So respected a New Testament Scholar as Douglas Moo writes that:-
‘Reconciliation can hardly be given a central place in Paul’s theology. The language is too infrequent and the concepts too undeveloped for such a judgment. It is better to view reconciliation as one image, among many others, that is used to capture something of the meaning of God’s act in Christ for us.’ (The Letter to the Romans, 2nd ed.)
I.H. Marshall, however, contends that the concept of reconciliation may be regarded as central to a biblical understanding of atonement:-
‘The mending of relationships both with God and with our fellow human beings is a central theme in the New Testament and especially in the writings of Paul.…
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela lies in hospital on life support. While he does so, his family are feuding over his legacy and his money.
In Egypt, just one year after that country’s first democratic elections, its prime minister is in detention. The country is in turmoil, its population sharply divided between supporters of the ex-prime minister and those who forced him from office.
In Syria, more than 90,000 people have died in 2 years of conflict.…
One of several images of salvation used in Scripture is that of reconciliation.
In this image, we leave the temple precincts, slave-markets and lawcourts, and come home to our family and friends.
Reconciliation is the answer to alienation, and to all who feel alienated reconciliation sounds like the good news that it is.
Reconciliation begins with a restored relationship with God, Rom 5:9-11 (note the parallel in this passage between reconciliation and justification). The idea is closely linked with those of ‘adoption’ (Jn 1:12f; 1 Jn 3:1-10) and ‘access’ (Rom 5:1f; Eph 2:17f; 1 Pet 3:18; Heb 10:19-22).…