Playing off a five-year-old boy's question concerning whether parents would put their son to death on a cross, this book plunges headlong into the ongoing debate about the character of God. Following the historic faith confession that God is revealed in Jesus, the book's first chapter sketches the life and teaching of Jesus. That life, which reveals Jesus' rejection of violence, calls for an understanding of God in nonviolent terms. Weaver thus invites us to embrace a nonviolent atonement image, which stands as a direct challenge to the inherited atonement images.
Deriving theology from the narrative of Jesus also leads Weaver into discussions about the very nature of theology, the character of the Bible, the divine violence in the Old Testament (as well as the purported divine violence in the book of Revelation), and a rethinking of historic Christology. Each of these discussions has implications for life today--implications for economics, forgiveness, violence, gender discrimination, racism, and more. The book is thus an introduction to foundational issues of theology and ethics, suitable for church discussion groups and introductory college classrooms.