I guess this kind of thing would be coming from people who claim that the gospel can be reduced to one theory of atonement. I have consistently affirmed that there are a whole range of classical theories of atonement, and have resisted pressures to reduce the mysterious and majestic power of the cross to a flat, one-dimensional explanation. I have also sought to explore the biblical understanding of the cross in its social dimensions and what it says about reconciliation both with God and among humanity, including those who criticize, persecute or posture themselves as enemies. On a practical and personal level, my understanding of the cross is teaching me to listen, to critique humbly, to learn all I can from it, and to trust in God’s power to bring resurrection from my own failures and weaknesses… I’m saying that far from abandoning the cross, I want to experience what Paul spoke of when he said he was crucified with Christ and yet lived. Like many of our best contemporary theologians and missiologists, I see the cross as having many dimensions, not just one. I’m not for limiting our understanding of the cross and the gospel to forensic categories. Obviously, the New Testament writers employ legal metaphors to describe the work of Christ, but they use many other metaphors, too—disease metaphors, kingdom metaphors, and so on. I think a fair reading of my works will show that I’m simply trying to affirm a multi-dimensional gospel, not a flattened one.
—Controversial leader of the Emergent movement in the Christian faith and author of the famous book “A Generous Orthodoxy” Brian McLaren rightly criticizing those who have a narrow controlling view of the atonement who seek to impose their own view on everyone else while other scholars have just as a valid multi-faceted “biblical” views on the atonement. Inteviewed by The Wittenburg Door May/June 2007.