Responding to the news of hate letters sent to the Dean of St Alban's over his Holy Week talk on the cross, Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow commented:
"Jeffrey John is to be congratulated on his determination to speak with courtesy and love on this important subject. The hatred directed at him is appalling, and exemplifies precisely why it is necessary to highlight the consequences of an abusive misconstrual of a central Christian doctrine."
He added: "It was entirely sensible of Dr John to explain that the cross of Christ is not an act of divine sadism, but an embodiment of God’s willingness to absorb and transform our human capacity for continually doing ourselves and other people in – “living unto death”, as one ancient formula puts it."
The link between human justifications of violence and retributive Christian atonement theories is an issue addressed by a range of academic and practical contributors to the book Consuming Passion: Why the Killing of Jesus Really Matters, published by Darton, Longman and Todd (2005) and edited by Ekklesia co-directors Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley.
See also: How these Christians hate one another.