Skip to content


Major Book Review: Ron Highfield, “The New Adam: What the Early Church Can Teach Evangelicals (and Liberals) about the Atonement” (Cascade, 2021)

When: June 8, 2023, 3:30 pm - Thursday

Where: Balliol

Session 5

Session Abstract

In his recent book, The New Adam: What the Early Church Can Teach Evangelicals (and Liberals) about the Atonement, theologian Ron Highfield addresses the Christian doctrine of the atonement. If “Jesus saves,” how does that work? Unsatisfied with both the common evangelical view that the purpose of the atonement is to solve God’s problem of how to forgive sins while remaining just and with the popular view that Jesus merely provides people a model of inspiration towards love, Highfield proposes that the atonement works because Jesus is the New Adam, rewriting the human story and offering creation a share in the same divine life. Furthermore, he insists that 21st-century presentations of the gospel urgently need the reframing that comes when we revisit these ancient instincts about salvation. In this session, a panel of experts in theology, biblical studies, and patristics will critically engage Highfield’s proposals. The author’s responses and ensuing conversation will provide a fresh exploration of this essential topic.


Jeff Childers, Abilene Christian University, Convener

  • Alden Bass, Oklahoma Christian University, Panelist
  • Tiffany Dahlman, Abilene Christian University in Dallas and Courtyard Church of Christ, Fayetteville, NC, Panelist
  • Yancy Smith, Bible League International, Panelist
  • David Mahfood, Johnson University, Florida, Panelist

Registration is Now Closed

for the 2023 CSC
1 / 5

James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

2 / 5

Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson delivering the CSC plenary address

3 / 5

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering the CSC plenary address.

4 / 5

US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivering the CSC plenary address

5 / 5

David Brooks engaging conferees during breakfast at the CSC

CSC Registration Now Closed

May 12, 2023

We have now reached capacity and must close registration for the 2023 CSC. Given that we are one month from “opening day,” I’m pained ...

CSC Registration News

May 3, 2023

One of the great problems in planning an event like the CSC is finding space to accommodate the event’s appeal with the venue’s ...

Artificial Intelligence and the CSC

April 20, 2023

Did you see the lead article in Saturday’s NYTimes? The headline both tantalizes and promises to address all the practical matters we ...

Site Designed and Developed by 5by5 - A Change Agency