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Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament and Contemporary Contexts
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Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament and Contemporary Contexts

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  149 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
For the first-century Roman world the cross was first and foremost an instrument of shameful and violent execution. But early Christians, who had seen their world upended by the atoning power of the cross of Christ, came to view it in an entirely different light. Deeply scandalous, it was paradoxically glorious. For the cross of Christ marked the epochal saving event in Go ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published August 7th 2011 by IVP Academic (first published August 24th 2000)
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Samuel Garcia
Sep 23, 2012 Samuel Garcia rated it really liked it
Joel Green and Mark Baker have a heart for mission, which fuels their approach in this book. They present about 6 or 7 different models of the atonement besides the traditional ones. The main thesis is that we should not expect the atonement to be exhausted by any single explanation: just as the problem of evil is so profound and multifaceted such that it cannot be summed up in a single "explanation", in the same way, the atonement--God's "answer" to evil--cannot be "contained in" any theory. We ...more
Joel Wentz
Nov 10, 2014 Joel Wentz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Atonement theories have been something of an obsession of mine for the past several years, and this book (second edition) is one of the best entries in the current conversation. Green and Baker don't hide their issues with penal substitution, but they take effort to show the prevalence of it in evangelicalism, and how it particularly responds to very Western, cultural values. They also allow for the possibility of a nuanced articulation of PSA, as seen in Kevin Vanhoozer's work. Overall, this bo ...more
Jacob Aitken
Aug 04, 2011 Jacob Aitken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had the potential to offer good insights on non-penal models of the atonement, but engaged in stereotypes. Even Eastern Orthodox scholars like David Bentley Hart demonstrates that St Anselm did not have such a crass model of the atonement but was actually quite nuanced. There is more agreement between St Athanasius and St Anselm, for example, than further thought.

Still, all negatives aside (e.g., being published by IVP, guarranteing silly evanjellyfishism), it does raise serious weaknesses with
David Smith
Feb 22, 2015 David Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the book did indeed develop a well balanced biblical model of atonement, their discussion with the historical models could have been better. They simply fixated on disproving the substitutionary and satisfaction model. I feel the authors could have used their time to address how a more dynamic view of the atonement theories work together instead of showing how two views hurt the Christian understanding of the cross.
Benjamin Vineyard
Jan 08, 2016 Benjamin Vineyard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament and Contemporary Contexts (Review)

This is a good, balanced overview of atonement theology. Early pages walk you through a few of the atonement theories, exploring the good and what’s lacking. Many pages are spent wrestling against Anselm’s penal substitution and it’s there that the main thesis of the book is revealed: atonement must look like Jesus, for God and how God works looks like Jesus. Anselm and many other theories through t
Dec 23, 2011 Robbie rated it really liked it
This book was something I've been interested in reading for sometime. In fact, I probably had it on my wish list on Amazon for close to three or four years. For some reason I just never got around to reading it.

I really don't have the time to provide an in depth/detailed review of the book; however, I will say that it challenges the primary evangelical notion of atonement. That is, it takes on the notion that the penal substitutionary atonement model (Jesus' death on the cross conquered sin by
Радостин Марчев
Познавам проф. Грийн като един от най-силните, ясни и смислени съвременни гласове критикуващи доминиращият консервативнот евангелско богословие модел на наказателно заместническо изкупление. Настоящата книга не е изключение. Все пак макар да не споделям докрай неговата позиция в нея има много, което си струва да чуем и което намирам за напълно вярно.
Една от изходните точки на тяхното разглеждане на изкуплението е, че то е многостранно и многообразно – и, което е по-важно, самият Нов Завет го пр
Green and Baker take their shot at undermining penal substitutionary atonement. This book fails at many levels. Here are a few:
(1) It constantly paints PSA in caricatures that aren't helpful or assumes an unorthodox understanding of God - like divine child abuse, pins the Trinity against itself, etc. Because Green and Baker have an unorthodox doctrine of God and christology, then they have an unorthodox view of atonement.
(2) They constantly assume a New Perspective understanding of Paul and reli
Jul 20, 2008 Nate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Great treatment of the atonement. The authors persuasively demonstrate that the mystery of the atonement can't be summed up in its totality in one metaphor (read: penal substitution).

