The Monster God of Penal Substitutionary Atonement

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penal substitution

Largely helpful in expressing alternative understandings of relevant Hebrews texts, though he does take some time to set a match to a few straw men in the piece. Of course his larger challenge, which other of his writings suggests he knows, is being a faithful priest in a church where one can take crucial portions of his alternative readings about Jesus (God with skin) and his resurrection and be officially approved in saying none of it was literal (no virgin birth, no bodily resurrection, no transcendent atonement beyond moral influence in loving martyrdom)...take it all seriously and none of it literally. The product is a domesticated Jesus, house-broken of any of the ruffian tendencies of scruffy Southern Holiness Methodism, a Jesus now suitable to sit pensively in the Bodleian Library at Oxford in comfortable and harmless study. Abuses in preaching and teaching the substitutionary atonement? Yes, and amen, and he is positioned to speak to that, albeit from a now rearview mirror perspective. Substance to this understanding of substitutionary atonement? Yes also, and tears and penitence at those now-discarded altars not always or only prompted by neurosis but by grace.

Bob 18 days ago

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