The Christian doctrine of the atonement is a difficult one, as difficult as the nature of God. It is at the very center of the New Testament narrative, of the apostolic preaching, of the preaching of St. Paul: ''I determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.'' It has occupied the attention and image-forming imagination of the greatest lights of the Church, yet still confronts us with the question: How does the death of a crucified Man two millennia ago effect my own destiny, my own salvation? The question is profoundly deserving of our attention, and thus we are drawn to this study of the atonement, in the tradition of Gustaf Aulen's Christus Victor
. Kenosis and unfathomable love lie at the heart of Fiddes' study, an emphasis certainly not new, but nevertheless brilliantly articulated here.
An Eighth Day View:
How can an event that has taken place in the past have an effect upon the human experience of salvation in the present? In examining one of the essential questions of the Christian faith, Paul S. Fiddes explores the limits as well as the gains to be made in speaking about crucifixion as a historical event, and considers the relationship of the crucifixion to the continuing process of God's saving activity. He considers the relevance of a past act of atonement to such areas of practical experience as forgiveness, liberation, and suffering.