What kind of gospel, or what kind of atonement theory, must be articulated in order to lead evangelicals out of their blindness into a life that pursues both reconciliation with God and with others? This is the question asked by Paul Metzger in the 3d chapter of his book Consuming Jesus.
He plays in this chp with the deep magic of Narnia and with Aslan’s victory; in short, he operates here with a strong sense of ransom theory: that Jesus conquers evil and liberates.
Jesus devours legalistic distortions and divisions. “Like Aslan… Christ turned the tables on the principalities and powers by veiling himself in creaturely flesh and humbling himself to death on the cross” (76). “Separation (legalism) as well as supersessionism (gentile Christians displacing Israel) and antinomianism (antagonism to the law) are all equally demonic” (77).
“Today’s problems of race and class in America are not rooted in torture and oppression, but in liberated choice and pleasure: they are bound up with the subtle law of consumer preference” (80). “… one must choose to be real …”.
“Greedy zeal for a false utopian vision of homogeneity and upward mobility threatens to consume the church, rebuilding the wall of division between those of different ethnicities and classes through free-market consumer church-growth strategies, as well as prosperity-gospel preaching to the poor” (85). Here he goes after Joel Osteen.
“The Christian religion … offers energizing hope that mobilizes the church to become downwardly mobile and to partner with the downtrodden to take action and do something about their oppressive circumstances” (86).