The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand

In this helpful book, Carter goes right to the heart of the Christian gospel and analyses what it is that the blood of Christ accomplishes. This would make a great primer on the atonement, perhaps a study guide for a group discussion on the work of Christ. I will certainly recommend it to my students to that end.

Following a couple of chapters in which he lays out the central place the blood of Christ plays in biblical teaching, Anthony Carter looks at elements of our salvation that has been brought about by the Saviour’s blood – propitiation, justification, redemption, reconciliation etc etc. It’s a long and wonderful list and each chapter gives much cause for praise and worship in response.

Having said that, there are a couple of aspects of this book that I found somewhat frustrating.

First, the book doesn’t read too well. I have a hunch that this is a series of sermons that has been brought together in book form, and, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is, that if that is the case, then more editing work needed to have been done on the content. There’s some repetition, going over the same ground, which isn’t a problem – indeed it’s a strength in preaching – but can be quite irritating in reading.

Secondly, and more importantly for me, while I don’t disagree with anything Carter teaches about the accomplishments of the blood of Christ, I think he needed an additional chapter at the start of the book which explains that blood is generally used as a synonym for the death of Christ. He begins his first chapter with a list of statistics about the vital role blood plays in our physical bodies, summing it up in the phrase, “Blood gives and maintains lives”. What he doesn’t stress, at least not strongly enough, is that the importance of blood in the Bible is that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).

I come across people from time to time who perceive that there’s something ‘magical’ about the red liquid which flowed through Jesus’ veins, when in fact the Bible writers use blood as shorthand for the brutal, physical, death endured by Christ, and I think it would have been helpful if this book had addressed that issue.

Those comments aside, I would happily recommend this book. It’s very accessible and devotional and will enrich your understanding and appreciation of what Christ has done in our place.

Ligonier Ministries (15 Jan. 2013) Review written in 2016

For the purpose of review, I received a complimentary copy of the book from the Publishers. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.