“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified” – 1 Corinthians 2:2
That is the theme verse of this small book by Jon Cardwell that focuses on the glorious Gospel of our blessed God as revealed by His dear Son, Jesus Christ and Cardwell takes up this theme with great passion and precision. Jon Cardwell’s skill as a Bible teacher, tenderness as a pastor, and worship as a grateful son of the Heavenly Father show through on every page of this book as it carefully expounds the Gospel of Christ.
A book written with the express purpose of declaring the glory of Christ’s redemption of His church, this small tome brings to us a tremendous balance of solid doctrine, sincere exhortation, Biblical foundation, and superb writing through nine easy to read and thorough chapters.
Expounding the Gospel in its preeminence, proposition, power, purpose, provision, privilege with an exhortation in its priority, Christ And Him Crucified does not spare in carefully laying out the truths of the God’s miraculous, sovereign grace with extra care to reference Scripture, backing up each point with verse upon verse and endnotes that are blends of Scriptural references, occasional Greek explanations, and citations by authors of days gone by. Cardwell does not spare in the amount of information that he can fit into this small book, and not a single bit of it wasted.
The writing style in general possesses a tone of a fierce love for the Gospel that echoes such men as Paul Washer and Charles Spurgeon, without sacrificing pastoral compassion and Cardwell’s personal voice. While this book can easily be read in a day, you may wish to savor it, and read over the words slowly, so as to soak up their meaning more fully.
As I read this book I was reminded much of older authors that I have enjoyed so much. There is a hint of Spurgeon, Bunyan, and other great Puritan authors mixed into this precious book, and as with those author’s writings, this is a book to be visited over and over to refresh the soul and to savor the richness of Christ’s redeeming work. This book has again reminded me of the great debt that I owe to my Savior for what He has done, and brought me again to the truths of God’s immense redeeming love. If you wish to renew your passion for the Gospel, or to drink again of the fountain of these truths, then I would highly recommend this book to you.
At the same time, however, while Cardwell does an exceptional job of expounding Gospel truth, do remember that this is by no means an exhaustive treatment of it. Great though this book is we must at the same time acknowledge that the truths this book mines go far deeper than one hundred odd pages can go. But then, even if for all eternity men were to write books on the Gospel, there would never be an end to them. Cardwell says as much in his book, and I will close with this quote:
“What more can be said? Well, infinitely more, actually. The truth of the crucified Lord of glory is an infinite and eternal truth and the finite creature will never span its breadth, fathom its depth, scale its height, nor measure its length. We can preach for eternity and never exhaust its excellence. We can lecture with the utmost eloquence and never exceed its majesty and magnificence. We can teach with the most impeccable intellect and never capture its incredible beauty. We may converse by the most holy unction of the Holy Spirit and never fully comprehend its splendor.”