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Friday, February 22, 2013

How Important Is Understanding the Doctrine of the Atonement?

Greg is agreeing with and unpacking this quote:
What particularly interests you or seems important for a discussion of the atonement?
It is no accident that the idea of atonement should be under increasing question in contemporary theology because it fits into a broader range of doctrinal erosion that has already occurred.  If the full deity of Christ and a high doctrine of the incarnation are not upheld, it is impossible to have a high doctrine of the atonement.  Along with that we’ve seen serious erosion in contemporary understandings of the doctrine of sin.  Much of contemporary theology is concerned, and rightly so, with the plight of the victim.  But the victim cannot be understood apart from a more central plight and that is the plight of the sinner.  A failure to understand the saving significance of Christ’s death is at the heart of our malaise in the contemporary church, especially the Protestant church.
George Hunsinger, Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought – Dialogue, “A Discussion of the Atonement: Abuse, Violence, Sacrifice, and the Cross” (February 2009).