications of the resurrection. I simply did not know what to do with it, and much less how to preach about it! For the past 4 Easters I preached solely on the power and meaning of the cross, with the aid of such great works like R.C.Sproul's "The Truth of the Cross", J.Stott's "The Cross of Christ" and J.I.Packer's "Knowing God". For our fifth Easter I really wanted to explore the resurrection, so the publication of Adrian Warnock "Raised with Christ" was God's gift to me.

"Raised with Christ" is a thoughtful, readable, non-technical, comprehensive exploration of the biblical background, story, meaning, actual implications and practical applications of the miracle of the resurrection (I read it in a handful of week nights and air travel time going to and from the T4G-10 conference). The resurrection is not a "bonus track" of the gospel song, but actually the single movement that gives every part of the gospel symphony its actual meaning, the "hinge" that makes all of Christ's work revolves and function. "Jesus our Lord... was raised for our justification" (Romans 4:24-25) claims Paul, justifying first the work of our Christ, justifying second ourselves that are "in Him", and then raising us up in the power of the Holy Spirit, to live a new life according to the new covenant that now we are part of (Jeremiah 31:27-40). Raising our awareness of this fact is not only "a nice to have" theological mussing, but uttermost essential to understand "the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe" (Ephesians 1:18-19). Simply put, if you don't understand the resurrection, you don't understand the gospel.

One of Warnock's book welcomed feature is the link between the resurrection theology and its meaning for our personal and corporate revival. Since the resurrection has "connected us" with the power of the Holy Spirit (through the new birth, as exceptionally explained by John Piper's "Finally Alive"), we are supposed to live in a constant, utterly dependent relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, firing our zeal for prayer, worship, holy living, missions and evangelism in a world gone mad (with a church barely noticing!).

For me, this past Easter was profoundly affected by the reading of this great book. My preaching was forever changed in a more beefed-up, rounded-up, improved knowledge of the grace of God toward us in His gospel. I strongly suggest you (especially lay people and lay pastors like myself) to get a copy of this book because it will help you grapple the significance of this holy event that enabled God to save us completely, perpetually and finally.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2010
I found about this book and author through a follower on Twitter and I am so glad I did!

I am a Christian and have believed that Jesus Christ has raised from the dead and with this book, Raised with Christ, it only strengthens my faith in that fact. Adrain Warnock, in his clear writing, shows what the eternal implications of that fact are, not only while here in the present, but in eternity as well.

I am still not done reading the book yet on my Kindle, but I know that I am going to back to reread it once again.

Thank you Adrian for writing this book about His glorious Resurrection!
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