Gospel as Atonement Theory

Peter Leithart | 3.1.2016 | Atonement

In a characteristically pithy essay, Robert Jenson has decried the “two paired errors” of traditional atonement theory. On the one hand, the cross is separated “from its future, in the resurrection” and, on the other, from “its past in the canonical history of Israel.” For the apostles, crucifixion is “anything but beneficial” without resurrection, while for Anselm “God and humanity are reconciled when Jesus dies, and the Resurrection tidies up.” Ignoring Israel’s history leaves the impression that “the Creator could just as well have sent his Son to reunite humanity with himself . . . without having done any of the works described in the Old Testament after the first chapter of Genesis.” Abraham, Exodus, exile and return have retained some role in the preaching and liturgical celebration of the cross, but, Jenson points out, “many powerful systems” of theology “make no use of the Old Testament except as witness to Creation and sin and as religious background for Jesus.”[1]

To those complaints I add a third that Jenson mentions but does not develop: 

Read more at https://theopolisinstitute.com/gospel-as-atonement-theory/


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