Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross: Contemporary Images of the Atonement

Book, 2006, 204 pp
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It's not often that a book is written to answer the "So what?" question, but that's precisely the case with Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross. Inspiration for the book came when Mark Baker and Joel Green wrote Recovering the Scandal of the Cross, an argument against those evangelical theologians and pastors who focused on the penal satisfaction theory of the atonement to the exclusion of other complementary explanations. Readers were struck by their argument, but they asked, "How do we now preach the atonement? And how do we explain the saving significance of the cross when we evangelize?"

In Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross, Baker brings together presentations of the atonement given in a variety of contexts, from Africa to suburban Los Angeles, from junior high Sunday school classes to coffee shops. The images and metaphors in the book have been developed by pastors, writers, and theologians, including Richard B. Hays, C. S. Lewis, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Brian D. McLaren, Luci Shaw, and Rowan Williams. Readers are invited to learn from their creative examples to proclaim the scandal of the cross in engaging ways in their own contexts. These writers reveal that Christians should embrace a whole constellation of perspectives on the atonement, all mutually reinforcing, because the language of the atonement must at once be metaphorical, pastoral, and salvific. As such, the book will appeal to pastors, professors, students, evangelists, youth leaders, and Bible study leaders who want to profit from the theology of the atonement as it applies across the whole spectrum of human experience.

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