Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything. By Adrian Warnock. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010.
It seems that all it takes to receive a book offer nowadays is to have a successful blog (I’m still waiting for my offer!). Those popular bloggers that write often begin to develop their writing ability and develop an audience and it is no wonder that publishing companies notice them. As I am a frequent reader of Adrian Warnock’s blog I can attest to Warnock’s wonderful ability to communicate and to communicate important theological truths to those who might not have a seminary education. For those of us with a seminary education, we are put in our place on how to communicate the unsearchable riches of Christ to those around us! But I digress…
Warnock has authored a fascinating new book on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But not just the resurrection, but on the importance of the resurrection. The book deals with how the resurrection of Christ affects absolutely everything. There have been other books written on the historicity of the resurrection, the theological importance of the resurrection, and other concepts around the resurrection but Warnock has helped those who are simply striving to live the Christian life in the pew to understand how the resurrection affects everything. And he does this admirably. As the Western Church has in some areas denied the resurrection and the rest have often denied the power of the resurrection, it is so important to be reminded of the what and why of the resurrection of Christ today in our churches.
Warnock begins his volume with the standard fare of treating the historicity, the understanding of resurrection in the time of the Old Testament and New Testament, and some of the initial theological implications of the resurrection. But Warnock’s book begins to really resonate when he begins dealing with the neglect of the resurrection in the church. “To only think of Jesus as a long-haired, gentle man in a robe and wearing sandals has devastating effects on the church…. The world seems blind to the Bible’s description of the resurrected Jesus, full of power and authority” (p. 68). It is true the resurrection has never left the church but we may not always give full credence to it and to its effects in the life of the Christian and the church.
He continues to provide an overview of the importance of the resurrection and glimpses of the resurrection in the Bible. Moving on though Warnock gives to me as the most important section of the book, the second half beginning with chapter 8 and “What Did the Resurrection Ever Do For Us?” In this fascinating chapter Warnock outlines the importance of the resurrection in our lives. It is not simple theological abstract truth but is absolutely crucial for the Christian and the church. Surveying the preaching in the Book of Acts Warnock outlines a number of attendant results of the resurrection (p. 114):
- The sending of the Spirit (Acts 2:33)
- Physical healings (Acts 3:15-16)
- The conversion of sinners (Acts 3:26)
- Salvation by union with Jesus (Acts 4:11-12)
- Jesus’ role as the leader of his church (Acts 5:30-31; 9)
- Forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:30-31)
- Comfort for the dying (Acts 7)
- The commissioning of gospel messengers (Acts 9; 10:42)
- Freedom from the penalty and power of sin (Acts 13:37-39)
- Assurance that the gospel is true (Acts 17:31)
- Our own resurrection (Acts 17:31)
- Jesus’ future judgment of this world (Acts 17:31)
It is amazing. The resurrection does not just promise us eternal life, but is the basis for all of the above realities in the life of the church and the Christian and this simply from the book of Acts!
Warnock moves on to treat other theological realities in the life of the Christian and the church that have results from the resurrection that we don’t always make connections: justification, sanctification, prayer, revival, glorification and other important areas in our Christian lives. Do we, for instance, believe in the resurrection as only once happened and never again, or do we believe that the Lord revives dead hearts to life? Do we pray to that end just as those in church history did for revival? “Where are the miracles? Where are the salvations? Where are the damatic acts? Where is God? The answer is, he is still here, he is still in the business of bringing life where there is death, and he still is the One who answers by fire. As churches we can ask him for the fire of revival… (p. 179).” Where indeed? The resurrection not only is the promise of our eternal life but is the promise of God that He is still in the business of resurrection!
This book is one of the most important, in my humble opinion, ever written on the topic of the resurrection. It is not that Warnock has necessarily said anything that has not been said before in different places and in different ways. Instead, the value in the book is that Warnock has made the sort of hum-drum reality of the resurrection come to life for the church and the Christian! The resurrection of Christ, far more than just some historical event, has ongoing ramifications in the our lives today! The resurrection has great implications for our lives and we fully grasp the nature of and importance of the resurrection of Christ it will profoundly change our lives. That is where this book is so important. It makes so much of the resurrection! And rightly, we should make much of it. Hopefully this book will drive more preachers and teachers to talk about the importance of the resurrection. I heartily recommend Warnock’s book to this end. May the resurrection again be a topic of constant address in the church and may we live like a community brought from death to life in our own resurrection!
For more information on this book see the website that goes along with this book, www.raisedwithchrist.net.
This book was given away as part of the Working out Salvation with Fear and Trembling 2010 Crossway Book Giveaway. If you would like to enter the contest to win other Crossway titles in 2010 check out the contest here: