Read The Nonviolent Atonement by J. Denny Weaver Online


This challenging work explores the history of the Christian doctrine of atonement, exposing the intrinsically violent dimensions of the traditional, Anselmian satisfaction atonement view and offering instead a new, thoroughly nonviolent paradigm for understanding atonement based on narrative Christus Victor. The book develops a two-part argument. J. Denny Weaver first deveThis challenging work explores the history of the Christian doctrine of atonement, exposing the intrinsically violent dimensions of the traditional, Anselmian satisfaction atonement view and offering instead a new, thoroughly nonviolent paradigm for understanding atonement based on narrative Christus Victor. The book develops a two-part argument. J. Denny Weaver first develops narrative Christus Victor as a comprehensive, nonviolent atonement motif. The other side of the discussion exposes the assumptions and the accommodation of violence in traditional atonement motifs. The first chapter lays out narrative Christus Victor as nonviolent atonement that reflects the entire biblical story, though paying particular attention to Revelation, the Gospels, and Paul. This biblical discussion also touches on the Old Testament story, Hebrew sacrifices, and the book of Hebrews. Following chapters place narrative Christus Victor in conversation with defenders of Anselm and with representatives of black, feminist, and womanist theologies. These discussions expose an accumulation of dimensions of violence in the several forms of satisfaction atonement. A final substantive chapter analyzes the inadequacy of all attempts to defend Anselm against the recent challenges raised by feminist and womanist perspectives. This analysis lays bare the violent dimensions of satisfaction atonement, which can be camouflaged but not removed. In light of this discussion, Weaver argues that the view of satisfaction atonement must be abandoned and replaced with narrative Christus Victor as the only thoroughly biblical and thoroughly nonviolent alternative....

Title : The Nonviolent Atonement
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ISBN : 9780802849083
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 259 Pages
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The Nonviolent Atonement Reviews

