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The Promise of Peace: A Unified Theory of Atonement [Paperback]

By Alan Spence (Author)
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Item description for The Promise of Peace: A Unified Theory of Atonement by Alan Spence...

By engaging critically with various theological ideas, this book offers a defence of a mediatorial interpretation of the atonement in which Christ is held to have become as we are, so that he might on our behalf make peace with God.

Publishers Description

The book offers a defence of a mediatorial interpretation of the atonement, that is one in which Christ is held to have become as we are, so that he might on our behalf make peace with God. It is argued that such an interpretation is not one of a number of valid descriptions of Christ's saving work, but the normative redemptive account. The erosion of this classic view of the atonement can be explained partly by a number of developments that have taken place in theological thought during the past two hundred years. These include the emergence of a christology in which Christ's divinity is linked to his saving ministry; a new interpretation of Pauline theology in which issues of justification are held to be secondary to those of participation; a return to the more dualistic world-view of the Church Fathers; difficulties with the concept of divine judgement; and a culture of relativism in which a unified or coherent account of the atonement not only no longer seems possible, but is generally not even considered desirable. The book achieves its purpose by engaging critically with these various theological ideas. It is as much a clearing of the undergrowth from the foundations of soteriology as it is the construction of a coherent account of Christ Jesus as the one mediator between us and God. It goes on to consider the relation of such an account to the proclamation of the gospel and the response required of its hearers.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Continuum International Publishing
Pages   142
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.16" Width: 6.28" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.54 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2007
Publisher   Continuum
ISBN  0567031187  
ISBN13  9780567031181  

Availability  102 units.
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More About Alan Spence

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr Alan Spence has been a teacher in Harare, an evangelist in the South African townships, a human rights advocate in Zimbabwe and Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa. He is now a minister in the United Reformed Church serving two congregations in London, UK.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Promise of Peace: A Unified Theory of Atonement?

The saving promise of God  Jan 8, 2007
The Promise of Peace by Alan Spence is an energetic and intelligent account of our salvation. Spence shows that salvation is not just about rescue from sin and death, but about life - with God.

God is fundamentally concerned with us. His love for us is expressed as covenant - relationship. The fact of the love of God for humankind does not change just because rebellion has left us estranged from him. God's fundamental purpose is peace with us. His love powers our reconciliation, and judgment is part of this process. We have God's word on it that his relationship with us will hold good.

Spence shows that the dynamic of divine promise and responsive faith is integral to our salvation. He quotes Augustine: `He who made you without your cooperation will not save you without it'. Salvation depends on our hearing and believing the gospel, and the Holy Spirit creates the faith which receives the saving promise of God.

It is fine to talk about propitiation, as long as we do this in the context of Christ's speaking for us to the Father. `The salvation of those who come to God through him is dependent on Jesus' sustained prayer for them at the Father's right hand.' Christ speaks for us, lives for us and shares his life with us. He is always in conversation with the Father, and in this conversation he speaks for the world. Our life is a participation in this communion of the Son with the Father.

So salvation is not a fact somewhere above our heads. We participate in it. The gospel and the event of our salvation is Christ's act together with our glad reception of it.

We learn a great deal about other accounts of the atonement from Spence. He responds to two alternative understanding of the gospel which view it, not in terms of promise and faith, but as a divine demand or declaration, that seem only require obedience from us. In Karl Barth's account, salvation seems to be complete regardless of whether or not it actually reaches us. Does Barth's account of the atonement place more emphasis on the power of God than on the love of God?

Tom Wright believes that the gospel is the proclamation of the divine lordship of Christ. He believes that the covenant is set up to rescue man from his predicament and regards `faith' not as an instrument of salvation, but a marker of membership of God's people. Does Wright put concepts of power, victory and lordship before the concept of relationship, or covenant? Alan Spence insists that the covenant is there from the beginning, for it is the love of God, that drives all salvation history. Spence is a sympathetic reader. He is not trying to warn us off these two great theologians, but his challenge to Barth and Wright is instructive.

It is a joy to be taken through the doctrine of the atonement by this guide who is both robust and tender. Every reader will be glad to have found The Promise of Peace.

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