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While the history concerning the extent of Christ's atoning work on the cross is fascinating in its own right, dappled in its twists and turns, often either ignored or misunderstood, it is also among the most controversial questions in evangelical Christianity, fraught with potholes and pitfalls that have been the cause of division since the Reformation—not only between the Reformed and the non-Reformed but also within Reformed theology itself.
Driven by his own theological convictions and Baptist perspective, David L. Allen makes a historical, biblical, and theological case for universal atonement in The Extent of the Atonement: A Historical and Critical Review. This monumental work not only offers a comprehensive historical summary of the question of the atonement's extent from the Early Church Fathers to the present, but also includes the debates within Reformed Theology on the subject since the Reformation and within Baptist history and theology from the early 17th century to present.
The Extent of the Atonement integrates historical theology with exegesis, biblical and systematic theology, and practical theology, to demonstrate the unity between all moderate Calvinists, Arminians, and non-Calvinists on the specific issue of the extent of the atonement. Marshalling evidence from Scripture and history, and critiquing arguments for a limited atonement, Allen affirms that an unlimited atonement is the best understanding of Christ's saving work. He concludes by showing that an unlimited atonement provides the best foundation for evangelism, missions, and preaching.
Allen's tour de force on the atonement forwards not only an example of responsible theology and a faithful reading of Scripture, but also a challenge to pastors, scholars, and seminarians to discern the intent, extent, and application of Christ's atoning work on the cross. A must read for all who are interested in the question of what the cross achieves.
Number of Pages: 848
Vendor: B&H Academic
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 10 X 7 X 1.75 (inches)|
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"The Extent of the Atonement offers a penetrating and perceptive treatment of a thorny, divisive theological issue. David Allens command of the subject as well as his ability to lay out clearly and fairly the competing theories and arguments is masterful. I found his critique of the doctrine of limited atonement fully persuasive. This book is must reading for all who want to understand better the Calvinism debate."
—Craig A. Evans, dean of the School of Christian Thought and John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins, Houston Baptist University
"The issue of limited atonement has proved a controversial matter for many years and one that is unlikely to disappear at any time in the near future. One of the reasons for this is that the question it seeks to answer is one which developed over time and has a number of subtle and sophisticated facets. . . . While David Allen and I disagree on the matter, this work is an irenic and learned contribution to the topic which carries the historical, and thus doctrinal, discussion forward in an extremely helpful way. I am thus happy to recommend this work of a friendly critic. It deserves wide readership and careful engagement."
—Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Chair of Church History and professor of church history, Westminster Theological Seminary