  • Clif Hostetler
    2019-05-09 06:45

    Atonement is a word that theologians use to describe how humans can be "at one with" God. For the Christian religion it includes tying it to the death of Jesus and explaining how it can provide spiritual salvation. The various theories of atonement that have been developed over the past two thousand years have been human endeavors at providing a rationalization as to why the execution of Jesus as a criminal has significance for Christian believers. In this book the author, J Denny Weaver, proposes an atonement theory to which he gives the name “narrative Christus Victor”. It is an approach more consistent with the narrative descriptions of the teachings of Jesus contained in the New Testament than is the theory that has prevailed since the year 1100 when Anselm’s satisfaction theory of atonement was published in his Cur Deus Homo. Anselm developed his satisfaction atonement in order to replace the then prevailing view that Christ's death was a ransom payment that God owed to the devil. This ransom theory is the classic Christus Victor and most theologians didn't like the emphasis on the power of the devil to interact with God as an equal. The problem with Anselm’s satisfaction theory of atonement is that it is based on the idea of retributive violence. Christians are not supposed to practice retributive violence so why must God? Isn’t it strange that a God who sent his Son to teach “love your enemies” is incapable (as described by Anselm) of simply forgiving sins without the use of retributive violence? However, the satisfaction theory of atonement was widely accepted by the Christian church during the medieval era because it was compatible with a state church that was part of the government that needed to use "the sword" to maintain social order. Abelard came along a few years after Anselm with his moral influence theory of atonement in an effort to avoid the retributive aspects of the satisfaction theory. But the death of Jesus still has aspects of divine child abuse in the exercise of moral influence in Abelard's theory. With the devil missing from the equation it's hard to explain why the death of Jesus was needed. Also, narrative Christus Victor differs from the moral influence atonement by envisioning changes other than an impact on the mind of the sinner by envisioning a change in the spiritual universe symbolized by Christ's resurrection. Narrative Christus Victor puts a devil or sorts back into the equation again as was the case for classic Christus Victor. But the devil in narrative Christus Victor is in the form of the very tangible and real principalities and powers of this world that are opposed to God's kingdom. The post-Constantine state church of the Medieval era could not recognize this definition of the devil because they themselves were the principalities and powers.In Weaver’s narrative Christus Victor there is no need to explain why God required that Jesus die:“In narrative Christus Victor, the cause of Jesus’ death is obviously not God. ... Rather, in narrative Christus Victor the Son is carrying out the father’s will by making the reign of God visible in the world — and that mission is so threatening to the world that sinful human beings and the accumulation of evil they represent conspire to kill Jesus. Jesus came not to die but to live, to witness to the reign of god in human history. While he may have known that carrying out that mission would provoke inevitably fatal opposition his purpose was not to get himself killed. ... Jesus depicted in narrative Christus Victor is no passive victim. He is an active participant in confronting evil. Salvation happens when or because Jesus carried out his mission to make the reign of God visible. His saving life shows how the reign of god confronts evil, and is thus our model for confronting injustice. While we do not save, we participate in salvation and in Jesus’ saving work when we join in the reign of God and live the way Jesus lived. ... It means actively confronting injustice, and in that confrontation we continue with Jesus to make the rule of God visible in a world where evil still has sway. “ (p.211-212)Weaver deliberately builds his narrative Christus Victor model by careful examination of scriptures and history -- Revelation, the Gospels, letters of the apostle Paul, Old Testament sacrifice traditions, the book of Hebrews, and Israel's history. In summary Weaver says: "Seeing narrative Christus Victor in this long historical context underscores how completely outside of history satisfaction atonement is. If fact, satisfaction atonement appears to reduce the life of Jesus to an elaborate scheme whose purpose was to produce his death. Narrative Christus Victor is a way of reading the entire history of God's people, with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as the culminating revelation of the reign of God in history, whereas the various versions of satisfaction atonement concern a legal construct or an abstract formula that functions outside of and apart from history. Seeing the long historical context of narrative Christus Victor underscores the extent to which satisfaction atonement is separated from ethical involvements and allows oppression to continue without challenge." (p.69)Narrative Christus Victor is compatible with much of René Girard's theory about mimetic violence and its implications for understanding the death of Jesus and atonement theology. Narrative Christus Victor also stands in continuity with, but differs significantly from, the classic view of Christus Victor described by Gustaf Aulén, and it bears little resemblance to the Christus Victor rejected by Feminist Theology. Weaver includes chapters in his book explaining how narrative Christus Victor addresses the concerns of and is compatible with "Black Theology on atonement", "Feminist Theology on Atonement", and "Womanist Theology of Atonement." Much of Christian theology, classic atonement images, and christological terminology have accommodated violence of the sword, slavery, racism, and violence against women. Even though Weaver originally developed narrative Christus Victor model to reflect a nonviolent ethic for Christian living, he demonstrates that it fits well with the concerns of oppressed people. This book has a chapter near its end titled,"Conversation with Anselm and His Defenders." A number of theologians have tried to respond to the criticisms of satisfaction atonement that have been expressed by feminist and womanist writers. The defenders have generally responded in one of three ways: (1) Rehabilitate the ideas of punishment and vicarious suffering, (2) Shift emphasis away from punishment by recovering additional themes and emphases within satisfaction that have been covered over by too much stress on punishment, and (3) Acknowledge the validity of the critique of punishment by blaming the excesses on Protestant reformers such as John Calvin. Weaver concludes that none of the defenses are adequate or convincing.J. Denny Weaver has recently published a new book titled,The Nonviolent God, which I hope to read next. I presume it is sort of a sequel to this book. It is interesting to note that the word “atonement“ is not in the King James version of the New Testament (however it is in the Old Testament, Leviticus 17:11). A book has been published recently by Ted Grimsrud titled,“Instead of Atonement: The Bible’s Salvation Story and Our Hope for Wholeness”. I’m under the impression that it may have some similarities to Weaver's book. But the title sounds more anti-atonement, whereas Weaver's book is more rehab-atonement. Frankly, I'm not all that excited about atonement theory, so anti-atonement sounds pretty good to me.