Biblically, sacrifice, reconciliation, restoration, etc. were other ways that the death of Christ was "for us". Tracing through Anselm and Abelard, and then showing current interpretations of the atonement, such as feminist views, African, and Japanese perspectives, Green and Baker carefully argue that Christ's dea
May 03, 2007 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I really was intrigued by this book and it's goal of developing a more expansive meaning to the Cross and why Jesus died. I enjoyed the different perspectives, and was especially intrigued by the chapter on contextualizing the cross for the Japanese audience.

I don't have much to compare the book to as it is one of my first forays into more "theological" reading, so I'll leave my content review at that.

Overall, it was quite readable and not to esoteric, but it was still intellectual in nature,
Mitchell Ebbott
Sep 08, 2014 Mitchell Ebbott rated it it was amazing
Excellent recovery of multiplicity and metaphor within atonement theology. Much more nuanced and careful than most books in this area. This should be required reading for every seminary student.
Dave Pettengill
Mar 15, 2016 Dave Pettengill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are wanting to learn more about the atonement and how our tradition and culture play an important part in not only understanding it, but also describing it then check out this book!
Jul 10, 2008 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read another Atonement book? Yep. So it's for a class. This one is quite good. It is another multiple metaphor book. There is a bias against penal substitution but I think it offers a good critique. Particularly insightful is the discussion of guilt vs. shame based cultures in trying to contextualize the atonement.

Joel Green also does a good job at analyzing the appropriate N.T. texts related to the cross.
Heather Tomlinson
Aug 14, 2013 Heather Tomlinson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This is a detailed but accessible investigation into the various meanings of the Cross in the Bible. It's a helpful reminder that the Cross represents more than just 'substitutionary atonement', because it tends to be the latter that's focused on in most evangelical churches. The book doesn't deny the importance of this, but points out that the meaning is deeper and richer than just substitution alone.
Noemi Vega
Mar 31, 2012 Noemi Vega rated it it was amazing
AMAZING!!!! This book opened me up to new models of the atonement that were refreshing, liberating, and life-giving. I recommend this to ANYONE trying to understand what was accomplished on the cross where Jesus died. Note: this is not your typical Sunday school teaching. Grounded in Scripture and theology, Baker and Green explain the beautiful "scandal of the cross."
Deb Amend
Jun 30, 2011 Deb Amend rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a GREAT read! It answered questions that have lingered in my mind for years, while at the same time giving me a great over view of what SCRIPTURE, rather than Calvin, has to say about atonement. While it was dry reading at times, as most academic reads are, it had a wealth of information.
Setting this one down for a bit until I can read through it with a journal and take careful notes. I'm about a 3rd of the way through and I can tell it will end up landing on my list of all time favorites.
Jul 02, 2009 Brett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book in that it expands our understanding of the saving significance of Jesus beyond just penal-substitution. However, I have reservations about some of their thesis. Worth reading though.
Chris Gill
Oct 01, 2013 Chris Gill rated it liked it
Definite bias against the Penal Substitution model of atonement, but ask serious, realistic questions of it and of the other models of the atonement. Good read!
Jul 06, 2012 Raborn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction into the world of atonement theories. This book presents a "Kaleidoscopic View" of the atonement.
Apr 03, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, own
Need some time to process. I'll get a review out shortly.
Ron Willoughby
Aug 11, 2012 Ron Willoughby rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
A challenging, but worthwhile read.
Jan 12, 2014 Charlotte rated it liked it
For my Theology of Atonement class.
Dec 08, 2010 Jerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Nov 11, 2013 Keri marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
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Joel B. Green (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament interpretation and associate dean of the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Prior to moving to Fuller, he taught at Asbury Theological Seminary for ten years. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Theological Interpretation and has authored or edited numerous boo ...more
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