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Substitutionary Atonement: One of Many Perspectives

I have often annoyed people by saying both that I believe in substitutionary atonement, though I prefer not to use “penal substitutionary atonement,” and also do not believe it is the sole reason for, view of, or metaphor to describe what God did in the atonement. So it’s nice to link to Roger Olson, who…

Thinking about a Crucified God
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Thinking about a Crucified God

My company, Energion Publications, recently released a book What’s God Really Like?. It’s endorsed by Brian Zahnd; In What’s God Really Like?, S. J. Hill invites us to become fascinated by God and, in that fascination, to move beyond the fear-based themes that have so often distorted our image of God. With a focus on Jesus and Scripture,…

Bloody Sacrifices and Salvation
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Bloody Sacrifices and Salvation

One of the problems with understanding biblical talk about salvation is that we do not live with a sacrificial system. For many Christians, the whole idea of sacrifices is that someone sinned and a bloody sacrifice was required for atonement. Christians believe that because of one bloody sacrifice, that of Jesus on the cross, no…

Sunday School: Thinking about Sacrifices
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Sunday School: Thinking about Sacrifices

I’m preparing to teach tomorrow, and the main text is Hebrews 4:14-5:10. The quarterly is kind enough to stop just before the author tells his readers/hearers that the topic is difficult and they’re not very bright! Nonetheless, the idea of priesthood brings up the idea of “sacrifice” and “sacrifices,” and these are two concepts that I…

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Penal Substitution is ONE of the Ways to Talk about the Atonement

I think The Truth Is … Out There on the Wesley Bros. Blog did a good job of expressing this. To my liberal brothers and sisters: Yes, I do believe in penal substitution. To my conservative brothers and sisters: No, I don’t believe in it as the one and only way to believe in or…

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Atonement: The Error Adrian Warnock and Giles Fraser Share

Adrian says it wouldn’t be Easter “without a row about the atonement” and he has promptly located one in a Guardian article by Giles Fraser, in which Fraser says: Thinking about the celebration of Holy Week in my new adopted cathedral brings home to me quite how important it is for Christians to insist upon…

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Adrian and Dave Warnock on the Atonement

So far as I know, no, they’re not related. Adrian is concerned with the suggestion that anything in the Bible might be culturally conditioned. Wake up and smell the coffee, Adrian! Practically all of Hebrew scriptures is about leading people from here to there. The narrative is built around the exodus, about physically moving from…

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Guilty of Pastoral Malpractice

Thom Rainer posted an article on Lifeway’s Web Site claiming that pastors who did not preach penal substitutionary atonement (he didn’t use the term, he described the doctrine in very strong terms) are guilty of pastoral malpractice. He used the word “treasonous.” Will, a United Methodist pastor and blogger pleads guilty in that case. I…