Has Steve Chalke got a point?
Steve Chalke talks about how in the parable of the prodigal son, 'the father is not presented as angry or vengeful or as seeking justice and retribution - instead he simply runs to greet his wayward child, showers him with gifts and welcomes him home. The father in the parable is wronged, but chooses to forgive in order to restore a broken relationship - there is no theme of retribution. Instead, the story is one of outstanding grace, of scandalous love and mercy - how different it would read if penal substitution was the model of atonement.'
Is God's punishment of Jesus really a form of cosmic child abuse?
But Jesus went to the cross voluntarily 'of my own accord' (John 10:17). God forgives us through this substitution. We gain. In abuse, only the abuser gains. Only a someone who was fully man and who was also fully God could nail our sins sufficiently to the cross and then raise us up to partake in the community of the trinity. For Barth Jesus in his humanity deals with God's No and turns it into the yes in his deity. Jesus is both the cast away and the elect. We are the prodigal, are we not? We receive the grace of the father, his love and his mercy because the father looks at us and we are perfect in his eyes, clothed in Christ's righteousness because he has washed our sins away by his blood.
Have I constructed some kind of dodgy theory of the atonement (I've not really started the reading yet, so this is where i am before I educate myself) in which yes, Jesus is put to death in the most terrible way for us but had to and yet did this not to pacify the anger or wrath of the father but simply so that we could enter into the presence of God and be acceptable to him.
Feel free to put me right - just thinking out loud as I read some extracts about the atonement in prep for tomorrow's lectures.
Interesting and short http://www.todaysprophecy.com/Loraine Boettner The Atonement.pdf
In contrast to the Calvinistic thinking of the pdf, Steve Chalke talks of Christ atonement in terms of a 'ransom' paid (Mark 10:45) to the devil not to God (Irenaeus, Greg.of Nyssa, Origen). The devil is tricked - he thinks he has killed God on the cross but what actually is killed on the cross is death and sin. Christ lives, he is resurrected three days later and the devil is defeated. This is the Christus Victor (Gustav Aulen).
I don't think I 'get' Steve Chalke. I don't understand the 'abuse' bit. To put it very simply, if I stood in front of the bus that was about to knock down my children to save their lives, I would have given my life for theirs voluntarily. It wouldn't have simply been taken violently from me. Whether I have to imagine that it is God driving the bus, I don't know. If I do then if I have ensured my children eternal life, by stepping in front of that bus, and I had been born with the purpose of stepping in front of it, and then I got to go and live eternally in the best bus depo forever with my father: God the bus-driver and everyone who ever knew me would get to live forever and come to live in the bus depo too, and I got to live again three days later so that I could tell everyone that they were going to live forever so live now with this knowledge, then the whole 'getting run over by a bus' thing would be good news - wouldn't it? (Now there's a long and silly sentence).
Ordained Anglican. Thinking out loud about church.