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Healing the Gospel: A Radical Vision for Grace, Justice, and the Cross
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Healing the Gospel: A Radical Vision for Grace, Justice, and the Cross

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Why did Jesus have to die? Was it to appease a wrathful God's demand for punishment? Does that mean Jesus died to save us from God? How could someone ever truly love or trust a God like that? How can that ever be called ''Good News''? It's questions like these that make so many people want to have nothing to do with Christianity.

Healing the Gospel challenges the assumption
Paperback, 136 pages
Published August 6th 2012 by Cascade Books
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Randy Baxter
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
With this book Derek Flood has put the 'Good' back in Good News. This is the radical vision of the Father, Son and Spirit that I fell in love with back in 1971. For those who think something has been 'off' in how the gospel has been taught to them, read this book and then look at Jesus afresh and you will see the light of the glory of the Father in the face of Jesus.
Daniel Werner
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Derek opens that there are enormous problems with penal substitutionary atonement theory:
1) It sees a conflict between the mercy and justice of God. Jesus is punished to end this "conflict". So God's anger must be appeased, so we cower in fear wondering who God really is. Can't God's mercy and justice be seen in a fashion that work with each other rather than in some sort of yin vs. yang? And isn't this sort of appeasement more inline with a pagan's view of god than the enemy love revealed in Je
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The primary thesis of this book, as I understood it is this: The retributive justice championed by the penal substitution model of Christ's atonement is false. Christus Victor, the classic and dramatic model of the atonement, reveals the other model for the falsehood that it is and then destroys it through the restorative justice that Christus Victor represents.

In short, all Christians and anyone interested in Christian theology ought to read this book. In the end you may still not agree with it
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about questioning and reframing our modern western view of atonement and what the cross is and accomplished for us. The author goes through the most common western view of atonement, penal substitution, and discusses why he believes it's an inaccurate view of both the purpose of the cross and the nature of God. The author reframes our view of justice from a retributive view, which he considers the opposite of God's nature, to a Godly and biblical view of restorative justice. The Gos ...more
John Martindale
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Good reflections upon the difference of retribution and restorative justice and I must say that I am in agreement that God is more interested in the latter, but exactly how Jesus' bloody execution on a cross brings this restoration about, this is where the book kinda left me flat. I needed no convincing of the many problems and biblical challenges to the penal-substitutionary view of the atonement, everything Flood wrote concerning this--I gave a hearty amen, but yeah, Floods positive case seeme ...more
Jim Fulner
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed by this book. Since I first heard of it I thought it would be great. I was under the impression I would get some good insight here into how to better witness to individuals who had been turned off of Jesus by the idea of the cross. Some better way to present the idea of "Jesus dying for our sins" to someone who felt that was pretty morbid. But this didn't give me that. Flood's book was just too deep for me I guess. I lot of differences between restorative justice and punitive ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Flood does an amazing job unveiling the problem with modern Evangelical understandings of the atonement and contrasts it beautifully with the ancient restorative model. I found his logic and process easy to follow and understandable, which helped me in sorting out my own thoughts on the tensions I've been feeling around the good news of the gospel. Seen in this light we open ourselves up to new vistas of seeing God's goodness and reconciliation all around us. It changes our outlook and inspires ...more
Pearl Loewen
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A small book that packs a punch. Derek Flood articulates in a hundred pages what others have needed tomes to say. This was my first reading of Flood, who argues against the penal substitution atonement theory in favor of a Christus Victor narrative framework. Flood extends the definition of sin and salvation in a compelling way. It's not simply theology, however, but a challenge and inspiration to act on it.
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I am sympathetic to the author’s interpretation of the cross, Romans, and Old Testament sacrifice. He makes many good points. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around why Christ’s death would restore someone to health. The argument seems to fall short there, and the author seems to be stating that Jesus was just being a good example for us. The book is well written and concise for regular people.

My main concern is how the Bible and theology of the cross can be interpreted in opposite ways by our
Heather Kidd
Derek Flood highlights the difference between retributive justice and restorative justice in this book and how "the way many of us have learned to present the 'good news' can sound like anything but good news." Which is something I have always struggled with. What seems so freeing in my heart when I try to tell others becomes such a heavy weight, and I realize that I've been telling them what I've been taught rather than what I actually believe.

Derek talks about how many of us have been taught t
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Slow and almost aggregating to start the book presents a senecio of how a punitive system of justice has no merit. However it takes him 3/4 of the way through to present any actual evidence of this other than his own biased hope and experience. Even if social patterns indicate some flaw in punitive justice I don't think such comparisons actually hold weight in the case of God's kingdom. I also felt like the book was concentrated on the fact of Jesus' death as the focal point rather than on the r ...more
Zac Talbott
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Derek Flood really does something special in this short but very DEEP book. He takes centuries of atonement views rooted in penal, punitive justice and then eloquently and scripturally makes the case for a restorative model of justice rooted in redemption and love. Flood offers a new course for the church and for evangelism that takes the ancient "Christus Victor" model of the early church fathers and then wraps it in the teachings of Christ and the apostles. The only reason I didn't give this 5 ...more
Robert D. Cornwall
Progressive Christians have long had problems dealing with the issue of the atonement. There are biblical texts that suggest that the cross has implications for the divine-human relationship, but what is it? Over time theologians have sought to draw out the implications, often turning to legal metaphors, leading to the idea that Jesus averts God's retributive justice. Since God is just and needs proper payment (penal substitution), Jesus pays the price for us -- the innocent for the guilty.

Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was an audible listen. Flood argues the atonement is less about penal justice (i.e. penal substitution), and more about restorative justice (i.e. Christus Victor). Flood makes an intelligent case against substitutionary atonement. I am a multi-metaphor guy and don't have the same axe to grind against substitutionary models of the atonement (if they are put alongside other images of Christ's work) However I think he does a good job of exploring the dramatic and narrative power of restorative ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For anyone interested in the truth of the gospel message, one will walk away with the sense that God loves us unconditionally, completely and without limitations. In todays society where the Christian faith is being used to demean, defraud and control various sectors of the society, this read clarifies the gospels in ways that would overturn much of what present day players of Christianity have created: a theocracy that seeks to control, which is far from the truth of the gospel. Flood has creat ...more
Jim Wall
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Rebel God” Understanding the Cross-and The Radical Love of God.

Four Chapters currently written, excellent piece… each chapter/part 14 to 23 pages in length… You can copy and paste the addresses below into your browser to take a peak. Try the 2-page introduction, if it be current food for you be blessed, if it is just more Christian information I would say take a pass on it…

...a point of view which broadened my view of the love made manifest on the cross...
Chris Plemmons
Dec 29, 2013 rated it liked it
A great introduction to the other side of atonement theory(compared to what I've read in the past). I say introduction because at times I felt like he could have gone much deeper into discussing a topic and should have, as well there were times where an editor may have helped him construct an outline that helped him with thought flow. But I do believe he has a great style of writing that makes me want to read his next book as I was thrilled at the way he constructed some thoughts.
Michael Dunn
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent and concise statement of a kind of Christianity that detaches from a retributive justice view of the cross and embraces a healing, restorative view. It is a relatively easy read and is accessible to someone who wants to explore an alternative view of the cross from traditional penal, substitutionary atonement. Very well done.
Dara Dietz
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eye Opening

The value of any book is that it teaches you something new, provides the opportunity to expand your mind. This work does just that, whether you agree or disagree you will not leave these pages unaffected.
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Flood does a great job of high lighting restorative justice as viewed and understood by ancient Jews as opposed to retributive justice as understood by the modern evangelicalism. An excellent book that brings out the nature of atonement - for healing and NOT for retribution.
Jon Mills
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Refreshing view of the cross and the Good News.
Dwight P
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very valuable contribution for those who seek an understanding of how Jesus looks at justice and why it truly is good news.
Dave Pettengill
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciated this short book on atonement. There is great hope and life within these pages.
Michael Powe
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
A dense and thoroughly argued refutation of the doctrine of atonement in the Christian church.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

No really, it is. What a great book on love, compassion, forgiveness, and the meaning of the cross. Highly recommend.
Carl A
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A great reminder that the purpose of the Christian faith is healing, restorative justice rather than punitive justice.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2012
Derek Flood
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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