Everything James Alison writes has enabled me to see what Jesus is up to in a new refreshing and challenging way. He has helped me to reject bad atonement theory -- the sort of theory that makes God out to love sacrifice, the bloodier, the better, even the sacrifice of his beloved because his justice and honor requires such a sacrifice. In that understanding, Jesus' death becomes the best example of sacrifice. He has helped me to see Jesus' death as the subversion of the sacrificial system, as the end of the system of exclusion of a victim rather than the divine example of sacrifice. Jesus is up to ending a system of social solidarity from exclusion and violence and enabling humans to live based on gratuity. In brief, when I read James Alison, I ask myself -- perhaps I should become a Christian some day.
I have read all of James Alison's books and, as Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams said in the November 10th, 2001 London Tablet of this book, "The very best theological books leave you with a feeling that perhaps it's time you became a Christian; this is emphatically such a book."