Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

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Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby revdrew61 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:46 am

Here is my review of a new book by forum member 'sharktacos' alias Derek Flood. In case its not clear from the review, I strongly recommend the book!

Healing the Gospel. A radical vision for Grace, Justice, and the Cross by Derek Flood (Cascade Books, Eugene, Oregon 2012)

Influential blogger and artist Derek Flood has produced a timely and prophetic book which deserves to be widely read and considered. The book began life as a series of blog articles and the final text has been carefully honed through years of testing and dialogue with friends and critics. It is short (only 100 pages) and accessible, both for the theologically trained and the general reader.

Troubled by the emphasis on retribution and guilt in some traditional understandings of the gospel, Flood finds in the pages of the New Testament a healthier gospel which is truly good news. With surgical precision he exposes the weaknesses of the prevailing ‘penal substitution’ model of the atonement, including its uncomfortable fit with the biblical narrative, its shallow engagement with the roots of sin, and its unintentional support for contemporary acts of ‘redemptive violence’. Flood makes a strong case that “The New Testament, in contrast, is actually a critique of punitive justice. It presents it as a problem to be solved, not as the means to the solution” (p.6). Combining the classic Christus Victor and Healing views of the cross and, with an artist’s vision of the big canvas and eye for detail, he paints a beautiful picture of the victorious and healing grace of God, a picture which will stir a response in many readers.

Biblical justice is shown to be restorative, to be about God in Christ making things right. Sin is primarily a sickness to be healed rather than a crime to be punished. Flood builds his case through careful engagement with the biblical text, and with reference to how it was understood by the early Church Fathers and the Reformers. His teaching style is lively and never turgid, even when he provides a close re-reading of key texts like Romans and Isaiah 53. As well as a few of the writer’s own drawings, the book includes clear charts and tables and a well researched Appendix on the meaning of some of the key Greek words. A scripture index and subject index are also helpfully included.

Apart from the usual quota of annoying typos such as you find in most books these days (my personal bugbear!) this is an outstanding book which will be high on my recommended list for enquirers, new christians, fringe church members, stale church members and those who have been hurt or disillusioned by church. With the added benefits of being concise and well structured, it will also provide excellent study material for small groups.

Rev Andrew Tweedy
St George’s Church Barcelona
18th September 2012
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby DaveF » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:13 am

Thanks for this well written review Andrew. I discovered Derek's blog The Rebel God a couple months ago and I really appreciate his contribution and insights. It resonates with my understanding of the gospel and it comes as a breathe of fresh air to me. I definitely intend to read The Healing of the Gospel.

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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:37 am

Good review, Rev! :D
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby sharktacos » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:27 pm

Thanks for the review Andrew!

I wanted to mention that, in case folks were interested, I have a new webpage for the book now with sample chapters, a Q&A, and other goodies from the book:

http://therebelgod.com/healingthegospel.htm

cheers,
Derek
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby Cindy Skillman » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:52 pm

Wow, Andrew -- your review is so well-written that I want to read a book written by YOU. ;)

Since you say it's short, maybe I'll get it. I have a load of books on the atonement that aren't short, and so I still haven't finished more than a couple of them. They tend to get, well, kind of dry and sawdusty, some of them, and though I'm interested, I don't really ENJOY reading with a dictionary in one hand and the book in the other -- especially in the bathtub! And of course some words aren't IN the dictionary (because I don't want to carry the BIG one into the bathtub with me :lol: and then I have to look them up on the internet . . . .

BUT . . . you speak of helpful charts . . . my default choice is to get a book on kindle, but I don't like kindle for books with any significant illustrations. What do you think?

Thanks for your great review!

Love, Cindy
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby amy » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:20 pm

Andrew, you were the one that put me onto Derek's site awhile back. I just poured over his articles, loved them! They were so instrumental in helping me move away from a P.S.A view. I'm excited to see he has a new book out that can help me define better this shift in understanding so I can share it with others. I, too, love your review.

Cindy, of all things, don't take your Kindle into the bathtub. :lol:
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby revdrew61 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:06 am

Cindy you are too funny! I might possibly have a book in me - don't they say everyone has? Billie and I are knocking some ideas around, the problem is finding time to write.
Amy - that's good advice, about the kindle I mean :)
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby JasonPratt » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:46 am

amy wrote:Cindy, of all things, don't take your Kindle into the bathtub. :lol:


Or print books either, come to think of it. ;)
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby JasonPratt » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:47 am

Alex has started a Q&A session with Derek Flood here on the forum in this other thread, for anyone who's interested. :)
Cry of Justice -- 2008 Novel of the Year (CSPA retailer poll).
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby amy » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:24 am

Oh no, I just looked up Derek's book on Amazon and realized it's also written by Brian McClaren?! I wish it didn't have his name on the book. I guess for some circles this is a positive thing, but the people I'd want to read it are very polorized and wouldn't read anything with McClarens name on it. :?
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby revdrew61 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:26 am

Cindy Skillman wrote:BUT . . . you speak of helpful charts . . . my default choice is to get a book on kindle, but I don't like kindle for books with any significant illustrations. What do you think?

