In the past century of critical scholarship on Luke-Acts, it has become commonplace to affirm that Luke attaches no direct soteriological value to the death of Jesus. More specifically, the scholarly consensus affirms that Luke-Acts does not present Jesus’ death as an atonement for sin. Rather, Luke’s soteriology is understood to center upon Jesus’ resurrection and exaltation as Lord.In this careful thematic study of atonement theology in Luke’s double-work, John Kimbell demonstrates that the value Luke attributes to the death of Christ has been underestimated. When all the data is considered, the death of Christ is given greater direct soteriological significance in the Lukan writings than scholarship has generally acknowledged. Specifically, the death of Jesus is portrayed by Luke as an atoning death that brings about the forgiveness of sins. This book does not deny the presence of other soteriological emphases. Nevertheless, it convincingly shows that atonement theology plays a fundamental role in Luke’s soteriology, such that when this aspect is rejected or minimized, Luke’s presentation of the cross and salvation is significantly distorted.Kimbell carefully interacts with the scholarly secondary literature on this subject, ensuring that any serious Christian reader will find this work stimulating and useful. Detailed exegesis is paired with careful attention to Luke’s overall theological purposes. The result is that the reader will come away with a clearer understanding of Luke’s writings and a deeper appreciation for the meaning of Christ’s death.
John Kimbell received his PhD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently serves as Pastor of Preaching and Discipleship at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.