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The book A Community Called Atonement discusses a topical question of atonement and relation between modern day life and religious doctrines. The author states that through religion we try to obtain a comprehensive, coherent picture of life in which all aspects of human experience are fitted together in one over-all view. The analysis people have made of religion and modern mores and heir relation to each other is a phase of atonement. Religion uses the data of the sciences along with aesthetic, moral, and religious experience, appraising them through reason and logic to trace their mutual relations.

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The character 14 of the book questions the fairness of stories told by Paul, Jesus, Irenaeus and Athanasius. It seeks to answer such questions as how we know what we do, what life's true values are, and what the nature of reality is. Doctrine can be expounded. Patterns of response can be described. But religion goes beyond this, because the whole person is religious, whatever his beliefs may be.
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As Immanuel Kant pointed out nearly two centuries ago, while one can dispute with his mind the reality of the higher order called God, he cannot act as though it were not real and still act rationally. To be rational means to live in terms of purpose and meaning, and even when the mind cannot define the meaning, its influence continues to be felt in life. This aspect of religion must always be kept in mind. We do not deal solely with the realm of ideas but with the response of the whole person to what he regards as of supreme importance.

Applied to modern day life, the book helps me to understand the role and importance of atonement and critical thinking in all difficult life situations. I understand that there is no ready-made answer to all questions especially if we deal with multifaceted problems.  Thus, the atonement sometimes heard that there is no God because science has not discovered Him in the natural order is not only misleading, it is nonsense.

So, also, the view that religion can supply the factual data of natural phenomena before the time of human history is nonsense. The relation of these two approaches should become clearer as we work through the main points of Christian thought. Atonement does not necessarily deal with a set of events completely different from those which are the province of science, but it approaches them from an entirely different standpoint.


McKnight, S. (2007). A Community Called Atonement. Abingdon Press.



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