Understandings of Atonement. 1. What is atonement? 2. Seven models of atonement. Axis interpretation. At-one-ment: the restoration of unity between God and estranged humanity: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” (2Cor 5: 19). Models of Atonement. SACRIFICE.
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1. What is atonement?
2. Seven models of atonement.
At-one-ment: the restoration of unity between God and estranged humanity:“God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” (2Cor 5: 19).
“Abraham in faith followed the command of the word of God, and with a ready mind gave up his only-begotten son as a sacrifice to God; that it might also be the good pleasure of God, on behalf of all his seed, to give up His beloved and only-begotten Son as a sacrifice for our redemption.”
“May I be received among [the martyrs] in your presence today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, as you have prepared and revealed beforehand, and have now accomplished, you who are the undeceiving and true God.
For this reason, indeed for all things, I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom to you with him and the Holy Spirit be glory both now and for the ages to come. Amen.” The Martyrdom of Polycarp, 14. 2-3.
“Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” 1Jn 3: 8.
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.” Jn 12: 31.
“For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mk 10: 45, cf. Mt 20: 28.
“[God] forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.” Col. 2: 13-15.
Satisfaction = paying the debt + compensating for the offence
Godman comes and pays humanity’s debt: he is the first human to lead a life of perfect obedience to God and does not owe to die. Yet he chooses to give his life to God. His voluntary death accrues merit in God’s eyes. The believers become participants in Christ’s merits by means of the sacraments.
Our efforts to pay the debt:
works of charity
works of piety
All of these are inadequate, because we already owe them to God as a part of our total obedience
Anselm of Canterbury. Unknown. Flemish, Belgium 1140.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5: 21.
“For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us.” 1 Thess 5: 9
Who is this?
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1Cor 11: 1.
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Pet 2: 21.
“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” 1 Jn 3: 16.
“[O]ur redemption through Christ’s suffering is that deeper affection (dilectio) in us which not only frees us from slavery to sin, but also wins for us the true liberty of sons of God, so that we do all things out of love, rather than fear.”
--Abelard, Commentary on Romans.
“Indeed Christ’s highest achievement consists in this, that He so animates us that we ourselves are led to an ever more perfect fulfillment of the divine will.”
--Friedrich Schleiermacher, The Christian Faith, 456.
F. Schleiermacher (1768-1834)
2nd Century Christianity According to Irenaeus
Unity with Rome
Marcion is expelled
Teaching of Christ