Monday, March 22, 2010

REVIEW: Raised with Christ (Adrian Warnock)

Readers can hardly fail to be familiar with Adrian Warnock. The UK's most prominent Christian blogger (adrianwarnock.com) who bridges past involvement with St Helens Bishopsgate, London and a present very much involved within Newfrontiers churches. Now the blogger, as they do, turns published author.

Two things: I'm one of the people in the acknowledgements for this book, and subsequently I received a free copy of Raised with Christ. That said, I'd gladly have paid to get a copy of this book.

Adrian's punchy and provocative style combines a deep reverence for Scripture, a love of citing with Martyn Lloyd-Jones and a passion for experiential Christianity is well known on his blog, and throughout his book.

The first half of this book is a fairly standard defence of the resurrection of Jesus including some interaction with extra-Biblical sources, a harmonisation of the Gospel accounts and an overview of the resurrection in the Bible - including from the Old Testament which is very helpful. This is a useful resource for the church and its good to have this material gathered in one place. If this was all though one would have to argue that there are other comparable defences of the resurrection in circulation. Such books however often stop with establishing the fact of the resurrection of Jesus. That is where Raised with Christ takes a different turn.

The book takes off in the second half where Adrian begins to lay out the implications of the resurrection for Christian life: how the resurrection changes everything. He rates his chapter on prayer as the one that we'll skip but which he considers most important. It's a great call to pray to the risen Christ which is lively and inspiring. For me the most significant contribution of this book is to be found in chapters 15-16. In view of the resurrection we're shown a solid basis for an experiential Christianity, of relationship with a risen Lord, and for me this is the key contribution that this book will make to the church. Reading it was personally challenging and convicting, driving me more to Jesus.

Raised with Christ humbly interacts with others in an accessible and warm style reminiscent of Adrian's blogging. The size of the book may put some off but one need not fear that it is a book only for leaders or "serious" readers. This is a book for any church member to add confidence and conviction about the fact of resurrection of Jesus, and much more than that to come and enjoy life with the risen Jesus.

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