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Saturday, April 11, 2009

UPDATE: For those coming here from Tony Jones' link, his martyrdom is unfairly or dishonestly grasped. Jones: "But because I don't afford the penal substitutionary theory the status of crushing all other atonement theories, I've become the scourge of the Reformed blogosphere." It wasn't for this reason that I (or those other bloggers on his list of fellow "Edict" givers) mentioned him. I have no problem with saying that there are many correct and useful atonement theories. The Bible affirms this view. However, Jones didn't just lower the importance of penal substitution, he flatly DENIED it.


For years, the Emergent church leaders (Pagitt, McLaren, etc.) have done their very best to avoid talking doctrine or getting nailed down on any theological positions. But so far in 2009, it appears that they're turning over a new leaf. For the latest example, Tony Jones published this blog post on Good Friday. And it's not pretty...

One key to my understanding of the crucifixion is the beginning of Jesus' ministry. At about the age of 30, Jesus arrives at the Jordan River and is baptized by his cousin, John. He then retreats into the wilderness where, after a 40-day fast, he's tempted. Really tempted. That is, the result of Jesus' interaction with "the tempter" was not foreordained. Nor did Jesus know that he was divine in such a way that he wouldn't cave in to the temptations before him. Had Jesus been cognizant of his divinity, he would not have been truly tempted.

Some people today may find it compelling that some Great Cosmic Transaction took place on that day 1,980 years ago, that God's wrath burned against his son instead of against me. I find that version of atonement theory neither intellectually compelling, spiritually compelling, nor in keeping with the biblical narrative [emphasis mine].
Instead, Jesus death offers life because in Christianity, and in Christianity alone, the God and Creator of the universe deigned to become human, to be tempted, to reach out to those who had been de-humanized and restore their humanity, and ultimately to die in solidarity with every one of us. Yes, he was a sacrifice. Yes, he was "sinless." But thank God, Jesus was also human.

The hope he offers is that, by dying on that cross, the eternal Trinity became forever bound to my humanity. The God of the universe identified with me, and I have the opportunity to identify with him.

Today, and every day, I hang with him on that cross.


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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »