Forgiveness is divine, recrimination less so

By Simon Barrow
April 7, 2007

The Guardian's religious affairs correspondent has weighed into the heated debate about Jeffrey John's comments on the atonement.

Stephen Bates' piece was originally written for the print edition of the newspaper, but has now appeared on Comment is Free (

The issue of 'penal substitution' has been explored critically, and in some depth, in Ekklesia's book Consuming Passion: Why the Death of Jesus Really Matters, DLT 2005 (, edited by Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley.

It includes an essay by Steve Chalke, one of the evangelical dissenters on this issue, and situates the theological argument as part of a consideration of religion and violence. And it also examines Mel Gibson's controversial film, The Passion of the Christ.

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