Why did Jesus have to die? Was it to appease a wrathful God's demand for punishment? Does that mean Jesus died to save us from God? How could someone ever truly love or trust a God like that? How can that ever be called "Good News"? It's questions like these that make so many people want to have nothing to do with Christianity.Healing the Gospelchallenges the assumption that the Christian understanding of justice is rooted in a demand for violent punishment, and instead offers a radically different understanding of the gospel based on God's restorative justice. Connecting our own experiences of faith with the New Testament narrative, author Derek Flood shows us an understanding of the cross that not only reveals God's heart of grace, but also models our own way of Christ-like love. It's a vision of the gospel that exposes violence, rather than supporting it--a gospel rooted in love of enemies, rather than retribution. The result is a nonviolent understanding of the atonement that is not only thoroughly biblical, but will help people struggling with their faith to encounter grace.
Brian D. McLaren is a prominent, controversial evangelical pastor. He was recognized as one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" in 2005, and is the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Maryland. Born in 1956, Brian McLaren graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with BA and MA degrees in English. After several years of teaching English and consulting in higher education, he left academia in 1986 to become the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church, a nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region. Many of the books that McLaren has authored, including the "A New Kind of Christian" trilogy, deal with Christianity in the context of the cultural shift towards a new emerging church movement.