Community Called Atonement

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Overview

Over the centuries the church developed a number of metaphors, such as penal substitution or the ransom theory, to speak about Christ's death on the cross and the theological concept of the atonement. Yet too often, says Scot McKnight, Christians have held to the supremacy of one metaphor over against the others, to their detriment. He argues instead that to plumb the rich theological depths of the atonement, we must consider all the metaphors of atonement and ask whether they ...
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A Community Called Atonement: Living Theology

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Overview

Over the centuries the church developed a number of metaphors, such as penal substitution or the ransom theory, to speak about Christ's death on the cross and the theological concept of the atonement. Yet too often, says Scot McKnight, Christians have held to the supremacy of one metaphor over against the others, to their detriment. He argues instead that to plumb the rich theological depths of the atonement, we must consider all the metaphors of atonement and ask whether they each serve a larger purpose.

A Community Called Atonement is a constructive theology that not only values the church's atonement metaphors but also asserts that the atonement fundamentally shapes the life of the Christian and of the church. That is, Christ identifies with humans to call us into a community that reflects God's love (the church)--but that community then has the responsibility to offer God's love to others through missional practices of justice and fellowship, living out its life together as the story of God's reconciliation. Scot McKnight thus offers an accessible, thought-provoking theology of atonement that engages the concerns of those in the emerging church conversation and will be of interest to all those in the church and academy who are listening in.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

"Emerging church" theologian (Embracing Grace) and blogger McKnight writes this first volume of Abingdon's "Living Theology" series, which offers brief, nontechnical, contemporary analyses of traditional theological topics. He provides an excitingly suggestive understanding of how in Christian theology Christ's death sets things right that were broken by sin. "Things" here means not just relations between the individual and God (the traditional emphasis) but among other humans and with the world as well. While classical images of atonement address aspects of Christ's work, no single metaphor here tells the whole story. Instead, McKnight completes his presentation with a section on how atonement is made real in the daily practices of the church-an aspect of the doctrine often neglected. While affirming classical views, the author is less impressed with recent critical approaches to the doctrine; the reservations of feminists and liberation theologians are curtly dismissed. (A better engagement with such interests is found in J. Denny Weaver's The Nonviolent Atonement.) Nevertheless, McKnight offers important corrections and modifications of an often misunderstood doctrine. Recommended for all academic libraries and for collections in theology and religion.
—Steve Young

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687645541
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Series: Living Theology Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 746,488
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Scot McKnight is Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University in Chicago.
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Table of Contents


Introduction to Living Theology   Tony Jones     ix
Preface     xi
Prologue     xiii
Atonement: The Question, a Story, and Our Choice     1
Atonement and Convergence: Where to Begin?
With Jesus, Of Course!     9
With God, with Eikons, and with Sin, Too     15
With Eternity, with Ecclesial Community, and with Praxis, Too     25
Atonement and Image: With Which Image?
Atonement as Metaphor: Metaphor and Mechanics     35
The Mystery of Our Metaphors: An Exercise in Postmodern Humility     44
Atoning Moments: Crux Sola?     51
Atoning Moments: Incarnation as Second Adam     54
Atoning Moments: Crucifixion     61
Atoning Moments: Easter and Pentecost     70
Atonement as Story: Whose Story?
The Story of Jesus: Passover     81
The Story of Paul: In the Courtroom of God     90
The Story of Early Theologians: Irenaeus and Athanasius     100
Which Is the Fairest of Them All?     107
Atonement as Praxis: Who Does Atonement?
Atonement as Missional Praxis: Fellowship     117
Atonement as Missional Praxis: Justice     124
Atonement as Missional Praxis: Missional     134
Atonement as Missional Praxis: Living the Story of theWord     142
Atonement as Missional Praxis: Baptism, Eucharist, and Prayer     149
Bibliographic Note     157
Notes     159
Subject Index     169
Scripture Index     173
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Very nice overview

    An excellent overview of the multiple facets of atonement found in the Bible and a good counterpoint to the uni-dimensional approach too often used in evangelical churches today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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