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The Cross of Christ

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  4,815 ratings  ·  139 reviews
"I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. . . . In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?" With compelling honesty John Stott confronts this generation with the centrality of the cross in God's redemption of the world -- a world now haunted by the memories of Auschwitz, the pain of oppression and the specter of n ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 14th 1989 by Inter-Varsity Press (first published October 16th 1986)
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Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John PiperThe Cross of Christ by John R.W. StottThe Passion of Jesus Christ by John PiperThe Jesus I Never Knew by Philip YanceyThe Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Books About Jesus
2nd out of 152 books — 77 voters
Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols by John CalvinKnowing God by J.I. PackerSystematic Theology by Wayne A. GrudemThe Cross of Christ by John R.W. StottThe Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Reformed Doctrine & Theology
4th out of 72 books — 37 voters


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Community Reviews

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Keren Threlfall
Since John R. W. Stott’s death in July 2011, interest in The Cross of Christ has been revived, particularly through the 20th anniversary edition (2006). Although it’s only been around 25 years since first published, The Cross of Christ has already been recognized as a Christian classic. It was on my list of Christian classic to-reads, along with older authors as Athanasius, Augustine, and Luther.

Like a skilled jeweler carefully examining and detailing the many facets of a gem, John Stott goes th
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Bob
"This is the best book we have read in this group."

So commented a faculty member recently in a campus book group that discussed Stott's book. And we've discussed some pretty significant books by the likes of Augustine, Pascal, Calvin, Kierkegaard, Barth, and others!

I think what marks this book by John Stott, that I first read when published nearly 30 years ago, is a combination of theological clarity and pastoral application that help one deeply root one's understanding of the work of Christ on
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John
Jun 05, 2012 John is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Quotes that stood out to me as I read:
Ch. 2 WHY DID CHRIST DIE?
"Nobody is ever envious of others who is not first proud of himself." (pg. 57)

"So [the Jewish leaders] felt threatened by Jesus. He undermined their prestige, their hold over the people, their own self-confidence and self-respect, while leaving his intact." (pg. 58)

"We resent [Jesus'] intrustion into our privacy, his demand for our homage, his expectation of our obedience. Why can't he mind his own business. we ask petulantly, and le
...more
Mark A Powell
Stott’s seminal work has been reprinted on its twentieth anniversary. Within these pages, Stott surveys the cross of Christ with clarity and aplomb scarcely found in such examinations. Not only does Stott trace the Biblical teaching on the cross, he also addresses common criticisms and controversial views, revealing the truth behind the work Jesus accomplished through His death. Though it reads long in places, careful meditation on Stott’s work is not only helpful, but eagerly recommended.
Jeffrey Niles
All of history and all of Scripture holds as its central most important event the cross of Christ. Indeed, in the mind of Christ, no other event of his life on earth held a more central focus then the sacrifice he made at Calvary. The cross is the centerpiece of Christianity and must spread from that position until it saturates all of faith and life for the church and for the individual. The Cross of Christ by John R. W. Stott remains after twenty-two years a tour de force in the literature of C ...more
Tom Bazan
Probably one of the most complete books that I have ever read. Stott shows how Christianity is focused around the Cross of Christ. He covers topics broadly and, generally, thoroughly. He is extremely well-read and I will probably use this book as a reference for the variety of topics that he covers.

His description of what Christ (God) accomplished on the cross--the different aspects and why each of them is vital--is probably one of the best that I've read. Basically, he takes some very big ideas
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Thom Leiter
OK...so the journaling thing got set by the wayside and I haven't been able to keep up on it, so, I'll just give some insight into the book. This is an amazing book nonetheless.

Here goes...

If you are someone who has been introduced to Christ for the first time, this book may not be the first book you'll want to read. Only because it's very theologically based and deep in it's exposition. Wonderful to read, but can be very hard to understand at times.

