Monday, February 21, 2011

Questions About Substitutinary Atonement

I know there is a great possibility i could get crucified for this one (see what i did there), so i am going to try to propose questions while making very few claims.

It seems that the most popular THEORY of Christ death on the cross (at least in the denomination I grew up in) is the Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory. There are of course several different understandings within the theory itself, but it mostly centers around the idea that Jesus died as a substitute in our place.

God loved humanity so much that he desperately wanted to forgive us, but at the same time his wrath needed to be satisfied, and that's where Jesus comes in. Instead of taking His wrath out on us, He had to take it out on Jesus. (Again, that's the basics)

Ok, so there were a few claims.... Now for the questions...

• Why could an All-Powerful God not forgive us simply because He loves us, instead of having to pour out His wrath on someone else?

• Does this portray God as not being able to control His temper?

• If I am to forgive as God forgives, in light of substitutionary Atonement theory, does that mean I must first take my wrath out on someone or something else in order to forgive my offender.

• Does this mean that God ultimately killed Jesus?

• Does God ever truly forgive us with this understanding? (I'll write about this tomorrow)

• What are some of the other theories out there about the cross?

• Are there any better ones?


JustinGaynor said...

(non-penal) Substitutionary atonement within the context of Christus Victor in and as the climax of the grand narrative of inaugurated eschatology...New Creation...let the reader understand.

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