  • Scott
    2019-05-07 04:38

    I meant to read this book shortly after it came out a decade ago. At the time I was reading a lot of theology and firming up my views about a lot of things. Actually, changing my views -- becoming a pacifist, for instance. Changing atonement views was an important part of this process. Through my reading of other theologians -- Cone, Moltmann, McClendon, Yoder, Hauerwas, various feminists, etc. -- and in dialogue with friends, my views of the atonement shifted to embrace the ideas expressed in this book (I remember a great atonement conversation with Greg Horton and Tim Youmans while we were sitting around at Camp Hudgens one autumn). So, reading this was more to fulfill an obligation long outstanding (one reason I hadn't read the book is because I felt it expressed what I had already come to). This was a nice affirmation then.Note: I did have another period of fermentation on the atonement one winter/spring when I read Walter Wink's Powers That Be and Brock & Parker's Proverbs of Ashes. The adult ed committee at First Central has requested that I lead a class on the atonement sometime in 2012.In this book Weaver defends a narrative Christus Victor model, exposes many flaws in satisfaction theories and their recent defenders, and engages in a nice dialogue with black, feminist, and womanist theologies (a chapter on queer theologies would be nice -- maybe that is in the newly released second edition? I haven't seen it yet).The dialogue with and summary of black, feminist, and womanist perspectives is the richest part of the book, showing nice connections with the peace church perspective that Weaver comes from. This is the theology that I preach and practice. I have found it very accommodating to ministry in the 21st century. I worked out many elements of it while pastoring a CoH-OKC, a place deeply rooted in liberation theology and the eschatological vision of hope (at least I was eschatological in my approach). Jesus reveals the way of God and is killed by the powers-that-be. His resurrection is God's endorsement of this way of life, victory over the powers, a sign of God's intention for creation, an act of new creation, and more. We are saved by our imitation of and participation in the new creation through living as a disciple of Jesus. This means living in solidarity with the oppressed, working for justice and peace, and living as if the kingdom fullness were now. Greg's phrase -- "If this is how we shall live, then this is how we must live."

  • Mark Oppenlander
    2019-04-22 05:50

    Most people agree that Jesus taught non-violence. In light of the scriptural evidence, it's hard to deny. Why then has the Christian church accepted a redemption motif that requires God to inflict violence on Godself in the form of Jesus to set the world right? And how has this justified Christians being involved in warfare and other forms of violence in society? Mennonite theologian J. Denny Weaver tackles those questions and more in this excellent book.Weaver gives a brief history of the three major atonement theologies: Christus Victor, satisfaction atonement and moral influence atonement. The first was prevalent in the early centuries of the Christian movement, while the latter two came into popularity in the middle ages. Weaver demonstrates how each motif was influenced not only by Christian teaching and history, but by the political and social forces of the day.Weaver then presents a new atonement theory, narrative Christus Victor, which allows for Jesus' non-violence to be more readily understood in light of his violent death. In narrative Christus Victor, the atonement starts with the Incarnation, not the Crucifixion, and has more to do with God's Kingdom being revealed and begun, on Earth as it is in Heaven. There is nothing penal or substitutionary about Christ's death, thus the violence - although inevitable - is not a product of God but of sinful humans. And the violence is not necessary for human redemption, but Christ's obedience, even unto death, and his resurrection, show God's sovereignty over the powers of this world. Weaver works backwards from the book of Revelation to the Old Testament to show how this atonement theory syncs with the entire narrative arc of the Christian faith.This description of narrative Christus Victor takes up maybe a third of the book. The rest is dedicated to engaging with other theologies and theological strands. Weaver shows how narrative Christus Victor actually allies with threads such as black theology, feminist theology and womanist theology. He also dialogues with some of his detractors and other theologians, finding places of congruence, but also pointing out where he sees disagreements between his ideas and others.This is a very high-level overview and I am positive that I have not done Weaver's book or thought justice in this brief synopsis. He is building on the work of other theologians I admire such as John Howard Yoder and Walter Wink. Reading this book felt like a homecoming to a place I had never been. I have long thought that there must be a better answer to the atonement than the theories with which I was raised and Weaver has provided way forward.I strongly encourage anyone who has found the violent death of Jesus to be a sticking place in their faith to read this book. I think a lot will become clearer in studying Weaver's arguments - both about why we have the atonement theories we do and also about possible alternatives.I would give this book five stars on the content alone, but I backed it off a star due to the scholarly and slightly pedantic tone. That tone reduces the readability a bit, especially for a layperson. But this is still an important book, especially for recovering fundamentalists such as me.

