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In this substantial new study Darrin Belousek presents a comprehensive and critical examination of standard Protestant atonement theology and offers an alternative to the theory of penal substitution that is both biblically grounded and theologically orthodox. Beginning with Paul?'s message of the cross and the Gospel narratives of Jesus, Belousek develops a comprehensive vision of justice and peace in light of the cross a vision that connects theology and ethics, salvation and mission. Integrating his biblical study and theological reflection with philosophical analysis, historical considerations, and social-scientific evidence, Belousek shows that Christian thinking on atonement is no mere academic exercise, but rather a practical theology that speaks to such concrete realities as economic justice, capital punishment, the war on terror, ethnic and religious conflict, and Christian disunity.