Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My Book is Published

The book that a friend and I have been working on part time for the last six years (!) is finally published.

Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation

During the Reformation, the Reformers deliberately altered Christian teaching in an attempt to bring it more in line with what they believed the bible taught. After the Reformation a certain set of beliefs became fairly common across much of Protestant thinking. This theology taught that humans were hell-bound due to sin but that Jesus came to save us by dying on the cross and taking the punishment we deserved. The idea goes that by believing in him and his saving work his punishment becomes effective for us and we can go to heaven instead. This paradigm of salvation, known as penal substitutionary atonement, is often alleged to be "what the Bible teaches". However, there are many reasons to think that penal substitution is not in fact what the Bible teaches - see my book for the details.

So if the Reformers got it wrong, what theology is actually taught by the Bible? Well, basically the theology that was taught by Christians before the Reformers came on the scene and which the Reformers rejected. In Protestant terminology this theology teaches that salvation is about "sanctification" (moral transformation) rather than "justification". It says that what God cares about, and judges people on is their 'hearts' - their inner moral character. God wants to lead people to be more loving, and he does this through the teachings and example of Jesus and the Holy Spirit at work in people. My book works through the details of the original Christian beliefs and looks at how we can be sure that this is really what the Bible teaches.


Blogger James F. McGrath said...


Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, congratulations!

Blogger Abigail said...

Er, that last comment was me. I didn't realize I was already signed into a Google account at the time.

Blogger Philip said...

Your explanation of the 'substitutionary atonement' debate has the ring of truth in it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is it safe to say that Hell is not what weve been told that it is? After memorizing Romans and looking at every word in Greek Ive come to find that salvation and redemption are of the same process yet different in themselves. Faith and belief aswell are differing and justification and righteousness are also different. Why does the words discernmnet judgement condemnation and damnation all have the same root??? unfortunately most pastors cannot and will never look into any of these questions, maybe you can help me.

Blogger Ricardo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Paul Pavao said...

Hi Andrew,

I have only read a couple posts of yours, but I suspect your book will be excellent. Your posts made me want to subscribe to your blog, but when I clicked the "atom" link, I got a page full of html. I don't know if the problem is in my computer or your link.

When I wrote that, I realized I should try another browser. I am on Chrome as I type, but the Atom link worked great on Firefox. I did not delete this comment because I thought you might want to know.

Your blog is a breath of fresh air. I looked at the comments on the two posts I saw (one from 2007 and one from 2008 that a friend linked from FB), and I marveled at your patience. I get comments from stubborn evangelicals, too, issuing their judgments on what I have written from their lofty thrones of evangelical omniscience. I have some patience for it, but not as much as you. I'm a long-time reader of the fathers, whom I fled to because of the division and bizarre handling of the Scriptures in evangelical circles. I am amazed at evangelical willingness to fight battles of "who has the most verses." Can they not see "who has the most verses on their side" arguments presuppose that the Bible contradicts itself? (My theological blog is on WordPress, so this comment will only bring you to my leukemia blog.)


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