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Food for Thought,
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This review is from: The Atonement Debate: Papers from the London Symposium on the Theology of Atonement (Paperback)
This is a useful book to add to your library.
Conservative Evangelicals have no problem agreeing that salvation comes through the atonement God effected by Jesus' dying and his resurrection. A debate has been raging however about how exactly Jesus' death was effective for us. This book gives a useful overview of the key issues.
In particular, some people question the doctrine that Jesus had to bear "punishment" at the hands of God. They say that his death, whilst necessary as a sort of ransom, and indeed substitutionary (dying in our place) - owed its effectiveness not to appeasing an angry God, but that there was some other, "deeper magic" at work (C S Lewis).
The debate came to the fore with Steve Chalke's controversial book "The Lost Message of Jesus" (2003). But Steve and his critics agree that the debate didn't start then. C S Lewis, in "Mere Christianity", had already written that he viewed Christ's death as helping man "out of a (fatal) hole" rather than involving any "punishment" as such.
The Evangelical Alliance convened the Symposium that has yielded this compilation because Steve Chalke's book seems to have brought matters to a head.
Twenty contributors explore the core theological issues from a variety of angles. This book is for those who think it is important to revisit key issues. Even Howard Marshall, presenting a paper that defends a moderated view of "penal substitution", says we can easily slip into faulty thinking about God's wrath:
"Where are these evangelicals who say that God punished Christ? Name them! Where are the evangelicals who will repudiate this statement, written by John Calvin: 'We do not, however, insinuate that God was ever hostile to him or angry with him.' You will not find them among serious theologians, although I recognise that popular preachers may err in this respect... " (p 63)
If you find that statement even slightly shocking, or confusing, you should buy this book - and get your thinking cap on!
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Initial post: 15 Dec 2015 21:14:31 GMT
These arguments are not new. Dr. Leslie Weatherhead, (Methodist minister in London) was using these arguments many years ago. Read his book 'The Christian Agnostic'.
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