“The entire Bible pivots on one weekend in Jerusalem about two thousand years ago. Attempts to make sense of the Bible that do not give prolonged thought to integrating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are doomed to failure, at best exercise in irrelevance.” This statement, taken from his preface, demonstrates the importance that D.A. Carson places on the cross. It is the center, the fulcrum of redemptive history. Yet, more and more, evangelicals are put in a position to defend or reclaim the historical doctrines which focus on the cross. This book is ammunition for that defense. Taken from five messages given at the 2008 Resurgence conference in Seattle, Scandalous examines five biblical passages and the contrary way in which the cross prevails.

Revealing the scandal of the gospel is not Carson’s primary goal with this book. He does that to some extent by looking at the ironies found in Matthew’s account of the crucifixion as well as the “surprises” found in the resurrection of Lazarus. However, his main objective is to prove that the cross is the pivotal point of redemptive history. It is the central moment of scripture. He proves this by examining Romans 3:21-26 as well as Revelation 12. In fact, the examination of Romans 12 is so thorough, it connects the dots – so to speak- for all of scripture and lays to rest many mistaken theories on the book of Revelation. This book is a great, readable help for anyone wishing to grasp the whole of scripture. Further, this treatise is a comfort to those worried about uncertain times and end-times prophecies.

Finally, Carson addresses doubt by examining none other than “doubting” Thomas. In the final chapter he looks at Thomas’ skepticism, his belief, and the purpose he serves as a witness to the resurrection.

There are many aspects of the crucifixion and resurrection that may be scandalous. What is most so is that it was that moment, that weekend in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, on which all salvation hangs. Carson does an excellent job of bringing this to light and I highly recommend this book.

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