Thursday Review: Sam Allberry on the resurrection

A Review of Sam Allberry, Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life, IVP, 2010. purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US

I want to commend a new book spelling out the practical implications of the resurrection. Evangelicals rightly emphasis the centrality of the cross. But one unhappy by-product of this focus can be a neglect of the resurrection which becomes merely an affirmation of the finished work of the cross. Allberry shows us the saving significance of the resurrection and its practical impact on our lives. (He does this, thankfully, without the crass attempt to associate different traditions with different moments in the Christ-event as if our soteriological focus was a matter of preference). The main chapters cover (1) Assurance; (2) Transformation; (3) Hope; and (4) Mission. The book is short, punchy, engaging – a great book to give to others. It’s popular theology without compromising the theology.

4 thoughts on “Thursday Review: Sam Allberry on the resurrection

  1. Hi Tim,
    I really enjoyed Sam’s boo too.
    I’m intrigued by your comment: “He does this, thankfully, without the crass attempt to associate different traditions with different moments in the Christ-event as if our soteriological focus was a matter of preference”.
    Are those the people saying things like some groups focus on Jesus’ life and the message of the coming Kingdom, some on Jesus death and the message of the cross, some on the uncertainty and darkness of the in-between of Easter Saturday and some on the resurrection and the present Kingdom? Is it possible that even if soteriological focus isn’t a matter of preference that emphasis at any one time may be something that does reflect personal experience or temperament?
    Matt

  2. Yes, someone else asked me about that. I meant the kind of analysis that says the Orthodox tradition focuses on the incarnation, liberals on the life of Jesus, evangelicals on the cross, Catholics on the resurrection and Pentecostals on Pentecost. It’s crass because it’s only partly true and only in some cases. So, for example, when I was part of a Pentecostal church for a year they talked a lot about the blood and generally talked more about the cross than about Pentecost. I also question the implication that often goes with this analysis that all are equally valid perspectives and that it a matter of preference. Clearly the saving work of Christ is multi-faceted and there will be times in our experience when one aspect is particularly precious because it addresses our current concerns. But that’s very different from saying Orthodox or Catholic or liberal soteriologies are not flawed, but merely a different emphasis.

  3. Tim,

    i have been thinking a lot lately about this “unhappy by-product,” especially since i am currently reading a book on the gospel. i have even heard many evangelicals give a “gospel” presentation which fails to mention the resurrection at all, and effectively leaves Jesus dead in the grave. (Thank God i know the whole story!) Or, when the resurrection is mentioned, it is treated apologetically, and not salvifically. Have you or anyone else from a Reformed-evangelical perspective written on this topic? (i.e., being cross-centered w/o ignoring the resurrection).

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