Review: Blood Work

Blood Work by Anthony J. Carter

A good book on salvation from a Reformed African American

I got this book at the Desiring God conference last fall. It contains 13 chapters, each focusing on a verse that speaks about the blood of Christ.

It basically reads like a collection of sermons (I don’t know if it was or not). There is a basic exposition of the text and the doctrine that Carter is bringing out, and then the rest is sprinkled with illustrations, anecdotes, and personal application. There are lots of references to songs and hymns that reference the blood of Christ, and a list of such songs in the back.

Throughout the book the doctrine is biblical and sound, and the illustrations fresh and relevant. At times, I couldn’t quite relate completely, as the illustrations were geared more toward the African-American community:

“We were once ‘alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise.’ We flew the flag of an enemy power. We wore the colors of a defiant and rebellious people. During the gang wars between the Crips and the Bloods that ravaged parts of Los Angeles in the 1980s, a person could lose his life simply by wearing a red scarf or a do-rag in a blue neighborhood, or a blue scarf or do-rag in a red neighborhood. The rapper Ice-T captured this ethos when he described his hometown as:

South Central L.S., home of the body bag;
You wanna die, wear the wrong color rag.” (p. 55)

This is not a criticism at all! Just a note, that though the illustrations may be relevant to a broad spectrum of people, they will hit home particularly well within that community.

I’m grateful for the resurgence of sound doctrine in the African American community. I’m thankful for guys like Thabiti Anyabwile, Shai Linne, Anthony Carter, and the Reformed African American Network. This is a good book on what the Bible teaches about salvation, and I recommend it.


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