  • Carolyn Lind
    2019-05-12 03:38

    A thoughtful presentation of atonement that opens the biblical narrative with fresh insight; Jesus came to live! “Salvation is to begin to be free from those evil forces, and to be transformed by the reign of God and to take on a life shaped—marked—by the story of Jesus, whose mission was to make visible the reign of God in our history.""In carrying out that mission, Jesus was killed by the earthly structures in bondage to the power of evil. His death was not a payment owed to God’s honor, nor was it divine punishment that he suffered as a substitute for sinners. Jesus’ death was the rejection of the rule of God by forces opposed to that rule.” –p.44Narrative Christus Victor makes plain that salvation is costly, both to the giver and the receiver: “But being accepted in God’s embrace under the rule of God, experiencing God’s grace, receiving God’s forgiveness is also costly for us. We must “pay a price” in order to experience forgiveness. Genuine repentance manifests itself in a transformed life. Repentance means giving up one life and beginning a new one. The new life may mean suffering, loss of earthly treasure, and even loss of physical life on earth. We have to leave the rule of evil and join the reign of God in resisting evil and making the rule of God visible. That change in allegiance and activity is dear; it costs us our lives, which we give to God for the rest of our time on earth."-p. 216 "The empire became identified with the cause of Christianity and the success ( or failure) of the empire corresponded to the success (or failure) of Christianity....the church no longer confronted empire and society; instead, the church supported and was supported--established--by the empire....Once Christianity became the religion of the empire and of the social order, the continuation of Christianity was linked to the success of the empire, preservation of the empire or the institution of the social order became the decisive criterion for ethical behavior, and the emperor or ruler became the norm against which the rightness of a behavior such as killing or truth-telling was judged..."-p.83Potentially life changing insights; Weaver's book merits 5 stars.

  • M Christopher
    2019-05-08 03:41

    An excellent book detailing an alternative to the Penal Satisfaction Theory of the Atonement that has become standard for Protestants (and, in a slightly different form, all Western Christians) in the past 400 years or so. Weaver reintroduces the Christus Victor explanantion of the atonement and updates it for today, showing how it is compatible with Black, Feminist and Womanist strands of current theology and linking it to the work of Walter Wink as well as to the Scriptures, in particular Revelation.His argument, in part, is that the nonviolent approach of Jesus renders the punitive models of atonement and justice invalid. He also points out that the original satisfaction model of Anselm is highly dependent upon that saint's Feudal world-view. In the life of Jesus, Weaver points out that we see the working out of the in-breaking reign of God, validated by his resurrection which marks the defeat of the powers of evil. It is in this victory that we are saved, not in Jesus' death, which was a result of the action of those powers, not of the will of God.I know that I will be returning to this book again and again along with Mark Heim's complementary "Saved From Sacrifice." My only caveat is a somewhat dry style in the section showing Biblical precedents for the Christus Victor theory. Highly recommended.

