Today I’m review Tony Evans’ Book Activating the Power of the Cross. I’ll follow the same format as last time. I will note, here at the beginning, that I received a free review copy from Moody Publishers for the purposes of this review. If you want to purchase the book, go to your local bookstore or get it online here.
The book is organized into 4 chapters. The first one deals with keeping the cross as our primary focus always. The second one makes the argument that the cross (of Christ) is a source of genuine authority when so much of that is called into question. The third chapter points to the cross as an anchor in the storms of life. No matter how bad things get, we can have power in the midst of our trouble (i.e. Evans doesn’t make the claim that God simply removes us from our trouble, but that he gives us shelter in the midst of our trouble). The final chapter deals with our call to “come and die” as Bonheoffer famously put it, we identify with Christ in his suffering and death that we might be raised with him.
Tony Evans is unquestionably a master of illustration. The illustrations throughout are poignant, engaging, and really wonderful. Plus the overall message is one I can really get behind: the cross gives you victory even in the midst of defeat, so long as it remains in our focus.
There’s not too much I actually disagree with. There are some things I would have done differently, but I’ll save those for the next section.
Although Tony Evans doesn’t ever come to a position that might be characterized as “health and wealth” some of his language could be interpreted that way by a less than careful reading. Especially the terminology of “activating the power” and getting victory now. I will say that just because some preachers use these terms to promote a mistaken theology does not mean we should avoid these terms, but I would have liked to see a little bit more elaboration and clarity on this point. The book is not very long, so there is space for that.
I’d say buy the paperback (5 out of 6). It’s a concise yet pointed read, and for illustrations one can really not do better than Tony Evans, but I grew up listening to his radio program in High School and College, so maybe I’m biased.