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Options on Atonement in Christian Thought [Paperback]

By Stephen Finlan (Author)
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Item description for Options on Atonement in Christian Thought by Stephen Finlan...

Overview
In his previous book, Problems with Atonement, Stephen Finlan compellingly argues that the doctrine of atonement has been more a stumbling block to a true understanding of the relationship between God and humanity than a genuine explanation of how we relate to God and God to us. Options on Atonement reprises these arguments briefly, then looks more closely at the solutions to the problem offered by a variety of modern interpreters. Finlan's focus in this volume is on revelation, on the "gradual human absorption of and interpretation of revelation received from God," the maturing of human cultures, and especially the light shed by modern family systems psychology. At a time when public debates rage over the notion of evolution in the natural world, this book asserts that our understanding of divine revelation is likewise subject to evolution. If religion itself does not evolve, the author asserts, we are left only with an unsatisfactory choice: to remain mired in the past, or to repudiate all that is past, including our Scriptures. Will that be our choice? Or can we resolve to examine our traditions, including that of the atonement, in the light of new knowledge? Stephen Finlan chooses to do just that.

Publishers Description

In his previous book, Problems with Atonement, Stephen Finlan compellingly argues that the doctrine of atonement has been more a stumbling block to a true understanding of the relationship between God and humanity than a genuine explanation of how we relate to God and God to us. Options on Atonement reprises these arguments briefly, then looks more closely at the solutions to the problem offered by a variety of modern interpreters. Finlan's focus in this volume is on revelation, on the gradual human absorption of and interpretation of revelation received from God, the maturing of human cultures, and especially the light shed by modern family systems psychology.

At a time when public debates rage over the notion of evolution in the natural world, this book asserts that our understanding of divine revelation is likewise subject to evolution. If religion itself does not evolve, the author asserts, we are left only with an unsatisfactory choice: to remain mired in the past, or to repudiate al that is past, including our Scriptures. Will that be our choice? Or can we resolve to examine our traditions, including that of the atonement, in the light of new knowledge? Stephen Finlan chooses to do just that.

"Stephen Finlan, PhD, teaches biblical studies at Fordham University and Seton Hal University. He is also the author of "The Background and Content of Paul's Cultic Atonement Metaphors" (SBL and Brill, 2004), "Problems with Atonement" (Liturgical Press, 2005) and co-editor of" Theosis: Deification in Christian Theology" (Wipf and Stock, 2006)."

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Michael Glazier Books
Pages   147
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.64" Width: 5.88" Height: 0.34"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  0814659861  
ISBN13  9780814659861  


Availability  1 units.
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More About Stephen Finlan

Stephen Finlan I taught Theology and general Humanities at universities and seminaries for 13 years, but now I am the pastor of Mathewson Street United Methodist Church in Providence, RI. I am interested in preaching the gospel and in discovering the transforming power of the Spirit. I have a Ph.D. in Pauline Theology from University of Durham, and have been writing about Jesus, Paul, atonement, and theosis for many years. I have strongly held views on these subjects, but I also seek lively and varied debate from those who have other views. The "strongly held" aspect is probably seen in my _Problems with Atonement_, whle my "open to debate" aspect is seen in my _Options on Atonement_ and _The Apostle Paul_.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic



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Reviews - What do customers think about Options on Atonement in Christian Thought?

Saving Power of the Death of Jesus  Jan 30, 2008
For the purpose of this study, Finlan defines atonement as doctrines of the saving power of the death of Jesus inherited from the early church, with Paul as the principal spokesman.

The bibliography of six pages and the indexes of modern authors (2 pages) and ancient texts (7 pages) mark this as a carefully researched and scholarly work that addresses concerns being expressed by "people in the pews." Many Christians, Finlan writes, are questioning the concepts that Jesus died for our sins and that a loving God could not simply forgive human sin, but required the intercession of "a tortured Messiah" to rescue us. Many cannot accept that a divine law of justice could demand a verdict that allowed substitution of an innocent victim in place of the guilty. Finlan suggests that these metaphors may have never been meant to imply a change in God's attitude "but only to change the human tendency to commit, and to lie about, violence."

He examines atonement metaphors throughout Christian teaching, looking at historical and cultural background and presenting alternative possibilities. Early on Finlan introduces the concept or "progressive development in religious conceptualization" within and outside the Bible. He offers numerous examples of God's wrath in Old Testament readings and explains the primitive level of religious psychology that led to concerns about placating evil and dangerous gods. "Fear-based concepts of salvation were a necessary stepping stone in the evolution of religion," Finlan explains, "but Jesus offered trust in place of fear."

This slim volume with its focus on questions facing many of today's Christians is an excellent resource for individuals and groups.
 

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