Thursday, January 7, 2010

Packer & Dever on the Substitutionary Atonement (free for Kindle users)

One of my favorite hymns is Philip P. Bliss's meditative and triumphant anthem, "Man of Sorrows." 

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement
A year-and-a-half ago, Crossway published a book which combines three classic articles by J. I. Packer with a recent article by Mark Dever and a foreword by the four principal members of Together for the Gospel.  The title of their book was taken from verse two of Bliss's hymn "Man of Sorrows": In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement.  This is a profound, personalized, biblical statement that describes Jesus' substitutionary atonement.

If you are a Kindle user, Crossway is making this available as a free download.  If you are still committed to printed copies (like me) you can find a copy at one of the following places: 
J.I. Packer on how we have lost our grip on the Biblical Gospel (excerpt from chapter 4):
Without realizing it, we have during the past century bartered the gospel for a substitute product which, though it looks similar enough in points of detail, is as a whole a decidedly different thing. Hence our troubles; for the substitute product does not answer the ends for which the authentic gospel has in past days proved itself so mighty. Why?
Whereas the chief aim of the old was to teach men to worship God, the concern of the new seems limited to making them feel better. The subject of the old gospel was God and his ways with men; the subject of the new is man and the help God gives him. There is a world of difference. The whole perspective and emphasis of gospel preaching has changed.
From this change of interest has sprung a change of content, for the new gospel has in effect reformulated the biblical message in the supposed interests of “helpfulness.”
To recover the old, authentic, biblical gospel, and to bring our preaching and practice back into line with it, is perhaps our most pressing present need.