Jump to content

Hello, What's Your Favourite Atonement Theory?


Phil
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dear all,

 

Greetings!

 

Why I am here: last summer I graduated from university and fell headlong into the free-market utopia that is the present-day British economy. Oops! Between brief, intermittent flirts with employment I have chiefly spent my time contemplating Jesus, Scripture and process theology; trying to connect the spiritual dots.

 

What sorts of views do persons here hold regarding the nature of Jesus' death (and possible resurrection?) Any responses or links to relevant threads would be really appreciated. ^_^

 

Shalom,

 

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil, Shalom. I hope between encounters with the free-market, you will join our discussions.

 

Some here might be interested in learning a little more about your faith background and path.

 

Also, it might be well to start another thread to discuss the question you posed. Or, you might add your thoughts to some previous discussions like these:

 

http://tcpc.ipbhost....__hl__atonement

 

http://tcpc.ipbhost....ment#entry31488

 

http://tcpc.ipbhost....__hl__atonement

 

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am an ardent supporter of the Christus Victor model of atonement. Satisfaction theory and penal substitution remove the good news from the gospel. God becomes the enemy of humankind, since it is His judgement that poses the greatest existential threat to the human experience. Rather than being the One we should be afraid of, God and Jesus are liberators in the Christus Victor model. Sin is understood as chains which bond us to the evil of this world, and through Christ we are freed from being a slave to evil.

 

I highly recommend reading Derek Flood's Penal Substitution vs. Christus Victor. It is the best primer to Christus Victor I have come across. I am not going to lie, it is lengthy, but honestly it is so worth it.

Edited by John Ryan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John,

 

I must say I'm not convinced by the Christus Victor model, though I have more sympathy for it. Penal Substitution imposes a God of fury and blood-thirst, a view which caused real psychological harm to me as a teenager. Christus Victor seems to focus too much on personified evil for me to really 'get it', however, I'm open to being persuaded, and I'll check out the link.

 

Thanks for the replies!

 

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW, my favourite theory is that there was no atonement. Jesus was a passionate man, in love with his God, railing against the existing system of domination and control. Some people were threatened by that, so they killed him. The end.

 

I don't think he was resurrected in any sense other than the memory of him lives on (although potential distorted some 2000 years later. That said, I don't know what happens after we die so I couldn't say if the person of Jesus exists in some way, shape or form. I've never seen or heard him anyway.

Edited by PaulS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to agree with PaulS. I do not think in terms of atonement, but rather of "good news". I think Jesus' purpose was to spread the good news of our connectedness with God and with one another. In doing so, imo, he threatened that domination system PaulS mentioned and he got himself in big trouble with the local domination, i.e. the ruling temple authorities. It may have been Roman soldiers there at the cross, but it was the temple authorities (NOT "the Jews") who condemned Jesus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John,

 

I must say I'm not convinced by the Christus Victor model, though I have more sympathy for it. Penal Substitution imposes a God of fury and blood-thirst, a view which caused real psychological harm to me as a teenager. Christus Victor seems to focus too much on personified evil for me to really 'get it', however, I'm open to being persuaded, and I'll check out the link.

 

Thanks for the replies!

 

Phil

I lack a belief in the ontological reality of a Devil, or personified evil. So, I view the personification of evil in a metaphorical sense with Christus Victor.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have a favorite theory. I do find short ideas or stories that reveal ways in which we are renewed, reflecting the complexity of the resurrection as story. Here are several.

  • from Peter Abelard: the crucifixion awakens compassion in us and through that compassion we are made whole.
  • The known world is destroyed so that we may move into a new world
  • We are stripped bare - as Job - so that we become aware of what is eternally true
  • Some may see simply the truth: the Divine Spark is within, within all that is.

 

From Joan of Arcadia TV series

 

Little Girl God: And they all lived happily ever after? (Joan turns) There's a surprise. (Joan scoffs) You guys really like that ending.

Joan: Yeah, well, you have a better one?

Little Girl God: They all moved towards spiritual growth and enlightenment?

Joan: Yeah. That's gonna work with the kids.

Little Girl God: Ever notice that the guy always has to risk his life and the girl is nearly dead when he finds her? It takes a kiss to wake her up and they ride off together. It's a nice metaphor.

Joan: For what?

Little Girl God: Death and resurrection.

Joan: Yeah. Well, that's a fun party game.

