- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: IVP (16 Mar. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844741788
- ISBN-13: 978-1844741786
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 0.7 x 23.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 442,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Pierced for our transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution Paperback – 16 Mar 2007
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From the Publisher
A fresh, positive re-articulation of a central doctrine, in
the context of current debates.
From the Back Cover
The doctrine of penal substitution states that God gave himself
in the person of his Son to suffer instead of us the death, punishment and
curse due to fallen humanity as the penalty for sin. The belief that Jesus
died for us, suffering the wrath of his own Father in our place, has been
the wellspring of the hope of countless Christians through the ages.
However, an increasing number of theologians and church leaders are
questioning this doctrine, claiming, for example, that it misunderstands
the nature of God's judgment; that it divides the Trinity; or that it
misreads crucial texts such as Isaiah 53 or Mark 10:45. The doctrine has
been provocatively described as `a form of cosmic child abuse'. In recent
years, the criticisms - including some from within the evangelical
constituency - have intensified. Furthermore, the debate is no longer
confined to the academy, and has now found its way into popular Christian
books and magazines.
In response, Jeffery, Ovey and Sach offer a fresh articulation and
affirmation of penal substitution. In Part 1 they make the case that the
doctrine is clearly taught in Scripture; that it has a central place in
Christian theology; that its neglect has serious pastoral consequences; and
that it has an impeccable pedigree in the history of the Christian church.
In Part 2, the authors then engage systematically with over twenty specific
objections that have been brought against penal substitution. Their clear
exposition and analysis, and charitable but firm responses, are accessible
to all with a serious concern for the issues.
`This extended declaration and defence of the penal substitutionary view of
Christ's atoning death responds to a plethora of current criticisms . . .
with a thoroughness and effectiveness that is without parallel anywhere . .
. I hail this treatise as an epoch-making tour de force.'
J. I. Packer
`This book deserves the widespread circulation achieved by corresponding
contributions a generation ago - those of Leon Morris, Jim Packer and John
D. A. Carson
` . . . I commend this book for its comprehensive and fair scrutiny of the
many objections brought against the doctrine of penal substitution in
I. Howard Marshall
` . . . probably the most significant book on the doctrine of the cross
since 'The Cross of Christ'. It is timely and urgently needed. Let the
exposition of this magnificent doctrine both inform your mind and warm your
`The authors of this work compel us to take seriously an objective view of
the cross of Christ; one that is not simply dependent on how we feel and
what the culture around us promotes.'
`At a time when some people seem determined to snuff out this doctrine from
what is sung and
taught . . . there is a need for the vital doctrine of penal substitution
to be clearly, comprehensively and compellingly explained. This book does
the job admirably.' Stuart Townend
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Top Customer Reviews
Four great things about this book
1. It is drenched in scripture. Some readers may associate Systematic Theology with abstract natural theology or random proof texting. This book shows how to be thoroughly Biblical whilst being systematic. It clearly demonstrates how Penal Substition is taught in all Scripture and how this relates to other doctrines
2. It offers a gracious but firm response to opponents of Penal Substition. It takes time to set out the objections so they can be properly heard and then it answers them.
3. It nails once and for all the lie that Penal Substition is a modern invention. Buy it if only for the section on Church history.
4. It is pastoral. It helps the reader apply doctrine to the real life. An appendix at the end provides useful advice to the Pastor-Teacher wishing to preach the doctrine.
What is the fuss about and does this book deserve this wave of acclamation?
Many people sensed that the banner for the age old message of the gospel had to be raised when well known British evangelical Steve Chalke described the doctrine of penal substitution, that Jesus bore the penalty for our sins on the cross, as `Cosmic Child abuse' in his book `The Lost Message of Jesus'. He was not making an original comment. The phrase was first used by feminist theologians. What was shocking was to hear it from someone thought to be part of the evangelical establishment.
It was not only the repudiation of traditional doctrine, but the manner in which it was made that was deeply unsettling. There was an atmosphere of emotional and moral blackmail about it. The traditional doctrine is nasty, nice people don't believe it.
It is to the credit of the three authors here that they steer well away from the attempts at emotional manipulation that pollute much theological debate at present. Instead they present their case in an objective manner, basing it on their chosen texts from the Bible.
However, while this book is good as far as it goes, I do not think that this is the book succeeds in putting forward a full biblical doctrine of the atonement that can answer present attacks.
The book is divided into two sections `Making the Case' and `Answering the Critics'. The first section is drawn far too narrowly and there is not enough room in the second section to answer the 27 criticisms addressed in sufficient depth.Read more ›
What is so good about this book, though, is not just that they mount a thorough defence of the doctrine, but as the subtitle implies, they revel in its wonder and grace. It makes, therefore, for an encouraging and heart-warming read - which is not something one can say for many (if not most) theological tomes.
The book is in 2 parts - the first an overview of the doctrine from a biblical and historical perspective. The second takes on the specific criticisms. Particularly helpful were ch4 (pastoral importance of the doctrine) and ch5 (the historical pedigree) - these (quite apart from all the biblical and systematic evidence) makes for a compelling case (although i concede that i was pretty convinced already!).
As for the second part, the encouragement was that while they were tackling the likes of Chalke & Mann, Green & Baker, their method was constructive and positive. Again two chapters stick out in my mind - on violence (ch9) and justice (ch10) - both very strong contemporary objections to the doctrine which (particularly the former) in my experience are not taken sufficiently seriously by many traditional evangelicals.
I was mildly amused by the number of endorsements that this book had received before going to press (10 whole pages worth, right at the very beginning!).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent book on an area much under threat from liberalisationPublished 4 months ago by Aled Seago
I'd give this three and a half stars if I could. I bought this book because I was applying for a job at Oak Hill Bible College, whose principal and two others are the authors of... Read morePublished on 26 Oct. 2013 by iae3v16
This is an excellent book. It gives a clear exposition of the meaning of the cross, and debunks the opposition to the fact that Christ died in our place.Published on 28 April 2013 by RIMBOX
Not only is this book comprehensive, well argued, biblical and convincing - it is also encouraging, awe-inspiring and heart-warming. Excellent.Published on 3 April 2008 by Retroguy
This is an excellent book: highly readable, with careful exegesis, a logical structure and a compelling case for an orthodox understanding of the atonement. Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2007 by Ralph Cunnington
This book fails to prove its main thesis regarding the importance of Penal Substitution (PS) in the minds of the biblical authors and the early Christians. Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2007 by Notions Incognito
Read Larry Shelton's "Cross and Covenant" as well as this book. Shelton's book offers an interpretation of key Biblical passages which allow us to understand the breadth of meaning... Read morePublished on 26 July 2007 by A. Gosling