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'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.
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.
Brian H Edwards is the author of twenty books, including one on the accuracy and authority of the Bible, historical biographies on William Tyndale and John Newton and Grace – amazing grace, a study of the greatest word in the Christian vocabulary. He edits the Day One Publications Travel Guide series and preaches and lectures across the UK and abroad. Brian is married to Rosie and they live in Surrey, UK.