IAN J SHAW & BRIAN EDWARDS
‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.’ But why was there need for a ‘Divine Substitute’? Why did he have to die such a terrible death upon the cross? Was there no other way? What purpose did the physical, mental, and spiritual sufferings of Christ play in God’s plan of salvation?
This book explores the very heart of the Christian gospel—the belief that Christ died in the place of sinners, bearing their sin and guilt and the just and holy punishment that they deserved from God. This doctrine has become the subject of intense debate, and it has been claimed that it is a recent invention of the church. The book demonstrates that the understanding of the death of Christ as a work of penal substitution is the principal way—though not the only way—in which the Bible views the death of Christ, and that far from being a recent teaching, it has been taught at every period in the history of the church.
Here is a challenge to a deeper biblical and historical understanding of the atonement, and an encouragement to proclaim and live out the message of the cross with renewed faithfulness and courage.
‘Ian and Brian have performed a very valuable service for the church at this time. I admire the spirit in which they carefully and faithfully present both the doctrine of the atonement and the history of this belief in the Church. It is a vital contribution to recent controversies. The eight lessons presented in the final pages are a model of how we should understand and proclaim this doctrine so central to our faith.’
—Peter Maiden, International Director of Operation Mobilisation and Chairman of the Keswick Convention
About the Author
Brian H Edwards is the author of fifteen books including two historical biographies and a major study on the inspiration, authority and history of the Bible. He was the pastor of Hook Evangelical Church in Surbiton, Surrey for nearly thirty years before taking up his present role of preaching, lecturing and writing. Brians degree in theology was awarded by the University of London. Dr Ian J Shaw has been Lecturer in Church History at the International Christian College, Glasgow, since 1996. Before this he was the pastor of an Independent Evangelical Church in Manchester. He has a PhD in Church History from the University of Manchester, and is the author of a number of books and articles about issues in the history of evangelicalism.