Knowing Christ, by Mark Jones


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Knowing Christ, by Mark Jones

Knowing Christ, by Mark Jones

Knowing Christ, by Mark Jones

Ebook Download Knowing Christ, by Mark Jones

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Knowing Christ, by Mark Jones

The Puritans loved the Bible, and dug into it in depth. Also, they loved the Lord Jesus, who is of course the Bible’s focal figure; they circled round him, centred on him, studied minutely all that Scripture had to say about him, and constantly, conscientiously, exalted him in their preaching, praises, and prayers. Mark Jones, an established expert on many aspects of Puritan thought, also loves the Bible and its Christ, and the Puritans as expositors of both; and out of this triune love he has written a memorable unpacking of the truth about the Saviour according to the classic Reformed tradition, and the Puritans supremely. It is a book calculated to enrich our twenty-first-century souls, and one that it is an honour to introduce.

— J.I. Packer, from the foreword

  • Sales Rank: #34566 in Books
  • Published on: 2015-09-28
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.40″ h x .70″ w x 5.30″ l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 256 pages

Most helpful customer reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful.
Best Book on Christ I Have Ever Read
By Jonathan McGuire
Knowing Christ
You need to buy this book. I choose my verb carefully when I say “need.”

In the last twenty years, only two or three books (out of thousands) have had as profound an effect on me as Knowing Christ. In a sense, meant to be a companion book to J.I. Packer’s book of a previous generation, the author spends 250 pages expounding the excellencies and immense value of “Christ,” our Messiah. He could have written 500 pages more, and I would have read them.

The author weaves Puritans and Fathers together in chapters that ended too soon. Caught between wanting to skip ahead in excitement at the next chapter and slowing down to cherish the miniature sermons of the glories of Christ on each page, I kept thinking, “I wish I had known this when ______.” If it is true that knowing Christ and the power of his resurrection was Paul’s greatest desire—to know and be known by him—it is equally true we should give thanks to God for every tool he brings that accomplishes this end for each generation. This book is such a tool: feeding the intellect, enriching the heart, and increasing the will to fight for holiness (cf. Heb 12:14).

You will not regret purchasing this book. He who would find it dry has a soul that needs the very Savior this book so exquisitely places before us. With Christians increasingly confused over basic matters so clearly spoken in Scripture (like marriage), it is no surprise that many churches are filled with men and women confused over their Savior. While I’m not a major fan of “Bible studies” that are little more than “man-written book studies,” this is a book I would recommend for any small group or church to assist them in clearly knowing, loving, praising, following, and being transformed by our Risen Christ. Chapters are profound, but succinct; filled with Scripture, but not mere quotation; easy to read, yet challenging in their historical depth and our allegiances to the idols we too often resemble.

Each of us is being transformed. Some are being transformed to be more like the empty idols they admire; others into the image of Christ. When I began this book, I did not anticipate its value to or effect upon me. As I finished, I realized how much I had needed what it preached. Rather, I realized how much I needed the one of whom it proclaimed.

Thank you, Mark Jones. Thank you.

Buy this book. Buy it in bulk and give it away to every age group within your church.

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
Devotionally Warm and Theologically Rich
By Shane D. Anderson
“This fact alone is our comfort: all we need is one sinless person, the God-man, to take our place… Nothing should provide us with more awe and delight. Nothing should keep our minds busier on earth than this great reality: the Holy One of God was declared unholy, so that unholy sinners might stand unblemished before a holy God” (p. 101, 107)

So begins and ends Jones’ chapter on “Christ’s Sinlessness”, one of twenty-seven chapters in which the author skillfully seeks to turn the reader’s thoughts, emotions, and wills (our whole strength) toward the one Christ, the beloved Son of the Father made man for our salvation (see chapter 1). If a person has little appreciation for this One, they may think the book’s singular focus to be too narrow for so many chapters. Yet, Jesus is “God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2 & 3). Since this is true, as the author prayerfully gazes on Christ through these many biblical angles, the book moves along, as it were, scene upon scene, into an amazingly broad, multifaceted display of the glories and graces of Jesus Christ.

Some reasons to buy the book:

1. “Knowing Christ” is spiritually rich and biblically sound.
This book is the rare combination of warm piety and clear-headed biblical thinking. The author drives the reader into the Scriptures themselves, of which Jesus exclaimed to the Father: “Sanctify them in truth! Your word is truth!” I cannot think of a better remedy for weak, dry, worldly, falsely-spiritual, or just flat-out-false piety than a long and steady contemplation of the Bible’s teaching about our Savior. This book is good medicine!

2. This book brings the average Christian into a friendly relationship with the history of Christian thought and practice.
In an age of ever shifting beliefs and practices, many Christians are longing for a connection to the permanence of faith found in the “one holy catholic (universal) and apostolic Church.” This book is a fine example of how Christians can retrieve the tried and true doctrines and piety of the Christians who have preceded us in the faith and bring them forward into our day. The author is an expert in the Puritans, so the book includes the heart-stirring piety they are known for, but he also is careful to ground his own reflections on Christ in the great universal Christian tradition, acquainting the reader with creedal formulations and church fathers within a devotionally oriented book. The book clearly arises from a pastor whose mind, heart, and affections have been fed deeply in the best of the Reformed tradition to which he is faithful. Rather than having a sectarian tone or aim, the book gently comes alongside all types of Christians and seekers commending the truth.

3. The chapters are short and accessible.
Each chapter is 6-10 pages long, unified around a vantage point from which Christ is viewed. His dignity, his sayings, his miracles, etc. This allows for the book to be used by inexperienced readers who need to take concepts a piece at a time. Within each chapter, headings provide a helpful method for keeping the reader on track. Bible verses are clearly referenced in the text, and endnotes allow the motivated learner to find original sources.

4. The book has a study guide built in!
I hope you have stuck with this review to this point, because I particularly want to commend the author for anticipating that this sort of book may be very useful for a small group study or around the dinner table in Christian homes. At the end of the book, discussion questions are provided for each chapter. The chapters themselves, by providing headings and Scripture references to the various concepts discussed, lend themselves to deeper personal or group study.

5. I’m fairly sure you will want to read this many times and give this to others.
It’s difficult to find a book that will be nearly universally beneficial, but this one comes close. While this may not be the ideal book for someone who has little interest in the Christian faith, I think it is likely an excellent choice for nominal Christians, those who are showing interest in knowing the Lord, new Christians, those looking to deepen their love for Christ, and those looking for a theologically rich devotional book. I hope the book will have a broad readership and impact like Packer’s classic Knowing God.

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
The Book that People Don’t Think They Need
By Ryan Mcgraw
Years ago I heard R. C. Sproul say that while his favorite book he ever wrote was The Glory of Christ it was his worst selling book. This reviewer has had the same experience with his own book on the subject. Perhaps my books sales reflect poorly on my work, but I doubt that this is the case with Sproul. The fact is that while millions of readers (apparently) want to find their best life now, far fewer people invest in knowing the glory of Jesus Christ. Though Knowing Christ presents nothing novel many of its teachings will be new to many readers. This book is calculated to help readers grow in their affection for Christ even while they increase their knowledge of him.
Knowing Christ is pastoral and practical. It arose, appropriately, from the crucible of preaching and ministering to a local congregation (xi). Some of the best devotional works of the church have been produced in this way. Jones’ choice of Owen as one of his great “heroes” (xiv, 232) is reflected fruitfully in the rich content of this book. He includes the key aspects of Christ’s person and work, including his two natures, his humiliation and exaltation, his covenant with the Father, his voluntary and vicarious obedience, his suffering, his role as Judge, his death, his resurrection, his ascension and session, and his threefold office, among other subjects. Jones makes what is difficult for most personal and practical for all. His primary goal in writing is to give readers “a reason to love him more” (xv). This reviewer hopes that this aim will prove to be contagious.
Knowing Christ is precise and well written. The strength of the Puritans lay in their ability to use precise scholastic concepts as the backdrop for warm devotional theology. Jones writes with the same skill. The endorsements, however, are a bit over the top. While this reviewer agrees that Knowing Christ should endure long, is it wise to predict that it will “serve the church permanently” or that it will be “passed down from generation to generation?” The Lord alone knows which works will endure and he alone can give such a blessing. Some books should be remembered that are not, while others that should not stay in print do so. This has as much to do with divine providence as with a book’s merits (or demerits). Nevertheless, this reviewer prays that Jones’ book will get the readership it deserves, since most do not know what they are missing.
In a homiletics course that I teach, students often ask how to preach Christ. My short answer is that we should preach Christ as Paul preached him. His example did not grow out of a homiletical theory as much as from a heart and mind preoccupied with the glory of his Savior. No one can preach Christ well unless he knows Christ well. The material presented in Knowing Christ is the primary need of ministers and church members alike in every age.

Ryan M. McGraw
Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
(This review appears in New Horizons)

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