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Atonement Archives

Saturday Afternoon Book Review: Marcus Maher

posted by Scot McKnight

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 […]

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New Perspective and a Metaphor for Sin

posted by Scot McKnight

Sin has a history, and the history of the use of words for sin sheds light on the current debate about the new perspective on Paul.  Gary Anderson, in his superbly written Sin: A History , demonstrates that the oldest and most […]

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The Gods Aren’t Angry

posted by xscot mcknight

Kris and I sat down the other night to watch Rob Bell’s DVD called The Gods Aren’t Angry. My question: What do you think of it? Did any of you see this live and have a response?

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Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

“I believe in the forgiveness of sins,” a famous line in the Apostles’ Creed, means “I believe in the rebirth of relationships” according to Telford Work in Ain’t Too Proud to Beg (166). To help himself discuss the Lord’s prayer […]

Atonement Thinking

posted by xscot mcknight

Anyone who follows this blog knows we have have a number of conversations about atonement and the various theories associated with it, leading as it did to a recent book of mine called Community called Atonement. But a few new […]

McLaren Reviews McKnight

posted by xscot mcknight

“Atonement Wars”? Let’s Hope Not. A book review of Scot McKnight’s A Community called Atonement by Brian McLaren.

Community called Atonement

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ve received several e-mails today notifying me that Amazon.com is saying A Community called Atonement won’t ship until December. The fine folks down at Abingdon know the book is in stock at Amazon.com and also think you may have received […]

A Community called Atonement

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ve been sitting here waiting to hear if “our” new book, A Community called Atonement, is available and I’m happy to say that it is now in stock at Amazon.com. The issue of atonement is, as you may know, both […]

Atonement as a Life-style

posted by xscot mcknight

Monday I flew down to Nashville where the kind folks at Abingdon — nearly all of them brand new to me — welcomed me into their fine downtown facilities for a book launch for A Community called Atonement, due out […]

Why This Night? A Good Friday Reflection

posted by xscot mcknight

We need to reconsider why it was that Jesus chose Passover (a night of celebrating and remembering liberation) rather than Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (a day of affliction and a day when sins were atoned for). Why does […]

A Lenten Series

posted by xscot mcknight

For Lent this year, I want to do a series that weaves together the “story” of Peter with the “story” of Mary. The two of them, so I hope to show, struggle with the Cross and it is that “story” […]

On Denver

posted by xscot mcknight

A faithful reader of the blog, John Nordlander, gave me a shout, asked me to dinner for a chat, and we went to the Hard Rock Cafe just two blocks down the charm known as 16th Avenue. He shared with […]

A Community called Atonement

posted by xscot mcknight

What do you think? Here is the cover for a book of mine coming out next Fall with Abingdon. It is entitled A Community called Atonement. Not to let the cat out of the bag, but one point (that explains […]

Letters to Emerging Christians

posted by xscot mcknight

Dear Matt, I too was watching the news show when Elie Wiesel, speaking of the Iranian leader, said he should be “excommunicated from humanity.” Wiesel’s words, regardless of how much I’ve learned from him and admire him, struck me as […]

Do Calvinists understand Arminianism? 10

posted by xscot mcknight

This is our last in the series on Roger Olson’s book, Arminian Theology. Myth #10 is that Arminians adhere to the “governmental theory of atonement.” Most may not know what this theory holds, and most may never have heard that […]

On finishing a book

posted by xscot mcknight

I speak for myself, but by the time I have finished a writing project my desk has gotten so cluttered it embarrasses me. The first thing I do after I print out the manuscript or send off the electronic versions […]

Atonement: The Problem 6

posted by xscot mcknight

Here’s a thesis Mark Biddle, in his excellent new study on sin (Missing the Mark), defends in his last chapter: “Sin creates a real circumstance that lingers in the world until it comes to fruition — sometimes with the assistance […]

Atonement: The Problem 5

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the most pressing issues about “sin” for theologians is the issue of intention. Does it count for a sin only when we intend something to be harmful? According to Biddle, in his Missing the Mark, we make a […]

Atonement: The Problem 4

posted by xscot mcknight

Biddle’s fourth chapter in Missing the Mark is concerned with what lies underneath the previous two themes of the problem of sin: the desire to strive to be more than we are (pride) and the fear to become what we […]

Atonement: The Problem 3

posted by xscot mcknight

Missing the Mark, chp. 3, by Mark Biddle. I began wondering where Biddle might lead us when he titles this chapter “Sin: Failure to Embrace Authentic Freedom,” but by the time he was done I thought it was a profound […]

Atonement: The Problem 2

posted by xscot mcknight

The second chapter of Mark Biddle’s book, Missing the Mark, discusses sin from a very important angle: sin as the desire to be more than human. He’s not keen on making this simply hubris or pride or arrogance, but the […]

Atonement: The Problem and What it is

posted by xscot mcknight

Mark Biddle’s book Missing the Mark, with a striking piece of art work on its cover, is the newest and one of the finer books on how the Bible describes sin. Should you ask, my favorite book on sin (if […]

Atonement: The Problem is the Problem

posted by xscot mcknight

The problem for atonement theory is the problem it resolves. In other words, atonement theory is designed to “fix” the problem, and we often describe the problem as sin. But, what is sin? And with it comes the trailer: What […]

More Thoughts on Penal Substitution 2

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ve suggested that the use of “penal substitution” is being used to carry too much weight in the atonement wars going on today. What I’m arguing for, and will in my book, is that we need a bigger and better […]

