A Better Atonement: The Book

A Better Atonement: The Book March 20, 2012

My new ebook, A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin is now available on Amazon for $2.99. The 13,000-word book has three sections:

  1. A history of the doctrine of Original Sin, showing that we should now reject it;
  2. A defense of the historical, bodily crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus;
  3. A tour through the many theories of the atonement.

While some of the material has appeared previously on this blog, a great deal is new — including my own choice as to the best among the atonement theories. So pick up download a copy today!

(If you’re unfamiliar with ebooks, they’re quite easy to read — for instance, you can download a FREE Kindle reading app to your PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone.  (Or, you could buy a Kindle for as little as $79 — I was given one as a gift, and I love it!)  Then, with a couple clicks, you’ll be reading the book!)

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  • seth c

    A nice survey into various theories of atonement. Any recommendations if one wants to read more in depth into this topic?

    • Phil Miller

      I like Recovering the Scandal of the Cross by Joel Green and Mark Baker.

  • Marcy

    Will this be coming out in print form? While I prefer kindle for myself, with these kinds of books I really like to be able to pass them on to friends for discussion.

    • Phil Miller

      You can actually loan Kindle books to friends, relatives, etc. if the publisher/author has it enabled. And I believe Tony does on his.

      • Marcy

        Well, your friends have to have entered the digital world to take advantage of this…. 😉 I’m sure they’ll catch up soon. But thanks for the suggestion. I’ll look into it.

      • noirlapin

        Clarification. You can loan it one time for 14 days if the publisher/author has it enabled.

        After that one time, you can never loan it again. Ever. So pick wisely!

  • A better atonement than substitutionary atonement? “Let it be considered, that Jesus was not offered up to God for his own sins, for he was most holy (Isa. 53:9; Heb. 7:27). And indeed had he been a sinner, what value or efficacy could have been in his sacrifice? He could not have been the sacrifice, but would have needed one. Now, if Christ were most holy, and yet put to death, and cruel sufferings, either his death or sufferings must be an act of injustice and cruelty (that’s surely why you believe in a scape goat view of the atonement and reject penal substitution), OR it – his death – must respect others, whose persons and cause he sustained in that suffering capacity. He could never have suffered or died by the Father’s hand, had he not been a sinner by imputation. And in that respect, as Luther speaks, he was the greatest of sinners; or, as the prophet Isaiah speaks, all our sins were made to meet upon him; not that he was intrinsically, but was made so by imputation, as is clear from 2 Cor. 5:21.” If substitutionary atonement is not central to the death of Christ, then we have lost the gospel. You sir, must then be an enemy of the cross.

    • Scot Miller

      I’m always amused by people who make comments about books they obviously never read, and then too quickly and too arrogantly (and too gleefully) hurl concluding ad hominems like, “You sir, must then be an enemy of the cross.” I guess that happens when you’re not sure you have the best arguments on your side, or you’re afraid that the ideas you have built up in your head and the interpretations you have groomed over a lifetime won’t stand up to questioning. Instead of dismissing Tony’s book out of hand, let me invite you to follow Paul’s exhortation in 1 Thess. 5:20: “Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good” (1 Thess. 5:20). So calm down, little angry puritan, take a big breath, and avoid the ad hominems. Even if you eventually conclude that Tony is mistaken, along the way you may discover something good in his book, too.

      • Jason

        You know, perhaps “Warfield” has actually read Warfield. I’ve read Calvin, Socinius, many Puritan sermons, David Wells’ 4 articles on the atonement in the 19th c., Packer’s Tyndale Article on what the cross achieved, John Stott’s book on the cross, some 19th c. Wesleyians who supported the moral government view, Borsma, Green & Baker, Boyd. You shouldn’t assume he hasn’t read him. I’ve read enough of Tony Jones’ blog to know that he doesn’t like penal substitution.

        • Scot Miller

          Maybe it’s time you expanded your horizons, too….

  • Well, back when I used to be proud of having taught at Princeton, I, too, wrote on the atonement, the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, my Lord. And you can even find my works on line now for free! Here are just two sentences for your edification. Well, I’m off to have tea with the rest of the faculty …

    “The Biblical doctrine of the sacrifice of Christ finds full recognition in no other construction than that of the established church-doctrine of satisfaction. According to it, our Lord’s redeeming work is at its core a true and perfect sacrifice offered to God, of intrinsic value ample for the expiation of our guilt; and at the same time is a true and perfect righteousness offered to God in fulfillment of the demands of His law; both the one and the other being offered in behalf of His people, and, on being accepted by God, accruing to their benefit; so that by this satisfaction they are relieved at once from the curse of their guilt as breakers of the law, and from the burden of the law as a condition of life; and this by a work of such kind and performed in such a manner, as to carry home to the hearts of men a profound sense of the indefectible righteousness of God and to make to them a perfect revelation of His love.”

  • Yawn. I have read that piece by Warfield and many others books and sermons in the Reformed tradition on substitutionary atonement since the 1500s, and some 19th c. Wesleyian theology that held the moral government theory, and some Socinius to top it off. I’ve also read and reject Green & Baker, and Boyd. Perhaps I’ve taken several classes on the atonement, as well. Do you want my atonement bibliography?

  • Jason

    You know, I really don’t feel welcomed here, Scot.

    • Scot Miller

      Jason, I regret my comment.

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