Does penal substitution contribute to oppression?

I received this email today-I read with interest your article on Steve Chalke and The lost message of Jesus? posted on Sunday November the 21st 2004.I am currently doing a dissertation for my theology degree.....and came upon this article during some research. My dissertation is about the atonement theory and whether the theory of penal substitution is necessary to Christianity. You seem to feel extremely strongly that the idea that Jesus'? death as an atonement for our sins is essential to you … [Read more...]

Evangelicalism RIP – killed by its friends?

Blogotional did a great job of bringing together my call for us to learn from any corner we can with pyromaniacs concerns about the decline of the concept of evangelical as in any way useful as a definition.One of the things that Phil and I spoke of minutes before the first london bombers was what we termed an evangelical war over doctrine which was being fought by theological 'terrorists'. Up till now I havent wanted to share that term as recent events made it seem inappropriate. Imagine my … [Read more...]

New perspectives on Paul and penal substitution- more audio

Listened to a great talk from Phil Johnson today. It covers N.T.Wright, New Perspectives on Paul, Steve Chalke and the atonement in a very helpful way. Phil has excelled himself and if you are looking for a critical review of Wright then look no further than this talk.Carson has also got some good messages on this subject online. … [Read more...]

What is Traditional Evangelical Thought?

Deep calls to Deep - A New Kind of Christian asks"How old does something? have to be to be considered traditional?......Traditions can be a few years old, as some of our family Christmas traditions are, such as opening stockings on the bed, or they can stretch back several thousand years. An awful lot of traditions that we hold to though simply stretch back a few generations or a few hundred years, but have become in the minds of us who hold them, truths for all time."So far, fair enough. I … [Read more...]

More on emergent church

Back last April Christianity Magazine did a good article critiquing the drive to close down congregations and replcace them with "emerging church" structures. They described Key Insights of the emergents many of which are valid, but they also listed concerns which could be aired.KEY INSIGHTS1. That most churches have moved away from the pioneering spirit of the early church to be focused on set meetings.2. Many Christians find commitment to church activities leaves no time or energy … [Read more...]

Joel Edwards of the Evangelical Alliance comments further on the Steve Chalke debate

In a letter from the heart Joel Edwards says of Steve Chalke-Firstly, I am not convinced that Steve really has answered the plethora of key biblical texts dealing with the relationship between wrath, judgement and punishment. (Isaiah 53:1-11 and Romans 5:8-11 and the book of Hebrews for starters.) Apart from the concept of punishment, what can it possibly mean to say "the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,"? (Isa 53:5) These passages simply cannot be waved away by an emphasis on … [Read more...]

A more detailed report of the Chalkegate meeting

UPDATE November 2008- Steve Chalke has expressed his views more fully in a chapter in The Atonement Debate, and I have posted a response to this.Leaving Munster was disappointed but does a good job of describing the public EA debate on Steve Chalke from his perspective- I hadnt seen this before today: "It was enjoyable but, ultimately, a little disappointing. The really disappointing thing, from my perspective, was that the responses againt Steve weren't good enough. That's my own subjective … [Read more...]

Why "neo-liberal" ?

I thought I would defend my new nickname "neo-liberalism" by looking at the definition of classic "liberalism" from a theological perspective. The concise Oxford Dictionary states theological liberalism is "regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change". Since neo-liberalism indeed does just that but with post-modern thought and does indeed dispense with classical evangelical beliefs then surely this is a good word to coin? Its certainly … [Read more...]

Emergent – surely not all bad?

Whilst it is clear from the UK website that there is a close association with Steve Chalke, recently criticised by the UK Evangelical Alliance, I think it is important not to throw out everything that the "emergent" movement are saying. Tony Campallo in a recent article stated that the movement expresses what I call "progressive evangelicalism. Whilst I might be more happy to describe much of what is being said as neo-liberalism I do think that an important conversation must be had. We cannot … [Read more...]

Surely the neo-liberals can do better than this?

Stuart Murray Williams was a speaker in defence of Steve Chalke before he was censored by the EA. I thought I would read his article and give you the chance to- it is of course only fair having questioned (as has the EA) whether it is possible to take his view of the atonement and still call yourself an evangelical christian.The criticisms Steve Murray levels against classical penal substitutionary theory are all rational arguments rather than biblical expositions.There is always a danger … [Read more...]


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