Since its publication in English in 1930, Christus Victor has become a modern classic in Christian theology. The author, Dr. Gustaf Aulén (1879-1977) was professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Lund, Sweden. His work re-opened the door to an understanding of what he termed the "classic" idea of the atonement.
Christus Victor explores the meaning and traces the history of each of the three major theories of the atonement. The book is not written to prove one theory over the other, but the incisive review of each theory, along with the copious quotations from primary sources, leaves the listener with no doubt as to which idea the author preferred. The classic idea, or ransom theory, or what can now simply be called Christus Victor, clearly rises to the top.
Though theologically dense, this small book will enliven the hearts and quicken the imagination of listeners diligent enough to spend a few hours immersed in Christus Victor. At the heart of the classic idea of atonement is a long-neglected view of God that will thrill many listeners with hopeful expectation for the ultimate victory we all await.
For George MacDonald fans, who have perhaps wondered how he could have been so adamantly against substitutionary atonement, this book will explain a very different way of looking at the atonement that is in perfect harmony with what MacDonald would hold to. Fans of C.S. Lewis may be thrilled to see the theology behind Aslan's death at the Stone Table in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe clearly laid out in teachings from the early church.
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A Theology Must
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