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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

Join us in 2024!

1 / 5

James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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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

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