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The Cross of Christ Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, September 28, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


This is an overall fine, useful book . . . it is always a delight to learn of others who take the cross of Christ seriously and seek to tell others about it. (Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Fall 2007)

[Stott's] penetrating insight, charitable scholarship and pastoral warmth are guaranteed to feed both heart and mind. (Phil Gons, PastorBookshelf blog, June 5, 2007)

"John Stott rises grandly to the challenge of the greatest of all themes. All the qualities that we expect of him―biblical precision, thoughtfulness and thoroughness, order and method, moral alertness and the measured tread, balanced judgment and practical passion―are here in fullest evidence. This, more than any book he has written, is his masterpiece." (J. I. Packer, Regent College)

"Outside of the Bible itself, this may be the best book I've ever read on the cross of Christ. It is thorough, thoughtful and timely. As I read it, my mind was challenged, my heart was warmed, my faith was strengthened, and my focus was sharpened on the cross. Praise God for just giving us Jesus with nail prints in his hands and feet!" (Anne Graham Lotz, author of Just Give Me Jesus)

"I read everything John Stott writes because I know it will be biblical, well-reasoned and contextually applicable. The Cross of Christ is an intelligent, imaginative and timely exploration of the centrality of the cross, by a personal mentor I've come to appreciate for his scholar's mind and pastor's heart; he knows God deeply, understands the times clearly and engagingly explains truth in a relativistic age." (Dick Staub (dickstaub.com), president of The Center for Faith and Culture, broadcaster and author of Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters and Too Christian, Too Pagan)

"John Stott is loved and revered in our home. We have all of his writings, I believe, and in the honored center place in our bookshelf sits The Cross of Christ.

My wife and I consider The Cross of Christ one of the outstanding books of all times. We refer to it often. We have given copies away and recommended it widely. We take it out as we discuss the work of the Savior and in preparation for preaching and teaching. My own personally autographed copy is all marked up.

It is an outstanding exposition of scriptural truth. I believe we must saturate the churches across the world with the central truth of The Cross of Christ.

Once again as a call for the history of Christianity, a fresh generation of young followers of Jesus Christ need to understand the cross of Christ. Many are weak and some are even childish spiritually for not understanding the work of the cross.

Chapter six alone―"Self-Substitution of God"―is worth the whole of this rich, God-honoring, Christ-exhausting, devotional, biblical, ever-so-balanced, theologically sane and clear book." (Luis Palau, International Evangelist)

"In our world of war and terror, there is nothing more important to contemplate than the cross of Christ. May Stott's reflections give us the courage to fight, with all the love within us, the war of the slaughtered Lamb. The cross teaches us there is something worth dying for but nothing worth killing for, that we can conquer evil without mirroring it. So grab this book and get ready to live real good and get beat up real bad. It is the story of our faith." (Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution)

"I have no hesitation in saying that this is the most enriching theological book I have ever read. I read it slowly and devotionally over a period of several months. I found that it edified and challenged me, thrilled me with the glory of the cross, and equipped me to answer some of the questions non-Christians and skeptics ask about the cross. I am happy that a new thrust is being made to introduce this great book to a new generation of Christians." (Ajith Fernando, author, Bible teacher and national director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka)

"The passion of Paul's statement, 'I am determined to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified,' resonates on every page of this classic book on the centrality of the cross. What's more, Dr. Stott has validated every word with a life spent in servant leadership." (Michael Card, Bible teacher and musician)

"Biblical, clear and cogent are the words that came to mind on first reading this book. The passing of time has also made it indisputable that this book is a classic which is profound in a way that few evangelical books have been in recent years. It is compelling in its simplicity and comprehensive in its grasp of the way in which God conquers our sin, our rebellion, our ghastly evil through the person of Christ. Here is truth which is true, not just because it works for me, but because it is grounded in the very being and character of God, revealed and authenticated by him, worked out in the very fabric of our history, and therefore it is truth for all time." (David F. Wells, Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

"For those who want an evenhanded and robust defense of the penal substitutionary theory of the atonement, John Stott's The Cross of Christ is the benchmark. With a deft hand, Stott has given us a classic articulation of this influential, evangelical doctrine that is both vigorous and readable. Books like this stand the test of time." (Tony Jones, author of The Sacred Way)

"As relevant today as when it first appeared, The Cross of Christ is more than a classic. It restates in our own time the heart of the Christian message. Like John the Baptist, John Stott points us away from the distractions that occupy so much of our energies in order, announcing, 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" (Michael Horton, professor of theology and apologetics, Westminster Seminary California)

"Rarely does a volume of theology combine six cardinal virtues, but John Stott's The Cross of Christ does so magnificently. It says what must be said about the cross; it gently but firmly warns against what must not be said; it grounds its judgments in biblical texts, again and again; it hierarchizes its arguments so that the main thing is always the main thing; it is written with admirable clarity; and it is so cast as to elicit genuine worship and thankfulness from any thoughtful reader. There are not many 'must read' books―books that belong on every minister's shelf, and on the shelves of thoughtful laypersons who want a better grasp of what is central in Scripture―but this is one of them." (D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

