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One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation
 
 

One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation [Kindle Edition]

Marcus Peter Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Regeneration, justification, sanctification. These are the primary words that come to mind when talking about the theology of salvation. However, the Bible teaches that each of these concepts is firmly rooted in something more foundational: our union with Christ. In this accessible book, Johnson introduces us to this neglected doctrine, arguing that it is the dominant organizing concept for salvation in the New Testament. In eight thought-provoking chapters, Johnson shows how a believer’s position “in Christ” is the lens through which other all other facets of salvation should be understood. Interacting extensively with the biblical text and drawing on lessons from church history, Johnson presents a compelling case for the unique importance of this beautiful, biblical doctrine.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 619 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433531496
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (31 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EHMMHXK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #196,538 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply satisfying and spiritually enriching 11 Nov 2013
By PaulW
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book and should be read by all pastors, preachers and leaders. I am sure it will also feature heavily on the reading list for future theological students.

This is an outworking of what it means to be saved. All too often we evangelicals have tended to buy into a privatised version of faith and have lost sight of the vital importance of our being really and truly united to Christ. Without this reality the cross avails us nothing and we are not justified, sanctified or glorified. I particularly found the way that Johnson showed that union with Christ was central to Luther and Calvin, very helpful. This book brings together Scripture and Reformed/evangelical theology in a way that is deeply satisfying. And, what is more, it is spiritually enriching.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief remark 28 Oct 2013
By Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A previous reviewer gave this book a scathing review which I think largely missed the point. I don't wish to argue with that reviewer, but I do want to make a clarification for others who may be perusing books. In this book, Johnson is in no way attacking the doctrine of justification as a forensic declaration. However, he is arguing that a forensic declaration and the imputation of righteousness, while certainly and blessedly true, are part of a much larger reality, that of being united to Christ Himself.

This book is not overly technical and, on the whole, it should be fairly accessible, although readers without much theological background may find certain parts difficult. I fully recommend this book as its subject matter is of the utmost importance.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Spiritual Feast on Our Union With Jesus Christ" 14 Sep 2013
By David P. Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Marcus Peter Johnson is to be commended for providing us with the equivalent of a spiritual banquet of solid and tasty food in this offering. Admittedly this work is very ambitious in that it covers eight monumental topics with reference to our union with Christ: (1) Our nature and union with Christ; (2) How our union with Christ matters with reference to our sin and His incarnation and the doctrine of imputation; (3) Justification and our union with Christ; (4) Sanctification and our union with Christ; (5) Adoption and Sonship in union with Christ; (6) Preservation and Glorification because of our union with Christ; (7) The mystery of the church's union with Christ; (8) The Word and the Sacraments with reference to our union with Christ.

Johnson's writing style is theologically dense, profound, and rich. Reading his book reminded me of being at a luxurious banquet with an abundance and variety of delicious "spiritual" foods. I felt like I couldn't assimilate everything that the author prepared for me - it was too much, too rich, and too thought-provoking. However, the good news about all this spiritual food - is that it will never spoil. It is a meal that I can come to again and again. It's too much to assimilate quickly, but what Johnson has written about must be digested slowly, thoughtfully, meditatively, and applicationally.

I believe that Johnson's work is a condensation and summary of his doctoral dissertation whereby he discovered the delightful and practical ramifications of John Calvin's understanding of what it means for the Christian to be joined to Jesus Christ. Johnson interacts with many of the Reformers such as Calvin and Luther, but also of other weighty theologian's treatments on the Christian's union with Christ. He interacts with theologians ranging from Augustine to Edwards and many of the modern's as well. He essentially mines a ton of "union with Christ" gold that many Christians and Theologians have flat-out missed over the years. The good news is that he takes the weighty and abstract concepts of the theological giants throughout history and breaks them down so that they are understandable and applicational.

Here is just a sampling of some of the gems I gleaned from Johnson's book:

"The mysterious reality of our union with Jesus Christ, by which he dwells in us and we in him, is so utterly essential to the gospel that to obscure it inevitably leads to an obscuring of the gospel itself."

"Salvation is often conceived of as the reception of something Christ has acquired for us rather than as the reception of the living Christ. In other words, salvation is described as a gift to be apprehended rather than the apprehension of the Giver himself...the gospel is portrayed as the offer of a depersonalized benefit (e.g., grace, justification, or eternal life) rather than the offer of the very person of Christ (who is himself the grace of God, our justification, and our eternal life)."

"A retrieval of the central significance of union with Christ will provide a way for the evangelical church to see once again why the work of Christ cannot be separated from his person; why the gloriously good news about salvation rests in the church being joined to the One who is salvation himself; and why Jesus Christ is the essence of the church, or else the church is no more than a voluntaristic religious club of like-minded folk."

"The great mystery of the incarnation is that God, without ceasing to be God, became what he created in order to join us to himself. Thus, the Son of God entered into human existence to dwell among and in us, assuming our humanity into union with himself."

