Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review: Chester & Woodrow on The Ascension

This was a very helpful introduction to the topic of the ascension of Jesus Christ. The entire book can be read in one or two sittings at most. It is short and a light read but with significant content. The three man chapters focus on Christ's Ascended Priesthood, His Ascended Kingship and His Ascended humanity. Throughout the emphasis is on Christ's true bodily ascension for us and for our salvation.

The authors briefly survey various texts including Old Testament texts that serve as the basis for ascension and Christ's priestly ministry. They discuss the new Testament fulfillment and significant. A lot of time is spent looking at Hebrews, but attention is also given to places in Luke-Acts, Ephesians, Daniel 7 and others. Lay persons and pastors will benefit from this brief work. Each chapter ends its discussion with implications. For example, in the chapter on Christ's kingship the discussion turns to how the kingdom advances through missions.

This book is theological fresh water without drowning the novice. In some quarters of the evangelical church today the ascension goes unnoticed as to its reality and its importance. This book is a helpful correction. Most of all the emphasis on Christ as "our man" in heaven standing both as representative and as reigning king should shift our thinking to higher thought of God and Christ our Mediator. A welcomed read. Highly recommended.

Some of my favorite quotes:

  • "[Jesus] is the sign, the reminder, the pledge, the guarantee that we belong in the presence of God.”

  • "Jesus is the new Adam, the new David, the new King, the Saviour of the world whose rule will bring peace & prosperity." 
"What the [OT] priest did when they entered the tabernacle was a kind of pre-enactment of the ascension." 
  • "Atonement was not complete until Jesus stood before God on our behalf."
"If Christ is not in God's presence on our behalf then we are not in God's presence." 
"Jesus is…our man in heaven…I can no sooner be removed from God's presence than Jesus can"
  • "The ascension is the foundation for global mission; mission is the logic of ascension." 
  • “We should not reduce the kingship of Jesus to a private affair for a ghetto people."

"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...