The cross lies at the heart of Christian faith and yet in a fast-changing cultural context many Christians are struggling to make sense of the atonement and how best to communicate its meaning.
Larry Shelton grasps this bull by the horns and sets forth what he considers to be both a solidly biblical and missionaly relevant account of Christ's atoning work. At the core of Shelton's thesis is the claim that covenant relationship has to form the centre of our theological reflections on the cross. Moving through both Old and New Testaments, Shelton argues that all the diverse metaphors for atonement can be held together by the organizing notion of "covenant relationship".
Then, tracing the history of theologies of the cross from the second century through to the contemporary world, he sets forth a Trinitarian, relational and contemporary model of the atonement that parts company with penal substitutionary accounts.
"Here is a 'must read' for evangelist-theologians, a fresh sketch of Christ's atonement as an act of covenant love."
"This is important work, and we are indebted to Shelton for his theological clarity, his scholarly breadth, his sensitivity to the contemporary debate on the atonement, and his mission-mindedness."
Foreword by Leonard Sweet
Foreword by Todd Hunter
1 Introduction: The Postmodern Challenge
2 A New Heart: A Personal Covenant Narrative
3 Understanding Divine Expectations
4 The Old Testament and Divine Expectations
5 The Divine Expectations in the Old Testament Feasts and Sacrifices
6 Divine Expectations in the New Testament
7 Key New Testament Atonement Elements
8 Divine Expectations in Christian History
9 A Historical Survey of Atonement Theories: Three Classic Theories
10 A Historical Survey of Atonement Theories: Three Forensic Theories
11 A Historical Survey of Atonement Theories: Moral Influence and Other Theories
12 Divine Expectations in Christian History: Covenant Interpersonal Perspectives