The Atonement, according to Graham Cole, does not just bring us great spiritual benefits as Christians, but it should also have a ‘physical’ impact on us. It should bring us peace. Christ’s death and resurrection should allow us to live lives controlled by Christ’s love. It is a life, as Cole writes, which pursues mercy-showing and shalom-making as agents of peace, in evangelism and witness.
In this study of the atonement, Cole examines why there was the need for the atonement, the effects of Christ’s death and the aftermath of living post-atonement. In all of this, Cole’s underlying point is that atonement (should) bring us shalom – peace. There is no shalom with God without sacrifice. Peace is made through the blood of the cross. And ultimately the goal is God’s glory. Why did God create? Why salvation history? Why the Cross? Why a new heaven and a new earth? So that we might glorify God.
As part of this discussion Cole examines in-depth the various view of atonement, especially christus victor and of course penal substitution. This is as clear a presentation of these two models as I have read. And Cole’s conclusion acknowledges that both the christus victor and penal substitution are vital in understanding the ‘why’ Christ died and in explaining ‘what’ happened when died and rose again.
Cole writes: Any delineation of the atonement centerpiece needs to do justice not only to penal substitution but also to the christus victor motif.. .
This book gives you the framework to actually live out the atonement in everyday life. It gives you BOTH the theology and the response, which makes it a great addition to the books on the atonement which are available.
I highly recommend it. Go buy it HERE