The Work of Christ (Contours of Christian Theology) Paperback – 19 Mar 1993
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... stunning in its clarity and breadth of thought on areas about
which so many Christians are hazy or agnostic.
-- Andy Peck; Christianity; October 2004
... this book is a timely reassessment of the theology of
salvation. The consequences for the theology and practice of mission are
huge, -- John Corrie; Themelios; March 2006
Can a non-Christian be saved without making a personal response to
the gospel during his lifetime? ... An optimism in the sovereign mercy of
God should not lead to a complacency in evangelism. -- Chris Sinkinson; Evangelicals Now; April 2005
From the Publisher
In-depth exploration of the heart of the gospel - the work of
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The Work of Christ is divided into four parts. In part one, Letham lays the groundwork for the rest of the book. Parts 2, 3, and 4 deal with Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King, respectively. The appendix "The Intent of the Atonement" is worth the price of the book. In it, Letham outlines the post-Reformation debate surrounding the doctrine of atonement.
He highlights four distinct positions:
1. Universalism, the view that all are saved; Christ died with the intention of atoning for all people without exception and that the outcome of his saving work is that all without exception are saved.
2. J. Arminius' view that Christ died with the intention of saving all people without exception. Not all, however, are saved.
3. Limited Atonement, the view that the efficacy of the atonement was limited to the elect; Christ died with the intention of atoning for the elect only.
4. M. Amyraut's view of hypothetical universalism which maintains that Christ died for all without exception. God in his foreknowledge, however, recognizing that all would not trust Christ, decreed to save a certain number.
Letham's book highlights what is at stake in the debate over the atonement: Who spends eternity with Christ and how?
This book is not for beginners. This is a dense theological text. Yet this book serves as an essential volume for those serious students dealing with the intricacies of this all-important doctrine.