I don't believe that God opens our eyes to t
...more
Douglas Wilson
Very fine book. I have read Stott over the years, and have always enjoyed him, but I decided to read this (listen to it on audio, rather) after he went to be the Lord. Very helpful, in a lot of ways.
Justin Lonas
Few theologians and pastors over the past century have had the influence and reach of ministry of John R. W. Stott (1921-2011). From All Souls Church, Langham Place, the evangelical Anglican congregation he attended as a child and later served as curate, rector, and rector emeritus, his teaching ministry touched lives across the world. Stott wrote over 50 books (mostly commentaries, theological works, and apologetic books), travelled and spoke widely, and was a principal framer of the 1974 Lausa ...more
Al
This was an outstanding read, in spite of the fact that I had Stott's annihilationist leanings in the back of my mind. Stott did a superb job in demonstrating the centrality of the Cross, and why it is so prominent among Christians throughout the ages. Stott also comprehensively shows our need for forgiveness through satisfying God's justice and holiness. "How can he save us and satisfy himself simultaneously? ...in order to satisfy himself, He sacrificed -indeed substituted- himself for us.... ...more
Alexis Neal
An extremely thorough discussion of, well, the cross of Christ--its purpose, its theological significance, its results, and the ultimate effect it has on our daily lives. He also explores alternate interpretations and ideas (regarding the cross) and explains why he has rejected them. Stott is quite thorough, and his style is decidedly matter-of-fact. The book is a bit dry at times, and certainly rather dense, but there's more than enough richness of content to make up for the less-than-sparkling ...more
Tim Chaney
This is a fabulous classic that is full of great truth concerning Christ and the heart of the gospel. In this work Stott interacts with a great deal of authors who write on various perspectives of Christology, and the atonement. The best part of this book is Stott's skilled defense of the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ in which he explains the self-substitution of God. Here's a great quote:

"Our substitute, who took our place and died our death on the cross, was neither Christ alone (since t
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Tim
This book has a well-deserved reputation as Stott's best work, and as a modern classic in theology. Stott gives a very robust biblical defense of penal substitution, without denigrating other biblical views of the atonement (ie christus victor, moral influence). He does so in a way that defends substitutionary views from distortions and common critiques (ie God as either cosmic sadist, unjust, or passive in the face of evil), and paints a picture of God as both a righteous judge and the one who ...more
Zack Mollhagen
I don’t even know where to start with this book. I guess I will start with a summary. John Stott outlines in this textbook-size theology book everything you would ever need to know about Christ’s death and what it means to us today. It’s all laid out in a precise and logistical manner. It also has plenty of scripture on every page to back up the statements Stott makes. This constantly allows the reader to know where he is coming from and how it’s applicable to a Christian’s faith. It’s a massiv ...more
Heather
I appreciated the enormous research he put into this book. He quotes extensively from other writers and I felt that I was getting the best of the best without having to read 100 books. Stott also is very gifted with words and gives many memorable quotes himself. On the downside, some of the writers he quotes weren't theologically sound and I could've done without their quotes. It is a theological book with theological terms so some may find it hard to follow at times.

I learned a lot from the boo
...more
Michael
The late John Robert Walmsley Stott of London was a leader in the Christian church and Anglican cleric. As a principal author of the Lausanne Covenant, he is regarded as a key leader in the worldwide evangelical movement. Christianity Today calls Stott a "gentle intellectual giant" and "the closest thing to an evangelical pope" partly because of his distribution of the financial benefits that came with his aristocratic position for the funding of seminary education for others. His books (most no ...more
Eric Molicki
With John Stott's death, I can only pray that this book will come into the hands of more and more who want to know deeply the pinnacle event of human history. This is one of those "stranded on an island books" that I would take with me if I could. Please pick up and read- you will never be the same...
Bill
This is a foundational book. John Stott brings together the biblical teaching of the Cross in a comprehensive but readable book. Everything about Christianity starts and finishes with the Cross. (Took me a long time to read it though -- about a year, with stops and starts!)
Gerald
Finally finished this book. Stott is a brilliant systematic thinker, and there were far too many insights in this book for me to chew too quickly. On to my re-read shelf, perhaps for every Easter (which means I should get started pretty soon!).
Tom
I wish I had read this book earlier in my ministry. I certainly need to read it again, and again.
I received some materials for future sermons and for the re-working of past ones!
Janelle
Excellent. One of those books you need to underline and read over to catch everything. My favorite book read thus far this year.
John Lumgair
The christianaudio/hovel audio audio book read by Simon Vance is amazing. A perfect book drawn out by an incredible narrator
Silas oliveira
Tenho ouvido uma série de descrições em relação a este livro como " um tijolo ", "um trabalho árduo ", e " um livro de cada cristão deve ler ' . Para ser honesto com você, eu concordo com os dois primeiros, mas com o último , provavelmente não. Este não é um daqueles livros que eu necessariamente querem criticar duramente , porém, no entanto, ele realmente não é algo que possa ser considerada uma leitura leve, mesmo para os meus padrões , é um livro que realmente precisa ser levado lentamente , ...more
David Sarkies
Jun 30, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Small Groups looking for a good book to discuss over lunch
Recommended to David by: Mark Phillips
Shelves: christian
John Stott's Libra Maximus
20 September 2012

