Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


The Atonement

Alastair has recently posted some excellent thoughts (in essay-length!) on the subject of the Atonement, particularly critiquing the predominant evangelical retribuitive view. Very good stuff, well worth reading through and thinking over. Here is an excerpt:
The purpose of Christ’s death was not primarily that of compensating or taking the punishment for the sins of the past, but that of establishing the gracious foundation for the future. Those who think in terms of retributive punishment often lose sight of this. Jesus came in order to bring in the new creation and the new covenant. The cross does not leave us merely as forgiven sinners, but as participants in a new creation.

In order to bring in the new world order Jesus had to deal with the old apostate humanity. He did this by bearing it down to death on the cross. Through His death and resurrection Jesus reestablished the loving reciprocity between God and man and established a new faithful humanity, governed by the Spirit. The greatest act of God the Father’s self-giving (‘who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all’) led to the giving back of humanity to God in Christ (who gave Himself up for the Church, His Bride). Eucharist fellowship between God and man was reestablished by the cross of Jesus Christ.

By being incorporated in Christ’s act of self-giving we are drawn into the relationships that exist within the Triune God. Christ’s incarnation, death, resurrection, ascension and Pentecost are all moments in a Trinitarian movement into which the Church as Christ’s Bride is being introduced.


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