Saved from Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Aug 10, 2006 - Religion - 346 pages
5 Reviews
The cross has long been not only a scandal but also a profound paradox: filled with saving significance and power, it is at the same time a sobering tragedy. In Saved from Sacrifice theologian Mark Heim takes on this paradox, asserting that the cross must be understood against the whole history of human scapegoating violence.

In order to highlight the dimensions of his argument, Heim carefully and critically draws on the groundbreaking work of French theorist and biblical scholar René Girard. Yet Heim goes beyond Girard to develop a comprehensive theology of the atonement and the cross through his fresh readings of well-known biblical passages and his exploration of the place of the victim.

 

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User Review  - drcollins - LibraryThing

Proud to say I studied with Heim at Andover Newton. He would definately not remember me. Having long chafed at atonement theologies that focused on blood and the paying of a price to an angry God Heim ... Read full review

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Heim traces the biblical theme of sacrificial scapegoating through the Bible, pointing out the Bible's unique perspectives on scapegoating in comparison with scapegoating in human culture generally. He doesn't stray far from the texts and defends his view well. He does not deny that Christ died "for" us, nor does he deny that Christ's sufferings atone for us or bring an end to all sacrifice. On the contrary, it's precisely because Christ's suffering bring an end to all sacrifice that the Cross cannot be an instance of the same KIND of thing scapegoating is but simply on a larger scale. What Heim challenges is that the Christ's dying "for" us needs to be interpreted as the Father punishing the Son for our sins. Best work of theology I've read in a while. 

Contents

Atonement on Trial
20
The Cross No One Sees Invisible Scapegoats
37
The Voice of Job Sacrifice Revealed and Contested
64
The Paradox of the Passion Saved by What Shouldnt Happen
107
Sacrifice to End Sacrifice Satans House Divided
134
The Sign of Jonah and Susanna Innocent Blood and False Accusers
165
Gods Wisdom and Two Mistakes The Struggle of Historical Christianity
192
Substitute for Sacrifice Living with an Empty Cross
219
The Bad News about Revelation Two Kinds of Apocalypses
260
Saved from Sacrifice Renewing the Theology of the Cross
292
Bibliography
330
Index
337
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About the author (2006)

S. Mark Heim is Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology at Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, Massachusetts.

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