Recently my wife asked what I’d thought about the “huge debate” mentioned in this article. Honestly, I didn’t know it was a huge debate until I read the article, but maybe that’s because I’m a horrible debater, and avoid those areas. I did, however, want to put my two cents out there to be made fun of…just to see if I’m a heretic or something. I’d love your comments.
The issue here is substitutionary atonement. Did Jesus Christ bear the punishment of all the worlds’ sins, appeasing an angry God and offering atonement to those of us who otherwise deserved the punishment of death? The writers of the article are warning readers of “The Shack” that he does not believe in this, and that he is pushing some sort of new “agenda” on Christianity to proclaim something less than True Christianity.
My answer: I dunno.
I don’t know, and wouldn’t claim to know all the aspects of how theologically salvation works. We have scriptures that talk about it in symbolic and antiquated phrases. We also have the straightforward words of the Bible as well. Here is what I believe:
Through Adam (& Eve), sin entered the world. Humanity’s identity was wounded. Because we were God’s image in the created world, all of creation became wounded. God desires to restore all of creation, and needs to restore humanity in order to do it….and wants to out of His Love for us/His creation. He became human, and lived/died/was resurrected. He suffered immensely out of a desire to restore/Love humanity/creation. Somehow in the midst of all of that, He offers us a new identity – HIS identity. A new life IN HIM.
I’m not a big fan of the images an “angry God, in need of appeasement” brings to mind. I’d rather view it as sin being a choice we were making, and the results of sin (eternally not being restored) would be “justice” more than “punishment”. I’m thankful for the grace and mercy of a loving God that offers us a restoration we don’t deserve, that somehow was bought with a large price of suffering.
At the same time, there are scriptures that talk about God’s wrath/anger, and punishment for those who disobey. So, like I said….I dunno.