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The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views Paperback – November 9, 2006
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"One strength of this study is its multifaceted scope. The book presents four views side by side and allows the reader quickly to see what the primary differences and similarities are between the various positions. By including defenses of positions by those who hold to these divergent views, this volume adds a valuable dimension to the evangelical discussion on the issue of the atonement." (Ched Spellman on Says Simpleton, April 11, 2008)
"Those looking for evangelical and scripturally founded treatments of the atonement will find this book a lively register of current opinions." (Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 2007)
"There are a number of reasons to applaud The Nature of the Atonement, not least its provocative and illuminating presentation. . . . If you are looking for a more focused discussion on the atonement--that is, in terms of today's evangelical milieu, The Nature of the Atonement can certainly serve as a fine forum for exploring essential matters of the Christian faith." (Kathleen Borres, Catholic Books Review, http://catholicbooksreview.org/2006/beilby.htm)
About the Author
Paul R. Eddy (Ph.D., Marquette University) is Professor of Theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His books include John Hick's Pluralist Philosophy of World Religions (Ashgate), Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology (with G. A. Boyd, Baker) and Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views (with James Beilby IVP).
Gregory A. Boyd (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Previously, he was a professor of theology at Bethel University, also in St. Paul. His books include Recovering the Real Jesus in an Age of Revisionist Replies, Letters from a Skeptic, God of the Possible, Repenting of Religion, Seeing is Believing, Escaping the Matrix, The Jesus Legend, Myth of a Christian Nation, Is God to Blame, God at War and Satan and the Problem of Evil.
Joel B. Green (B.S., M.Th., Ph.D.) is professor of New Testament interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary. He was vice president of academic affairs, provost and professor of New Testament interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Prior to his appointment at Asbury in 1997, he was associate professor of New Testament at the American Baptist Seminary of the West/Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
His books include What about the Soul? Neuroscience and Christian Anthropology (Abingdon, 2004); Narrative Reading, Narrative Preaching: The Recovery of Narrative and Preaching the New Testament (Baker, 2003); Salvation (Chalice, 2003); Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology (with Paul Achtemeier and Marianne Meye Thompson, 2001); Beginning with Jesus: Christ in Scripture, the Church and Discipleship (2000); Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament and Contemporary Contexts (with Mark Baker, 2000); Between Two Horizons: Spanning New Testament Studies and Systematic Theology (with Max Turner, 2000) and The Gospel of Luke in the New International Commentary on the New Testament (1997).
For over 20 years, Green has been the editor of Catalyst, a journal providing evangelical resources and perspectives to United Methodist seminarians. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, he has pastored churches in Texas, Scotland and Northern California. He has also served on the boards of Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing Project, and RADIX magazine.
Bruce R. Reichenbach (Ph.D. Northwestern University) is a professor of philosophy at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has also been a visiting professor at Juniata College, Daystar University in Kenya and Morija Theological Seminary in Lesotho. He is the author or coauthor of a number books, including Introduction to Critical Thinking, On Behalf of God: A Christian Ethic for Biology (coauthored with V. Elving Anderson) and Evil and a Good God.
Thomas R. Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. His other books include The Law and Its Fulfillment, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles and Romans.
Top Customer Reviews
It was John Wesley who once said, "Nothing in the Christian system is of greater consequence than the doctrine of the atonement."
If Wesley is correct, then the atonement is a Christian belief that deserves to be discussed.
_The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views_ (IVP Academic, 2006) seeks to give the Christian doctrine of atonement its proper due by fostering dialogue between four scholars, who hold as many interpretations of the atonement.
The four understandings/theories of the atonement under examination are:
1. The Christus Victor model: the atonement is a divine conflict and victory in which Jesus fights against and triumphs over the evil powers of the world.
2. The Penal Substitution model: "the Father, because of his love for human beings, sent his Son...to satisfy God's justice, so that Christ took the place of sinners. The punishment and penalty we deserved was laid on Jesus Christ instead of us, so that in the cross both God's holiness and love are manifested." (p. 67)
3. The Healing model: the atonement is primiarly a healing/restoration from sin and its resultant sickness.
4. The Kaleidoscopic model: the atonement is understood in multiple ways and no one theory has priority over the others.
None of the participants in the book disagrees as to whether the different theories are viable explanations of the atonement. Where the difference of opinion lies is in which theory is primary or foundational. The first three models purport to be foundational while the fourth model, the Kaleidoscopic view, claims that there is no foundational model.Read more ›
After all, for about 1000 years or so, until the time of Anselm, the Christus Victor perspective dominated the church's thinking and teaching. And today this model is seeing something of a revival of interest on both the popular front (CS Lewis) and the theological (NT Wright)--I happen to be Anglican today. So, I thought, there must be something here worth investigating. And, sure enough, as I read the opening essay by Greg Boyd, I couldn't help responding, "Yes, of course!" as I was blown away by the force of his presentation.
But then I moved on to Tom Schreiner's case for penal substitution and I recovered my senses with an "oh yeah." Next came Bruce Reichenbach's healing model and a "wow, that's important too!" By the way, one thing I really appreciate about this work is the irenic nature of the responses to each essay.
Finally, wowed as I was by each presentation, I found Joel Green's essay on the kaleidoscopic model to be a brilliant synthesis. It's not easy reading as he delves into epistemology and hermeneutics to make his case that each view properly appeals to different historical and cultural circumstances.Read more ›
I am trying to figure out why. Was it because my professors didn't know about it? Or possibly they did know about it, but didn't think it was worth mentioning. Either way, it kind of ticks me off, because after reading this book, I believe that the Christus Victor view is correct. Why did nobody ever at least mention it or bring it up in class?
Oh well, I've learned about it now, thanks to this excellent book edited by Jamed Beilby and Paul Eddy. This book presents four views on the atonement (which are not all the possible views).
The introduction points out that there are three main paradigms that guide atonement perspectives. The first paradigm is the Christus Victor paradigm, which is Satanward in its approach so that Jesus is seen to be fighting against and triumphing over the devil and his works. The second paradigm is Godward in its focus so that the work of Christ on the cross is said to satisfy or appease something within the nature and character of God. The third paradigm is manward in focus so that the work of Christ is thought to accomplish something for humanity. All of the various theories about the atonement fall into one of these paradigms, and this book chose four theories to consider.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To simply see that there are various views held within Christianity, this book will provide other views than penal substitution which is the predominant view with evangelical... Read morePublished 18 months ago by K. Steckert
This book made me realize how blindly I believed a certain atonement model was THE way and the paradigm that good evangelical Christians must hold. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Katee
There was some new insight and things I never heard before, obviously Jesus died for our sins but Christus Victor is great, overcoming sin.Published on July 30, 2014 by j
Though I am not particularly fond of most "three views", "four views" or "counterpoint" kinds of books from my reading of them in the past, I would have to... Read morePublished on May 22, 2014 by SLIMJIM
This book was right on track with what my Systematic Theology class was teaching me about Christology and soteriology. It complemented the class nicely.Published on November 10, 2013 by Morgan Mags
The argumentation in the book for the several views were informative. I definitely walked away with a more examined view of the atonement. Read morePublished on February 18, 2013 by Michael T. Slaughter
I got this book for a paper I wrote about penal substitutionary atonement and I think that all four authors do a great job of writing their argument while also commenting on the... Read morePublished on October 6, 2012 by Chris Collier