2/26/2011

Though a KING, He Wore not a Throne, but Carried a CROSS Unto Death

A new book, King’s Cross (Feb 2011) is adapted from sermons that Tim Keller, senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, has preached from the Gospel of Mark. The book is neatly organized into 2 parts, corresponding to the Gospel of Mark’s 2 symmetrical halves or acts:
  1. his identity as King over all things (Mark chap 1-8)
  2. his purpose in dying on the cross (Mark chap 9-16)
Hence the catchy title from its 2 parts (“The King” and “The Cross”), each part consisting of 9 chapters, with each chapter focusing on a particular theme by exploring a selective key part of the story told in Mark’s Gospel, explaining the background, illustrating the main point, and applying it for readers. So the book retains the essential elements of good preaching. (But a handful of well-known passages aren’t addressed in detail in the book.)

I hope to blog on each chapter as I read them. Here are a few random quotes from the book:

"In Jesus we find infinite majesty yet complete humility, perfect justice yet boundless grace, absolute sovereignty yet utter submission, all-sufficiency in himself yet entire trust and dependence on God." 155

"If (Jesus) were only a king on a throne, you’d submit to him just because you have to. But he’s a king who went to the cross for you. Therefore you can submit to him out of love and trust." 107

"The best way I can put it is that, before the change (of the Bible coming alive), I poured over the Bible, questioning and analyzing it. But after the change it was as if the Bible, or maybe Someone through the Bible, began poring over me, questioning and analyzing me." xv

"Though as a youth I had believed that the Bible was the Word of the Lord, I had not personally met the Lord of the Word." xvi

For reference, these are the verses in Mark’s Gospel explained by Keller in each chapter of King’s Cross:

Part 1: THE KING: The Identity of Jesus

1) The Dance (Mark 1:1-4, 9-11, 12-13): Creation (Gen 1:1-3) and redemption (beginning with Jesus' baptism - Mark 1:9-11) are both products of a Trinity.
2) The Call (Mark 1:14-15, 16-20, 21-22, 29-31): Gospel vs. advice. You can't have a relationship with Jesus unless he calls you. Jesus' authority (root word author) is not derived. Follow the thread (George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin).
3) The Healing (Mark 1:35-38, 2:1-5, 5-8, 8-12): After prayer Jesus decided to leave. He was more interested in the quality of the people's response than in the quantity of the crowd. Your sins are forgiven.
4) The Rest (Mark 2:23-28, 3:1-6): Lord of the Sabbath.
5) The Power (Mark 4:35-38, 39-41, 38-41)
6) The Waiting (Mark 5:21-22, 22-24, 24-26, 27-30, 30-33, 35-36, 37-40, 40-42)
7) The Stain (Mark 7:1-5, 14-16, 17-19, 20-23, 43-48)
8) The Approach (Mark 7:24-26, 26-27, 28-30, 31-37)
9) The Turn (Mark 8:27-30, 31-32, 34-9:1)

Part 2: THE CROSS: The Purpose of Jesus

10) The Mountain (Mark 9:2-8, 9-13, 14-18, 19-29)
11) The Trap (Mark 10:17-22, 23-25, 24-27, 28, 29-31, 32-33, 34)
12) The Ransom (Mark 8:31-32, 9:30-31, 10:32-34, 45, 35-36, 37-38, 38-45)
13) The Temple (Mark 11:1-10; Zech 9:9; Mark 11:11-12, 15-18, 12-14)
14) The Feast (Mark 14:12-16, 22-25, 23-25; Isa 53:6-7, 12; Luke 22:19; Mark 14:22)
15) The Cup (Mark 14:32-26)
16) The Sword (Luke 6:20-22, 24-26; Mark 14:43-46, 46-49, 48-52)
17) The End (Mark 14:53-59, 60-62, 62-65, 15:1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 20-24; Ps 22:7, 14, 16-18; Mark 15:25-33, 33-34; Isa 13:9-13; Amos 8:7-10; Mark 15:35-39)
18) The Beginning (Mark 15:37-43, 44-47, 16:1-3, 3-7; Luke 24:36-46; Ps 22:20-21. 24, 27-29, 31; John 11:25-26; 1 Thes 4:14; 1 Cor 15:13-19)

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