The Atonement – A Quiz

The Atonement – A Quiz July 3, 2007

As we finally draw towards the close of our series on the atonement, I thought it would be helpful to use the following tool to help us review where we have been. I found this helpful quiz online. Many of these questions address doctrinal issues that we have discussed, although some of them are factual and may not have been answered directly in my posts.

The quiz is meant to be answered from the perspective of what John Stott says in his book The Cross of Christ. It can also be used to helpfully clarify your own position. It’s a simple true/false answer for each question. Why not jot down your answers and then see how they compare to John Stott? You may remember that earlier in the series I shared a quote from Stott with which many today would feel uncomfortable. How much do you agree with Stott?

Before we get to the quiz itself, there are two questions that the writer considers crucial to delineating where we stand on the cross—and I would certainly agree with him.

  • Where is the cross directed? Is it directed toward human beings to change our minds and to bring us to repentance or to change our feelings, or is it directed toward God Himself?
  • Was it absolutely necessary for God to become a man and die in our place?


  1. Crucifixion was regarded with horror in the ancient world.
  2. Jesus did not die of His own choice.
  3. Because Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was foretold in Scripture, he is not to be regarded as responsible for the betrayal.
  4. We must attribute Jesus’ death simultaneously to the plan of God and to the wickedness of human beings.
  5. Human death is not a natural, but a penal event.
  6. It is exaggerating that in the Last Supper Jesus viewed His death as a divinely appointed sacrifice by which the new covenant with its promise of forgiveness would be ratified.
  7. The cup from which Jesus drank in Gethsemane was the emotional and physical trauma of crucifixion.
  8. The cross of Christ shows the gravity of our sins.
  9. Scripture consistently treats human beings as morally responsible agents.
  10. An acknowledgement of human guilt before God diminishes the dignity of human beings.
  11. Because human anger is so often tainted by sin, it is wise never to speak of God’s anger or wrath.
  12. All inadequate documents of the atonement are due to inadequate doctrines of God and man.
  13. Anselm taught that the major effect of Christ’s death was to move the hearts of sinners to love God.
  14. For God to be able to forgive sinners, He Himself needed to be satisfied in His inner being.
  15. There are a few things in God Himself that are incompatible with His true deity.
  16. Christ’s death is rarely presented as a sacrifice in the New Testament.
  17. Theologians have successfully retained the vocabulary of substitution while rejecting penal substitution.
  18. Jesus applied Isaiah 53 to Himself.
  19. The Father and Son should be separated when we are thinking about the atonement.
  20. In the cross, divine love triumphed over divine wrath by divine self-sacrifice.
  21. It is impossible to hold to the historic doctrine of the cross without holding to the historic doctrine of the person of Christ.
  22. There is no sense in which God needed to be propitiated.
  23. The New Testament never presses the imagery of redemption to the point of telling us to whom the ransom was paid.
  24. Christ’s blood does not stand for His death, but for the release of His life.
  25. Justification is the opposite of pollution.
  26. Since the publication of Hans Kung’s book, Justification, there has been widespread proclamation of justification by grace alone through faith alone in the Roman Catholic Church.
  27. Justification should not be separated from union with Christ.
  28. Christ reconciled the cosmic powers by disarming them.
  29. God did not need to be reconciled to us.
  30. In the book of John, the cross is a manifestation of God’s glory.
  31. Although in His forbearance God had temporarily left sins unpunished, now in justice He has punished them in Christ.
  32. Peter Abelard is the father of the moral influence theory of the atonement.
  33. Gustav Aulén, in Christus Victor argued for the importance of the moral influence theory of the atonement.
  34. In the cross, the conquest of our enemies was achieved and consummated.
  35. We ought not to ascribe saving efficacy to both Christ’s death and resurrection equally.
  36. Because Christ has set us free from the law, Christians have no obligation to obey God’s law.
  37. Because Christ died for our sicknesses as well as for our sins, there is healing in the atonement.

The quiz was written by Robert Peterson of Covenant Theological Seminary, and there is a great article online that has the answers and an explanation for each question.

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