Although we watched the “Monster God or Monster Man” debate between Dr Michael Brown and Brian Zahnd some time ago, we only recently stumbled across this interesting review of it (which contains a link to the debate). The debate is a great starting point to get a handle on the issues… and then Rob Grayson’s review provides helpful reflection.
If you like being astounded by God and being built up by a dose of pure Gospel, then set aside 54 mins and watch (or listen) to this. Peter has profound insights and understanding that I have never seen the likes of before, and I doubt I ever will again. Bathe, soak, drown… and be renewed:
This presentation from the January Series, Calvin College 2017 is well worth a listen. Tom Wright explores what the Kingdom of God is about, and shows what is woefully missing from our Western “theories” of the atonement.
For a clear understanding of the issues as stake in this debate, the whole talk is definitely worth the investment (Tom actually starts 5 mins in). Tom is clear and persuasive.
If you don’t have time and just want a pertinent “highlight” start at 40 mins in (stopping at around 44 mins, or 49 mins):
(N.B. I would challenge/disagree with his phrasing in a sentence or two, but it’s relatively minor. I still thought the talk was excellent)
A common theme of the Apostle Paul is ‘we are in Christ and Christ is in us’. Paul does not talk imputation, he talks union.
One verse that has puzzled me a lot is II Corinthians 5:21
What does it mean for Christ to become (or be made) “sin”? How can one who does not know sin, nor has committed any sin, become “sin”?
On what basis do we claim that, in divine forbearance, God made an omission that he now has to put right?
Must God punish all sin? Was he, in effect, storing it up under the Old Covenant until the day that Jesus would be punished for every last sin ever committed?
Let us examine closely the usual ‘go to’ passage presented in support of this argument. Continue reading “The book of Romans, and “passing over” sin”
We recently came across this article by Derek Vreeland. It is a thoughtful piece and makes a helpful contribution to the debate. You’ll need to read it through to the end, though, or you’ll entirely miss the point he’s making:
In this excellent article, Nick demonstrates why we need to understand Jesus’ cry of abandonment as a prayer, and that the entire Psalm was clearly in mind. He also addresses some of the issues with trying to use the ‘cry’ from the Gospel narrative as the basis for forming doctrine.
As long as our thinking remains shaped by the scheme of this age… our understanding of the cross will inevitably be conformed to the world’s ideas of justice and peace
Darrin W. Snyder Belousek has written a book that anyone and everyone who holds to the Penal Substitution view of the Atonement should read. Deftly and carefully he examines our presuppositions against the biblical text.
Early on, as he sets out the purpose of writing this book, he quotes J. Lawrence Burkholder:
“…the Bible is seldom, if ever, approached without presuppositions. They change from age to age. Frequently they reflect quite unconsciously a framework of meaning and habits of thought that are supplied by the prevailing world view.” Continue reading “Atonement and the nature of God’s Justice”
Doctor Foster went to Gloucester, In a shower of rain; He stepped in a puddle, Right up to his middle, And never went there again. (Nursery Rhyme, c.1844)
Suppose a man was walking down a street one day in torrential rain. The road has become like a river. As he crosses the road, the ground opens up beneath him; a sink hole had developed under the swollen waters. Plunging down through the water to chest height he lands on a craggy, uneven surface. His leg is broken in several places.
Some time ago there was a rallying call to focus more on “our holiness”. David Searight responded with a masterful, counter-cultural, truly biblical challenge to the prevailing voices. It is so good it deserves a wider hearing and so here it is – David’s refreshing, soul-lifting understanding on what it is to be holy….
(David Searight is a former Mentor with Cor Deo)