Wonderfully accessible, The Truth of the Cross is R.C. Sproul at his very best. Each chapter displays a beautiful combination of theological precision and pastoral warmth, unpacking a different aspect of Christ’s atoning work. I found it to be a great companion to personal devotions. Sproul’s style is at once simple yet not simplistic. Readers are left with a full-orbed picture of the meaning and significance of Christ’s death and why it was absolutely necessarily that He live a perfect life and die a perfect death on behalf of His people.
Christ’s roles as a Substitute, Redeemer, Mediator, and Surety are all explained and defended. The question and answer chapter at the end is a great addition. For example, Sproul explains how God is not absent even in hell. Rather, those occupying hell prefer God to be absent, but His presence (in the mode of judgment) is unceasing. In response to another question, I was helped by the reminder that God Himself did not die on the cross, because He cannot die. Even saying the second Person of the Trinity died would be to make God mutable. Rather, the atonement was made by the human nature of Christ. The God-man dies, but death is experienced only by His human nature.
All in all, a great read.
“The gospel is a message of good news that something extraordinary has happened. At the heart of that message is that Jesus, God the Son incarnate, has atoned for the sins of all His people, turning away the righteous wrath of God. The gospel is a cross-shaped message. Sadly, in our day, this message is being re-shaped into other forms, and the results are not happy. We can give thanks for this volume by R.C. Sproul, however, because in it he steps into the breach once more to provide a clear, concise, and thoughtful case for the biblical and historic Christian gospel of the cross.”
— Dr. R. Scott Clark, Associate Professor, Westminster Seminary California
View the table of contents and read the first chapter.