A long history of biblical exegesis and theological reflection has shaped our understanding of the atonement today. The more prominent highlights of this history have acquired familiar names for the household of faith: Christus Victor, penal substitutionary, subjective, and governmental. Recently the penal substitutionary view, and particularly its misappropriations, has been critiqued, and a lively debate has taken hold within evangelicalism. This book offers a "panel" discussion of four views of atonement maintained by four evangelical scholars. The proponents and their views are: Gregory A. Boyd: Christus Victor view Joel B. Green: Kaleidescopic view Bruce R. Reichenbach: Healing view Thomas R. Schreiner: Penal Substitutionary view Following an introduction written by the editors, each participant first puts forth the case for their view. Each view is followed by responses from the other three participants, noting points of agreement as well as disagreement. This is a book that will help Christians understand the issues, grasp the differences and proceed toward a clearer articulation of their understanding of the atonement.
James K. Beilby (Ph.D., Marquette University) is professor of systematic and philosophical theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His books include (with David Clark), and (both with Paul Eddy), and . His articles and essays have appeared in such publications as and
Paul R. Eddy (Ph.D., Marquette University) is Professor of Theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His books include (Ashgate), (with G. A. Boyd, Baker) and (with James Beilby IVP).
Gregory A. Boyd (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Previously, he was a professor of theology at Bethel University, also in St. Paul. His books include and .
Joel B. Green (B.S., M.Th., Ph.D.) is professor of New Testament interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary. He was vice president of academic affairs, provost and professor of New Testament interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Prior to his appointment at Asbury in 1997, he was associate professor of New Testament at the American Baptist Seminary of the West/Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. His books include (Abingdon, 2004); (Baker, 2003); (Chalice, 2003); (with Paul Achtemeier and Marianne Meye Thompson, 2001); (2000); (with Mark Baker, 2000); (with Max Turner, 2000) and in the New International Commentary on the New Testament (1997). For over 20 years, Green has been the editor of a journal providing evangelical resources and perspectives to United Methodist seminarians. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, he has pastored churches in Texas, Scotland and Northern California. He has also served on the boards of Berkeley Emergency Food and Housing Project, and magazine.
Bruce R. Reichenbach (Ph.D. Northwestern University) is a professor of philosophy at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has also been a visiting professor at Juniata College, Daystar University in Kenya and Morija Theological Seminary in Lesotho. He is the author or coauthor of a number books, including (coauthored with V. Elving Anderson) and
Thomas R. Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. His other books include and
"The directness of the responses is a strength of the book. It serves to highlight differences, expose weak points, and provide the reader with questions and issues to pursue. The book makes a positive contribution both through highlighting the diversity of thinking about the atonement within evangelicalism and through encouraging discussion about this diversity."
"One strength of this study is its multifaceted scope. The book presents four views side by side and allows the reader quickly to see what the primary differences and similarities are between the various positions. By including defenses of positions by those who hold to these divergent views, this volume adds a valuable dimension to the evangelical discussion on the issue of the atonement."
"Those looking for evangelical and scripturally founded treatments of the atonement will find this book a lively register of current opinions."
"There are a number of reasons to applaud The Nature of the Atonement, not least its provocative and illuminating presentation. . . . If you are looking for a more focused discussion on the atonement--that is, in terms of today's evangelical milieu, The Nature of the Atonement can certainly serve as a fine forum for exploring essential matters of the Christian faith."