As a Christian campus minister, I often hear students' questions about salvation. "What is salvation?" "How does Jesus save?" "How can something that happened 2000 years ago affect me now?" "What does it mean that Jesus died for my sins, and he could he have when I wasn't even around then?" When my own responses fail to satisfy them, I always recommend Fiddes' book, and I am grateful that it remains in print twelve years after its first publication.
Fiddes does a good job in distinguishing between "objective" theories of atonement/salvation that describe what believers claim God has done to change the way things are in the universe, and "subjective" theories that stress an individual's appropriation of divine activity. He then synthesizes them well. Along with Michael Winter's "The Atonement" (Liturgical Press), I think this book is excellent background reading for anyone wanting to seriously explore Christian atonement theory, and it is free enough of academic jargon to be read by the general educated public.