Confronting Atonement Theology



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Not all atonement theology is bad.

Excellent article. I think it is important however to not conflate the substitutionary theory of the atonement as being synonymous with atonement theory altogether. Most progressive Christians have an atonement theology. Most of us embrace either the moral example theory of the atonement or the Christus victor Theory of the atonement.

Roger Wolsey, author, “Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like Christianity”

Roger Wolsey 74 days ago

Fulfilling a prophecy

Jesus died to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy that goes back to Genesis. It declares that there would be permanent enmity between Satan and the human race; that the power of Satan would eventually be overcome by a human being, and that in the process of destroying the power of Satan, the Savior would suffer. In crushing Satan’s “head,” the Savior’s “heel” would be attacked.

danielle gardner 76 days ago

atonement theology

Thank you, I fully agree that the father does not want or need sacrifice to atone for mankind’s sin.
Jesus did not teach atonement theology. He instructed his disciples to make disciples teaching them all the things he had taught them. He died to fulfil the Law (Matt 5:17) and bring it to and end.
His father had purchased the slaves from Pharaoh – at the cost of the 1st born of Egypt – the Hebrews then became his slaves Lev 25:42, 55. The price of a slave was 30 shekels but since God does not deal in coin and since the only thing man owns outright is the life-giving spirit Ecc. 12:7 God cut short the lives of Egypt’s first born (from God’s view these lives are owed to them because they were not deem evil, e.g. Sodom etc.).
Jesus repaid (will repay in the resurrection) this price by becoming the Passover Lamb (Isa 53:11). He was then in a position to set Jews free from the Law, fulfilling it. Although by that time they denied ever having been slaves, they nonetheless had been slaves of man and were slaves of God. Jesus was then in a position to set them free (John 8:36)
His teaching, which he instructed his disciple to teach (Matt 28:20) is what will set mankind on the road leading to life (Matt 7:14) He emphasized that at the time of his return he would be looking for those that are doing this - Matt 7:1-14, 24-26 is the primer. Atonement theology plays not part in this, if anything it is the carcass.

coccus ilicis Jon 4:7 362 days ago


Dear Sir,
I sincerely agree with what you have written. Two tensions I have noted in my own reflection:
1) That I do not adhere to predestination and hence the notion that God planned for Christ's death on the cross
2) That God is good and Him murdering His own Son is morally contradictory.

However, in my own reflection, I have also struggled with two other notions:
1) That Paul does in his Letters relate Jesus death as having taken on our sin, and I'm sure we all know it leads to the doctrine of penal substitution atonement and the now (in)famous Piper v.s NT Wright debate. But anyway, I tried to rationalize this by stating that Paul could be describing Jesus's death metaphorically. Is this a safe train of thought? (I don't believe in Biblical inerrancy)

Secondly though, I am still struggling to reconcile the idea of old testament sacrifices. If indeed, Jesus is the fulfillment of the old testament sacrifices as proposed by many and taking into account that his death is not necessary, then I reckon, the old testament sacrifices needs to be seen in a new light as opposed to the current teachings that old testament sacrifices are a form of placing your sin upon the animal to be sacrificed.

Yours sincerely
JJ Tan (Singapore)

JJ Tan more than 4 years ago


I greatly appreciate your candid remarks regarding a difficult subject. How do you approach such a threatening idea within your church community? While I try to address such things in my Sunday school class, I feel many within my church community still cling to childhood beliefs. Please understand I am not saying that is bad, but our church needs to more openly share other interpretations of the Christian message.

Terry McGauvran more than 5 years ago

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