Atonement and the Death of Christ: An Exegetical, Historical, and Philosophical Exploration
: Through his death on the cross, Christ atoned for sin and so reconciled people to God. New Testament authors drew upon a range of metaphors and motifs to describe this salvific act, and down through history Christian thinkers have...
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Through his death on the cross, Christ atoned for sin and so reconciled people to God. New Testament authors drew upon a range of metaphors and motifs to describe this salvific act, and down through history Christian thinkers have tried to articulate various theories to explain the atonement. While Christ's sacrifice serves as a central tenet of the Christian faith, the mechanism of atonement-exactly how Christ effects our salvation-remains controversial and ambiguous to many Christians.
In Atonement and the Death of Christ, William Lane Craig conducts an interdisciplinary investigation of this crucial Christian doctrine, drawing upon Old and New Testament studies, historical theology, and analytic philosophy. The study unfolds in three discrete parts: Craig first explores the biblical basis of atonement and unfolds the wide variety of motifs used to characterize this doctrine. Craig then highlights some of the principal alternative theories of the atonement offered by great Christian thinkers of the premodern era. Lastly, Craig's exploration delves into a constructive and innovative engagement with philosophy of law, which allows an understanding of atonement that moves beyond mystery and into the coherent mechanism of penal substitution.
Along the way, Craig enters into conversation with contemporary systematic theories of atonement as he seeks to establish a position that is scripturally faithful and philosophically sound. The result is a multifaceted perspective that upholds the suffering of Christ as a substitutionary, representational, and redemptive act that satisfies divine justice. In addition, this carefully reasoned approach addresses the rich tapestry of Old Testament imagery upon which the first Christians drew to explain how the sinless Christ saved his people from the guilt of their sins.
William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He and his wife Jan have been married since 1971, and have two adult children.
Dr. Craig was born in 1949, in Peoria, Illinois. From an early age, he proved to be a champion debater at school. At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ.
Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming his position at Talbot in 1994.
Dr Craig has emerged as one of the most redoubtable defenders of Christian truth at the top levels of academic philosophy in our time. He has publicly debated theologians, biblical scholars, philosophers, scientists, and various pundits on matters of Christian truth, including Antony Flew, Lawrence Krauss, Marcus Borg, Gerd Ludemann, Bart Ehrman, Christopher Hitchens, and several prominent Muslim apologists. Richard Dawkins has refused to debate with him.
Dr Craig has authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument, which has prompted more articles in contemporary philosophical journals than any other current argument for God's existence; also Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science.
- :<p>preface<br>1 Introduction<br>part 1. Biblical Data Concerning The Atonement<br>2 Sacrifice<br>3 Isaiah’s Servant Of The Lord<br>4 Divine Justice<br>5 Representation And Redemption<br>part 2. Dogmatic History Of The Doctrine Of The Atonement<br>6 Patristic Theories<br>7 Medieval Theories<br>8 Reformation And Post-reformation Theories<br>part 3. Philosophical Reflections On The Doctrine Of The Atonement<br>9 Penal Substitution: Its Coherence<br>10 Penal Substitution: Its Justification<br>11 Satisfaction Of Divine Justice<br>12 Redemption: Divine Pardon And Its Effects<br>13 Redemption: Justification And Appropriation Of A Divine Pardon<br>14 The Moral Influence Of Christ’s Passion<br>15 Conclusion</p>