The Account Which We Must Give. By Carl G. Johnson. Schaumberg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1990. 131 pp. Paper, $5.95.
Confronted with the importance of the biblical concept of the future judgment of believers, and finding a dearth of publications on this subject, Carl Johnson was motivated to proclaim “the awesomeness of the judgment Seat of Christ” by means of this volume. In so doing, he sets out to produce a balanced presentation by including “both the positive and negative aspects of the Judgment Seat of Christ.”
He begins by giving an overview of this judgment in the first two chapters. Next he narrows his focus in subsequent chapters by concentrating attention on “rewards,” “the five crowns,” and “loss at the Judgment Seat.” He concludes the book with a chapter on the judgment of unbelievers.
This volume is not an exegetical work; it is mostly a compendium of quotations and excerpts from other writers on the subject. However, within the quotations and excerpts one can find sound exegesis displayed and a gold mine of thoughts revealed on this subject. This is especially true of the information found on pp. 81–88, which is adapted from Grace in Eclipse, by Zane C. Hodges.
The book is very easy to read and is highly recommended to any Christian desiring information in this area. Pastors will welcome this work for its plethora of fine quotations on the subject, for its illustrative material, and for the insights presented- particularly in regard to the judgment of unfaithfulChristians. Though this reviewer does not agree with the author’s division of the “crowns” into five separate rewards, nor with the view presented on p. 31 that the 24 elders of Revelation 4:10–11 represent believers casting their “crowns” before the Lord (indicating that the “crowns” are not the permanent possession of faithful believers), there is very little else with which to quarrel. In fact, this work is to be commended for its overall biblical accuracy.
To borrow the words of Dr. W. Myrddin Lewis, cited on p. 27, the Judgment Seat of Christ “should be the greatest inducement to holy living, greater than any other single thing” (emphasis his). That is why the study of this judgment is a must for every believer, and why a book such as The Account Which We Must Give should be on the shelf of every Christian. There is still a need for an in-depth exegeticalwork to be published on this subject, but Carl Johnson’s book provides an excellent initiation into this very important field of study.
Cresco Community Chapel