Book Review: Baptized into Christ
Author: Jordan Cooper
Publisher: Just and Sinner Publications
Reading Level: Leisure
"The entire life of the baptized is lived in view of the end, when Jesus returns for his people. We live with the full hope and assurance that on the last day, Christ will have the victory, and we will share in that victory with him." (164)
Already an accomplished writer of theology, Pastor Jordan Cooper has written Baptized into Christ: A Guide to the Christian Life with the intent of helping laymen Lutherans apply their rich theological tradition to the intricate tapestries of life (see other blog post on Baptized into Christ). The waters of baptism flow through the church, over congregant, and into the very recesses of practical life. As Cooper states, "The entire life of the Christian is essentially summed up by the act of baptism" (23).
Cooper covers the doctrines of "two kinds of righteousness" (chapter 2), "two kingdoms" (chapter 6), and "saint and sinner" (chapter 8) in a practical way that speaks to the ebb and flow of Christian life. Contrary to some popular opinions, high theology is always practical to the Christian. This is perhaps best exemplified in the distinction between Cooper's chapters on "Christ for Us" (chapter 4) and "Christ in Us" (chapter 5) — Christ is ever "the favor of God towards us" (57) and He "dwells within us" (71). In these examples, Cooper shows how Lutheran theology very well exemplifies "justification by faith alone" while stipulating ethical instruction for the believer — "The Imitation of Christ" (chapter 7).
Given the nature of the material and its purpose, Baptized into Christ is the perfect length for a laymen's guide and introduction. Cooper covers all of this in an articulate, personable, and persistent way — always applying the doctrines of the church to the life of the saints. Politics, religion, and personal identification are all real life examples and situations that get touched in the scope of Cooper's writing.
In conclusion, Jordan Cooper's Baptized into Christ: A Guide to the Christian Life is a helpful introduction to a life saturated in Lutheran theology. Non-Lutherans will enjoy learning about Lutheranism in the context of its practical theology.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required 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.