Tagatonement

Jesus, Sacrifice & Forgiveness. Why We Need to Take Another Look.

J

This is a longer than usual piece. So grab a cuppa and take some time… For most of my life I’ve thought that the Old Testament sacrificial system was a way for people to be forgiven for their sins. The death of an animal was a powerful reminder to Israelites that they deserved to die for their sin, but that God accepted the animal as a substitute for them. This then affected the way I read...

Why We Need to Move Away from Substitutionary Atonement

W

The last couple of months I’ve visited a few churches and been struck by how central the idea that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins is in their worship. It’s there in the songs they sing, in the prayers they pray, in the words of the worship leader, and inevitably makes an appearance in the sermon preached. It is the central and defining message. Yet, as I’ve argued in an earlier post...

A Non-Violent Atonement

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In an earlier post I challenged the notion that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins. Since then, people who read the post have asked me what is an alternate understanding of how God puts us right with himself and how do Jesus death and resurrection figure into that. The best answer I have come across is in J Denny Weaver’s A Non-Violent Atonement, which I am currently half way...

Why did Jesus die?

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In a recent post I suggested that the notion that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins is not a particularly convincing notion. This throws many Christians, who, like me, have been raised to think this is the gospel. A little background might help. On my bookshelf I have the very mainstream evangelical  Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. In the entry “Atonement, Theories of the” it states...

It’s the Resurrection, Stupid

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When I was growing up the death of Jesus Christ on a Roman cross was the defining centre of my understanding of Christianity. Jesus’ death was God’s solution to the estrangement between humankind and God that was caused by our sin. Our wrongdoing demanded punishment of the most severe kind – eternal death. As long as that sin was unpunished it was impossible for anyone to share...

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