Baker Book’s The Cross and Christian Ministry book review – Rating 9.1

Baker Books The Cross And Christian MinistryI requested a copy of “The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians” by D.A. Carson from Baker Books’ BakerBookBloggers program so I could check it out for a review.

Carson takes a look at 1 Corinthians and does an exposition on it showing how the cross relates with Christian ministry. Solid book, especially if you are from a Reformed background.

I would give this book a 9.1 out of my normal 10 point rating scale.  On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a 5 star rating.

In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Baker Books to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


We all have seen it quite often. Christians walking around with ornate, beautiful crosses for jewelry or maybe a decoration in the home or in church. Yes we look at it and think it is beautiful and recall what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Yet are we looking at the cross correctly?

We read in Galatians 3:13 how anyone who hands on a tree (cross) is cursed by God, which references back to Deuteronomy 21:22-23. This was not a pleasant thing, or an ornate thing. Rather, the cross that we use for Christian ministry, is an ugly wood cross that is stained with the blood of Jesus who stood in our place for the punishment of sin.

D.A. Carson goes through the book of 1 Corinthians and shows how the cross pertains to our Christian ministry which needs to have the center of it being the gospel of Jesus Christ. This book is based on a series of talks that Dr. Carson gave and has formulated into this recently revised edition.

He covers how the cross relates to Preaching, the Holy Spirit, Factionalism, Christian Leadership and the World Christian across five chapters. At the end of each chapter, he provides five questions for review and reflection on his exposition from Scripture.

This is a very good book, but I feel that the reading level and content level is geared more toward those in leadership and more mature Christians who have a solid grasp on doctrine. This actually makes sense since the subtitle of the book is “Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians”. This book is written more on the Reformed doctrinal base, so I will let you determine if it is for you or not. I did enjoy reading it and found very practical direction in it.

I would say that if you are someone in a leadership role, or plan on being in one, then this book would be a good one to read and keep in your library. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from Baker Books and all opinions are my own.



Type of Book:  Christian Ministry
Author: D.A. Carson
Publisher: Baker Books (Baker Publishing Group)  #BakerBooksBloggers @ReadBakerBooks.
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 9780801075919
Price:  At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at  They have it for $8.99– suggested retail from the publisher is $12.99. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.

If you would like to purchase this book, please support my blog and purchase by clicking any of the links to on this page like the one below.  Or if you would like to purchase it as an e-book for $7.34, you can click HERE to do that.

075919: The Cross and Christian Ministry, Repackaged Edition The Cross and Christian Ministry, Repackaged Edition
By D.A. Carson / Baker BooksIn The Cross and Christian Ministry, D. A. Carson explains what the death of Christ means for ministry and why the focus of ministry must be on what is central, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through his exposition of 1 Corinthians, Carson explores the issues of factionalism, servant-leadership, and shaping “world” Christians in order to present principles for dynamic, cross-centered worship that compel us to share the Good News.

Physical Characteristics:
•160 pages
•Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches

Goal of Book:

The author’s goal is to examine the book of 1 Corinthians and take a look at how the cross relates to Christian ministry and how the gospel of Jesus Christ must be central to our ministry.  I think that Dr. Carson did a nice job of relating this to his readers.

My Favorite Part:

I really appreciate the teaching tools that are in here, but also the fact that the author put in a list of major errors (not exhaustive of course) that some people/groups believe in, to help readers of this book in their teaching of proper doctrine.


If you are someone who is either in leadership or going into Christian leadership, this would be a good book to read.  It will help to keep you grounded in the aspect of keeping the cross and the gospel of Jesus at the center of your ministry.


1 – The Cross and Preaching – 1 Cor 1:18-2:5
2 – The Cross and the Holy Spirit – 1 Cor 2:6-16
3 – The Cross and Factionalism – 1 Cor 3
4 – The Cross and Christian Leadership – 1 Cor 4
5 – The Cross and the World Christian – 1 Cor 9:19-27

About the Publisher:

From the Publisher’s website:  Baker Books has a vision for building up the body of Christ through books that are relevant, intelligent, and engaging. We publish titles for lay Christians on topics such as discipleship, apologetics, spirituality, relationships, marriage, parenting, and the intersection of Christianity and culture. We also publish books and ministry resources for pastors and church leaders, concentrating on topics such as preaching, worship, pastoral ministries, counseling, biblical reference, and leadership.

#BakerBooksBloggers @ReadBakerBooks


Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

– Michael

This entry was posted in Apply the Word, Baker Books, Church Ministry, D. A. Carson, Gospel, Leadership, Ministry Help, Other Book Reviews >>, Paperback, Pastor, Preaching, Scriptures, Spiritual Growth Book Reviews, Spiritual Life, Teaching, Word of God and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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