Tag Archives: atonement

Layered Meanings

Jesus’ Death Layered Meanings Thursday, April 18, 2019 Holy Thursday Two theologians I deeply respect, Marcus Borg (1942-2015) and John Dominic Crossan (b. 1934), offer important historical and symbolic context for the crucifixion. The theory of “penal substitutionary atonement” only became dominant in recent centuries. [1] Over the next two days, consider their advanced perspective… Continue Reading Layered Meanings

A Bigger God

Jesus and the Cross A Bigger God Wednesday, February 6, 2019 Our predestination to glory is prior by nature to any notion of sin. —John Duns Scotus [1] The Franciscan School, led by such teachers as Duns Scotus, refused to see the Incarnation and its finale on the cross as a mere reaction to human… Continue Reading A Bigger God

An Alternative Story

Jesus and the Cross An Alternative Story Monday, February 4, 2019 The theory of substitutionary atonement has inoculated us against the true effects of the Gospel, causing us to largely “thank” Jesus instead of honestly imitating him. At its worst, it has led us to see God as a cold, brutal figure who demands acts… Continue Reading An Alternative Story

Substitutionary Atonement

Jesus and the Cross Substitutionary Atonement Sunday, February 3, 2019 For most of church history, no single consensus prevailed on what Christians mean when we say, “Jesus died for our sins.” But in recent centuries, one theory did become mainstream. It is often referred to as the “penal substitutionary atonement theory,” especially once it was… Continue Reading Substitutionary Atonement

At-One-Ment, Not Atonement

Jesus of Nazareth: Week 2 At-One-Ment, Not Atonement Sunday, January 21, 2018 The common reading of the Bible is that Jesus “died for our sins”—either to pay a debt to the devil (common in the first millennium) or to pay a debt to God (proposed by Anselm of Canterbury, 1033-1109). Franciscan philosopher and theologian John… Continue Reading At-One-Ment, Not Atonement

Saved by the Cross

Salvation as At-One-Ment Saved by the Cross Wednesday, July 26, 2017 The cross is a perfect metaphor for what I meant when I titled one of my books Everything Belongs. God is to be found in all things, even and most especially in the painful, tragic, and sinful things—exactly where we do not want to look… Continue Reading Saved by the Cross

Incarnation Instead of Atonement

Salvation as At-One-Ment Incarnation Instead of Atonement Tuesday, July 25, 2017 Franciscans never believed that “blood atonement” was required for God to love us. We believed that Christ was Plan A from the very beginning (Colossians 1:15-20, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:1-18). Christ wasn’t a Plan B after the first humans sinned, which is the way… Continue Reading Incarnation Instead of Atonement

A Nonviolent Atonement

Salvation as At-One-Ment A Nonviolent Atonement Monday, July 24, 2017 In the thirteenth century, the Franciscans and the Dominicans invariably took opposing positions in the great debates in the universities of Paris, Cologne, Bologna, and Oxford. Both opinions usually passed the tests of orthodoxy, although one was preferred. The Franciscans often ended up presenting the… Continue Reading A Nonviolent Atonement

Substitutionary Atonement

Salvation as At-One-Ment Substitutionary Atonement Sunday, July 23, 2017 This week we will look more closely at some Christian beliefs that have caused a great deal of damage, namely substitutionary atonement “theories.” These views have dominated Christianity over the past century, but it wasn’t always that way. Theologian Marcus Borg (1942-2015) points out that the… Continue Reading Substitutionary Atonement

Incarnation instead of Atonement

Alternative Orthodoxy Incarnation instead of Atonement Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Franciscan alternative orthodoxy emphasizes incarnation instead of redemption. For the Franciscans, Christmas is more significant than Easter. Christmas is already Easter! Since God became a human being, then it’s good to be human, and we’re already “saved.” Franciscans never believed in the sacrificial atonement theory… Continue Reading Incarnation instead of Atonement

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