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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent short introduction to the atonement
It only took one morning to read Tony Jones' "A Better Atonement". In it he pulls together a series of blog posts on the atonement, providing both a good theological survey and offering his own thoughts as to which atonement theory is the best.

The atonement is, as he points out, something of a salient topic among those of us who might identify as emergent or...
Published on 22 Mar 2012 by Arni

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Have your cake and eat it
This is a sincere effort to try to make a case against the penal substitution interpretation of the atonement. It is indeed a perverted and distasteful doctrine. However, I fear that Tony wants to have his cake and eat it. Whilst he wants to argue for certain biblical passages and stories as myth he does not want to let go of others as such. To speak of Satan for example...
Published 20 months ago by Harold Hughes


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent short introduction to the atonement, 22 Mar 2012
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Arni (Gota, Faroe Islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin (Kindle Edition)
It only took one morning to read Tony Jones' "A Better Atonement". In it he pulls together a series of blog posts on the atonement, providing both a good theological survey and offering his own thoughts as to which atonement theory is the best.

The atonement is, as he points out, something of a salient topic among those of us who might identify as emergent or post-evangelical or something similar, and a controversial one in the encounters between us and our more conservative, more often than not (young, restless and) Reformed, brothers and sisters. Even though the book is short and written in a easily understandable, mostly non-academic tone (as you would expect from a book largely adopted from blog posts), it would be a mistake to dismiss it as shallow. The ease and clarity with which Tony handles the issues demonstrate both deep knowledge of the material at hand, a sharp theological mind and a pastor's (or is it theologian-in-residence's?) communication skills. Tony is a blessed man. And so are we who benefit from his books.

"A Better Atonement", then, is nice little introduction to atonement theories many of those dissatisfied with standard evangelical theology in this area will find very helpful, complete with a very satisfying alternative proposal. I found myself pretty much agreeing with everything he said. If you're dissatisfied with penal substitution or are just curious to see what the fuzz is about, then I recommend you get this book. It's super cheap, anyway, so you might as well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but challenging, 7 Jun 2013
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This review is from: A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin (Kindle Edition)
This is brief and I would have liked a fuller exploration, but as an introduction to alternative ways of understanding the Christian doctrine of the cross, it's a great way in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Have your cake and eat it, 4 Dec 2012
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Harold Hughes (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin (Kindle Edition)
This is a sincere effort to try to make a case against the penal substitution interpretation of the atonement. It is indeed a perverted and distasteful doctrine. However, I fear that Tony wants to have his cake and eat it. Whilst he wants to argue for certain biblical passages and stories as myth he does not want to let go of others as such. To speak of Satan for example as more than a mythological transference seems to me to be disingenuous. Also, God is spoken of far to anthropomorphically. Clearly, the historical Jesus did not think of his own death as anything other than the consequence of his preaching and teaching which was revolutionary politically, and heretical in the eyes of the religious. The idea of his death being 'a ransom for many was a later development. As a work of theological grappling this is commendable but his fear of falling into 'liberalism' keeps him from going far enough in the bout. It's a much needed conversation starter but ultimately a bit of a cop out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting new approach, 17 Jan 2013
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This review is from: A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin (Kindle Edition)
I found itInteresting.It is for those who find the doctrine of original sin too hard to swallow.Well argued and easy to read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly easy to read but awful title, 8 Jun 2012
This review is from: A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin (Kindle Edition)
This short book is fairly easy to read and it didn`t take long to read.
The first section deals with the doctrine of original sin. You can of course guess from the use of the word depraved in the title what the author`s view is. He starts by giving his intuitive feeling on this subject and then attempts to justify this biblically. He also gives a potted history of the doctrine.
The second section gives several views on understanding the atonement, having presented John Piper as the foremost proponent of the penal substition view. As I understand the different views, they are all (except one) variations on some form of substition. The author says that to view them as such is to fail to understand the different views, but I cannot make sense of them in any other way. It maybe that the author has failed to explain them adequately. The other view is that we understand atonement as Jesus life being a good example that makes us want to be better. If that view is correct then I fail to understand the need for Jesus to die.
The author is of the opinion that to view the atonement as that of penal substition by necessity requires a belief in original sin, but I would have thought it just required a belief that all have sinned. He also thinks to view atonement in this way does away with the need for the ressurection, which he clearly belives in. However it is surely possble to view the ressurection as God`s acceptance of the substitute.
I think the book would have been better titled `a better understanding of the atonement` although whether this is achieved is debatable. It was easy to read and made me think about the views expressed. It could also have been been better referenced.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, loved it!, 27 Mar 2012
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This review is from: A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin (Kindle Edition)
A thorough yet succinct overview of atonement theory, capped off with a wonderful and hopeful vision of how we might talk about Christ's work on the cross in a better and more helpful way in today's world.
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