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In recent decades, the church and academy have witnessed intense debates concerning the concept of penal substitution to describe Christ's atoning sacrifice. Some claim it promotes violence, glorifies suffering and death, and amounts to divine child abuse. Others argue it plays a pivotal role in classical Christian doctrine.
In this book, New Testament scholar Simon Gathercole offers an exegetical and historical defence of the traditional substitutionary view of the atonement. He provides critical analyses of various interpretations of the atonement, and places New Testament teaching in its Old Testament and Graeco-Roman contexts, demonstrating that the interpretation of atonement in the Pauline corpus must include substitution.
"In this little book, Simon Gathercole carefully and convincingly dismisses false dichotomies. The death of Christ is presented in the Bible as both representative and substitutionary. These learned and lucid lectures use the prism of modern disputes to take us to the heart of Pauline teaching on the cross. I highly commend it."
- Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC