Presbyterians still believe in God’s wrath

Christianity Today reported that the Presbyterian Church (USA) rejected “In Christ Alone”–a popular contemporary hymn–from its new hymnal because it mentions the wrath of God. Here are the offending lines: In Christ alone! who took on flesh Fulness of God in helpless babe! This gift of love and righteousness Scorned by the ones he came […]

Slavery, divine judgment, and atonement

During my vacation I read James Oakes’ The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics. Oakes tells the story of how the radical abolitionist Douglass and the temperamental conservative Lincoln converged on a brand of antislavery politics that eventually resulted in the emancipation of America’s millions of slaves […]

Atonement as the restoration of human nature in Athanasius (and Anselm)

Fr. Aidan Kimel (who theo-blog veterans may remember as Al Kimel, an Epsicopal priest who used to run the blog Pontifications before converting to Catholicism–and now apparently to Eastern Orthodoxy) has been doing a series on St. Athanasius’s “On the Incarnation.” The latest installment looks at Athanasius’s understanding of the Atonement as the healing of […]

Atonement without violence?

Anabaptist theologian J. Denny Weaver’s much-discussed book The Nonviolent Atonement is the most thorough treatment I’ve read of the problem of violence in traditional theories of the Atonement. According to Weaver, these theories–which include both satisfaction and moral influence types–rely on divinely sanctioned violence to achieve reconciliation between God and humanity. More specifically, in both […]

On “exemplarist” theories of the Atonement

In a post at “Jesus Creed,” John Frye criticizes–in the form of, er, a poem–“Abelard’s Moral-Influence theory [of the Atonement] (via Schleiermacher),” which he claims is making a resurgence (I’m not sure among whom). The gist of the poem is that this theory reduces Jesus to a “poster boy,” an example to follow and that […]