More Thoughts on Penal Substitution 1

posted by xscot mcknight

In light of my work on a book on atonement and then, on top of that, the CT article I wandered into, it might be good to look at some terms. My big point in many of my comments over […]

Atonement Wars on Good Friday?

posted by xscot mcknight

Mark Dever, a Baptist pastor in Washington, DC, is the author of the featured article in Christianity Today and it appropriately deals with the atonement. But, instead of being a positive description of what the death (and resurrection) is, Dever […]

Emerging Atonement’s Big Question

posted by xscot mcknight

The biggest question the emerging thinkers are asking of the satisfaction theory, and even penal substitution theory, can be found in one simple question and then I’ll let LeRon Shults flesh it out. How would you respond to this way […]

Justification and Atonement

posted by xscot mcknight

I read the volume, well not each and every page, edited by Mark Husbands and Daniel J. Treier, both at Wheaton, called Justification: What’s at Stake in the Debates? — don’t you just love artistic titles? Well, scholarly books rarely […]

Emerging Atonement: The Passion as Story for Us

posted by xscot mcknight

In the third section of Alan Mann’s book, Atonement for a ‘Sinless’ Society, Mann deals with the Passion narrative of the Gospels as a narrative that invites the postmodern self into the text in order to find ontological coherence through […]

Emerging Atonement: Story telling

posted by xscot mcknight

In Alan Mann’s Atonement for a ‘Sinless’ Society, which drew plenty of healthy comment yesterday, there is a big-time emphasis on narrative or story. Whether we talk like this or even think like this or not, “story” or “narrative” gives […]

Emerging Atonement: What is sin?

posted by xscot mcknight

The closest thing I’ve seen to an emerging theory of the atonement is that of Alan Mann, in his book Atonement for a ‘Sinless’ Society: Engaging with an emerging culture, in the new Paternoster series called Faith in an Emerging […]

Atonement: An Emerging Issue 3

posted by xscot mcknight

One of England’s better known Christians, Steve Chalke, has written a book about Jesus that addresses the atonement in his final chapter: “One Act, Two Scenes.” The book is called The Lost Message of Jesus.

Atonement: An Emerging Issue 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Is the doctrine of penal substitution “divine child abuse”? If you haven’t seen this expression before, keep your eyes open because more and more are using it as a rhetorical weapon against the traditional (Reformed) view of atonement.

Atonement: An Emerging Issue

posted by xscot mcknight

Atonement is an emerging issue, both for the emerging movement and for traditional evangelical Protestantism. I’m working on a book for Abingdon on atonement, and presently sorting out some of the literature. The volume by Charles Hill and Frank James […]

Do you know who said this?

posted by xscot mcknight

Here’s another one on atonement: “The logic of punishment was a logic of equivalence (the wages of sin is death); the logic of grace is a logic of surplus and excess.”

Do you know who said this?

posted by xscot mcknight

Atonement is “the radical newness of the practice of the gospel, as over against the tolerated violence of all other human practices.” Jesus’ death is efficacious, not because it satisfies God… but “because it is the inauguration of the ‘political’ […]

Atonement and Postmodernity

posted by xscot mcknight

An excellent brief on how postmodernity intersects with how we understand atonement can be found in Michael Alsford’s essay, “The Atonement and the Post-Modern Deconstruction of the Self,” in J. Goldingay, Atonement Today (pp. 203-221). Essentially, Alsford contends that postmodernity […]

Anti-Semitism and Atonement

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ve not read it put any better than this when it comes to how Jews respond to the cross and how Christians depict it: “There is a glaring contradiction between a theological tradition [of anti-Semitism] which sets the cross against […]

Who tells the best atonement story?

posted by xscot mcknight

This is from Embracing Grace in an earlier version. I jumped into the atonement theory conversation yesterday, and thought I’d put this on the blog today: which theory of the atonement do you believe? I have posted a new poll […]

Christ Plays: Atonement and Moralism

posted by xscot mcknight

The second section of Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places deals with Christ playing in history (the first was on creation). And in this section he explores the significance of the atonement, Jesus’ death as an act in history, […]

Feminism and Atonement

posted by xscot mcknight

I will lay it down as a premise for theological thinking about the atonement that one’s theory of sin shapes (even to the point of determining) one’s theory of the atonement. I will also agree with many scholars who point […]

Jesus and His Death arrives

posted by xscot mcknight

I got my first copy of Jesus and His Death today from Baylor University Press. I thank its fine editorial folk, Carey Newman and Diane Smith, for their exceptional work. It is hard for me to compare editorial staffs, but […]

Jesus and His Death: First Review

posted by xscot mcknight

Rick Brannon, a bibliophile, has blogged the first brief review of Jesus and His Death. I posted it at my Jesus and His Death blog, and point you there.

Postmodernity and the Atonement 2

posted by xscot mcknight

In yesterday’s post I asked the question how we can “prove” that Jesus died for our sins. Many of your responses were challenging and were, so I think, getting to the issue itself. I’d like to wend my way through […]

Postmodernity and the Atonement

posted by xscot mcknight

Along with many of my fellow bloggers, I grew up being told that Jesus died for my sins — in fact, that to die for my sins is the sole reason Jesus came to earth. Jesus’ death for us is […]

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Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the ...

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Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: ...

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's ...

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or ...

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »

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