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Understanding The Atonement
by Donald Macleod
Publisher:IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Donald Macleod—formerly Professor of Systematic Theology at Free Church College, Edinburgh and later its Principal—is known for his work on the theology of the Cross. Therefore the subject matter of this book is unsurprising. Its subtitle ‘Understanding the Atonement' clearly indicates his mission here to aim to bring understanding of the Doctrine of the Atonement and to explain and make it relevant to a 21st century readership.
The work is scholarly throughout as one might expect drawing on a very wide range of writers, thinkers and biblical references. However, that the work is his own independent thought is stressed in the Preface:
‘I have tried ... to keep quotations to a minimum and some of the omissions will seem very strange. But it is precisely to such works as John Stott's The Cross of Christ and James Packer's What Did the Cross Achieve? that my debt is greatest: so great that had I returned to them in the course of preparing this volume it might well have ended up as no more than a rewrite of theirs.'
Nevertheless every contribution on the subject are is here and more.
Its value is perhaps best summed up by Robert Letham of Wales Evangelical School of Theology who says:
‘It should be required reading for students, theologians, ministers and anyone interested in learning about the stupendous atoning work of Christ.'
It is a book which certainly pulls no punches in its message and attempts to answer the questions and problems which others have posed in relation to the atonement.
Reviewer: Jon Mayled (24/11/14)