Cindy, I don't have a kindle machine as such but I do have the kindle application on my android tablet. The tables display pretty well on that, although I have to use left and right arrow keys to read all the content. They are easier to read in the paper copy.
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby revdrew61 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:34 am

amy wrote:Oh no, I just looked up Derek's book on Amazon and realized it's also written by Brian McClaren?! I wish it didn't have his name on the book. I guess for some circles this is a positive thing, but the people I'd want to read it are very polorized and wouldn't read anything with McClarens name on it. :?

Amy, Brian McLaren only wrote the foreword; the book is all Derek's work. I think the kind of people you are talking about would probably toss Derek's book away after the first few pages of chapter 1 anyway - even if the foreword was by Don Carson or JI Packer (as if!) :lol:
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby Matt Wiley » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:20 am

Sounds like a good book :) I'll have to check this one out sometime :)
The gospel is about our pain, and His love.

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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby Username » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:43 am

Hi Andrew

Thanks for your excellent review, and for bringing Derek, his blog and his book to our attention. Have just posted on the other thread to thank Derek himself - his writings have been a huge inspiration to me over the years.

As Cindy says, you write superbly. Why not write a book, my friend?! I've done it. Twice. Both works of fiction that I feel quite sure would one day be looked back on in the way we now look back on, say, The Catcher in the Rye or The Pickwick Papers - stupendous first novels that have had a seminal impact on the world. Or at least they would have been, had the ignoramuses who run the British publishing industry not had the blindly stupid temerity to send them both back with 'rejected' stamped across them in large red letters! :lol:

Actually, Andrew, writing a book is bloody hard work. And I should imagine writing a good one is even harder! :lol:

And I'm with you on the typos thing. I have to go back and re-edit my posts if I find I've put a comma in the wrong place. Must be some literary version of OCD! :lol:

Peace and love to you sir

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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby JeffA » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:54 am

Obsessive Comma Disorder?
Yours in doubt

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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby Username » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:46 am

JeffA wrote:Obsessive Comma Disorder?


:lol:
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby Matt Wiley » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:49 pm

I just ordered a copy last night :)

When I get around to reading it, I'll post a review here, if the mood strikes me ;)
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby Paidion » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:41 pm

I have already read several of Derek Flood's articles on the atonement. This is precisely my view, and I when I read those articles, I shouted Hallelujah! It seems that few people comprehend the purpose of Christ's death.

Thanks for pointing us to this book, Rev. Tweedy. I purchased a copy for Kindle, and 3 physical copies to share with others.

What a wonderful discovery! That there are other people who share with me the Biblical view of the gospel.

Yes, the "gospel" which proclaims Jesus as appeasing by His death a wrathful, punishing God in order to save us from hell — the grossly distorted view of penal substitution— needs healing indeed! Or maybe it can't be healed. Perhaps it needs replacement by the true gospel.

Check out my signature statement below. George MacDonald understood the true gospel also.
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby JasonPratt » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:43 pm

George MacDonald also believed pretty strongly in punishment of sinners for sin by God (in various modes and to various degrees including extreme degrees, pre and post-mortem).

Which Derek doesn't seem to believe is true at all. But he's gamely engaging in a Q&A session with forum members that, regardless of our disagreements, I can definitely recommend to members here. So if anyone wants to read more from him on that topic, or even ask him questions on it, proceed! :) 8-)
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby Sherman » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:10 am

Cindy Skillman wrote:Wow, Andrew -- your review is so well-written that I want to read a book written by YOU. ;)

I'll second that Andrew. Take the time! Just do it!

Also, I just purchased the Kindle version and am looking forward to reading it.
Sherman Nobles
author - "God Is A Divorce' Too! A Message of Hope, Healing, & Forgiveness"
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... 331481-8-7
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Re: Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood

Postby fmichaeldw » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:00 pm

I cannot thank you enough Andrew for introducing me to Derek Flood's "Penal Substitution vs Christus Victor when it was on the internet as a draft before being published. This was September 2010 while you were her as Chaplain at St George's in Barcewlona. I printed the whole four parts and every day I lunched by myself totally absorbed and enthralled in reading Derk Flood's work. It was a veritable awakening for me answering many questions and doubts about my journey of faith. I was bowled over totally and astonished to discover myself born again as if I had been led to take a huge jump forward. So Praise the Lord, thank you again, and thanks to Derek Flood, and above thanks to the Bon Dieu!!
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