I have heard a number of descriptions regarding this book such as 'a brick', 'a hard slog', and 'a book every Christian should read'. To be honest with you, I will agree with the first two, but with the last, probably not. This is not one of those books that I want to criticise though, however it really is not something that would be considered a light read, even by my standards, rather it is a book that really needs to be taken slowly, to be read a ch
...more
Emmanuel Boston
A very good, thoughtful survey of the cross and crucifixion of Christ and all its implications, both theological and practical. Let the term 'survey' not persuade you to think that it is shallow in its content; far from it, it is profound and deserves a great amount of consideration.

Stott deals with the question of "is the cross really that important to the New Testament writers?" Which is the first question I wanted answered. I think he answers it sufficiently. He deals with theories of the ato
...more
Josh Moorhouse
One of my favorite book exploring the meaning of Christ's atonement. This is more imaginative (and sometimes more technical) than Atonement According to Christ and Atonement According to the Apostles both by George Smeaton, which also rank high in the same category.

Sidenote: I listened to the audiobook on CD, read by Simon Vance, who also by chance reads the Complete Sherlock Holmes audiobook I have too :) Good reading voice!
Chris Maguire
I'm only on chapter 2 but so far I'm really enjoying this book; many Christian books are written by (presumably) good Christians but not good writers: they repeat themselves, they ramble, they cobble together arguments with duct tape and bailing wire; whereas Stott writes concisely, intelligently and soundly, using excellent reference material. He backs up his statements clearly and cleanly.

Stott also brings out many new pieces of information and well thought out positions that are new to me. N
...more
Esther
This book is essential reading for anyone who wholeheartedly wants to follow the Christ of the cross. John Stott presents thoroughly the necessity, as well as the beauty of the cross. Within the Christian community we can become so distracted from the central truths on which our faith is based. Reading this book has humbled me and in my spirit I bow again at the foot of the cross.
Seth Pierce
This classic work was recommended to me by Dr. John McVay--president of Walla Walla University. While the author definitely supports penal-substituionary model, he is keenly aware of its caricatures and questions it raises. While he doesn't answer all of them, he is very self aware and makes some very string points. The book is too massive (but readable) to summarize in a review. Stott examines the cross from a variety of perspectives--not just the atonement--and has many helpful observations on ...more
Shane Hatfield
By virtue of the magnitude of the topic and the eloquence and depth of the writing, this might be the greatest book ever written. It is a seminary level read, but I think all Christians would find it beneficial- provided they take the time to read it slowly and digest it's contents.

Stott breaks the book into four parts: Approaching the Cross, The heart of the Cross, the Achievement of the Cross, and Living Under the Cross. He believes that Christians are primarily people of the Cross- It is the
...more
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InterVarsity Pres...: My review of The Cross of Christ 1 8 Dec 11, 2014 11:05AM  
Reading the Class...: Chapter Two: Why Did Christ Die? 2 11 Aug 29, 2011 08:05AM  
Reading the Class...: Chapter One: Approaching The Cross 2 7 Aug 19, 2011 05:10AM  
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself
  • Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus
  • Evangelism & the Sovereignty of God
  • Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution
  • The Religious Affections
  • Systematic Theology
  • According to Plan
  • Christianity and Liberalism
  • The Bondage of the Will
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols
  • Holiness
  • The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way
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John R. W. Stott is known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist and teacher of Scripture. He was ordained in 1945 and for most of his years has served in various capacities at All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain, the United States and even around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne ...more
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“A guilty conscience is a great blessing, but only if it drives us to come home.” 3 likes
“What dominated his mind was not the living but the giving of his life.” 2 likes
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