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Posts Tagged ‘Christus Victor’

Towards a Holistic Expression of Atonement

Holistic Atonement

The past few weeks have been heavy with atonement thinking. Specifically, wrestling with the debate of which atonement expression should be expressed and which should be discarded - if any at all! Admittedly, Christus Victor resonates with me, perhaps more than all others. I tend to read the Bible with a strong understanding of the cataclysmic battle between God’s good and the Devil’s evil existing at the forefront of my hermeneutic. My consequent interpretations and expressions are therefore laden with tangible ramifications of this cataclysmic battle so expressed in the 1st Century. I think that’s good, because this was undoubtedly an important aspect of the hermeneutic engaged by the characters and authors of scripture themselves. And, granted, a fresh exit from the safe bubble that is seminary helped stunt my expression of a holistic atonement theology. But real-time ministry, and real spiritual problems expressed by real people living in real-time, has challenged me with the possibility that my expression of atonement may have in fact been lacking, or less than holistic. Real-time ministry has challenged me with the realization that while Christus Victor is an important aspect of Biblical atonement, it is but one aspect of atonement. A holistic theology of atonement, grounded in Scripture, includes Christus Victor as an aspect of its expression, but it is not limited to that expression. It (Atonement) is expressed in a variety of different but equally important ways in Scripture. Read More »

A Serious Caveat Re: Christus Victor

A note of caution to those mad rushing the embrace of the Christus Victor motif of Jesus Christ’s atonement: There is a caveat, as concerns the classical view of atonement, aka Christus Victor, narrative (Weaver) or otherwise (Aulen). This caveat must be taken seriously, lest the motif be misinterpreted or misconstrued. Christus Victor presumes as reality the dualistic and cosmic battle between God’s good and Satan’s evil. Good and evil are realities of this world, visible in humanity, nature and the universe. This reality can be summarized as [S]in. We are inherently plagued by this [S]in. Yes, Jesus Christ’s atonement looses us to enjoy a real-time relationship with God, but what prevention were we bound to in the first place? In short: Sin, Death, and the Devil.¹ Christus Victor - and the New Testament - can not be taken seriously without an authentic acknowledgment of Sin, Death, and Devil, and the accompanying and cataclysmic battle between its evil power and Jesus’ holy good. So, do wrestle with the New Testament concept of Sin, Death and Devil before you start flying the Christus Victor image of atonement as a misguided appropriation of sorts. Read More »

Our Subjugation to the Subsidiary and Mutinous

The following excerpt from David B. Hart’s The Doors of the Sea properly ’sets the table’ for Christus Victor: Read More »

Penal Substitution or Christus Victor?

I have spent the last few weeks seriously grappling with the cross of Jesus of Nazareth. Atonement, specifically, is very, very important to me. Salvation is very, very important to me, as it should be. Christ’s work for humanity is important. I am a minister of the Gospel. The importance of such subjects are presumed, and correctly so. A seminary night class focused upon Christology is proving itself to be an enormously helpful guide, as far as Christological & theological clarity, focus, and construction are concerned. So, I have been seriously preoccupied with one, ultimate question: “What happened on the cross?” I found the answer while critically unpacking the Cross, Atonement Theory(ies), and honestly questioning more than a few of my previously unexamined beliefs. Read More »

Christus Victor in Anabaptist Christology

Personal Notes & thoughts on Christology (re: how Jesus saves), taken while reading p.329-365 Thomas N. Finger’s “A Contemporary Anabaptist Theology” (Thomas N. Finger, A Contemporary Anabaptist Theology: Biblical, Historical, Constructive. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004).

On Formal Christology: Formal Christology often distinguishes Jesus’ person from his work. Formal Christology usually begins with the person of Christ and a focus upon his divinity and then moves toward his divinity’s connection to/with humanity. This approach to Christology only moves toward the examination of soteriology - or what Jesus did to usher in salvation (i.e., his life/work) - after the person of Christ and his divinity is established. This approach to Christology actually mirrors that of systematic theology, generally speaking. Systematic theology, in other words, begins with God and then moves toward what God actually means for humanity. Read More »