From the Publisher

eatures & Benefits

* A masterpiece from one of the most respected Christian teachers

* Explores all the facets of the cross and its implication for our lives

* A classic study on the heart of the Christian faith

* Examines Scripture, tradition and modern experience with regard to the cross

* Biblically precise, thoughtful, thorough and filled with practical passion

* 1987 Eternity Book of the Year

* Winner of a 1988 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Award

* Now with a study guide and a new foreword by Alister McGrath


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; 20 Anv edition (September 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083083320X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830833207
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ," - Galatians 6:14 NASB

The name John Stott is well recognized among Bible students today, and for good reason. He has long been recognized for his gifted teaching, penetrating insight and pastoral warmth. His writings take the profound teachings of Christianity; shine much needed light on them, and in the same fluid motion, they plug the teachings into the lives of their readers. This book is no exception. The Cross of Christ is considered to be Stott's greatest work by more than a few people and I myself would place it in the top five books I've ever read. It's that good.

The central theme of this book is to explain why and how the finished work of Christ on the cross is central to the Christian faith. It deals more with how salvation was provided for on the cross and not so much how it becomes effective for salvation in the life of a person. Stott begins by considering some preliminary issues such as the centrality of the cross in our faith. Stott says of Christ, "What dominated his mind was not the living but the giving of His life"(32). Stott rightly suggests that the cause of Christ's death was both the wickedness of men and the plan of God. He was turned over to the priests out of Judas' greed, turned over to Pilate out of the priest's envy, and handed over to the soldiers out of Pilate's cowardice, and the soldiers crucified Him. However, the blame for Christ's death cannot be placed solely on these individuals because He was not only suffering for their sins, but ours too. All this was according to the plan of God also. His love desired our salvation, and the only righteous way to do such a thing was to place our sins on the Savior and to have Him pay our penalty.
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Format: Hardcover
If you ever want to find out what is at the very heart of the Christian faith Stott argues that the death of Jesus is crucial. Although a serious read which convincingly refutes many of the wrong and inadequate views of the Cross, Stott leaves us with an understanding of the event that is coherrent, powerful and ultimately thrilling. As well as providing understanding, the book explores what it truly means to live 'under the shadow' of the Cross, demonstrating that the very best theology is extremely practical - indeed, life-changing.
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Format: Hardcover
With a writing style that appealed to this former skeptic Stott dispeled clouds of confusion surrounding concepts like "salvation" and "redemption". He explained the reality that was behind the Christian jargon and removed false intellectual barriers to understanding the need for the cruxified and risen Christ. One of the 2 or 3 most life-changing books I have ever read.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is broken up into four main part: "Approaching the Cross," "The Heart of the Cross," "The Achievement of the Cross," and "Living under the Cross." These four sections show why and how Christ's cross is central to the Christian faith.

Stott begins the first section by showing prominence of the cross throughout Christian history. He shows that the early church used it as a sign and symbol, and the apostles made it central in their preaching. These things became so because the cross was the passion of Christ. Stott said, "What dominated his mind was not the living but the giving of His life"(32). He also address the enemies of the cross and shows that despite men's hatred of the cross it still remains the center focus of Christianity. Next, Stott tackled the question "Why did Christ die?". The answer he provides is that it was both the wickedness of men and the plan of God. He said, "he did not die; he was killed. . . . He was not killed; he died, giving himself up voluntarily to do his Father's will" (61-2). He looks at the last twenty-four hours of Jesus' life and shows that his mission was the cross.

In the second section he shows the need for forgiveness. This involves satisfying God's holiness and justness. The problem is, in Stott's words, "How can he save us and satisfy himself simultaneously? We reply to this point that, in order to satisfy himself, He sacrificed - indeed substituted - himself for us" (132). Stott declares, "...neither Christ alone as man not the Father alone as God could be our substitute. Only God in Christ, God the Father's own and only Son made man, could take our place" (160). Through this substitution men can receive right standing before God.

The third section focuses on what Christ's cross did.
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Format: Hardcover
From Satanists to pagans to the non-believing world at large, the cross of Christ is the most despised symbol in probably all creation. What it stands for brings out the snidest comments I have ever heard. And no wonder! Even Paul said that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who perish. Stott does a marvelous job tracking the centrality of the cross and just what it means for the faithful Christian. This is not a skimming kind of book that many non-Christians whose diet consists of 100% fiction will appreciate. It will cause you to think, but as an earlier reviewer hinted, it's the kind of book more people in our churches desperately need to read. If you want milk, as so many Christian bookstores offer, then you will live a superficial Christian life. If you want meat that will help you dig deeper into this relationship you have with God, then I suggest picking up The Cross of Christ and making sure your highlighter is in new condition...you will need it!
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