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The Cross of Christ: 20th Anniversary Edition

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  7,285 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
The universal symbol of the Christian faith is neither a crib nor a manger, but a gruesome cross. Yet many people are unclear about its meaning, and cannot understand why Christ had to die. // In this magisterial and best-selling book, John Stott explains the significance of Christ’s cross and answers the objections commonly brought against biblical teaching on the atoneme ...more
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Published December 1st 2007 by Hovel Audio (first published October 16th 1986)
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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
Jun 05, 2012 John is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Quotes that stood out to me as I read:
"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
Mark A Powell
Apr 16, 2013 Mark A Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 17, 2011 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
It is hard to overstate how much I enjoyed this book. It was hard work, shouldering through the dense material (which I started on August 18). It's not tough reading, but it requires lots of thought; I'd put it up there with Beeke's Living for God's Glory and Pearcey's Total Truth, as far as slow reading goes. Stott shows the significance of the cross and why certain doctrines are important, and he outlines many implications stemming from those doctrines. Lots of brilliant insights.

See more comm
Jeffrey Niles
Aug 08, 2008 Jeffrey Niles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
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
Mar 29, 2012 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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? order to satisfy himself, He sacrificed -indeed substituted- himself for us.... ...more
Tom Bazan
Aug 17, 2010 Tom Bazan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
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
Thom Leiter
Mar 23, 2007 Thom Leiter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition 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
Douglas Wilson
Sep 18, 2011 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
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
May 12, 2012 Justin Lonas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Alexis Neal
Jan 25, 2012 Alexis Neal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-books, religion
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
Aug 18, 2011 Tim Chaney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 16, 2008 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 03, 2011 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
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
Eric Molicki
Jul 27, 2011 Eric Molicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
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...
Ryan Linkous
May 11, 2014 Ryan Linkous rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredible defense of the atonement, especially for his context in 1980's western society. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand the atonement more.

However, Stott's writing can be tedious and boring at times.
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!).
Jul 25, 2011 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, favorites
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!)
John Lumgair
Oct 04, 2011 John Lumgair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
The christianaudio/hovel audio audio book read by Simon Vance is amazing. A perfect book drawn out by an incredible narrator
Michael Kidd
Sep 19, 2015 Michael Kidd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to this book with a lot of anticipation and did not put it down in disappointment. Stott has warmed my heart with this beautifully deep look at the cross of our Lord.
Aug 02, 2012 Janelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. One of those books you need to underline and read over to catch everything. My favorite book read thus far this year.
Feb 13, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology-proper
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!
Apr 01, 2009 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
One of the best books on the atonement. I think this is Stott's magnum opus.
Feb 28, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seminary-reading
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
Kyler Erwin
Jul 03, 2017 Kyler Erwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book on the most important event in human history. It is a bit heady and very deep theologically. I had to read pages over and over to try to grasp the truths throughout the book. The final chapter on suffering and the conclusion were amazing. Read this and grow even more in love with Christ.
Jul 07, 2017 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding. Wish I'd read it much earlier in my ministry. It hasn't changed my view or understanding of the death of Jesus. But it has enriched it enormously.
Jan 02, 2017 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty detailed and technical.
Ryan Hawkins
Jan 11, 2017 Ryan Hawkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cross
Excellent. So good through and through, and extremely well organized systematically
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InterVarsity Pres...: My review of The Cross of Christ 1 10 Dec 11, 2014 11:05AM  
Reading the Class...: Chapter Two: Why Did Christ Die? 2 12 Aug 29, 2011 08:05AM  
Reading the Class...: Chapter One: Approaching The Cross 2 7 Aug 19, 2011 05:10AM  
  • 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
  • The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
  • The Religious Affections
  • Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith
  • From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective
  • Death by Love: Letters from the Cross
  • According to Plan
  • Christianity and Liberalism
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols
  • Created in God's Image
  • Systematic Theology
John R. W. Stott is known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist and communicator of Scripture. For many years he served as rector of All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain, the United States and around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne Covenant (1974). His many books, including Why I ...more
More about John R.W. Stott...

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“Envy! Envy is the reverse side of a coin called vanity. Nobody is ever envious of others who is not first proud of himself.” 6 likes
“A guilty conscience is a great blessing, but only if it drives us to come home.” 4 likes
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