"The church does not await the return of Christ so that we may be united to him; rather, the church is united to Christ, and so eagerly awaits the consummation of this union."

"By virtue of being incorporated into the life of Jesus Christ, we participate in the life, love, and fellowship of the Trinity. Because the Son is one with the Father, our being joined to the Son means we are joined to the Father. And because the Spirit exists as the bond of communion between the Father and Son, he brings us into that communion by uniting us to Christ."

Johnson has written a robust theologically rich feast. It is a book that I will read again and again. Whenever I teach on the themes in this book I will be consulting this book for quotes, illustrations, and sound biblical exegesis. It is essentially an accessible encyclopedic resource on what it means to be united with Christ - theologically, historically, in the future, and practically in the now. I can't recommend this book highly enough for anyone who wants to understand, contemplate, and apply the riches of our salvation because of the union we have in Christ Jesus.

*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and was not required to write a favorable review.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing 15 Nov 2013
By Lauren Harrast - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has changed the way that I read the Bible. I don't know how I went so long without paying closer attention to what it means to be "In Christ." I am so grateful for the way that God has used this theology lesson to make my union with Him the most real part of life.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Discussion of Union from Calvin 6 Oct 2013
By Jeff Manning - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
John Calvin, in Book Three of his Institutes, wrote, "How do we receive those benefits which the Father bestowed on his only-begotten Son - not for Christ's own private use, but that he might enrich poor and needy men? First, we must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value for us. Therefore, to share with us what he has received from the Father, he had to become ours and to dwell within us. For this reason, he is called "our Head" [Eph. 4:15], and "the first-born among many brethren" [Rom. 8:29]. We also, in turn, are said to be "engrafted into him" [Rom. 11;17], and to "put on Christ" [Gal. 3:27]; for, as I have said, all that he possesses is nothing to until we grow into one body with him. It is true that we obtain this by faith." (Institutes, III. I. 1.)

Most evangelicals only know the very last part: a person is saved by grace through faith; or, perhaps more simply, by faith. Despite the difficulties a mere knowledge of salvation can cause as it relates to lordship and discipleship, union with Christ stands as a doctrine for which evangelicals seem to lack knowledge of and, thereby, gain little encouragement from. Marcus Johnson, assistant professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute, wants to revive Calvin's language of union, which he considers to be the "consistent and ubiquitous refrain" in his writings (11).

One With Christ is a condensed version of Johnson's Ph.d dissertation Eating by Believing: Union with Christ in the Soteriology of John Calvin (condensed in language, not length). As an outline, Peterson discusses the biblical, theological, & historical perspectives as it relates to Calvin's understanding of union. The chapters are as follows:

The Nature of Union with Christ
Sin and the Incarnation
Justification in Christ
Sanctification in Christ
Adoption and Sonship in Christ
Preservation and Glorification in Christ
The Mystery of the Church in Christ
The Word and Sacraments in Christ

This outline gives the reader a good idea of the progression of the book as well as the movements found in Scripture. For such a dense subject from a dense writer, having such an outline is helpful. Peterson shows a great depth of interaction as he incorporates a number of historical figures as well as contemporaries such as John Calvin, Martin Luther, Augustine of Hippo, Karl Barth, D.A. Carson, and Fred Sanders. This sample represents a number of theological positions. So, while Peterson's text is largely based on Calvin's understanding, it also shows Calvin's influence on contemporary theology across evangelicalism.

Johnson has not added anything new to the discussion but has provided an accessible discussion on union with Christ. Evangelicalism seems to have forgotten the fullness of salvation that we have been given in Christ. While it may be for further discussion whether the central point to Calvin's theology was union, Johnson has given a robust discussion on the benefits of Christ from conversion to glorification. Particularly useful for many Christians today may be his discussion on preservation which entails assurance. He writes, "The gospel is full of inconceivably extravagant promises from our Father. He has given these promises to provide his children with the full assurance of his freely given, irrevocable love, and they are grounded in his steadfast, immovable, unchangeable faithfulness; what God promises he will infallibly bring to pass" (173-174).

This book may not gain popularity amongst average, Christian readers but it should. Union is an important doctrine that needs to be more fully expressed in churches. All of the benefits, even as it understand them in baptism and the Lord's Supper, come from one's union with Christ. The elevation of one's mind to think on these things (subjects with deep implications) will inevitably benefit them. Meditating on one's union with Christ, as Johnson certainly has, will lead one to worship and to walking with Christ in a worthy manner. Johnson says, "To properly understand the riches of salvation, we must grapple with this mystery" (37). Get to grapplin'.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Highly Rich Theology on Salvation 30 Jun 2014
By Carina Beaty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I very much enjoyed Johnson's book on union with Christ. Having read many books on theology, Johnson's book stands out as a well written and a well nuanced work. Johnson is intentional in giving a Gospel centered account of the work of Christ reminding the believer of their complete dependence on Christ and Christ alone.
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