Do you ever give much thought of when Jesus ascended into heaven and what this means to a Christian? For some, it probably is just another part of the story. “He went up in the clouds … The End.” For others they may have more of an Apostle’s Creed view , “He is now seated at the right hand of the Father to judge the living and the Dead.” Is that where it ends? Is that all there is to the faith of a Christian?
Authors Tim Chester and Jonny Woodrow dive into this theological issue in their new book, The Ascension: Humanity in the Presence of God. This book is a short read – just 96 pages. However, they examine the complexity of this doctrine more thoroughly than one would expect. They divide the issue into three topics / chapters–1. Ascended Priest, 2. Ascended King, and 3. Ascended Man. In these areas, they use Old and New Testament teaching– including Moses, the Transfiguration of Christ, the tabernacle, and Acts, the Gospels, and the Epistles of Paul to present the significance of Christ’s Ascension to Heaven. They look at the significance then, now, and in the future according to Biblical prophecy. I am not going to go into greater detail about this book’s content and teaching although there is much that I could cover.
This is not likely a primer to Christianity for a new believer in Christ. Instead, a seasoned Christian and one with a theological interest will likely enjoy this book most. With that being said, there is certainly a readability to Chester and Woodrow’s writing style. They are not likely writing this to the Bible Scholar; although I believe the scholar would find great content in reading it as well. The style is more of an everyday language that helps its reader understand the significance of this glorious event. They wrote this book because they see the ascension as a doctrine forgotten by the Christian church.
I really liked the authors’ presentation of both Old and New Testament teaching and integration to make their points of this significant event in Christianity. The ideas and scriptural exposition stretched me and my understanding of Christ and the reasons why He ascended and how we will all meet Him one day. I believe readers will see how the ascension relates to them and their life. At times, I found myself jumping a bit with the transitions in their presentation, but not to a point where they lost me or that I lost interest in their topic. They definitely tackled some challenging areas of Scripture and theology. However, they do so in a most understandable and intriguing matter. I recommend this book and believe it will be a benefit to stretch its reader in their faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ’s final earthly act … at least so far! I give the book five stars of five.
CHECK OUT THE AUTHORS’ INTERVIEW! It is very well done.
Who is this ascended Jesus? He is King, Priest and man and is still at work. Ultimately he is humanity in the presence of God. Here we discover how we are a part of the Ascension. With the Spirit’s enlightening we can begin to understand the Ascension. Tim Chester introduces us to this important doctrine.
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Christian Focus (March 20, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.2 inches
Retail Price: $8.99
Available at Amazon.com!
- Tim Chester is an author, pastor of The Crowded House, Sheffield and a leader of The Crowded House church planting network. He is married with two daughters.
- Jonny Woodrow is the Associate Director of Porterbrook Seminary and part of the leadership team of The Crowded House church planting network.