Dr. Peterson’s work on soteriology (doctrine of salvation), Salvation Accomplished by the Son, is thorough. That is like saying water is wet, the sun shines, and that Enzo Ferrari liked to tinker with car engines. This is a well-thought, well-presented treatment of Christ’s accomplishments for us in what we simply call ‘salvation.’
Peterson organizes his presentation in two groups: events, of which there are nine, and pictures, of which he discusses six. Each chapter works carefully through the entire body of Scripture to not only discover where these truths are found, but to understand them in their contexts so that a well-rounded understanding of each component will result in a greater understanding of the topic as a whole.
What emerges is a multi-faceted gem. The lay person who understands that Jesus died for his sin will gain a greater understanding of the depths to which Jesus went to make salvation possible. The scholar who understands the theological underpinnings of the gospel will gain a fuller appreciation of the breadth of Messiah’s work in, among, and for mankind. The well-versed scholar will increase their admiration for the Messiah King. Only the ignorant and the foolish will find this work of little value.
The vastness of Christ’s salvific work is seen in the events that accomplish it. Peterson makes a solidly biblical case for salvation built on Jesus’ incarnation, sinless life, death, resurrection, ascension, session, Pentecost, intercession, and second coming. To eliminate any of these, Peterson claims, is to misunderstand the events that make salvation possible. While I am in no theological position to quibble with the likes of Dr. Peterson, I found the arguments for Pentecost to be a bit strained. The work and event would have nicely fit into the ascension, session, and intercession topics. Be that as it may, the events are covered in considerable detail, so the reader does not miss the rich details.
The event pictures of salvation are the proverbial cherries on the sundae. To help the reader better understand the events and accomplishments of salvation, the word pictures describing our Savior are discussed. Peterson discusses the pictures of Reconciler, Redeemer, Legal Substitute, Victor, Second Adam, and Sacrifice so that the reader not only understands Christ’s role in each part but also understands how those roles differ and complement each other from a biblical perspective. Again, the entirety of Scripture’s teaching is brought to bear on each topic to form a cohesive whole.
If the events were the sundae and the pictures the cherry, then the appended work is the sprinkle. Peterson very carefully covers the extent of the atonement, striking a careful balance between the Arminian and Calvinistic positions that remains faithful to Scripture without mindlessly bending to either position. Granted, one position will feel mistreated while the other sees their supported, but the tone is gentle, fair, and kind.
This is not a quick read. This is not an easy read. This is, however, a must read. You will be better for the investment you make of time, thought, money, and energy. Your heart will be better for it, as you will get much “praise therapy” in the process. – Charles Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
In this unique and insightful work, Robert Peterson insists that we look afresh at all that the Bible teaches about who our Savior is and what he has accomplished, with the conviction that a careful examination of this teaching will lead us to adoration and worship. Peterson explains the saving work of Christ, both his deeds and the biblical pictures illustrating them, and thereby points to the magnitude of what Jesus did to save sinners. Offered here is a substantive, significant, and enduring treatise on a key Christian doctrine—the work of Christ.