Summer Reading

This summer I decided to try and read something more enduring than the latest marketing or business book. So when I received the book, The Cross of Christ, as a present, I decided to dive into it. The author, John Stott, served as an Anglican priest in London, but because of his writing has been recognized by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” This is considered to be his classic work.

Even though the book is about themes with which I am familiar, I have found that the depth, perspective, and logic has taken the subject much deeper than I have considered before.

Here is a quote that provides an overview of the major themes of the book.

“The cross enforces three truths – about ourselves, about God and about Jesus Christ.

First, our sin must be extremely horrible. Nothing reveals the gravity of sin like the cross. For ultimately what sent Christ there was neither the greed of Judas, nor the envy of the priests, nor the vacillating cowardice of Pilate, but our own greed, envy, cowardice and other sins, and Christ’s resolve in love and mercy to bear their judgment and so put them away. . . .

Second, God’s love must be wonderful beyond comprehension. God could quite justly have abandoned us to our fate . . . But he did not. Because he loved us, he came after us in Christ. . . It is more than love. Its proper name is ‘grace’ which is love to the undeserving. . .

Third, Christ’s salvation must be a free gift. He ‘purchased’ it for us at the high price of his own life blood. So what is there left for us to pay? Nothing! . . . The same cross of Christ, which is the grounds of free salvation, is also the most powerful incentive to a holy life.”1

I will get back to membership marketing with my next post. I find that email, twitter, and phone calls take me away from thinking more deeply about big issues in life. I have enjoyed reading more deeply this summer.

1. John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ, IVP Books, pages 85-86.


kiki said...

thank you for your insight beyond membership marketing; it's good to pause and remember what is truly important.

Vinay Kumar said...

Tony, thank you for your very thoughtful post. One thing I have come to realize is that no matter how smart we are, how hard we work and so on...ultimately it is His grace that that determines the outcome. In other words, it is with His grace that everything becomes possible. Thank you my dear friend for your wonderful sharing, and most of all for your friendship.

Shelby Truxon said...

Hi Tony,

Thank you for sharing this! Very refreshing to be reminded of what really matters in life. Just yesterday, my pastor spoke on how one act of love paid the debt for all our sins in order for us to choose a life forever indebted to the creator of our souls. How great it is to know Jesus :)