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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007
    Serious stuff

    S. Mark Heim isn't that squeamish. Which is why he puts this quote at the top of Chapter One of his book Saved from Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross. He understands why Delores feels that way - many contemporary readings of The Passion of the Christ (like, for example, The Passion of the Christ), do indeed major on a lot of blood and gore. But Heim's not about to duck that tricky atonement doctrine. Instead he's written a book which takes it on, turns it inside out and around, removing it from the deadly cycle of violence which is Hollywood's obsession and from the violent practice of scapegoating from which we, all of us, find it so hard to step outside.

    Heim's book comes highly recommended by the source of many of my sermon ideas Paul Nuechterlein's website, by James Alison and by many other respected writers in this area. It's probably about time I read a serious book. It's probably about time I read a book of theology. It's probably just about enough time between now and Good Friday for me to get my head around it.