The Atonement

A Wrathless Atonement Signifies a Meaningless Death

Theories of atonement are several. Sometimes they overlap, i.e., there is certainly victory in the penal substitutionary death of Christ. But various atonement theories are opposed to one another and irreconcilable. Whether they are irreconcilable with one another is of less concern than whether Scripture supports them. One also has to be careful to note that quite often, people hold to elements from more than one theory, to parts of a theory but not the…

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The Atonement

How to Make Sense of Old Testament Violence?

In two prior blog posts I’ve critiqued Greg Boyd’s Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence. In this final post, I want to summarize my assessment and give reasons why I think Boyd’s proposal fails to deliver, indeed, in some cases it does the opposite. Boyd’s purpose is to explain how to make sense of the violence we find in the Old Testament in such a way that it…

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The Atonement

Is God Active in the Cross?

Theories of the atonement are often a proxy for wider theological positions, and how we answer the question “what is God like?” As I noted in my last post, I am working my way through Greg Boyd’s Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence. In that previous post, I discussed the “cruciform hermeneutic” that Boyd puts forth as the key to how we understand the Bible. I was critical…

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The Atonement

Does a “Cruciform Hermeneutic” Help Us Make Sense of Scripture?

I’ve had several discussions online with some who dismiss the wrath of God as having any part in either the atonement, or indeed, as part of who God is. Someone has recommended Greg Boyd’s Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence as a good presentation of an alternative way to view the topic. As I make my way through this book, I am recording thoughts and reactions. Boyd begins…

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The Atonement

God’s Wrath Satisified: What Propitiation Accomplished

In my last post I looked at the fact of God’s wrath at sin, and showed that in both testaments, the teaching of Scripture is clear that God is justly angry at sin and evil. That he expresses his wrath against sin and sinners is also the consistent teaching of the Bible. What, then, does Scripture mean when it speaks of propitiation? It may be that the determining factor in one’s view of the topic…

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The Atonement

Why Is Propitiation Needed? The Wrath of God For Sin

In some of the various theories of the atonement, wrath as a concept has fallen away as having any part in what God is doing. It doesn’t seem to be only a question of viewing the atonement under a Christus Victor model, or a satisfaction model.  Rather, it is that wrath and judgement upon sin are seen as odious ideas—that for God, who is love, to express wrath would be inconsistent with his nature and…

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