I have just finished reading Adrian Warnock’s excellent book, Raised with Christ.
As the book’s subtitle suggests, this is a book about “How the Resurrection changes everything.”
One of the central arguments of the book is that we Christians often spend a lot of time talking, singing and preaching about the death of Christ, without carrying on to talk, sing and preach about the vindication which followed. He demonstrates from the Bible how the two concepts of ‘death’ and ‘resurrection’ go together, and notes how much more air time ‘resurrection’ gets in New Testament preaching than ‘death’.
As such, this is a really timely reminder (in fact there seem to be a spate of such books – Sam Allberry’s Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life being another example).
The book is saturated with Scripture which is a joy – barely a page goes by without us being pointed to some truth from the Bible. Dave Bish notes Adrian’s fondness for quoting Martin Lloyd Jones, and to this I would add Spurgeon and John Piper. But they are all Godly preachers worth hearing from and help us to see that this isn’t some novel doctrine he is presenting.
The first half of the book covers ‘standard’ ground – but is a helpful summary and reminder of the Biblical teaching on resurrection, the apologetic defence of the resurrection, union with Christ etc. I am sure that I will come back to much of this again in my own studies and teaching.
The second half of the book seeks to work out some of the implications of the resurrection in our life as believers. I was delighted to be encouraged to reflect on what this ‘looks like’ in the Christian life, and challenged about how little of this ‘resurrection power’ I seem to experience day by day. Adrian’s theology would be more ‘charismatic’ than my default position, but he kept leading me back to the Scriptures to support his arguments and there was plenty to make me think.
I would certainly recommend this book. It will encourage you to look forward to the day when we will be finally raised with Christ and be like Him in our resurrection bodies; it will challenge you to think about the implications of that same power which raised Christ from the dead being at work in our bodies even now; and it will remind you that we worship a living, vindicated and raised Saviour. And hopefully it will help me with my Easter Sunday sermon too!
(you will find some more resources related to the book at http://raisedwithchrist.net/)
6 thoughts on “Raised with Christ (a mini-review)”
Interesting that you say my theology is charismatic. I actually tried to steer well away from the charismatic issue in this book. I don’t think I talk about gifts at all. It is not just charismatics who believe that we can have a relationship with the risen Jesus. Glad you enjoyed it nonetheless. I pray your Easter sermon goes really well.
Thanks for your comment Adrian. You’re right – I was probably imprecise in my use of language. Of course (I hope!) it is not just ‘charismatics’ who believe we can have a relationship with the risen Jesus – and I certainly long to have a deeper relationship with Him. Another thing I valued in your book was the call to avoid the extremes which historically have characterised the views of Bible-believing Christians on the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
However, your section on ‘Receiving the Spirit’ (217ff) does seem to assume (if you will allow the loose terminology) a more ‘charismatic’ position. I would like to spend some more time pondering the texts you raise here because I still struggle with the idea of ‘receiving the Spirit’ apart from at conversion. I find it hard to assess whether this is shaped more by my exegesis of the texts or by my experience (or lack of it!) or theological presuppositions. However, I continue to share your desire to experience more of His work and power in my life and will continue to pray and study to that end. Thanks again for your very helpful book.
OK, gotcha, I wondered if you might be talking about that. I think that we actually have to separate two issues: 1. the gifts, which is where I Think the world charismatic applies best and 2. this issue of whether there is some form of second blessing or baptism with the Spirit. There are plenty of people who would agree with Piper and Lloyd-Jones and a lot of the great previous heroes of the church on 2. but would not consider themselves charismatic. Equally a lot of charismatics today, especially “third wave” do not agree with a “second blessing”. I suppose that chapter is probably the most controversial in the book, but the main thing I really mean by all that is that it is very possible to be a Christian without much experience of God but that we can and should seek for subsequent experiences of God after conversion.
Thanks Adrian. That’s a helpful clarification. I pray that we will both have deeper experiences of our God and Father.