The Cross Is Not Enough

Living as Witnesses to the Resurrection

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The resurrection is the center of Christianity. Without it, there is no life.

As crucial as it is, the cross of Christ is not the center of Christianity. What effect does forgetting the importance of the resurrection have on our worldview, our discipleship, our ethics, our evangelism, and our Christian practice?

In The Cross Is Not Enough, Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson explore how the resurrection of Christ has been understood in times past and restore this linchpin doctrine to its rightful place as the basis of our hope, our worldview, and the way we live our lives every day. They compare Christianity's unique understanding of resurrection to other world religions, explore why the resurrection connects so readily with the human psyche, and trace themes of resurrection through movies, books, music, and other aspects of popular culture.


"Without the resurrection, Jesus' death would scarcely have atoned for anyone. So why do treatments of the resurrection focus so little on its theological meaning and practical applications for life in this world? Clifford and Johnson rectify this problem, but they do much more, showing how the resurrection is the answer to the aspirations of proponents of most of the major religions of the world and of much of the current popularity of 'new spiritualities.' From movies to novels to near-death experiences, our authors show amazing command of an array of cultural developments about which all readers, Christians or otherwise, should be concerned. A must-read!"--Craig Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

"Clifford and Johnson argue that the Good News of Christianity is not just the cross--that Jesus died for our sins. The Good News is the cross and the resurrection--Jesus died and he rose from the dead. They make a compelling case, one that influences every aspect of Christian living and thinking. A must-read." --Terry Muck, dean of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and evangelism professor of missions and world religions, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Have we lost seeing the significance of the resurrection for the Christian? The Cross Is Not Enough argues that we have and then fruitfully walks us through the ways we can think about resurrection. It correctly contends we need to regain an emphasis on the resurrection. Hopefully in doing so, we can see how the resurrection and the cross work together to form the core of Christian hope." -- Darrell L Bock, research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Clifford and Johnson are right to want to explore not only how the resurrection has been understood in the past, but why it can contribute to the care and growth of the whole person. A resurrection-centric worldview is concerned not only with proofs of an empty tomb but also with a distinctly Christian form of holism. The church today is ready for a book that sees the resurrection as central to the formulation of a holistic Christian worldview for post-Christendom today.-- Michael Frost, Morling College, Sydney; author of Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian World; co-author of The Shaping of Things to Come and ReJesus

"This is not your typical book that approaches Jesus' resurrection from an evidential or soteriological angle. Clifford and Johnson argue that, as crucial as it is, the Cross of Christ is not the center of Christianity. Rather, the authors go beyond evidential studies in order to relate Jesus' resurrection to a holistic, full-orbed approach to Christian theology, mission, discipleship, as well as the daily life of the believer. Further, they find echoes of resurrection in many areas of popular culture, including religion, mythology, music, movies, and even comic books. The 'Spiritual Audit' questions after each chapter serve to challenge personal or group reflection. The authors' command of popular ideas serves to challenge modern culture, giving this volume a highly distinctive appeal." -- Gary R. Habermas, distinguished research professor, Liberty University & Theological Seminary

"Christians say that they believe in the cross and the resurrection, but sadly many Christians focus almost exclusively on the cross and regard the resurrection as an appendix that God tacked on to prove that Jesus died for their sins. In this book, Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson show that many Christians are operating with a half-told Easter story. Contrary to popular notions, they explain how the Christian faith is a resurrection faith in the risen Lord. Without the resurrection, Jesus' death is martyrdom not an atonement, without resurrection Jesus is just another dead Jew not the Lord of Glory--the cross derives its meaning and power from the empty tomb. Clifford and Johnson describe what it means to have an authentic resurrection faith that drives theology, missions, spirituality, thinking about culture, and church life. If you want to know what to tell your church on Easter Sunday beyond the annual droning of 'well, there really is life after death, ain't that nice,' if you want to know how to be 'children of the resurrection' as Jesus said, then for the love of Martha, read this book!" -- Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theological studies, Crossway College; author of Are You the One Who Is to Come? The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question

"Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson live in a land where Christians are a small minority. They have thought long and hard about what it means to bear witness to Jesus Christ when he is little known and less understood. Their reflections on the meaning of the resurrection will be exceedingly helpful to disciples who want to understand their own faith and relate it to a post-Christian culture." -- Gerald R. McDermott, Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion, Roanoke College; author of God's Rivals: Why Has God Allowed Different Religions? and World Religions: An Indispensable Introduction

"Inspired by faithfulness to the Bible, and informed by a sophisticated understanding of contemporary culture and the spiritual search of our generation, Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson have written a book that is both challenging and empowering for all who are concerned to communicate the heart of the Christian faith to today's people." -- John Drane, fellow of St John's College, University of Durham; author of The McDonaldization of the Church and Introducing the New Testament

"Arguing brilliantly for the resurrection to take back its place on center stage, this book carries readers on an exhilarating journey through wonderfully unexpected territory. Immensely practical, with its twelve zones of resurrection living and apologetic concern for skeptics, and grounded solidly in Scripture, it marshals astonishingly wide-ranging evidence for the resurrection in culture. Both skillful practitioners, the authors wear their scholarship lightly and pepper analysis with a wealth of personal stories and audit exercises. I completed this book with fresh conviction and excitement about living the resurrection. I know I shall preach differently now." -- Michael Quicke,
Charles Koller Professor of Preaching & Communications, Northern Seminary

"While the title might turn some heads, this book should in fact transform our living. It is a call to responsible and transformational faith flowing out of the hope and reality of the resurrection. Knowing Jesus and believing in Jesus is not enough. The Resurrection calls us to believe and live out the practices and values that Jesus and the Resurrection point and empower us toward. A powerful addition to the call to discipleship and faithful living as followers of Jesus Christ." -- Gary Nelson, president, Tyndale University College and Seminary

The Authors

  1. Ross Clifford

    Ross Clifford

    Ross Clifford is the principal of Morling Theological College in Sydney, Australia. A former lawyer and pastor, he is cofounder with Philip Johnson of The Community of Hope.

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  2. Philip Johnson

    Philip Johnson

    Philip Johnson is a visiting lecturer in apologetics and alternative religious movements at Morling Theological College in Sydney, Australia.

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