The cross lies at the heart of Christian faith, 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 missionally relevant account of Christ's atoning work. At the core of Shelton's thesis is the claim that covenant relationship has to form the center of our theological reflections on the cross. Moving through both Old and New Testaments, Shelton argues that all of 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.
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.
—Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary