Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Unveiling: Christ Crucified - A Puritan's View of the Atonement

I feel like I'm breaking a big story? Though we will not make the evening news, the news is significant. Sanctifiying (and perhaps, justifying!) graces are in the offing! There is no work more prodigious on this side of eternity than the supernatural working of God in the soul of man. Nothing less is our prayer for the presently forming SC Reading Group.

I'm pleased to announce that the "group" has its first tasty morsel from the pen of the Puritan sage Stephen Charnock. Christ Crucified: A Puritans View of the Atonement will be our treat. There are at least two different printings of Christ Crucified, so a word about ordering your copy momentarily.

The Man:

Charnock (1628-80) is perhaps most remebered for his classic work, The Existence and Attributes of God. Though a prolific divine, preacher, and writer, little detail remains of his private life. Like his Lord, Charnock died celibate. During his final 1/2 decade of earth, he was a co-pastor of a nonconforming congregation in London - alongside Thomas Watson (What a blessed people!).

His Writing Style:

His writing is replete with doctrinal boulders, not bumper stickers, providing a firm ground on which to stand in the torrents of life. He knows that one-liners don't produce persevering faith. He knows that looking at our crucifed Christ will. Charnock "of all the Puritans is the most brisk and businesslike when it comes to saying things straight" (Packer, Intro). That, however, doesn't mean easy sledding. Be warned, "his style is intensely analytical, and his mind moves fast and verbalizes itself economically" (Packer, Intro). Unlike some labors, seeing God from Charnock's view is worth the extra work. No doubt, few have climbed to his altitude, but thank God he is willing, by his quill, to hoist us up.

Our Book:

Christ Crucified: A Puritan's View of the Atonement may contain, "not too little evangelical doctrine, but, if anything, too much, packed too tightly" (Packer, Intro). A problem, I trust, from which we do not suffer too often. If our reading must be slow, or repetitive, may the help herein contained cause our souls to greatly glorify our great God by producing in us a greater treasuring of His glorious Christ - indeed our atonement-achieving, crucified, resurrected and reigning Christ! May we, as the author of Hebrews exhorted, by the help Charnock provides, "consider Jesus."

Your Book:

For reading schedules and the same introductory material, I recommend each of us having the same copy (this one).

To save on shipping I wonder if one person would be willing to order bulk and be reimbursed by groupies? I have no interest in being that guy, but would be happy to see it develop (Plus I already have two copies - na na na na boo boo). If you want to coordinate the effort, let the group know through a comment on this post, and once that's happened, others are free to leave their name and how many copies they'd like. If it works out, lets say the cut off to add your name is 5p this Friday (9/22). It looks like South Woods has some copies available for $8. I also found copies (here, here, and here).

An Appetite Whetting:
Rocks and mountains cannot secure them that neglect so great a sacrifice, that regard this atoning blood as an unholy thing. It is as dreadful for men to have this sacrifice smoking against them and this blood calling for vengance on them, as it is comfortable to have it pleaded for them and sprinkled on them. Why will any then despise and neglect a necessary sovereign remedy ready at hand? Is it excusable, that when we should have brought the sacrifice ourselves or ourselves have been the sacrifice, we should slight him who hath voluntarily been a sacrifice for us, and cherish a hell merited by our sin rather than accept of a righteousness purchased at no less rate than the blood of God? This sacrifice is full of necessary virtue to save us; but the blood of it must be sprinkled upon our souls by faith. Without this we shall remain in our sins, under the wrath of God, and sword of vengance. (Charnock, 107)

Reading plans (to begin the week of October 2), and commenting suggestings will be forthcoming.


am said...

I was set and ready to be that point man...
until I rummaged through my stored treasures in NA looking for that hymnal...
and I came across the right copy of Charnock's work.
So, someone else is sure to jump at the opportunity.

B.Nelson said...

I was going to volunteer to be the point man until...
I did a cost comparison to see what the shipping fee was for ordering 14 books compared to just ordering 1. It is $1.28 shipping per book to order 14 and $2 per book to order 1. Ordering bulk will save .72 per person but not sure if it is worth the hassle of someone having to take on the responsibility. For .72 more we could all have the book delivered to our house and not worry about meeting up with anybody to get the book. My grandma, who picked cotton for $1 a day as a young woman, would definitely say go for the .72 savings but I think I might just have to splurge on this one and have the book delivered to my house.

am said...

SouthWoods is willing to obtain the copies for us at the advertised price. I think this price will beat any price online with shipping. I will confirm this tommorow. But until then can we get a headcount on the number of copies needed?

Jordan said...

Thanks for your work Brad and Anthony. Let's say everyone is on their own for the book. Try to fetch it before next Fri (29th).

Cam said...

Hey guys,This site has some pretty good sermons.Some have been rewritten so people can read them easier. It's Tons of good stuff.