  • Jendi
    2019-05-04 02:54

    This is a wonderful book of Christian theology that presents a more politically liberating alternative to the standard "satisfaction" atonement theory in which God required the death of Jesus as punishment for sin. Drawing on feminist and black liberation theology, and his Mennonite nonviolent tradition, Weaver describes an atonement theory called "narrative Christus Victor", in which God in Jesus triumphs over human evil by confronting violence with love. Christ's death was a consequence of this confrontation, not a blood sacrifice required by a punishing God. The resurrection, not the crucifixion, reveals God's intentions.

  • Sooho Lee
    2019-04-29 07:48

    **true rating 2.5Inspired by John Howard Yoder and the pacifist tradition, J. Denny Weaver revisits in this second edition the perceived need for a "nonviolent atonement." Incubated for more than 25 years of reflection, Weaver presents "Narrative Christus Victor" as the most comprehensive and faithful witness to the biblical text. Narrative Christus Victor is drawn from primarily the cosmic battle in Revelation and Jesus' life and ministry in the gospels. In short, Narrative Christus Victor is (chiefly) against satisfaction atonement theories (especially an Anselmian bred), because any satisfaction based theory is "inherently violent." This, in Weaver's understanding, easily jumps to the egregious conclusion that God sanctions -- therefore divinizes -- violence. He corroborates Narrative Christus Victor with Black, Feminist, and Womanist critiques and theologies, though without accepting them wholesale. Weaver's Narrative Christus Victor is certainly a great addition to nonviolent atonement and theology. In my reading, however, Weaver is found wanting. Weaver's stringent commitment to nonviolence seems to flavor his theology and readings of the scriptural text more than the overarching narrative of the Bible. Perhaps the "narrative" in Narrative Christus Victor is the narrative he "weaves" for himself? What's more, his nonviolent commitment leads him to omit any divine will for Jesus' death, which inevitably leads him to claim that sin is dealt with through forgiveness of sins -- excluding the cross. The cross was an abrupt end at Jesus' mission to witness to the kingdom. Yet, at the same time, the cross has cosmic significance: it unveils or reveals the true nature of evil and, thereby, breaks their grip. How this is done objectively is not satisfactorily answered. Another and, in my opinion, far better Christus Victor account that is not afraid to face the cruelty, severity, shamefulness, and gruesomeness of the cross is Fleming Rutledge's The Crucifixion. 

  • AlanMarr
    2019-05-06 02:30

    My lifelong struggle to understand and appreciate the death of Jesus and its meaning for me, may have found its resting place in “Narrative Christus Victor” as outlined by J. Denny Weaver in this book. The death of Jesus was not “organized by God” because God demanded that a price had to be paid but was perpetrated by humans who opposed the reign of God. Weaver takes us through the Gospels and Paul as well as the notion of sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible. He makes the point that Nicene-Chalcedonian Christology, were formulations developed by Churchmen who belonged to the ruling class and seem to separate theology from ethics and allowed ethnic to have a foundation other than the life and teachings of Jesus.I found this work to be extremely helpful and gave me another reason to be grateful to the Anabaptists.

  • Jason
    2019-05-15 02:50

    The working assumption in development of this model is that the rejection of violence, whether the direct violence of the sword or the systemic violence of racism or sexism, should be visible in expressions of Christology and atonement. Developing an understanding shaped by nonviolence then lays bare the extent to which satisfaction atonement is founded on violent assumptions. Thus proposing narrative Christus Victor as a nonviolent atonement motif also poses a fundamental challenge to and ultimately a rejection of satisfaction atonement. (7)While it is not necessary to adopt my specific suggestion for understanding the historical political connotations of the text of the seven seals [of Revelation], it is important to locate Revelation in the first-century world. With the first-century context in mind, it is clear that the symbolism of conflict and victory in the reign of God over the rule of Satan is a way of ascribing cosmic significance to the church's confrontation of the Roman empire in the first century....It is the imagery itself and not a particular historical interpretation that presents the Christus Victor motif. Most importantly, the theological message that in the resurrection of Jesus the reign of God is victorious over evil remains true even if the sequence of evils and destruction symbolized in seals one to six is interpreted only in terms of general references to war, famine, pestilence, earthquake, and other natural disasters. (27)The resurrection as the victory of the reign of God over the forces of evil constitutes an invitation to salvation, an invitation to submit to the rule of God. It is an invitation to enter a new life, a life transformed by the rule of God and no longer in bondage to the powers of evil that killed Jesus. For those who perceive the resurrection, the only option that makes sense is to submit to the reign of God. Christians, Christ-identified people, participate in the victory of the resurrection and demonstrate their freedom from bondage to the powers by living under the rule of God rather than continuing to live in the power of the evil that killed Jesus. Salvation is present when allegiances change and new life is lived "in Christ" under the rule of God....The resurrection reveals the true balance of power in the universe whether sinners perceive it or not. Sinner can ignore the resurrection and continue in opposition to the reign of God, but the reign of God is still victorious. It is this revelation of the true balance of power, whether or not acknowledged by sinful humankind, that distinguishes narrative Christus Victor from moral influence theory. (45)Jesus' confrontation of evil and his eventual victory through resurrection thus do not appear as completely novel events in the history of God's people. It is rather the continuation and culmination of a mission that began with the call of Abraham. (67)

  • Spencer
    2019-05-03 02:46

    Weaver offers a challenging argument that any reading of the atonement that sees God as requiring violence to produce redemption, namely the death of his Son in most penal substitutionary atonement doctrines, is deeply inconsistent with the nature of God. In addition to offering his interesting thoughts on a "narrative Christus-victor" view of the atonement, Weaver offers one of the best engagements with contemporary theologies of the atonement I have come across. He sets up honest dialogue with black liberationist, feminist, and womanist objections to the atonement. He is fully willing to admit that classical atonement theologies have contributed to passivity and oppression. While his reading of the atonement is non-violence, he clarifies it to say that it does not call for passivity, glorified suffering, or anything that might be co-opted into maintaining the status quo. It should be noted also that his historical clarification about how his doctrine is different from standard Christus Victor doctrines is important as they too fall into violent depictions. His historical discussion points out that as the Roman Empire slowly merged politically with the church, there seems to be a subtle shift in atonement thought. Where in Irenaeus, for instance, Satan's corruption was defeated with Jesus' obedience, in later atonement theologies, Jesus is described as using something similar to political guile to con Satan into crucifying him. Similarly, where the defeat of Satan by Christ is one where Christ's love and forgiveness combats hate and violence, the military language of later Christus Victor slowly legitimated notions of power and conquest in the church-empire. The atonement became a theological shelf piece rather than the Church's embodied politic. I am still rereading his arguments, but personally, I do not see all forms of the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement to be completely disproven by what Weaver has said. Jesus did die by the legal sentencing of the law and his death offers a paradigm by which all who are excluded from the covenant are now reconciled. However, the law was corrupted into a weapon of condemnation by Satan. So this view separates the corrupted retributive justice of the law from God's restorative non-violent justice. Weaver goes into detail showing that views that attach retributive justice to God almost always legitimate prison systems that offer little hope to inmates. So, that is a very different statement from the sloppy version of PSA that insists Jesus died to satisfy the wrath of God, as if Jesus has come to save us from the anger of the Father. For me, having already been influenced by James McClendon's brilliant analysis of imagery for the atonement in his Doctrine, I intuitively understood what Weaver was saying. However, I found myself a bit disoriented by his fast paced treatment of biblical material. I would have preferred a passage-by-passage treatment.

  • Jonathan
    2019-05-11 07:37

    The good:* Weaver exhaustively highlights shortcomings in the traditional theories of atonement.* Rather than sitting on his own critique, Weaver brings in a host of other critiques of traditional atonement theory, and honestly analyzes the degree to which they address both the issues that he has raised and other issues that he had missed.* Weaver lets the defenders of the traditional theories have quite a good bit of space, and engages their arguments.The bad:* I had to read the first few chapters several times, trying to figure out exactly what Weaver's own "narrative Christus Victor" theory of atonement really was. I felt that he either failed to state it concisely, or failed to highlight when he was stating it. Perhaps his feeling was that such a narrative theory of atonement can't be stated concisely...but if so, I think that Weaver should have at least devoted a chapter solely to describing what "narrative Christus Victor" IS, rather than spending so much time describing what it's not or spelling out exactly how he came up with it.* I don't feel like Weaver subjects his own theory to the same standards of criticism that he subjects other theories to. For instance, at one point he criticizes a theory as just being derivative of an older theory and not a new theory in and of itself...when it would be quite difficult for him to claim that "narrative Christus Victor" is really an entirely new theory and not a derivative of the ancient Christus Victor theory. Most significantly, he repeatedly takes the stance that if Jesus had to die for the theory of atonement to be fulfilled, then it is lacking something, because God would never have his hand absolutely forced to include Jesus's death. Yet Weaver doesn't see that his own theory could be described as requiring Jesus's death (because in narrative Christus Victor Jesus's death is the ultimate example of sacrifice, non-violence, and love) to a similar degree that some of the theories that he criticizes require it. It felt too often that Weaver was trying to draw a clear line, "My theory fulfills all criteria, no one else's does", when no clear line really exists.Overall, I feel like this is a worthwhile book to read to think through what you really believe about the meaning of Jesus's death and how it actually changed the world. Weaver just gets a bit to polemic in how he portrays the options.

  • Jeannine
    2019-05-14 02:52

    "In discussions of dogma, the classic questions of atonement concern the nature of sin and how Jesus' death saves humankind from that sin. Narrative Christus Victor accounts for these questions. It portrays sin as bondage to the forces of evil, whose earthly representatives include the structures of imperial Rome, which had ultimate authority for Jesus' death; the structures of holiness code, to which Jesus posed reforming alternatives; and the mob and the disiciples in their several roles. All participants in society down to and including ourselves, by virtue of what human society is, participate in and are in bondage to - are shaped by - the powers represented by these earthly structures. Salvation is to begin to be free from these evil forces, and to be transformed by the reign of God and to take on a life shaped - marked - by the story of Jesus, whose mission was to make visible the reign of God in our history." --Weaver

  • Emily Plank
    2019-04-26 10:34

    The content of the book was excellent, but the organization made it difficult to read. I felt like the author used different terms to explain the same things which made it difficult for a non-academic like myself to follow along. It also felt repetitive. It was a very good introduction to black theology, feminist theology, and womanist theology.

  • Lee
    2019-05-09 10:28

    Challenges traditional "satisfaction"-based views of the Atonement on the grounds that they portray God as violent. Weaver argues that God--as revealed in Jesus--is nonviolent and Atonement theory should reflect this. Weaver interacts with black, feminist, and womanist theology, showing that they share his concerns about violent portrayals of God. He proposes a "narrative Christus Victor" understanding of Atonement that emphasizes Jesus' confrontation of and victory over powers of hatred and violence.

  • Keith Wyland
    2019-04-21 09:24

    Presents a great alternative to satisfaction/substitutionary/violent atonement theories. Also had excellent introductions to feminist, womanist, and black liberation theologies and theologians. It took a long time to get through this book because I felt there was a little too much repetition and long-windedness. I also understand repetition being necessary when putting narrative Christus Victor in "conversation" with the various theologies and challengers.

  • Rev Bill S
    2019-05-16 09:28

    A thought provoking read which radically changed my thinking about ATONEMENT. All students of theology should read this book. You may disagree with the arguments in the book but at least you will be much better informed.

  • Jay
    2019-05-16 08:27

    gave me a vocabulary and theological grounding to talk about what I have only intuited till now.

  • April
    2019-05-08 07:49

    Finally finished it all. That's about all I have to say.