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Making Sense of the Cross

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The heart of the cross is an element of mystery that can’t be resolved either easily or entirely.

The 3rd book in the Making Sense Series, Making Sense of the Cross, gives you the opportunity to ‘listen in’ on a conversation with two people having an open and candid conversation and discussion about the cross. One of the voices knows a little more and assumes the role of te
Published 2012 by Augsburg Fortress (first published January 1st 2011)
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James Swenson
Mar 10, 2012 James Swenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many people at my church are studying Making Sense of the Cross this Lent: it's the focus of our adult-education hour on Sunday mornings. I found it worthwhile: clear and thoughtful, and occasionally even moving.

I will say right away that the book is written in a question-and-answer format that put me off. What do these two nameless characters, both representing the author, find to say to each other?
`Brilliant. Really, I'll have to remember that one.' (p. 20)

`I think so, too.' (p.
Feb 17, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it
David Lose is a master communicator, both in speaking and writing, and a clear expositor of many facets of the Christian faith. In this book he looks at the question "why did Jesus have to die?" Following a dialogue format between two individuals that all his "Making Sense of . . ." books use, he looks at the standard theories meant to answer this question, from the ransom theory that God, through his son, is paying off the Devil and freeing humans from captivity to sin and death, to the theory ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it
Just finished reading the first two chapters and re-reading the first chapter... VERY THICK with talk about God (DUH) and what God is up to in the world, specifically through the cross. The conversational approach to this book is a style reminiscent of "The Screw-tape Letters" wherein the reader is an outside observer to correspondence that is happening. Rather than just reading the "thoughts" of the author we are participants in or at least eavesdroppers upon a "theological" conversation that i ...more
Stacey Littlefield
Aug 24, 2015 Stacey Littlefield rated it really liked it
This is not an "academic" book, but that's a good thing. It is set upon a foundation of academics, and the author does a great job of making those things accessible to all readers. Structured as a conversation between two people about the meaning of the cross, I found it a very readable and helpful approach to understanding atonement and the work of Christ on the cross and risen from the tomb. My only criticism, honestly, is that I wanted to get to the "cross" conversation sooner than the author ...more
Mar 21, 2016 Randy rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary book explaining exactly what the title says - making sense of what the Cross means to us as Christians. The conversational style of the book is difficult to follow. I do wonder what the book would have been like a different style had been used. But overall, a very enlightening book...for someone who has been a lifelong Christian, the book presented a whole new way of approaching the Cross. This book is great for both mature Christians and for those just beginning their faith jou ...more
May 25, 2015 Austen rated it it was amazing
A great, quick intro to different theories of atonement! Great for seminary students and beginners alike, the whole book is written in the style of a conversation between two people. I read the whole thing in three days during my train commute, and it really helped organize my thoughts on the topic. A must-read for anyone wondering how Christians through the centuries have made sense of a crucified God.
Jan 10, 2014 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Yes. Yes. I finally finished this book. I think it was the way this was written that made me take so long. It's written as a dialog and I would just want the author to get to the point rather than draw it out in imaginary conversation. BUT, this is a great primer on the meaning of the cross. Four theories about why Jesus had to die on the cross for our salvation. Any one who has ever struggled with this central part of the Christian story should read this.
Apr 09, 2014 Anita rated it really liked it
Excellent overview for a lay learner of the primary atonement theories throughout the life of the church, some of their main proponents, and the implications of each. The conversation format involves the reader in assessing for herself or himself. The course, including the DVD and leader's guide, is very well done.
Feb 13, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
I chose this book for our church to read and study together during Lent. It is written in conversation style which breaks up what could be dry reading. The writer makes it easier to grasp hard concepts and refuses to try to fit God into a box of our choosing. I think it will be good for both new and more mature Christians to discuss.
Mar 27, 2014 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
While this book is written in a way so that it could just be read individually, I think it is experienced in a much richer way when used as part of a Bible study or discussion group (which is what we're doing). I think it has raised more questions than it answers, but I don't think that's a bad thing. And our discussions have been fruitful.
Apr 05, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing
So worth it when you get to chapter 6! Wonderful and conversational, working through biblical materials, atonement theories and theologies to finally come to something true, serious and life-giving about the atonement.

Mar 23, 2013 Peg rated it it was ok
Really disliked the "conversation" format of the book, the comparison of theories was somewhat interesting.
Apr 27, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
Pastor David Lose always provides me with thoughtful insights. Just finished reading Making Sense of the Cross, and highly recommend it it to all who struggle with why Jesus dies.
Daniel Johnson
Daniel Johnson rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2015
Al Parkins
Al Parkins rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2016
Lesley Weir
Lesley Weir rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2016
Herb rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2013
Carissa rated it liked it
Jun 17, 2013
Mar 03, 2012 Patricia rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
A book I've been waiting for; excellent.
Amy rated it liked it
Apr 30, 2016
Bob Phelps
Bob Phelps rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2013
Lorie Garcia
Lorie Garcia rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2017
Axel rated it really liked it
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Joanie rated it really liked it
May 09, 2014
Allen Freudenburg
Allen Freudenburg rated it liked it
May 16, 2015
Linda J. Watson
Linda J. Watson rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2016
Anneke rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2015
Betty Hampton
Betty Hampton rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2015
James rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2014
Brooke rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2016
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