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Atonement: A Guide for the Perplexed

Atonement: A Guide for the Perplexed

Christians agree that they are saved through the death and resurrection of Christ. But how is the atonement achieved in these events? This book offers an introduction to the doctrine of the¬†atonement focused on the unity and diversity of the work of Christ. Johnson reorients current patterns of thought concerning Christ’s work by giving the reader a unifying vision of the immensely rich and diverse doctrine of the atonement, offering a sampling of its treasures, and cultivating the desire to further understand and apply these riches to everyday life. Where introductions to the atonement typically favor one aspect of the work of Christ, or work with a set number of themes, aspects or theories, this book takes the opposite approach, developing the foundation for the multi-faceted nature of Christ’s work within the being of God himself. It offers a grand unifying vision of¬†Christ’s manifold work. Specific elaborations of different theories of the atonement, biblical themes, and the work of different theologians find their place within this larger rubric.

This is an economical and lively presentation of Christian teaching about the atonement; it demonstrates deep respect for the Christian tradition, appreciation of the place of the atonement in the wider field of Christian doctrine, and acute theological judgement.

John Webster, University of St Andrews, UK

The Christian doctrine of the atonement is endlessly rich in its nature, for it speaks of the saving work of the triune God whose plenitude is beyond measure. Johnson offers a valuable exposition of the relationship between the theology of atonement and the doctrine of God, and helpfully explores some of the key ways in which the infinite richness of God is reflected in the nature of God’s actions for the reconciliation of creatures

Ivor J. Davidson, University of St Andrews, UK

The atonement is no more the answer to a multiple-choice question (Which theory is correct?) than a single attribute is to the question “What is God like?” Adam Johnson helps readers to see that the atonement is as deep, diverse, and multi-faceted as is God himself, for the atonement concerns how God in his fullness reconciles the fullness of all things to himself through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Those perplexed about the saving significance of Jesus’ death will find here a rich response, a theological treasure trove.

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA

Book categories: Atonement