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The Actuality of Atonement: A Study of Metaphor, Rationality and the Christian Tradition [Paperback]

Colin E. Gunton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £29.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Oct 2003
In a reissue of a masterly examination of both the Christian doctrine of Atonement and the nature and working of theological language, Professor Gunton reassesses the doctrine and the language in which it is expressed in the light of modern scholarly developments. He explains how the traditional metaphors of Atonement, drawn from the battlefield, the altar and the law courts, all express something of the meaning of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus-and examines their bearing on human life in today's world.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Actuality of Atonement: A Study of Metaphor, Rationality and the Christian Tradition + The Wondrous Cross: Atonement and Penal Substitution in the Bible and History + Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of the Atonement: (SPCK Classics)
Price For All Three: £49.68

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Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Continnuum-3PL (6 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0567080900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0567080905
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'. . . a thought-provoking challenge for all Christians'. Christoph Schwobel

About the Author

Colin E. Gunton was Professor of Christian Doctrine, King's College, London, UK, and a Minister of the United Reformed Church.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book on atonement 30 Jan 2011
after seeing the below review I thought that I would say that I have found this book enormously helpful in its discussions on the atonement - especially questions of language and the nature of metaphor, and coming at a familiar subject from a rewarding perspective. Unlike any other treatment of the subject, and well worth the time invested in reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent full of clear thinking 15 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A well developed theological argument, which explains many aspects of the atonement. I especially like dthe discussion on the use of metaphor..
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not so great 21 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
lots of information was already based on Alister's Theology.
it didn't help me too much
I guess if you have Tom Wright's Historical Jesus and Alister Mcgrath's Christian Theology than this is what you get.
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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
16 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unclear, difficult to read, and largely unhelpful 27 Nov 2005
By Notions Incognito - Published on Amazon.com
As an engineer, I found Gunton's writing style verbose, unconcise and difficult to read. Frequently, I had to read sentences several times just to understand what he was saying grammatically. Even after understanding him grammatically, I often felt like he was describing a fuzzy and unclear periphery to his theology, rather than describing the core of it explicitly. I have read more scholarly books that are presented much better.

The book primarily draws on the works of other people, and Gunton highlights aspects of their ideas as he sees fit. However, I was left at the end of each chapter still waiting for any real content from the author. It seemed dry and tedious, with no useful insight.

To his credit, Gunton seeks to deal fairly with the views he investigates. It often seemed that he devoted much time to relatively minor points, while when it came to important aspects of doctrine he glossed over them with words like "obviously...", "clearly..." and "the fact that...". He certainly does not outlay a cohesive view of the atonement in a logical manner. In some cases, his logic seemed circular - e.g. that the words used to describe the atonement are themselves defined by it.

There was little consideration given to recent scholarly developments, which he often simply glossed over with phrases suggesting they were wrong and needed to be "defended against". There is only limited use of Scripture, but even when used it is often out of context and somewhat glossed over to provide superficial evidence in his discussion.

I found nothing new in this book, and would not recommend it.
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