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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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understandings of atonement
Understandings of Atonement

1. What is atonement?

2. Seven models of atonement.

axis interpretation
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
Models of Atonement

SACRIFICE

CHRISTUS VICTOR

ransom

SATISFACTION

DEIFICATION

recapitulation

PENAL SUBSTITUTION

POLITICAL LIBERATION

EXEMPLARISM

models of atonement4
Models of Atonement

SACRIFICE

CHRISTUS VICTOR

ransom

SATISFACTION

DEIFICATION

recapitulation

PENAL SUBSTITUTION

POLITICAL LIBERATION

EXEMPLARISM

analysis
Analysis
  • Model description.
    • The larger picture: God, world, human condition.
    • Decisive action.
    • Main images.
  • Problems & questions.
  • Solutions & observations.
  • Chief Protagonists.
  • Biblical references.
sacrifice of isaac typology
Sacrifice of Isaac Typology

“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.”

  • Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. IV. 5. 4.
polycarp s last anaphora
Polycarp’s last anaphora:

“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.

christus victor
Christus Victor

“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.

ransom

CHRISTUS VICTOR

Ransom

Ransom

“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.

slide10

SACRIFICE

RANSOM

SATISFACTION

PENAL SUBSTITUTION

slide11

GOD

Moral Order

disobedience

debt

punishment

Satisfaction = paying the debt + compensating for the offence

death

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:

repentance

works of charity

works of piety

asceticism

All of these are inadequate, because we already owe them to God as a part of our total obedience

obedience

Anselm of Canterbury. Unknown. Flemish, Belgium 1140.

penal substitution
Penal Substitution

“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?

exemplarism
Exemplarism

“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.

patristic exemplarism
Patristic Exemplarism
  • “The Lord of the prophets and Apostles himself lived on this earth as though he had forgotten his divine glory. He was made an example for us. In great mockery he wore a crown of thorns on his head. He bore the spittings, the buffets, and the cross.
  • If God so lived on earth, then it will become you to imitate him… You must be crucified with the Crucified (Rom 8: 17), to suffer with him that suffered, so that you may be glorified with him glorified. The bride must suffer with the Bridegroom and so become partner and co-heir with Christ.”
    • Pseudo-Macarius, Spiritual Homilies, 12. 4-5.
medieval exemplarism18
Medieval Exemplarism

“[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.

liberal protestant exemplarism
Liberal Protestant Exemplarism

“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)

slide22

Basilideans

Ebionites

2nd Century Christianity According to Irenaeus

Carpocratians

Nicolaitans

The

Catholic Church

Old Testament

Mk Mt

Lk Jn

Creed

Unity with Rome

  • No Creed

Sacraments:

Baptism, Eucharist

Basilides, Saturninus

Marcion is expelled

Simon Magus

Bishops, Apostles

Teaching of Christ

Marcionites

Valentinians

  • Luke
  • Paul
  • No Creed
  • John
  • No Creed
  • Matthew
  • No Creed

Ebion (?)

Marcion

Ptolemy, Secundus

Cerinthus (?)

Judaism

Cerdo

Valentinus

Simon Magus

Simon Magus

relation between theodicy and atonement
Relation Between Theodicy and Atonement
  • Standard modern approach: answers to the problem of evil are drawn from natural theology; atonement theories are drawn from revelation.
  • Traditional Christian view: atonement concerns predominate
  • Postmodernity: theodicy concerns predominate
  • Accurate picture: two interlocking circles

Theodicy

Atonement