Atonement theories?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    Penal substitution is maybe the most common atonement theory among baptists, would you say this is correct?

    I have heard a lot about Christus Victor recently, and ran across this site which lists more than 10 (I didn't know there were that many)

    Which do you think fits the Biblical revelation the best?
     
  2. 12strings

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    A few passages that I believe are problematic if one rejects any form of the statement "Jesus died in our place."

    Is. 53:
    4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
    yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
    ...10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
    he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

    Romans 3:25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement (or Propitiation, depending on translation) through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

    1 Peter 3:18 -For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
     
  3. Michael Wrenn

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    The earliest Christians had those scriptures, and yet they didn't see them as teaching penal substitution. It took 1000 years for anyone to see "Satisfaction" (Anselm) in the Bible, and 1500 years before someone (Calvin) saw Penal Substitution there.

    Don't know if you want me on this thread; I'll probably bring out discord.
     
  4. Michael Wrenn

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    Another thought: I believe most Baptists would probably hold to some form of substitution, but I wonder if that would be penal substitution. I wish there were some concrete statistics on this.
     
  5. Van

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    Did you copy and paste or link to the 10 theories?

    In any event many folks reject Penal Substitution because it is unbiblical. Many folks accept "Substitutionary Atonement,
    Christ died as the propitiation or means of salvation for the whole world of fallen mankind.

    Not to put too fine a point on it but Penal Substitution is simply a Trojan horse for Limited Atonement. Christ is like a well of living water, anyone put spiritually in Christ undergoes the circumcision of Christ where our body of flesh (sin) is removed.
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    So in other words, Christ's death was NOT an actual atonement, but something that makes atonement possible.
     
  7. Michael Wrenn

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    That's not the way I see it, and that's not what the Christus Victor view teaches.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    Which of course doesn't mean it is correct...just sayin....;)

    I didn't see a link, but know pretty much all the atonement theories out there.

    From a historical perspective I would say most of the major atonement images (key concept here) are legitimate. God provides atonement through substitution (you can use satisfaction here,) yes. This seems to be the primary biblical image. However, we cannot dismiss Christus Victor, scapegoat, ransom (which I separate from Christus Victor), and a couple of others.

    Simply put, I believe atonement is biblical understood as provision and it has many images to help us fully understand it.

    Thus, I don't have a problem with someone teaching other view(s) so long as they are biblical views and not some kind of specific liberation theme. I think the liberation agenda of one or two is troublesome. :)
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

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    please elaborate
     
  10. jaigner

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    Theories of atonement are supposed to be theories. They were never meant to be creedal in importance. They are illustrations to help us understand an event that is otherwise incomprehensible.

    I think penal substitution is helpful to a point, but it still falls short. In fact, it wasn't really ever articulated in the early church. Anselm's satisfaction theory was similar, but without the forensic element. There are others that are also very helpful: Christus Victor, recapitulation, etc.

    I think a healthy view of atonement takes many theories into account without forgetting that any human explanation falls short of the mystery.
     
  11. Van

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    EWF knows that view does not represent Subsitutionary Atonement, it is the same old copy and paste strawman argument that has been posted and rebutted many times. Calvinists offer nothing but a stone wall to any efforts at actual discussion.

    When someone is spiritually placed in Christ, that person's sins are washed away, thus Christ's sacrifice atoned for that person. So Christ's death made possible for anyone's sins to be washed away, and actually washes away the sin penalty of everyone spiritually placed in Christ.

    But rather than address this view, totally biblical, it is distorted and misrepresented and on and on by those that hold unbiblical views such as limited atonement.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    Could you expand on the above statement. Frankly I don't see the connection.
     
  13. 12strings

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    Sorry, I forgot to post the link in my OP. Here it is...I think it has 12 different theories summarized.

    http://www.theopedia.com/Atonement_of_Christ

    Also, after reading closer, I realize this sites descriptions are very vague, and probably not the best. but it does list some variations
     
    #13 12strings, Sep 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2012
  14. awaken

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    What did Jesus actually do for us? I will start in Romans...

    Romans 3:23: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
    Romans 3:24: "and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
    Romans 3:25: "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--"

    Romans 5:6: "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."
    Romans 5:7: "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die."
    Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
    Romans 5:9: "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" [/B
    ]Romans 5:10: "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"
    Romans 5:11: "Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

    Romans 5:18: "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."
    Romans 5:19: "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."

    Romans 6:10: "The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God."
     
  15. 12strings

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    Sorry, I guess I fail to see the distinction between Penal Substitution and Substitution atonement. Did Christ not pay the penalty (penal) for our sin?
     
  16. 12strings

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    I agree very much with this assesment. There are many things that Christ's death and resurection accomplished. However, I think that if one removes the substitutionary aspect and/or the payment for sins aspect, one is missing a large part of why Jesus came, and is also not adequately accounting for many scriptures that seem to say those things.
     
  17. 12strings

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    Could you give us a summary of the Christus victor view of why Christ had to die?

    Also, do you reject all substitutionary theories? what then does it mean when the bible says christ is a propitiation, or atonement? or that our sin was laid on him?

    I would like you on this thread...Hopefully we can have a civil discussion. I will keep searching the net for good descriptions of Christus victor?
     
  18. 12strings

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    1. I don't know that anyone would say that each one of us deserved the punishment for every other sinner...so that part is a straw man.

    2. I think most theologians would say that Jesus, as infinite God, was able to suffer infinitely in a finite amount of time.

    3. Still, perhaps it is not accurate to say Jesus suffered the exact same punishment we would have suffered had he not died. But it seems he did take our place, and made atonement for the sins we should have been punished for.
     
  19. 12strings

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    The question is: Jesus atoning sacrifice was a ransom to WHOM? God? Satan? Someone else?
     
  20. awaken

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    Jesus never sinned during His life on earth, and He did not become a sinner on the cross. He paid our ransom by becoming our Substitute, and His ruthless torture and brutal execution on the cross perfectly satisfied the Father's righteous requirement.

    The Father did not punish Jesus as a sinner, but instead the Father punished sin itself through Jesus' atoning sacrifice.

    Since Jesus did not become a sinner on the cross, He did not experience the same punishment that sinners deserve, and sinners will not experience what Jesus experienced.
     

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