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Cosmos Reborn by John Crowder

A book review

Cosmos Reborn follows on from John Crowder’s earlier book Mystical Union where he introduced his teaching on the finished work of Christ. Here he develops the ideas further. He looks at the deeper at the doctrine of the atonement and examines the earth shattering implications of the cross in his own readable, if quirky, style.

Is Cosmos Reborn Hyper-Grace teaching?

John Crowder is associated with a group of teachers labelled as “hyper-grace teachers”. If you’re interested in finding the truth of what these people actually teach this I suggest you start with Mystical Union or D.R. Silva’s book Hyper-Grace. If you want to see how “hyper-grace” teaching might fit into a wider theological framework then read Cosmos Reborn for John Crowder’s take on this.

Watch this trailer and listen to some quotes from the book:

What is Cosmos Reborn feel like to read?

You might find the first chapter in Cosmos Reborn, which is trying to counter anti-intellectualism, a little frustrating. I certainly did but then again I didn’t need it. But once you get past this you’ll read John Crowder explaining some intriguing theological points. Often he explains these clearly and simply but sometimes he stretches a point too far.

His writing is both entertaining and more rigorous than you might expect. He quotes extensively from a wide variety of sources including C. Baxter Krugar and Karl Barth. He uses a great variety of Bible translations including the recently published paraphrase the Mirror Bible by Francis De Toit, whose other writings he also quotes.

At first John Crowder’s tone may sound a little hyped but as he gets his teeth into the theology he appears to calm down. He is very encouraging but sometimes very repetitive too. And if you did start off without any theological knowledge at all you might find some of this material a confusing at times. Nevertheless you will find this mostly to be quite accessible theology.

What does Cosmos Reborn actually teach?

Here is a quick rundown of some of the main points:

Fractal Cosmos by  new 1lluminati on Flickr

Fractal Cosmos by new 1lluminati on Flickr

• This book explains what it means to be born again and united with Christ and how we are looking forward to the entire world being ‘born again’ in a similar way when Jesus returns. Hence the title! But before it covers plenty of theological ground before it gets to this point.

• Throughout the book the teaching on grace shines through. You will go away encouraged that God has forgiven you totally. You don’t need to worry that he’ll be angry with you if you sin again. This wonderful doctrine is the one that the “hyper-grace” teachers have been accused of over emphasising.

• It explains the superiority of the Christus Victor model of the atonement over the evangelical norm of penal substitution. Christus Victor refers to Jesus victory over Satan on the cross by giving his life as a ransom to set us free. Penal substitution refers to Jesus taking God’s punishment as he vented his wrath on his only son.

• As John Crowder explains the work of the cross it becomes apparent that he believes in universal atonement as opposed to the Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement. Jesus died for all humankind not just the elect. He atoned for the sin of the whole world or ‘cosmos’ in the Greek.

• But John Crowder is not a Universalist. He is hopeful that many if not all may accept Christ even from the everlasting punishment of hell. A view outlined recently by Jerry L Walls in this interview on Rachel Held Evens blog. Walls was representing the traditional view of hell as eternal torment in contrast to previous interviews with an annihilationist and a universalist.

Hopefully that will help you see where Cosmos Reborn is going and where John Crowder stands on these issues a bit more clearly. In addition to these I can’t promise that you won’t find a few oddball ideas here. Nevertheless this is an enjoyable book with some accessible teaching on the finished work of Jesus on the cross and on the nature of God’s abounding grace.

8/10

Thanks to Mike Morrell of the Speakeasy network for sending me a free copy of Cosmos Reborn to review.

P.S. I must write more about grace and the finished work of the cross sometime.

Related posts

How To Get Stoned On Jesus: Meet John Crowder – a profile showing a balanced assessment of some of the more whacky aspects of John Crowder’s ministry.

Seven Spirits Burning by John Crowder – another of his books previously reviewed.

John Crowder on Baptism with the Spirit

Further reading

Sons of Thunder – previously ‘The New Mystics’, John Crowder’s ministry site with tons of free resources including many vidoes of John Crowder teaching.

John Crowder – Like his fan page on Facebook to receive regular updates of the site and find out what John is getting up to.

Buy Cosmos Reborn on Kindle from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Buy Mystical Union (John Crowder’s previous book introducing the finished work) by from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Buy Hyper-Grace (a defence of the Hyper-Grace teaching) by D.R. Silva from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Confronting the Error of Hyper-Grace an article by Micheal Brown in Charisma Magazine criticising the “Hyper-Grace” teaching.

February 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm
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