04 Mar Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross – Book Review
Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross:
Contemporary Images of the Atonement
Mark D. Baker, Editor,
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006, 204, $18.00; Paper
Reviewed byRodney A. Harrison,
Director of Doctoral Studies
Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri.
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Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross: Contemporary Images of the Atonement is a collection of articles, speeches and thoughts on the atonement from an eclectic collection of Christian thinkers, from C.S. Lewis to Brian McLaren.
The contributors come from Mennonite, Methodist, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Vineyard, Episcopal, Baptist, Covenant and Anglican traditions. In all, eighteen writers, including the editor, share their thoughts on the atonement. At the end of most chapters, Baker comments on the writers’ insights and contribution to the atonement conversation. At the heart of this book is the desire to raise questions about the penal substitution theory’s ability to convey adequately the message of the cross, and to argue for a contextualized theology of the atonement. According to the author, the “contributors revel that Christians should embrace a whole constellation of perspectives on the atonement, all mutually reinforcing, because the language of the atonement must at once be metaphorical, pastoral and salvific.” As a result, the reader will “learn from these creative examples to proclaim the scandal of the cross in your own context and profit from the theology of the atonement as it applies across the whole spectrum of human experience.”