Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Atonement - Again...

Scot McKnight has thoughts on a collection of essays by evangelical scholars, The Glory of the Atonement. McKnight notes that the emphasis of the book is Penal Substitution.

In short, this view believes the wrath of God (the Father) was poured out on the Son and absorbed by the Son. In this way, the balance of justice is maintained: sin brings judgment (wrath) and the wrath of God must be propitiated. The book’s emphasis is out of balance if one is seeking for anything like a comprehensive theory of atonement in the Bible — for there is more than one (the judicial) story.

My own thoughts on the matter have been variously discussed in Wrath and Atonement and here. I must confess I was rather disappointed with the collection of essays, and I hope McKnight's book brings a balance to the force by noting the range of stories that describe the accomplishments of the cross, resurrection and sending of the Spirit.
I'm rather surprised at this perspective, given the paucity of evidence for it's assertions. I'd like to see McKnight's notion of "protection" investigated more, as that seems exegetically and theologically promising. But not for this student, who is drowning in his own Drama of Doctrine...

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