From an excellent post by Scot McKnight in his discussion of Jeffery Russell's book, Exposing Myths about Christianity. Scot writes,
About a decade ago it became avant garde theology to contend the classical Christian theory of atonement was nothing less than divine child abuse. That is, the image of a Father punishing a Son, or exacting retribution at the expense of his own Son, or punishing a Son for the good of others — each of these became a way of deconstructing classical atonement theory. Unfortunately, this approach works from a very simplistic image: a father, a son, and a brutal death and attributes intention to the father as one who brutalizes a son.
First, this accusation fails to represent the best thinking about how the Father and Son are related in the Bible and Christian theology.
Second, this accusation fails to see that the Son gave his life, that the Father gave the Son's life, and the point here is that the cross in the Bible and theology is the freely-chosen, gracious choice and act of the Father, Son and Spirit.
Third, this accusation fails to comprehend that entering into death, willingly and out of love, is the act of God entering into the fullness of the human condition, including death.
You can read the entire post, here.