When you are writing a book, there is one fear that is hard to shake off. That is the fear that your work will turn out to reflect error rather than truth. This was certainly my experience writing Raised With Christ. It became even more pronounced when I learned that throughout church history no major heresy had arisen about the implications of the resurrection of Jesus. That is an extraordinary fact that goes a long way to explain our neglect of this vital subject—so much so that Spurgeon argued it might have been better if someone had created a heresy about it, since this would have forced the church to formulate the doctrine more clearly. My anxiety was that I might be the first one in two thousand years to create just such a heresy!
The natural thing to do, therefore, is to turn to other books for validation. It is extraordinary that there are, however, relatively few books that focus on the vital implications of Jesus’ resurrection.
Sam Allberry’s book Lifted was not available while I was writing my own. But you can imagine my delight to receive a preview copy as I was putting the finishing touches to editing Raised With Christ. I found here another book that was saying some similar things.
Lifted helps to plug the gap in resurrection books with a much needed introduction to what the resurrection has accomplished for us. He peppers good teaching with engaging illustrations, which make this a very helpful book for everyone who wants to re-examine this glorious truth.
Sam has become a great friend of mine. Our books were released the same month, and are remarkably complementary given that we did not plan it that way. During the writing process, we separately became convinced that Christians have a universal tendency to assume and neglect the resurrection. This has many implications. Sam’s book focuses on just four, but they are four critical areas.
Sam writes in an engaging, devotional style. His work is short and easy to read. But he gets right to the heart of how understanding the resurrection can lead to four things that make up the chapter titles of the book: Assurance, Transformation, Hope, and Mission.
Many Christians today lack assurance. Sam points out that because of the resurrection we can be confident of who Jesus is, and what he has done. Because of the resurrection we can be confident that “our sins have been fully dealt with and that death is no longer our destination, but a gateway to a new and perfect life” (page 43).
Sam also shows us how the resurrection has a transforming effect on our lives. We have already been spiritually raised with Christ and incorporated into him. We see in the resurrection that he truly is “the God who brings new life.” Have you ever considered what it truly means for us to have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead living in us?
The Christian has a hope that goes beyond the grave. Sam demonstrates the continuity, but differences, between our current mortal bodies and the immortal body we will be given. He outlines the wonderful hope of a literal, physical resurrection for you and me, and the change this will make to the entire universe.
Sam concludes by focusing on the fact that the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus means mission is an imperative. We have few of the words of the risen Jesus recorded. So when Jesus tells us to go into the entire world with this wonderful message and teach them to obey the one who was once just a crucified corpse, we ought to listen!
Sam is often gracious enough to describe his book as the starter to the main course of Raised With Christ. In fact, I would argue that Lifted takes four things covered in detail in Raised With Christ and presses them home with great clarity and succinctness. I know that Sam shares my hope that anyone who reads either book will want to read more about the vital core of the Christian faith. It is wonderful that finally more books are being written on the resurrection of Jesus and its implications for us today. I commend Sam’s book as a great example of what I pray will become a whole new genre full of many books. Neither Sam’s book nor mine are complete in and of themselves. It is so nice to have a friend as a fellow pioneer. I pray other writers will also join the exploration of the wonderful way in which the resurrection changes us today.
Lifted and Raised With Christ are available as a combo pack at a significant discount from 10ofthose.com.