Book Review: The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul

The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul

In my first book review on this blog I’d like to start out with a passage of Scripture and a quote from the book.

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1-2 NKJV).

he [Paul] told the Corinthians he had determined to know nothing except Christ crucified. Clearly Paul was determined to know all kinds of things besides the person and work of Jesus. He wanted to teach the Corinthians about the deep things of the character and nature of God the Father. He planned to instruct them about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, about Christian ethics, and about many other things that go beyond the immediate scope of Christ’s work on the cross. So why, then, did he say this? The answer is obvious. Paul was saying that in all of his teaching, in all of his preaching, in all of his missionary activity, the central point of importance was the cross.

Those are mentioned on pages 3 and 4 and serve as a good basis for the book.

Generous use of Scripture is utilized including exposition of longer passages like Genesis 18 and rules about slaves and marriage in Exodus, which to me is a bonus. We even get some lessons in history like learning a bit about Anselm of Canturbury and how limited atonement was first widely articulated by Augustine. Useful but short personal anecdotes are used sparingly with Scripture taking center stage.

The book serves a wide audience. He uses theological terms but always defines them for those who may not have a wide vocabulary in that area.

Some other interesting topics he goes into:

  • three distinct ways in which sin is described: debt, enmity, crime
  • expiation and propitiation
  • what blessed and cursed means in the OT (Gal 3:13)
  • the sacrificial lamb and the scapegoat and how Christ fulfilled both parts of the sacrifice
  • misunderstandings of limited atonement (a hot issue for some)

just to name a few of those that especially interested me.

I would like to have seen him go more into original sin. Maybe it wasn’t in the scope of this book.

This was the first book of R.C. Sproul’s that I’ve read. I thoroughly enjoyed his writing and teaching style and look forward to reading more of his books.

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1 Response to “Book Review: The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul”


  1. 1 TC

    I thought it was a great treatment of the subject. I appreciate RC’s writings so much.

  1. 1 Book Review: The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul | Scripture Zealot
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