"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Truth of the Cross, by R.C. Sproul

Five out of Five Stars

R.C. Sproul's The Truth of the Cross  is nothing short of an amazing piece of theological writing. It discusses the necessity of Christ's atonement in light of the sins of man. It also goes into detail about the substitutionary act that was Christ's death, and covers who exactly benefits from the atonement. There is also a chapter on the five points of Calvinism that explains the historical depth of Calvinism.

I admit that I was nervous about reading this book because of Sproul's reputation as a first-class theologian. As a layperson, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to follow his writing very well. However, Sproul is a master of the written word. He takes this subject and makes it easy to understand with his captivating writing style. As a result, I found the book to be a fairly easy read  - which helped, because the subject matter is so thought-provoking.

I finished this book before church this morning, and I found that what I learned in this book opened up the Bible to me in ways I never imagined. I understand so much more about what Christ's sacrifice truly meant, both for those who lived before His time and for those who lived after. In terms of this understanding, I feel that The Truth of the Cross is one of the most inspirational books I have ever read, and I don't use that hyperbole lightly.

A chapter toward the end of the book does a pretty thorough job of explaining the five points of Calvinism from a layperson's perspective.  Sproul explains that Calvinism actually stems back to the time of St. Augustine, and that people tend to misinterpret the idea of limited atonement. He explains that limited atonement only means that Christ died for believers, which I feel is important for people to understand.

Whether or not you are a member of the reformed church, I believe that this book is inspirational and leads to a better understanding of the sacrifice that was made on Calvary. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about Christ, God, and what is expected of Christians.