The doctrine of the atonement – that Christ died for our sins – is at the core of Christian identity and at the heart of Christian belief. This central doctrine, however, is poorly misunderstood within the church and parodied by those outside the Christian community.
The church itself has different perspectives on how to understand the rich diversity of images, themes, narratives and metaphors used in the Bible to describe the saving work of Christ, and there has been some controversy as a result. These essays seek to demonstrate the extent to which these various images are complementary rather than in competition with each other.
The contributors to this collection are members of the Anglican Church of Australia’s Doctrine Commission. They are each accomplished scholars and leaders, and represent the views of modern Anglicans across the theological spectrum of our Church. This is not a statement of the church’s official position but a dialogue that demonstrates how differences of opinion can be handled with mutual respect.
The commission hopes that it will engage and educate and enlighten the church, and provoke continuing discussion keeps the atonement as a matter ‘of first importance’ in our thinking and in our worship.
The Most Reverend Dr Philip L Freier is the Archbishop of Melbourne and Chairman of the Doctrine Commission.
The Reverend Dr Peter Adam is a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, a theological educator and author and formerly Principal of Ridley Theological College, Melbourne.
The Most Reverend Dr Glenn N Davies is the Archbishop of Sydney and Canon Theologian of the Diocese of Ballarat.
The Reverend Dr John Dunnill is Canon of St George’s Cathedral, Perth and formerly Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies and Chair of Theology at Murdoch University, Perth.
The Reverend Professor Andrew B McGowan is a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne and Warden of Trinity College
and the Joan Munro Professor of Historical Theology at Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne.
The Reverend Dr Dorothy A Lee is Dean and the Frank Woods Professor of New Testament Studies at Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne.
The Reverend Dr Michael R Stead the Rector of St James Turramurra, Visiting Lecturer in Old Testament at Moore Theological College, Sydney and Secretary of the Doctrine Commission.
The Reverend Dr Mark D Thompson is the Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney.
Dr Heather Thomson is Senior Lecturer at St Mark’s National Theological Centre and Associate Head of the Charles Sturt University School of Theology.