It started with Greg Boyd's latest blog post...delivered to my inbox sometime between when I turned my computer off last night...and when I turned it on again this morning. I love how things just show up in my inbox...via a process that can only be described as "computer magic".... a term I've stolen from the guy who does the ads for the Red Roof Inn. He was specifically talking about the free wifi now available at the Red Roof Inn and how you can connect to the internet via computer magic...but I think the term magic applies to just about everything to do with the computer. (and black magic when it doesn't work the way it should) But anyway...back on track...
Two things of interest stood out in the post. One is that he is still feverishly..obsessively working on his latest book about Old Testament violence. He describes it as his:
close-to-insane obsession with explaining Old Testament violence (working on my forthcoming book, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God)
I am..for sure...going to purchase that book when it becomes available.
And the other point of interest in the post was his review and opinion on another book written by another author...The Naked Anabaptist by Stuart Murray. And of course from there I went exploring.
The link in Greg Boyd's blog post led to a website called the Anabaptist Network...a UK based site that is all about Anabaptists...their beliefs, their traditions, their history. Very interesting site. I want to explore it further...but don't have the time this morning.
I did do a little exploring there, however...and came across a short writing by Murray about his view of the atonement...which is not penal substitution. Anabaptists...for the most part....do not see the atonement that way. And, according to Murray, neither did the early Christians. A quote from the article:
For nearly 300 years, these Christians were committed to taking Jesus seriously, not only as their saviour but as their teacher and example. In the Alpha or Christianity Explored courses of their day, enquirers and new converts were taught, not just the meaning of Jesus’ death, but the meaning of his life and his message.
For nearly 300 years, these Christians were uninterested in developing theories of the atonement. They knew Jesus had died to save them, they preached ‘Christ crucified’ and they celebrated his resurrection triumph over the spiritual and political powers that oppressed them. They drew on various images the New Testament uses, but they did not insist on one formula or explanation. Certainly not penal substitution, of which there is little trace in the early centuries.
And as I clicked around here and there on the website, I came upon a testimony written by a guy in the Jesus Army...not to be confused with Joel's Army. I went to the site...clicked around a bit and came upon a quote I liked that fit very well with the above quote. It was on the Jesus Army blog...written by someone named "daydreamer."
When we look at Jesus, we see what God is like. Jesus said “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”. He shows just how committed God is to rescuing us. His sacrificial, non-violent, willing death shows the lengths God will go to, to soak up evil. His resurrection shows that death itself is no match for God.
I think this quote captures one of the main aspects of the atonement that the penal substitutionary theory misses...or negates to almost trivial. Rather than the view that Jesus pays for our sins on the cross...this excerpt declares that that purpose of his death was to "soak up evil." A good description of the Christus Victor theory of atonement. And I have a lot more I could say, but I've gotta' go get ready for work. NOW!!! Ugh...TGIF.
Oh...but before I go...one more quick quote..kind of unrelated..from another entry on the Jesus Army blog...a quote from Rick Warren...
“Many have amputated the hands and feet from Christ’s Body and kept only a big mouth.”