Passovering Your Atonement Theory

It is a fact that most atonement theories operate on the basis of (lightly understood and sometimes seriously distorted) Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is also a fact that Jesus and Paul connect the cross to Passover. It is also a fact that very few atonement theories give any attention to Passover. Passover [Read More…]

Jesus, the Evangelists, and Modern Evangelists’ Atonement Theories

Gulp. Early in NT Wright’s chapter “The Story of the Rescue” (in The Day the Revolution Began) we get this imaginary conversation between the four evangelists and modern evangelists, the latter of whom operate with a very particular theory of the atonement called penal substitution (and, yes, that is operative in nearly all gospel tracts): One [Read More…]

Surprised by the Cross: What If?

The narrative or the story into which one places the cross determines both the problem and the result. If the problem is wrath, the solution is pacification. If the problem is enmity, the solution is reconciliation. If the problem is slavery, the solution is liberation. Each of these, at one time or another, has been [Read More…]

Gospel vs. Caricature

He’s done it again. Josh Butler has a second book: The Pursuing God: A Reckless, Irrational, Obsessed Love That’s Dying to Bring Us Home. This book, Pursuing God, is nothing less than an explanation of the gospel of God’s pursuing love against the all-too-common caricatures that both turn some folks off to the faith and are preached by some [Read More…]

Squeamish About the Bible’s Blood Speak? (Jason Micheli)

Jason Micheli will be posting reflections on Fleming Rutledge’s new book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, through Lent. Jason is a United Methodist pastor in DC who blogs at A year and a half ago Hannah Graham, a UVA student from my parish, went missing near her campus. Weeks later her [Read More…]

Fleming Rutledge and the Atonement (by Jason Micheli)

I am beyond delighted that Jason, who has spent the year in cancer treatments and healing, is back on the Jesus Creed blog. I consider Jason a friend and a gifted Methodist pastor. Inside the 16th St Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama hangs a stained glass window featuring an arresting depiction of a brown-skinned Christ [Read More…]

Perplexed by Atonement Theories? The Core of it All

Once a young reader informed me with a robust confidence that the heart of the atonement concerned the wrath of God — and I’ve had others say it’s the love or grace of God while others think it is adjusting the books and getting the ledgers re-assigned. What is it then? Is it propitiation and penal substitution, [Read More…]

Atonement Wars: The Peace of John Wesley (by Wesley Walker)

Wesley Walker is a seminarian at Liberty University School of Divinity and an active member in the Anglican Church in North America. His personal blog can be found here. In Christian circles, what Christ’s death on the cross accomplished is an oft debated topic. Generally, Christians fall into two camps. On one side are those [Read More…]

Book Deal: Jesus and His Death

Baylor University Press is making the clothbound edition of Jesus and His Death available at 40% off plus free shipping. The intent of that book was both to investigate the Gospel evidence in historical context and to present a case for Jesus believing that his own death was atoning. In other words, this was a historical [Read More…]

Good Friday Reflection

On Good Friday we remember the story of Jesus’ death. We participate in that death through eucharist in faith. And we celebrate the good news of that death in thinking and pondering the immense love of God for us — to clear our debt, to shoulder our load, and to remove our sins. Perhaps three [Read More…]