Andrew Purves, the author of many works in pastoral theology, has spent his life exploring the significance of Jesus Christ for the life of the church. As a professor of historical theology, he has also investigated the significance of patristic and Reformed theology for understanding Christ. In Exploring Christology and Atonement, Purves brings these concerns together. If pastoral theology is about the person and work of Christ, then the study of Christology and atonement is essential to the ministry of the church.
Drawing on his own Scottish heritage, Purves engages in a critical conversation about Christ?s person and work with three eminent Scottish theologians whose legacy stretches over two hundred years: John McLeod Campbell, Hugh Ross Mackintosh and Thomas Forsyth Torrance. Purves shows how their respective contributions to our understanding of Jesus Christ shape and inform the practice of the faith. The ministry of the church is rooted first and foremost in the ministry of God.
Andrew Purves (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is Jean and Nancy Davis Professor of Historical Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books including and He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and has three grown children with his wife Catherine, who is minister of the Bellevue United Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.
A fine feast is set by this book. Andrew Purves not only gives us a compelling introduction to three important Scottish theologians, he also puts them in conversation with each other on the central affirmations of the Christian faith. Even more, he makes vividly clear the urgency and gift of theology for the sake of the church. Readers will encounter in this book a vision of deep faithfulness to the gospel. A fine feast, indeed.
-Leanne Van Dyk,
president, Columbia Theological Seminary
In this fine study, Andrew Purves draws upon his long experience of teaching and reflection to expound the work of three illustrious Scottish theologians - John McLeod Campbell, H. R. Mackintosh and T. F. Torrance. Each stressed the deep connection between the person and work of Christ, both as a corrective to some distortions within the Reformed tradition and also as a recovery of key scriptural and ecumenical insights. Standing foursquare in this tradition, Purves provides an admirable exposition of their work for a contemporary audience.
professor of divinity and principal of New College, University of Edinburgh
In this groundbreaking book Andrew Purves offers a powerful, engaging and carefully constructed theology of atonement in its connection with Christology, the doctrine of justification and the doctrine of the Trinity that shows exactly how and why pastoral or practical theology is intrinsically connected with systematic theology. Purves expertly traces the positive teaching embedded in the thinking of three influential Scottish theologians, with particular emphasis on the theology of T. F. Torrance. He demonstrates how important it was and continues to be for theologians and pastors to allow the strength and power of their presentation of the truth of the Christian faith to be shaped by the living Christ in his true humanity and true divinity as the crucified, risen, ascended and advent Lord who mediates between sinful humanity and God the Father in the Spirit. This is a mediation of God's love that is best understood in filial rather than legal terms since it involves our union with Christ and thus union with the Father in and through the incarnate Son in his unique eternal relation with the Father into which we are drawn by the Holy Spirit. This book will be indispensable for theologians interested in the thinking of John McLeod Campbell, Hugh Ross Mackintosh and Thomas Forsyth Torrance. Torrance scholars in particular will benefit greatly from the insightful connections made among these three important figures.
-Paul D. Molnar,
professor of systematic theology, St. John's University, Queens, New York
The greatest value of Andrew Purves's new book, Exploring Christology and Atonement, lies not in the manner in which he places these two essential doctrines of Christianity back on our front burner, and does so with such eloquence, although the value of this contribution is without question. The greatest value of this book rests in bringing together in a single essay the contributions of three extraordinary theologians. Arguably no other theologians have provided more profound insights into the life and work of Christ and the nature of the atonement than have John McLeod Campbell, H. R. Mackintosh and Thomas F. Torrance. This book reminds the church and theologians of this fact at the same time that it contributes Purves's own distinctive voice to historical and constructive theological conversation in these vital areas.
president and professor of theology, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
"Andrew Purves has done a great work for the Evangelical community in his most recent work, Exploring Christology and the Atonement. Purves marshalls three theological Scottish heavyweights to explore the relationship between the atonement and Christology (Thomas F. Torrance, H.R. Mackintosh, and John Macleod Campbell). . . . This is an excellent, engaging, and compelling read. Any Christian who wants to consider Christ more deeply would do well to dwell in it."
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