This book explores the way in which we understand the story of our salvation - the fundamental narrative which irreplaceably informs Christian living and reflection. The story of atonement is both simple and surprising and has always given rise to demands for explanation: What does justification mean? Is there literally no reward for merit? What about other religions? Can one believe in heaven and hell? How does one justify evangelism?
All these questions arise directly out of the story of salvation, and experience suggests that each of them is a living issue for Church members. The story of atonement turns out to be not one narrative but a number of differing versions of a narrative, which Christians keep in their heads in fragments, rather than as one overarching, coherent epic. A brief discussion of Milton's Paradise Lost shows the difficulty of this epic form, and the way in which more than one version of the story actually informs the way Christians inhabit atonement. The question of heaven and hell is faced directly, and its bearing on evangelism explored.