Chris Brauns has provided a book that is very clearly written and well done. The author mentions the need for a clearly written and compelling description of the biblical doctrines of original sin and spiritual union with Christ. I believe he has done so here.
The author’s task was daunting. We live in a culture which rebels against the very ideas about which he writes. The idea of experiencing negative consequences as a result of someone else’s wrong decision making is frustrating for all of us. Yet, our reality is clear according to Scripture. We have inherited sin from Adam. The author discusses “federal headship” and “natural headship” (or seminal headship) and states that he sees both as being options for understanding how sin is passed on to the rest of mankind. It appears that his argumentation in the initial stages of the book appear to lean heavily toward “federal headship.” Regardless, the explanations and biblical evidence given are solid. The decisions of others effect us, negatively and positively. In the grand scheme of things, Adam’s sin has been passed down to us. But, even on a smaller scale, we are interrelated as human beings and the decisions of others truly effect us. We are not islands unto ourselves.
As Brauns moved on to speak of the gospel and union with Christ, I think that he did a fine job of explaining the results of these spiritual realities from Scripture. Those who have repented of their sin and placed their trust in the gospel have been united spiritually with Jesus Christ. It is a vital union which effects all areas of our lives. I appreciated the authors emphasis on our union with Christ severing our union with Adam (our union with sin). It highlights our new nature, being a new creation in Christ. He also emphasizes our union with Christ being superior and more powerful than union with Adam.
On the level of application, the author does very well in transitioning from the theological truth of union with Christ, to how marriage, family, and church family are effected by union with Christ. I have to admit that one statement made by the author was a little troubling to me. He said, “One spouse may be so infected with sin that divorce is necessary, but it must only be done as a last resort” (p.116). I know that there are situations that arise in marriage, which are not directly addressed in Scripture – physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and the list of sinful behavior could go on and on. Yes, the Bible states that the only legitimate reasons for divorce are adultery (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:8-9), and when a believer is abandoned by an unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:10-16). There are unbelievable acts of wickedness committed each day by spouses against one another, but I think we should be cautious to open the door for divorce wider than Scripture does.
On the whole I do recommend this book and I think it is a helpful read. I think that it is especially beneficial for someone who has not, nor is able to pursue formal theological education. I think it is helpful for someone, who otherwise would not study something as important as Original Sin and union with Christ, To be able to read a clear and concise treatment of such important biblical truths.
I received this book from Booksneeze as a part of their blogger review program in exchange for an unbiased review of this present work.