Justice and Peace — and Atonement

Darrin W. Snyder Belousek teaches philosophy and religion at Ohio Northern University and Bluffton University. He taught previously at various church-related colleges—Louisburg College, Bethel College, Lithuania Christian College, Goshen College, and St. Mary’s College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and has studied at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He has published [Read More…]

Beyond Atonement Theories

In the last decade or so atonement theories grabbed the center of theological discussion. Which theory was best? Penal substitution, the essence of the atonement for much of conservative Protestants and evangelicalism, was asked to sit down a while so that other theories could be given attention, including the classic Christus Victor theory so well [Read More…]

Kingdom and Cross

It is too easy to want kingdom and forget the cross, or make it part of one’s agenda; and it is too easy to want cross, and not know what to make of the kingdom. But Israel’s Story, Israel’s God, the people of God, and the clash of the forces of evil with the ways [Read More…]

Anabaptism and Atonement: Thomas Finger

This from Thomas Finger, A Contemporary Anabaptist Theology, 361-362, where we find one of Anabaptism’s finest theologians seeking to do justice to both the Anabaptist tradition (which he says was most centrally Christus Victor) and to the Bible, articulates his own view as follows: What do you think of this explanation of atonement? Adequate? Sufficient? [Read More…]

Pardons, Forgiveness and America’s Justice

A Christian governor, Haley Barbour, pardoned a bundle of criminals and he did so on the basis of his Christian theology of forgiveness. What he did is a tradition in Mississippi. What say you? “The historical power of clemency by the governor to pardon felons is rooted in the Christian idea of giving second chances,” [Read More…]

Simply Jesus 5

Perhaps the most perplexing issue in the historical Jesus debate of the last two decades was how to make a solid connection between Jesus’ kingdom vision and the crucifixion as an atoning death. How, some of us were asking, do we get from Luke 4:16-30, Jesus’ inaugural kingdom sketch, to Romans 3:21-26? Many historical Jesus [Read More…]

Exploring Love Wins 7

The 5th chp in Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, is called “Dying to Live.”  I am asking that you pause quietly and slow down enough to pray this prayer as the way to approach this entire series: O Lord, you have [Read More…]

Day Zero, an illustration of atonement

A theologian friend sent this to me. It is by Gordon Coulter, and is an exploration of biblical ideas on atonement through an experience with cancer. By Gordon L. Coulter, Ed.D., with James S. Miser, M.D. “What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus: What can make me whole again? Nothing [Read More…]

Beyond the Abyss 4

Admittedly, this is not the typical way to start off a Monday morning, but we are going through Sharon Baker’s book, and the topic she deals with — the justifiability or unjustifiability of hell — is a serious topic and one worthy of our best thinking. In chp 3 of Sharon Baker’s Razing Hell: Rethinking [Read More…]

Saturday Afternoon Book Review: Marcus Maher

Marcus Maher, an M.Div. student who blogs at Zetountes, writes this review on a most important book and an increasing, relational trend in Paul’s soteriology. One thing I hope you observe in this review is his fair-minded description and his charitable approach to disagreement.    Inhabiting the Cruciform God: Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul’s [Read More…]