Tag Archives: sacrifice

Compassion, Not Sacrifice

Prophets: Part Two Compassion, Not Sacrifice Wednesday, July 10, 2019 In his book The Great Spiritual Migration, Brian McLaren writes about the possible meaning behind Jesus’ cleansing of the temple (see John 2:13-17): Perhaps it is not merely the cost of sacrifice that Jesus protests. Perhaps it is the whole belief system associated with sacrifice,… Continue Reading Compassion, Not Sacrifice

Doing the Victim Thing Right

Jesus’ Death Doing the Victim Thing Right Tuesday, April 16, 2019 The deep-time message of Jesus’ death is presented through a confluence of three healing images from his own Hebrew Scriptures: the scapegoat whom we talked about on Sunday; the Passover lamb which is the innocent victim (Exodus 12); the “Lifted-Up One” or the homeopathic… Continue Reading Doing the Victim Thing Right

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

Changing Perspectives

Jesus and the Cross Changing Perspectives Tuesday, February 5, 2019 When we look at history, it’s clear that Christianity is an evolving faith. It only makes sense that early Christians would look for a logical and meaningful explanation for the “why” of the tragic death of their religion’s founder. For the early centuries, appeasing an… Continue Reading Changing Perspectives

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

A Gracious God

Judaism A Gracious God Monday, August 27, 2018 For most of human history God was not viewed as having a likeable, much less lovable, character. That’s why every “theophany” in the Bible (an event where God manifests in visible reality) begins with the same words. Whenever an angel or God breaks into human life, the… Continue Reading A Gracious God

Redefining Success

The Path of Descent Redefining Success Monday, July 31, 2017 Much of the teaching and culture that has emerged in recent Christianity has much more to do with Greek philosophy and Roman mythologies than the Gospel. This is not all bad, but we must acknowledge these influences. The ego is naturally attracted to heroic language,… Continue Reading Redefining Success

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

Love, Not Atonement

Jesus as Scapegoat Love, Not Atonement Thursday, May 4, 2017 All the great religions of the world talk a lot about death, so there must be an essential lesson to be learned here. But throughout much of religious history our emphasis has been on killing the wrong thing and avoiding the truth: it’s you who… Continue Reading Love, Not Atonement

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