Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange:
My Sin for His Righteousness
My Sin for His Righteousness by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington

In The Great Exchange, Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington examine the apostles’ teaching about Christ's work. Using George Smeaton’s nineteenth century classic study The Apostles’ Doctrine of the Atonement as a pattern, they investigate what the New Testament authors taught about the accomplishments of Christ's righteous life and sin-bearing death. The first section of The Great Exchange sums up the teaching of the apostles on the atonement and places it in historical context. The second section, the bulk of the book, examines specific apostolic texts on the atonement, moving from Acts through Revelation.

The authors put the message of the cross where it belongs—at the center of Christianity. “The message of the cross—the historical gospel of the God-man, Jesus Christ, who personally visited the earth, which was created through him, with the mission of redeeming his own people with his own infinitely precious, bloody, substitutionary death," they write, "has been and must remain the solitary basis and the singular foundation of the Christian faith and worldview” [page 15]. They use texts from the New Testament to demonstrate that the apostles saw Christ’s death is an exchange—the Great Exchange. It is “a twofold substitution: the charging of the believer’s sin to Christ [resulting] in God’s forgiveness, and the crediting of Christ’s righteousness to the believer [resulting] in his justification. More than being declared not guilty, in Christ believers are actually declared righteous. Redeemed sinners and the Christ have traded places” [page 41].

If you want to better understand and appreciate the great exchange, this book is a good place to start. It’s deep theology of the cross coupled with writing anyone can understand, and a wonderful tool for expanding your understanding of Christ’s work and increasing your love for him. And what better way to honour Jerry Bridges, who passed away on March 6, than to focus on the atonement of Christ by reading The Great Exchange during the days leading up to Good Friday and Easter?

Jerry Bridges was a longtime staff member of the Navigators. He had an international speaking ministry, and authored several books, including 


  1. I enjoyed this one very much. I also enjoyed Bookends of the Christian Life by Bridges and Bevington.