Death of Christ
by James Denney
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James Denney’s purpose in The Death of Christ was “to explain, in the light of
modern historical study, the place held by the death of Christ in the New Testament, and
the interpretation put upon it by the apostolic writers.” He defends the penal substitution
theory of atonement, according to which, Christ, by his own sacrificial choice, was
punished in the place of sinners. Only this interpretation of Christ’s sacrifice unifies the
messages of each of the New Testament’s distinct authors, Denney argues. His work
contains an interesting balance of Reformed Presbyterian theology and evangelicalism.
In the preface, Denney writes that his motive in publishing his book “was as much
evangelical as theological.”