Little Girl God: It happens all the time. The illusion dies so that something deeper can take its place.

Joan: (sits down) Are you saying that... Adam and I are an illusion?

Little Girl God: Romance serves a purpose. It’s a meditative state. It puts logic to sleep so that people can come together. Otherwise you guys probably wouldn't risk it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those who prefer narrative to bullet points here from Lamb, the Gospel according to Bif

Joshua made as if to embrace the old man [Melchior], then instead just poked him in the shoulder. Once and only once, I saw Melchior smile. “But you haven’t taught me everything I need to know,” Josh said.

 

“You’re right, I have taught you nothing. I could teach you nothing. Everything that you needed to know was already there. You simply needed the word for it. Some need Kali and Shiva to destroy the world so they may see beyond illusion to divinity in them, others need Krishna to drive them to the place where they may perceive what is eternal in them. Others may perceive the Divine Spark in themselves only by realizing through enlightenment that the spark resides in all things, and in that they find kinship. But because the Divine Spark resides in all, does not mean that all will discover it. Your dharma is not to learn, Joshua, but to teach.”

...

“We [three wisemen] were seekers. You are that which is sought, Joshua. You are the source. The end is divinity, in the beginning is the word. You are the word.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the

dualism of death and life there is a harmony. We know that the life of a soul, which is finite in its expression and infinite in its principle, must go through the portals of death in its journey to realize the infinite. It is death ... RABINDRANATH TAGORE .

 

I like the at one ment Theory, atonement. Jesus in a moment united with the pure consciousness of the Father or whole or ocean of pure consciousness. He died to the unit consciousness and merged with the one. "I and the Father are One." I feel he died to the physical unit consciousness to merge in the infinite consciousness. No longer holding on to the unit, but seeing the unit in the infinite. The Divinity within is in-the-finite and infinite.

 

Duality is a constant striving and suffering for us to maintain the separateness of ourself. The atonement or attainment, I feel represents what has been gained. I think the church’s concentration on the pain and sacrifice are showing the duality without explaining the unity. I feel it has left out the highest part of the theory which is the awareness of unity starting from duality. I feel this is in the teaching of Jesus, the unity of duality in the Father or Ocean of Pure Consciousness.

 

The Water Cycle comes from the Ocean being separated, journeys to the mountain, down the river, over falls but in the end merges in the Ocean again uniting in love and peace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Phil, Welcome to the forum. We seem to be getting a small number of us from the UK and I find that exciting.

 

I do not believe in an attonment theory. I just go with your forgiven because God is love and can do no other and this life (IHMO) is about learning to grow with God.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum, Phil. Nice to see folks from across the pond joining us!

 

My favorite 'atonement theory' is that in God we live and move and have our being, that nothing separates us from His love.

 

Of course, we are not always aware of God's presence with and within us. This is where it helps to have our spiritual eyes and ears opened. And this is where it helps to have religious luminaries, such as Jesus, reveal this truth to us. In this sense, I don't think Jesus' death accomplished anything in changing our relationship to/with God. Rather, I think his death showed us that even in our darkest hour when it seems that all of life and even God Himself has abandoned us, we still call Him "Father" and can commit our lives and spirits to Him. We might feel forsaken, but He is with us always.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Phil and a late welcome.

 

I have no favorite "Atonement theory" as i never was one much for theories. In fact i attempt to avoid having much of a belief system. To me God is a living reality, the rest to me is just all filler.

 

Again welcome and feel free to share your views.

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi folks,

 

Joseph, some days I would agree with your minimalist view; other days I feel the need for something 'more'. I suppose I'm conditioned to cling to false certainties, but from Evangelicalism to Progressivism feels like swinging from broken dogmas to empty platitudes; and like a magnetic pendulum I'm repelled continually back and forth.

 

I would love to abandon metaphysics altogether, simply living as Jesus lived, for the pleasure of God, but even that would necessitate countless metaphysical assumptions anyway: the nature of God; the historicity of the Gospels; etc...

 

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil,

Perhaps you will find a balance amid the freedom allowed here that suits you by sharing with and considering other perspectives . In my experience, each has to follow the leading that makes the most sense to them for now and hopefully we will all end up in a unity of Spirit.

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

My favourite atonement theory is:

 

The word comes from at one ment

 

This fits in with John 10:30, the ultimate heresy for some

I and the Father are one.

 

To be at one with god

Edited by romansh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service