God is FOR Us
by C. Baxter Kruger
Open Book Publishers, SA 1999
Number of pages: 71
This small book has got to be one of the most exciting, positive books on the gospel I have ever read. Baxter Krueger uses easy to understand methods to get his points across and for someone, like me, who isn’t a theologian, but wants to understand some of the deeper things in scripture, this book has been a wonderful guide. It makes you look at the message of the gospel through fresh eyes.
There are 5 chapters in all. To start off, Krueger really catches the excitement of Paul when he wrote about our existence and the purpose for which God created us (Eph. 1:3-6). The good news from the beginning was that the Father wanted to share all of who he is with us. Krueger goes through the adoption process, but shows it is far more than just a legal contract. “It means to be taken into and included in the very circle of the Father’s fellowship.”( pp9)
The 2nd chapter goes into the subject of the atonement. He gleans some wonderful insights from a Scottish minister from 150 years ago, John McLeod Campbell. He struggled with the questions of the atonement and this “struggling produced profoundly liberating insights for the church today” (pp19). In the church, he saw little or no excitement about God, but rather faithfulness to religious duties. He also saw that Christianity wasn’t producing the freedom it should. He couldn’t see ” ‘joy unspeakable full of glory’” that Peter talks about in I Pet 1:8. The message of God’s amazing love in Christ was not getting through to the soul.
In Chapter 3 Krueger reiterates just what Jesus means for the whole world. “There is nothing in all the earth that has the power to liberate us and transform us like the Word of God, the living Word, spoken and speaking in Jesus Christ.”(pp29). He then goes through the cleansing of the temple scenario to show the” …real cleansing of human existence that takes place in Jesus Himself.”(pp32)
Chapter 4, “The Vicarious Man” is a very challenging and exciting chapter. He shows how Jesus came to substitute our whole human existence with His. “He came to take away our alienated humanity and give us real humanity.” (pp41) The gospel is not just the good news of what God has done through Jesus, but of what God has done in and as Jesus. This is our good news.
And finally, in Chapter 5, Krueger reiterates what the gospel is, but also clarifies the following discrepancy - if Jesus is the vicarious man, why don’t we live the changed life as we should? He goes on to show that we are the expression of our souls. Once our souls fully believe the truth of who we are in Christ, this will be reflected on the outside. John 8:31-32 “(…the truth shall set you free”).
Knowing and believing what God has done is a process that takes time and can involve pain. God uses these situations to” cut through our blindness and deception so that we can begin to see and hear – really see and really hear – the shocking good news that has been there all along.” (pp70).
Over all, this book is inspiring, challenging and a really encouraging read. Baxter Krueger has an exceptional style of writing that brings these deeper subjects to light in a most profound, yet understandable way.
Submitted by Susan Regazzoli