- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (August 6, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1620321629
- ISBN-13: 978-1620321621
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Healing the Gospel: A Radical Vision for Grace, Justice, and the Cross Paperback – August 6, 2012
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''In this readable and balanced book, Flood gently--yet firmly and provocatively--challenges and enriches our understanding of the cross. He shows how the New Testament writers (and their earliest interpreters) present saving death as God's act of restorative rather than retributive justice, as an act of nonviolent, enemy-loving, reconciling, and healing love. Such amazing love beckons us to follow in the way of Jesus and justice. It is a book to read, mark, and digest.''
--Michael J. Gorman, author of Apostle of the Crucified Lord
''Quietly, deftly, brilliantly, Flood takes on the story of the Christian doctrine of atonement, turns that story on its end, and then lays out before us a beauty almost beyond theology. Read it for yourself and see.''
--Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence
''There has been a spate of books on atonement this past decade. None of them treat the salvific healing of Jesus's death better than this one. It is well-researched yet easy to read, full of insight, and sure to be a go-to book on the subject.''
--Michael Hardin, author of The Jesus Driven Life
''Healing the Gospel brings the latest insights in biblical scholarship to the ongoing and lively atonement debate. Flood's work is biblical, straightforward, and accessible for the lay reader. He surveys the restorative justice of the wondrous cross with fresh eyes, engaging many head-scratching texts with utmost clarity. A great contribution!''
--Brad Jersak, author of Stricken by God?
''In this provocative book, Flood exposes the grave deficiencies of the penal substitution model of atonement, pinpointing its shallow treatment of the depth and the gravity of sin . . . Armed with astute interpretations of Scripture, he focuses on the love of God and reinterprets justice as restorative . . . Finally, after centuries of suffering under a legal perception of atonement, Flood has shown us that the good news is truly good news!''
--Sharon L. Baker, author of Razing Hell
''On a cresting wave of reaction against violent atonement theory, Healing the Gospel charts a sea-change course back to Jesus's ministry as a model of gracious restoration, moving far beyond the traditional, abusive contours of penal substitution as explanation of Christ's death . . . Jesus dies to show us God's enemy-love, which changes everything. A splendid, stirring, and essential book!''
--Anthony Bartlett, author of Cross Purposes
''Anyone concerned about the connection between theology and violence in American society will welcome Flood's Healing the Gospel. In a readable format, he explains why we should abandon violence-accommodating, penal substitutionary atonement, and replace it with atonement imagery that reflects the restorative justice Jesus lived.''
--J. Denny Weaver, author of The Nonviolent Atonement. --Wipf and Stock Publishers
About the Author
Derek Flood is a writer, artist, and theologian. He holds a master's degree in systematic theology from the Graduate Theological Union, and is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post and Sojourners magazine.
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If you're willing to be open to the truth in this book, it will change you, change the way you see God, and change your vision for loving others.
I grew up in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, and apparently many clergy who have been properly educated in that tradition reject the idea of Penal Substitutionary Attonement (at least this is what we're discovering as we talk with other pastor friends). But somehow that intellectual clarity never trickled down into my layperson brain. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Derek Flood, for presenting this alternative view so clearly and powerfully. As I read, I felt like the weight of confusion and logical errors that I'd held onto for 25 years was just falling off my shoulders. It was replaced by incredible gratitude for Christ's limitless love for me, and excitement and confidence that he really can make me like him.
Some highlights for me:
The dichotomy of the original Passover (when God demanded the death of the first born) and the crucifixion (when God surrendered his only begotten).
Salvation as Healing, and recognizing that ongoing healing is what leads to greater Christlikeness.
The idea that there is a 3rd way in parenting: I don't have to choose between A) Doing nothing and B) Punishing my children for their misbehavior (as if they can somehow atone for their misdeeds through a consequence). My role is to restore them and teach them the skills of restoration and reconciliation.
I think this book would be... a stretch.... for most Fundamentalist Christians, and I can see how many of its basic assumptions would be difficult for them to come to terms with. But that is not necessarily the fault of the book. It met me in exactly the right place in my understanding of the Gospel, and I hope other believers will find the intellectual curiosity and courage to give it a chance.
While the reviews of this book are excellent I want to write to others who feel this all looks like more words... All my 30 years of being a Christian I read and heard the words God loves me, He died for me. Therefore, how can I give less to Him? The last few years I was faced with the fact that while I had experiences that proved that I belonged to God and He was in my life I did not feel it. I knew about Him, but was not truly walking in a close fellowship with Him characterized mainly by a lack of peace. I read dozens of books exclaiming, defining and demonstrating this love and security; then, blamed myself and my background on my inability to grasp it. Or worse, my unworthiness.
Quietly and inwardly, I also found I was unable to share my faith anymore because all of a sudden it did not make sense. Come to God, the one who kills for you, the one who needs vengeance satisfied. How could I admit to anyone that I could not explain the gospel? My fear, and many would like to accuse, is that I was in a state towards backslidding. However, God is faithful and preparing me to receive Himself in truth...
Now, a burden I thought was mine to bear forever is gone. Derek finally shows so clearly how the cross truly is love, not payment. I "see", as well as feel, God's love. And it has healed my soul. A deep peace and security has flooded within me. Perhaps it is the author's soul of an artist that allows him to get to the heart of love in the gospel message using the words of a theologian, which frequently seem to obfuscate rather than clarify. For me, a wall between head and heart is breached.
This book is a beautiful, clear discourse that addresses and aligns New and Old Testament verses that have been used throughout evangelical proselytizing. Flood does not build, or tear down, by extracting verses here and there. He reaffirms that Jesus and history are told in stories and one must look at the whole narrative.
Concerning the negative reviews here I say first, what I see is a theologian arguing over a verse (or two) again; and second, I see the word "punish". Until most of us can get the idea of a punitive God out of our brains and hearts we cannot fully appreciate and even enjoy the tremendous power and healing of a forgiving God. This goes beyond a mere intellectual analysis. It goes deep into the spirit and heart.
This is also about simplification. Jesus did not give theological debates and I suspect he was clarifying similar concepts as Flood when in the synagogues. Jesus told us to come as little children. Focusing on His love will never fall short. It has moved mountains of demonic strongholds. Thank you, Derek.
I do think this book is a good introduction to a perspective on Christ, the cross, and the Gospel which most people might not have ever heard (especially the chapter on the Christus Victor view of the atonement) and for that, the book is worth reading.
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