The atonement is the crown jewel of Christian doctrine. And it is the responsibility of each generation of theologians to preserve its heritage, explore its facets and allow its radiance to illumine their day. With The Glory of the Atonement editors Charles E. Hill and Frank A. James III, along with a group of expert contributors, attempt to fulfill this trust at the dawn of a new millennium. The Glory of the Atonement is divided into three parts–biblical, historical and practical–with each section introduced by an overview essay. In part one evangelical biblical scholars explore the atonement within the contours of Scripture, looking first at the atonement in the Pentateuch, Psalm 51 and Isaiah 53, and then more closely at the major texts of the New Testament. In part two historical and systematic theologians weigh the atonement in the ancient, medieval and Reformation traditions. The primary perspective of the contributors is the Reformed tradition, which is further represented by essays on John Calvin, Herman Bavinck and Karl Barth. A timely capstone to this historical view is a stimulating consideration of the atonement and postmodernism. Finally, the implications of the atonement are brought home in part three with a look at the atonement in contemporary preaching and Christian living. Here is a full-course feast for ministers of the Word, a textbook for students of the Bible and theology, and a valuable resource for any theological library.
This is a timely resource for those who would seek to understand several of the biblical and theological dimensions of the atonement, and some of the debates surrounding the doctrine. Whether or not one agrees with the basic assumptions, arguments and conclusions of the authors is no barrier to benefiting immensely from this book, which may well be found more frequently on the desk than on the shelf.