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From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective Hardcover – Nov. 30 2013

4.7 4.7 out of 5 stars 112 ratings

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Product description


“A massive product of exact and well-informed scholarship . . . with landmark significance. . . . I give this book top marks for its range of solid scholarship, cogency of argument, warmth of style, and zeal for the true glory of God. I recommend it most highly.”
J. I. Packer, Late Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College

“I cannot imagine that this book could have been published twenty-five years ago: there were not at that time enough well-informed theologians working in the Reformed heritage to produce a volume of such clarity and competence. Whatever side you hold in this debate, henceforth you dare not venture into the discussion without thoughtfully reading this book, which, mercifully, makes argument by stereotype and reductionism a great deal more difficult. Above all, this book will elicit adoration as its readers ponder afresh what Jesus achieved on the cross.”
D. A. Carson, Cofounder and Theologian-at-Large, The Gospel Coalition

“The topic is worthy enough. Yet the lineup of contributors to this volume makes this, in my view, the most impressive defense of definite atonement in over a century. Beyond rehearsing traditional arguments, first-rate historical, biblical, and systematic theologians bring fresh angles and exegesis to bear. From Heaven He Came and Sought Her is a gift that will no doubt keep on giving for generations to come.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“This is the definitive study. It is careful, comprehensive, deep, pastoral, and thoroughly persuasive.”
David F. Wells, Senior Distinguished Research Professor of Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“There is a conventional wisdom that seems to believe definite atonement is the weakest of the five heads of doctrine confessed at the Synod of Dort. But you may come away from this book believing it is the strongest, in its historical attestation, biblical basis, and spiritual blessing. Written by first-rate exegetes and theologians, this book covers all the difficult issues and emerges with a highly persuasive and attractive case. Highly recommended!”
John M. Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary

“For whom did Christ die? This volume makes a fresh and impressively comprehensive case for definite atonement as the answer true to Scripture. It shows convincingly, through multi-authored contributions, (1) that the issues of the extent of the atonement and its nature cannot be separated―penal substitution, at the heart of why Christ had to die, stands or falls with definite atonement; and (2) how definite atonement alone provides for a gospel offer of salvation from sin that is genuinely free. In engaging various opposing views on this much-disputed topic, the editors seek to do so in a constructive and irenic spirit, an effort in which they and the other authors have succeeded admirably.”
Richard B. Gaffin Jr., Emeritus Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

“This book is formidable and persuasive. Those familiar with the terrain will recognize that the editors know exactly the key issues and figures in this debate. And none of the authors who follow disappoint. The tone is calm and courteous, the scholarship rigorous and relentless, the argument clear and compelling. This penetrating discussion takes into account the major modern academic criticisms of definite atonement (Barth, the Torrances, Armstrong, Kendall, and others) as well as more popular critiques (Clifford, Driscoll and Breshears). An impressive team of scholars adorns this subject and aims to help Christians toward a deeper gratitude to God for his grace, a greater assurance of salvation, a sweeter fellowship with Christ, stronger affections in their worship of him, more love for people and superior courage and sacrifice in witness and service, and indeed to propel us into the global work of missions with compassion and confidence.”
Ligon Duncan, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary

“Whether you are sympathetic to or suspicious of definite atonement, this book will surprise you. Here are historical details, exegetical links, theological observations, and pastoral perspectives that are fresh and fascinating, even though there is also plenty that will prove controversial. From Heaven He Came and Sought Her offers the fullest and most nuanced treatment on definite atonement I know, and will richly add to the substance and quality of future conversations about the intent of the atonement. Whether you think that you agree or disagree with the authors, wrestling with these essays is well worth your time.”
Kelly M. Kapic, author, Embodied Hope; Professor of Theological Studies, Covenant College

About the Author

David Gibson (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is minister of Trinity Church in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is a coeditor of From Heaven He Came and Sought Her and the author of Living Life Backward: How Ecclesiastes Teaches Us to Live in Light of the End. He is married to Angela, and they have four children.

Jonathan Gibson (PhD, University of Cambridge) is an ordained minister in the International Presbyterian Church, United Kingdom, and associate professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is a coeditor of and contributor to From Heaven He Came and Sought Her as well as the author of a number of other books. Jonny and his wife, Jackie, have four children.

J. I. Packer (1926–2020) served as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He authored numerous books, including the classic bestseller Knowing God. Packer also served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

Sinclair B. Ferguson (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and the former senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author of several books, including By Grace Alone and Lessons from the Upper Room. Sinclair and his wife, Dorothy, have four grown children.

Paul Helm (MA, Worcester College) is a teaching fellow at Regent College in Vancouver. He previously taught philosophy at the University of Liverpool and was was the J. I. Packer Chair of Theology at Regent College. He also publishes online at Helm's Deep. Paul is married to Angela, and they have five children.

Robert Letham (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of systematic and historical theology at Union School of Theology. A Presbyterian minister with twenty-five years of pastoral experience, he is the author of books such as The Work of Christ; The Holy Trinity; and Union with Christ, and a range of articles published in encyclopedias and journals.

John Piper is founder and lead teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as the pastor for preaching and vision of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Desiring God; Don’t Waste Your Life; and Providence.

Thomas R. Schreiner (MDiv and ThM, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College. He is a contributing editor at First Things, an esteemed church historian, and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Trueman has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including The Creedal Imperative; Luther on the Christian Life; and Histories and Fallacies. He is a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Lee Gatiss (PhD, University of Cambridge) is the director of Church Society and a lecturer in church history at Union School of Theology. He is chairman of The Global Anglican and on the editorial board of Studies in Puritanism and Piety. He has written and edited more than thirty books on the Bible, theology, and church history. He and his family serve at Christ Church, Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Matthew S. Harmon (PhD, Wheaton College) is professor of New Testament studies at Grace College & Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. He was previously on staff with Cru for eight years and is the author of numerous books, including commentaries on Galatians, Philippians, 2 Peter, and Jude. He also co-hosts the Various and Sundry podcast. Matthew and his wife, Kate, live in Warsaw, Indiana, and have two sons.

Michael A. G. Haykin (ThD, University of Toronto) is professor of church history and biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He has authored or edited more than twenty-five books, including Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church.

Alec Motyer (1924–2016) served as principal of Trinity Theological College in the United Kingdom, as well as pastor of several churches in England.

Stephen J. Wellum (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and editor of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. Stephen and his wife, Karen, have five adult children.

Garry Williams (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the director of the John Owen Centre for Theological Study at London Theological Seminary in the United Kingdom, which provides theological teaching for pastors after their initial training. He is also a visiting professor of historical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Garry and his wife, Fiona, have four children.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crossway (Nov. 30 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 704 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1433512769
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1433512766
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 1.07 kg
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 3.66 x 22.86 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 4.7 out of 5 stars 112 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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