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The Ascension of Christ: Recovering a Neglected Doctrine

ISBN: 9781683593973
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The Ascension is essential to the gospel

The good news of Jesus includes his life, death, resurrection, and future return—but what about his ascension? Though often neglected or misunderstood, the ascension is integral to the gospel.

In The Ascension of Christ, Patrick Schreiner argues that Jesus’ work would be incomplete without his ascent to God’s right hand. Not only a key moment in the gospel story, Jesus’ ascension was necessary for his present ministry in and through the church. Schreiner argues that Jesus’ residence in heaven marks a turning point in his three-fold offices of prophet, priest, and king. As prophet, Jesus builds the church and its witness. As priest, he intercedes before the Father. As king, he rules over all.

A full appreciation of the ascension is essential for understanding the Bible, Christian doctrine, and Christ’s ongoing work in the world.

Praise for The Ascension of Christ

Patrick Schreiner is one of contemporary Christian scholarship’s brightest lights. In this book, Schreiner expertly explains the crucial and neglected place of the ascension—not only in the biblical story, but in the story of each believer as well. This book will show you how Jesus’ present place in heaven can upend your life on earth now, for the better.

–Russell Moore, president, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

The ascension is one of the most important Christian doctrines there is, but it is also one of the most neglected. In a short book full of helpful insights and illustrations, Patrick Schreiner shows us what it is, why it matters, and why it is not just necessary but delightful.

–Andrew Wilson, teaching pastor, King's Church London

This insightful and eminently readable treatment of the doctrine by Patrick Schreiner does much to bring Christ’s current heavenly reign back into the limelight where it belongs. The Ascension of Christ will bring fresh insights and a deeper understanding regarding this important event in Jesus’s saving work.

–Matthew Emerson, associate professor, Oklahoma Baptist University

In very short space, Schreiner provides a remarkably comprehensive and clear analysis of the ascension. He writes with humor, warmth, and theological precision. This book is without doubt one of the best works that has been written on the ascension.

–Peter Orr, lecturer, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia

Schreiner provides an insightful, pithy, and accessible introduction to the topic, particularly demonstrating its significance for Christ's threefold office of prophet, priest, and king.

–Gavin Ortlund, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Ojai, California

Schreiner beautifully and brilliantly guides us through the completion of Christ’s work in his ascension and session at the Father’s right hand. If you read just one book on Christ’s ascension, make it this one. Highly recommended!”

–J. Scott Duvall, chair, Department of New Testament, Ouachita Baptist University

I cannot remember the last time I heard a Christian talk about the ascension of Christ, let alone why it is indispensable to the Christian faith. But it is! Patrick Schreiner opens our eyes to a myriad of ways the ascension matters for Christ and his church.

–Matthew Barrett, associate professor of Christian theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and executive editor of Credo Magazine

Patrick Schreiner tells how, beginning from the book of Acts, he started looking around and soon came to see the ascension everywhere. That is exactly how this doctrine is: easy enough to overlook, but astonishing in its scope and significance as soon as you start paying attention. This book is a great guide to the importance of Jesus' ascension, and an invitation to start seeing it everywhere.

–Fred Sanders, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University

In this brief and accessible book, Schreiner helps us recover a neglected dimension of the gospel—Jesus' ascension. Through this lens, the beauty and power of the gospel comes back into focus, and Jesus' continuing roles as prophet, priest, and king are highlighted.

–Carmen Imes, associate professor of Old Testament at Prairie College, and author of Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still Matters

Top Highlights

“Second, the place of Jesus’ reign became the ground for mission to the ends of the earth.” (Page 14)

“The ascension (rising) of Christ refers to Jesus going up from earth into heaven. His session (sitting) speaks of Christ sitting at the right hand of the Father. These are two closely linked stages of Christ’s exaltation and triumph, but in a real sense the ascent is the journey, while sitting is the goal.” (Page xiii)

“Third, kings were to follow, delight in, and promote the Torah” (Page 80)

“‘The resurrection requires an ascension to be completed” (Page 6)

“Although the ascension is rarely mentioned in explicit terms, the New Testament assumes its central place. All of the authors write in response to, and work backward from, the ascension. The ascension revealed the Messiah’s exaltation and triumph, finished his work on the earth, guaranteed his current sovereignty, broke the barrier between heaven and earth, thus pouring out the Spirit, and pledged his return.” (Page 11)

The Snapshots Series

The Snapshots series, edited by renowned scholar Michael Bird, engages significant issues in contemporary biblical scholarship, making them accessible to busy students of the word and applicable in the life of the church.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.

