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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well structured and thought provoking, 3 May 2014
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This review is from: Stricken by God: Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ (Paperback)
The book is an edited book of chapters, each by a different authors. Some of the chapters have been published previously elsewhere. However, the book is carefully structured to build up the different threads of discussion around the broad theme of non-violent theologies of atonement. (As opposed to the traditional theology of penal substitution as developed by Anselm of Canterbury and accepted by most Latin and Protestant churches.) The variety of voices works well as the editors allow the tensions between them to stand. No single theology dominates though the broad theme - that any theology which relies on the idea of God enacting violence on Jesus at the crucifixion is incongruent with the image of God embodied in the life and work of Jesus - is clear. In the end the structure allows the reader is left to take what they will from the book.

As you might expect from the title, this is not a light read. With the variety of authors comes a variety of styles some of which are more accessible than others, especially if you are not a student of theology. Nonetheless, for me, there were some really engaging and thought-provoking essays. N.T. Wright's essay flowed smoothly, as you might expect. Miroslav Volf's essay is one of those that puts the question of atonement in the social and political domain, which is very helpful. The penultimate essay, by Prof. Kharalambous, manages to be at once an expression of the Orthodox theology of atonement, a no-holds-barred critique of Western theology and hugely encouraging at the same time.

The outstanding question, which none of the authors address is: if you accept these arguments, how do you take it back into a church which carries forward the traditional theology of penal substitution?
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Initial post: 28 May 2014 00:50:03 BDT
Maverick says:
Good review, and good question!
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