In the midst of a troubled world, Christians believe in a good God who, as the Creator, has never lost interest in his broken creation. The key evidence for, and the chief symbol of, this divine commitment is the cross of Christ. This God, revealed Scripture, has a project; and central to the divine strategy is Christ, his coming and his cross. The troubles and calamities will end.
The cross 'which has been scandalous from the start' touches the individual, the church and the wider creation. The cross makes peace, and brings shalom. The canon of Scripture presents a 'divine comedy', where the story of Jesus, his cross and empty tomb are set in the framework of God's grand plan to restore the created order.
Graham Cole's excellent study takes the broad approach, but not in a way that masks 'the cruciality of the cross'. He examines who God is and what humanity has become, then focuses on the divine provision for humanity in its plight. He explores how the 'peace dividend' of the cross works itself out at the personal, corporate and cosmic levels, and asks how we are to live if these things are really so. Finally, he discusses God's grand purpose, reviews the journey, and addresses the question of how God the peacemaker brings shalom through atonement in both the broad and narrow senses of the term. An appendix deals with a range of controversial aspects of the cross.