As I started reading "Pierced for our Transgressions" one thing I noticed immediately was the use of language. Clearly from the full title you are in no doubt that this is going to be a full out presentation of one viewpoint. I have no problem with that, nobody is going to pick this up thinking that it will be a balanced presentation.
However, the language does instantly show up a huge raft of assumptions that I think need to be challenged. Just a few for the moment (got to go and do some work on the mother-in-laws front path).
Chapter 2. p33 line 1. "the doctrine of penal substitution" it seems to be that this is a noticeable ratcheting up of the status of penal substitution. I have always been taught that we have a "doctrine of atonement" and theories (or views, or perspectives or models depending on your viewpoint) of atonement such as "penal substitution", "Christus Victus" etc. I wonder how widely and for how long penal substitution has been known as a doctrine.
There is in my opinion a pretty consistent and sloppy use of English. This makes assumptions such as
- all references to substitution really mean penal substitution
- only people who believe in penal substitution are Christians or Believers (these words seem to be reserved only for supporters of penal substitution, others are called liberals, dissenting voices etc)
- only those who believe in penal substitution also believe in the transforming power of the cross.
You can see examples if all 3 on page 21 (first page of the introduction). It would be very interesting to know the motivation behind this, including whether it is deliberate or accidental.
Just one one example (out of time for more):
p21 "that believers will be robbed of their assurance and preachers will be robbed of their confidence in ‘the old, old story’ of the transforming power of the cross". Where is the evidence that those who do not accept penal substitution or who question it or who believe it to be one (but not the only) model of atonement do not believe in the transforming power of the cross.