A Community Called Atonement by Scot McKnight

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As the quarter (and my masters program) come to close, I thought I would get back to one of the many reasons I started a blog–for book reviews.  And to kick it off I thought I would start with one of my books from class. Now-before you sit there and say “oh geez, another textbook” or “there goes sara off on one of her theological books again..” I want to assure you—this book is NOT like that. In fact, this book (and the class that got me in touch with this book) have been a blessing and an eye-opener to interacting with the death of Jesus and the Cross in the New Testament.

That being said–I do highly recommend this book. Mainly for the reasons this book was written–to show that there is a connection between the cross of Jesus and what it has done for us.  I know the first time I came across the word ‘atonement’ and its myriad of meanings, I was scared.  How could something so central to the christian faith be so confusing? Can’t I just believe that Christ lived, died, rose again and be done with it? Unfortunately- No.

But as this books reminds us (as well as the discussions in my class about the atonement)-atonement is NOT a black and white issue.  Jesus’ death SHOULD have meaning in every aspect of our lives and is meant to connect with us no matter where we stand.

McKnight’s point is that the community we are a part of the journey of Christ–that takes us through His life, death, and resurrection. And that all of these aspects connect to us in our communities. So–when you see someone suffering because of an unjust rule, we are compelled to reach out to that person as Jesus did-because he suffered as well.  And we can also have confidence in Christ for it is through his blood we are healed.  We also hold victory over death for Christ is victorious over those who seek oppression over the “innocent.”

So enjoy the read–its a short book you could probably finish in a week.  And next time you come to the table in church or make it through a Good-Friday service, remember that Jesus’ death is central to the whole Christian thing–whether it be to remember what is good, conquer what is evil, or provide everlasting life to those in need.

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