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Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter Paperback – January 6, 2009
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About the Author
Nancy Guthrie teaches the Bible at her church, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and at conferences worldwide. She and her husband, David, are the cohosts of the GriefShare video series used in more than 10,000 churches nationwide and also host Respite Retreats for couples who have experienced the death of a child. Guthrie is also the host of Help Me Teach the Bible, a podcast of the Gospel Coalition.
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?
TIMOTHY KELLER is founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. He is the best-selling author of The Prodigal God and The Reason for God.
JONATHAN EDWARDS (1703–1758) was a pastor, theologian, and missionary. He is generally considered the greatest American theologian. A prolific writer, Edwards is known for his many sermons, including "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", and his classic Treatise Concerning Religious Affections. Edwards was appointed president of the College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) shortly before his death.
Known as the "theologian's theologian," JOHN OWEN (1616–1683) was vice chancellor of Oxford University and served as advisor and chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Among the most learned and active of the Puritans in seventeenth-century Europe, he was an erudite and accomplished theologian both in doctrine and practical theology.
STEPHEN F. OLFORD is both founder of and senior lecturer at the Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching in Memphis, Tennessee. Formerly the minister of New York City's famed Calvary Baptist Church, he has authored numerous books and is a regular contributor to leading Christian periodicals on both sides of the Atlantic.
Skip Ryan is Senior Minister of Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas and has served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America. Skip is also an instructor for the Japanese Institute for Church Growth in Tokyo. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Westminster Theological Seminary.
Martin Luther (1483–1546) was professor of Bible at Wittenberg University, and many of his expositions came out of his classroom. Considered one of the most powerful discussions of justification by faith written by any of the Reformers, this commentary on Galatians has had a profound impact on many through the centuries.
The late Adrian Rogers was the pastor of the 27,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis. He served three times as President of the Southern Baptist Convention and wrote many books. He also reached many people through his television and radio ministry, “Love Worth Finding.”
Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College. Formerly, he served as senior minister of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written or edited more than 40 books, including the popular title Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and has lectured and preached at universities and seminaries worldwide.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), minister of Westminster Chapel in London for 30 years, was one of the foremost preachers of his day. His many books have brought profound spiritual encouragement to millions around the world.
Ligon Duncan (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the chancellor & CEO and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for seventeen years. He is a cofounder of Together for the Gospel, a senior fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and was the president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004-2012. Duncan has edited, written, or contributed to numerous books. Ligon and his wife, Anne, have two children and live in Jackson, Mississippi.
C. J. Mahaney is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. He has written, edited and contributed to numerous books, including Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology; Don't Waste Your Sports; and Sex, Romance and the Glory of God. C. J. and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of three married daughters and one son, and the happy grandparents to twelve grandchildren.
CHARLES H. SPURGEON (1834–1892) was an English Baptist pastor at New Park Street Chapel, London (which later became the Metropolitan Tabernacle), for thirty-eight years. As the nineteenth century's most prolific preacher and writer, his ministry legacy continues today.
J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.
JOHN CALVIN (1509–1564) was perhaps the preeminent theologian of the Reformation. Known best for his Institutes of the Christian Religion, he also wrote landmark expositions on most of the books in the Bible.
Alistair Begg serves as the senior pastor of Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1975 and served eight years in Scotland at both Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church. He has written several books and is heard daily on the radio program Truth For Life. He and his wife, Susan, have three grown children.
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, where he has served since 1969. He is known around the world for his verse-by-verse expository preaching and his pulpit ministry via his daily radio program, Grace to You. He has also written or edited nearly four hundred books and study guides. MacArthur serves as the president of the Master’s College and Seminary. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four grown children.
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. is the pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including the Preaching the Word commentary on Isaiah, as well as a contributor to the ESV Study Bible. He and his wife, Jani, have four children.
Recognized internationally for his work in Christianity and culture, Francis A. Schaeffer authored more than twenty books, which have been translated into a score of languages and sold millions worldwide. He and his wife, Edith, founded L'Abri Fellowship international study and discipleship centers. Schaeffer passed away in 1984, but his influence and legacy continue worldwide.
J. C. RYLE (1816–1900) was a prominent writer, preacher, and Anglican clergyman in nineteenth-century Britain. He is the author of the classic Expository Thoughts on the Gospels and retired as the bishop of Liverpool.
JAMES MONTGOMERY BOICE was senior minister of the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia for thirty years and a leading spokesman for the Reformed faith until his death in June 2000.
R. C. Sproul (Drs, Free University of Amsterdam) serves as senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, and is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries. He has taught at numerous colleges and seminaries, has written over seventy books, and is featured daily on Renewing Your Mind, an international radio broadcast.
R. Kent Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, and visiting professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hughes is also a founder of the Charles Simeon Trust, which conducts expository preaching conferences throughout North America and worldwide. He serves as the series editor for the Preaching the Word commentary series and is the author or coauthor of many books. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, and have four children and an ever-increasing number of grandchildren.
Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, which ministers to thousands of disabled people and their families through programs of practical encouragement and spiritual help. She is also an artist and the author of numerous best-selling books such as Joni; Heaven: Your Real Home; and When God Weeps.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of my favorites were Martin Luther, C.J. Mahaney, Tim Keller, Adrian Rogers and Augustine. Martin Luther is first up in the book, and in my opinion, it didn't get any better than Luther. I really enjoyed his chapter and found myself continually reading because of his start of the understanding of the "True Contemplation of the Cross." Here is an excerpt from Luther's chapter:
Take this to heart and doubt not that you are the one who killed Christ. Your sins certainly did, and when you see the nails driven through his hands, be sure that you are pounding, and when the thorns pierce his brow, know that they are your evil thoughts. Consider that if one thorn pierced Christ you deserve one hundred thousand.
The whole value of the meditation of the suffering of Christ lies in this, that man should come to the knowledge of himself and sink and tremble. If you are so hardened that you do not tremble, then you have reason to tremble. Pray to God that he may soften your heart and make fruitful your meditation upon the suffering of Christ, for we ourselves are incapable of proper reflection unless God instills it.
But if one does meditate rightly on the suffering of Christ for a day, an hour, or even a quarter of an hour, this we may confidently say is better than a whole year of fasting, days of psalm singing, yes, than even one hundred masses, because this reflection changes the whole man and makes him new...
Martin Luther, p. 12 (taken from Martin Luther's Easter Book)
Although there were some that stood out, there were also some where I couldn't wait to read and they seemed to fall a little flat. Not only tha, there were some that were just plain bizarre where I will either need to study further or just glaze over for the sake of the other chapters. The odd ones were John MacArthur's take on Christ's forgiveness on the cross. He believes that Christ was only asking for the forgiveness of those who would end up believing in Him and not everyone that was at the cross crucifying him. I believe he ends up making his theology read into this part of Scripture a little too much. The other two that I will have to study a little further were J.I. Packer's on Christ descending to hell and also Joseph "Skip" Ryan's chapter on Christ being thirsty. He takes this to mean that Christ was spiritually thirsty and not physically. My first take is that he is trying to stretch this text further than it allows.
Even with these three, the other 22 chapters far outweigh them to keep me from recommending this book. I would recommend this to any who would like a good understanding of the cross from a wide set of generations, convictions and theologians. Just know, that it doesn't get better than Luther's chapter, but that doesn't mean the rest of the book gets "worse." Highly Recommended
The book has twenty five chapters from Christians both past and present. Most of the writings are from preachers although we also see Joni Eareckson Tada making a contribution. These chapters are short enough that makes them ideal for reading aloud together with one’s spouse or family which I did with my wife. Yet what my wife and I appreciated is that each chapter typically packs a lot of meat of Scripture rather than milk which is often the case with Christian devotionals. Since it is both “meaty” and devotional I found myself learning new insight into Christ and His work to save sinners while also being moved to love the Lord more as a result of these new knowledge. This is my ideal for a devotional and this book satisfies it!
What follows are some of the highlights from my reading of the book:
• R. Kent Hughes’ contribution is chapter five in the book. Hughes makes the observation of similarities and contrasts between Christ at the garden of Gethsemane and Adam in the garden of Eden. For instance Adam’s life began in the Garden whereas Christ’s life was heading to an end at the Garden. Adam sinned Eden while Christ overcame sin at Gethsemane. Adam fell to evil in Eden but Christ rose against evil at Gethsemane. Adam hid in the Garden whereas Christ presented Himself. At Eden we see the sword drawn whereas at Gethesemane the sword was sheathed. What an amazing typology!
• I also appreciated Ligon Duncan’s chapter in the book especially with his insight of the irony that the group of armed men came with torches and lanterns at night to catch the Light of the World. These armed men came with swords and clubs to oppose the Prince of Peace. What irony. What contrasts!
• From Joseph “Skip” Ryan’s chapter I learned that Jesus being thirsty in John 19:28 fulfilled the Old Testament Scripture in Psalm 22:15 and Psalm 69:21; I never was aware of Psalm 69:21 before. This chapter was also sobering as Ryan points out how hell is described as a thirsty place in Luke 16:24. What a sobering thought to think one is never satisfied in hell.
Overall I recommend this book!