Friday, February 24, 2012

The Journey to Atonement

I have written a book that should be published sometime in the Spring. The title is Atonement at Ground Zero: Revisiting the Epicenter of Salvation. Here are some thoughts from the introduction:

That people will one day die is a scientific certainty that we can affirm. It is the art that confounds us—in the deaths that matter to us, there has to be some kind of meaning.

There is a theme that the Bible appears to embrace: We humans live in a dangerous, broken world. The desire of God—that all of creation would live in open, unhindered relationship with him—has been countered by humanity’s preference for other things. By our own devices we have opened ourselves to all that the forces of the universe can deliver: Natural disasters, hostile environs, the horrors of human sin, the fear of death. In the end we find only the conviction that this state of affairs is not as it should be. There is clearly something wrong with the world.

When it comes to Jesus, the question of his death has fueled theological debates for centuries. The death of one so important, one so pivotal in our perception of human history, cannot easily be explained away as another random and tragic occurrence, especially since there is resurrection to follow. We long for reasons and our reasons craft our theologies about what it means to find the new life that we believe defines us as the people of God. What we conclude about this particular death matters because it speaks significantly about how we see the character of God, his mission in the world, and his destiny for the human race and all of creation.

It is my hope that, during this season of the church year, we all engage more deeply with the mystery of what God has done in and through Jesus Christ.

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