Book Review: High King Of Heaven

High King Of Heaven:  Theological And Practical Perspectives On The Person And Work Of Jesus, edited by John Macarthur

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

When one reads books that are a compilation of religiously themed essays and papers [1], one does not always know what one is going to get.  Are the essays going to be cohesive and form a unified whole?  Are the essays going to be biblical, towing a strong line when it comes to sound biblical exegesis?  Are the essays going to be enjoyable to read and thought-provoking?  Fortunately, the answers to such questions for this book are at least mostly yes on all counts.  To be sure, I do not agree with everything that is in this book, and there are at least a few important aspects of Jesus Christ that are missing from this book, but by and large I found this to be a powerful book that makes a strong defense of a biblical view of Jesus Christ that takes into consideration the whole Bible and that is strongly polemical against certain negative aspects of contemporary society and culture.  I had guarded expectations going into this book, but they were met and considerably exceeded by what I found inside.

This book consists of 22 essays by various authors [2] divided into four parts.  The first part of the book consists of eight essays that deal with the person of Christ.  After that there are five essays that deal with the work of Christ.  The third part of the book consists of four essays on the Word of Christ, and the book closes with six essays on the witness to Christ in our contemporary society.  There are a few qualities that make this such a cohesive book as a whole despite its varied contributors.  For one, each of the essays takes as its text a short biblical passage with strong messianic overtones or implications or outright statements.  For another, many of the authors have a similar approach to the text.  In particular, the various essays show a strong polemical flavor and a certain similar tendency to make non sequitor Trinitarian appeals to simplicity that demonstrate a common perspective among the many authors despite their varied backgrounds.

By and large, I found this book to be excellent and I was definitely intrigued by the way the authors leaned into the issue that being genuinely biblical would at all times create problems with mainstream society because of the ways in which the Bible provides a strong rebuke for societies regardless of what particularly characteristic vices and favored sins they have.  Yet although the essays were in general very excellent and demonstrated considerable depth of understanding and a recognition of the complex meanings and layers of the original text, there were at least a couple of aspects of Jesus Christ whose absence I found somewhat troubling, namely that no one thought to write about Jesus Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath (a statement so notable it appears in the three synoptic Gospels) or about how James shows Jesus as the Lord of Sabaoth (hosts) prepared to avenge Himself against those who have become wealthy through injustice and exploitation.  Surely such aspects of Jesus Christ as Lord of Heaven ought to be remembered among many other aspects.  Anyway, although I was struck by what was missing and not necessarily in agreement with everything that was said, overall this book is an excellent one and a worthy addition to the reading material of any seminarian or Protestant scholar on Christology.

[1] See, for example:

[2] The book’s contributors are people I have not heard of before but given their efforts here I may hear of them in the future:

Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, H.B. Charles Jr., Steven Lawson, Paul Washer, Miguel Nuñez, Conrad Mbewe, Michael Reeves, Mark Jones, Phil Johnson, Matthew Barrett, Iosif J. Zhakevich, Tom Pennington, Abner Chou, Michael Grisanti, Michael Vlach, Mike Riccardi, Keith Essex, Austin Duncan, Brad Klassen, and Paul Twiss

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review: High King Of Heaven

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Monophysitism Past And Present: A Study In Christology | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Dispensationalism Today, Yesterday, And Tomorrow | Edge Induced Cohesion

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