In the last two or three decades, new and challenging questions have arisen about the cross and the meaning of atonement. At the same time, for many the cross has become either an offense or an obvious matter of theological tradition represented in the theories of atonement. Beyond providing some reference points, what do they disclose about Jesus and the relationship of his mission to his destiny? Many of the key issues surfaced in the prolonged controversy between Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone, and also Walter Scott (which reflects the controversy in wider Christian theology). The aim here is to consider the differences between the three leaders and discern the deeper coherence in the meaning of the atonement.