The kingdom of God and the atonement are two of the most important themes in all of Scripture. Tragically, theologians have often either set the two at odds or focused on one to the complete neglect of the other.
In The Crucified King, Jeremy Treat demonstrates that Scripture presents a mutually enriching relationship between the kingdom and atonement that draws significantly from the story of Israel and culminates in the crucifixion of Christ the king. As Israel’s messiah, he holds together the kingdom and the cross by bringing God’s reign on earth through his atoning death. The kingdom is the ultimate goal of the cross, and the cross is the means by which the kingdom comes. Jesus’ death is not the failure of his messianic ministry, nor simply the prelude to his royal glory, but is the apex of his kingdom mission. The cross is the throne from which he rules and establishes his kingdom.
Using a holistic approach that brings together the insights of biblical and systematic theology, this book demonstrates not only that the kingdom and the cross are inseparable, but how they are integrated in Scripture and theology.
Jeremy Treat brings together what many have rented asunder: the cross of Christ and the kingdom of God. For too long many theological tribes have either preached a message about the cross addressed to individuals and opted out of kingdom business or embarked on a campaign of kingdom-work springing from Jesus’ kingdom-vision and struggled to treat the cross meaningfully. Treat shows that such a division is absolutely foreign to the biblical texts and to the testimony of the historical church. In a venerable banquet of biblical exegesis, biblical theology, and systematic reflections, Treat shows that God’s reign and God’s redemption are both out workings of the cross of our crucified Lord. Treat brings sanity and sensibility to a controversial topic that should not even be controversial. Judicious, balanced, informative, and compelling! – Michael F. Bird, Lecturer in Theology at Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College, Australia
In The Crucified King, Jeremy Treat makes a helpful start toward re-integrating what should never have been torn asunder: not only God’s kingdom and Christ’s atoning work, but also biblical theology and theological reflection. – Daniel J. Treier, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College
The Crucified King contributes to the current revivification of the doctrine of the atonement, exploring how the Cross and Kingdom are necessary and mutually interpretative realities. The Cross, he argues, is the in-breaking of God’s eschatological kingdom into the present, while Cross sums up the nature of divine and human servant-kingship. This is a delightful work of biblical and systematic theology, ripe with implications for the church’s understanding of the cross of Christ as its basis and goal. – Adam Johnson, Assistant Professor of Theology, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University
Jesus came proclaiming the kingdom of God but then died on the cross. The first great virtue of The Crucified King is that it tackles head-on this great riddle at the heart of the New Testament, clarifying how what happened to Jesus, far from contradicting his message, served rather to confirm and explain it. The book’s second strength is that it reconciles two views of Jesus’ death on the cross that have for too long been rivals rather than partners: the penal substitution and Christus Victor theories of atonement. The third strength is that it reconciles the story of redemption (biblical theology) and its logic (systematic theology). Three tensions; three proposed resolutions: blessed are the peacemakers! – Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
I feel like I’ve witnessed a beautiful wedding where the atmosphere is just right, the visuals are perfect, and the bride and groom are perfect for one another. Pastors and theologians often manage to give the impression that the Kingdom of God and the Cross of the Messiah are divorced or separated. Treat’s study of Kingdom and Cross unveils the exciting marriage between two of Scripture’s central concepts.
With good writing and clear thinking of the ‘big picture’ variety, he produces a dessert-quality dissertation that leaves readers enriched and satisfied. On the evidence of this work, Treat will have an important voice in the theological conversations of the next generation of Christian scholars. – Jason Hood, St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, Moshi, Tanzania
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