  • Introduction
  • Overlooking the Ascension
  • Ascension of the Prophet
  • Ascension of the Priest
  • Ascension of the King
  • The Ascension in Theology
  • Title: The Ascension of Christ: Recovering a Neglected Doctrine
  • Author: Patrick Schreiner
  • Series Editor: Michael F. Bird
  • Series: Snapshots
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Page Count: 120
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781683593973

Patrick Schreiner (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary. He is the author of The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross and Matthew, Disciple and Scribe.

Sample Pages from The Ascension of Christ


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  1. Cameron Ford

    Cameron Ford


  2. Hugo Sørli

    Hugo Sørli


    This is a must book to have. One part of this is that we are also in same way as we died with Christ, we was risen with him, and so on exalted with him. One of the key elements to our positions lies within hes ascendentions. We are a big part of this in our new life together with Christ. Without this facts, our Christian life's would also be incomplete, just as the Christ resurrection would be incomplete without the ascendent. The best way to begin is to start make habits with the prayer in Ephesians, pray for our self in this. Ephesians 1:17-22 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and made Him head over all things to the church. Do not pray to get more of Him, but pray to have eyes to see what we already got, what he done, and what we are. Its waste of time to ask God crucify Christ one more time to get more of what we already got in Him. That is what the Ephesian prayers are all about. He did he's work, and then closed it with a covenant with us.
  3. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    I agree with the Author that the Ascension of Christ is a neglected part of modern Christology - or at the very least it is combined (and perhaps almost drowned out) with the Resurrection. I’m not as convinced though of the Author’s tying of the Ascension to the Prophet / Priest / King side of things. Not that I necessarily disagree - and he has given me things to think about. However I found his arguments in the Ascension + Prophet chapter to be a little forced. A little like the conclusion was assumed, rather than discovered... Of course the Priest side of things is quite apparent in Hebrews, and it may in fact be the earthly side of this that needs more argument. The King side was I thought the best developed, and I think comes most easily from Scripture. Whilst touched on a couple of times, I would’ve appreciated seeing much more said about the “bodily” Ascension, just as we emphasise a “bodily” Resurrection. I think many of us forget that the Incarnation continues. That Jesus was and IS fully God and fully man. I am learning to appreciate Luther’s strong arguments in this regard - and feel this area needed much more coverage. I would’ve also appreciated some “Further Reading” suggestions. However, this short book is most welcome, and is easy to read. I do hope it get more Christians thinking and talking about the Ascension :)
  4. Victor Mejia

    Victor Mejia


    “The ascension shifted Christ’s threefold work into a new epoch. Before, he was a prophet on the earth; now he is the prophet from heaven who builds his church. Before, he was a priest on earth; now he is our heavenly priest who intercedes for us in the true tent. Before, he was worshiped as the king of the Jews; now he has been installed as the Lord of heaven and earth, where he now rules from his throne.” What an amazing book! I was really excited for its release, and even more so to read it. Patrick Schreiner has a way of keeping you engaged and making theological concepts clear. From the start he convinces you why you shouldn’t neglect this amazing doctrine. In his new book he walks you through how the ascension completes and magnifies Christ’s work. Each chapter is wonderfully sectioned as you read about Christ’s threefold office as prophet, priest, and king: what Scripture teaches regarding that particular office, “shadow” stories of that office, how the ascension marks a turn in Christ’s work as he now accomplishes these vocations from heaven, and finally, how it applies to the church today. You really learn how these wonderful theological truths apply to you today . This was my first read in the “Snapshot Series” by Lexham Press, and I was truly blessed. I would also highly recommend this book as an introduction to Christology. Grab the book today!


Print list price: $15.99
Save $2.00 (12%)