When a popular British evangelical leader appeared to denounce the idea that God was punishing Christ in our place on the cross as a \ wisted version of events,\ \morally dubious,\ and a \huge barrier to faith\ that should be rejected in favour of preaching only that God is love, major controversy was stirred. Many thought the idea of penal substitution was at the heart of the evangelical understanding of the cross, if not the only legitimate interpretation of the death of Christ. Yet for some time less popular evangelical theologians had been calling this traditional interpretation of the atonement into question. The public debate which resulted was often heated. In order to act as reconcilers, the Evangelical Alliance and the London School of Theology called for a symposium in which advocates of the different positions could engage with each other.