theology | | Page 2

By: Jeremyduncan  09-12-2011
Keywords: church, christian church

Obviously the metaphor of Christus Victor was born out of the context the early Christian church found itself in, facing directly into an unprecedented barrage of persecution. It was shaped by the struggles they were facing and the cultural context in which it was born. These early Christians were giving imagery and metaphor to help them articulate their fundamental belief that through Christ they had been reconciled to God.

This is part of the healthy way that the church has evolved throughout its history in a continual effort to find new and meaningful ways to talk about their faith. That process of cultural evolution has continued.

Substitutionary Atonement
The predominant metaphor that is heard today as the evangelical church talks about the atonement is one we call substitionary atonement. Sometimes we call it vicarious atonement or propitiation or judicial theory or penal substitution, but all of these subtle variants are a form of a metaphor that paralleled the development of the modern legal system. This framework focuses on the divide from the diagram earlier (see Part 1). Paul writes to the Roman church and says, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and we are disconnected from God by those shortcomings. The theory of substitutionary atonement lines this reality up against the model of the developing legal system. We have transgressed the standard that God has set for membership in his social order much the same way a criminal transgresses the social order that society has set for itself. Similarly to when someone breaks rules and must be penalized through fine or imprisonment, God has set a penalty for our transgression, and that penalty is death. Now that is a bit of a kludge on the metaphor, which has been articulated much more eloquently to reflect the nuances of the relationship between God, law and sinner by better theologians. However, in its most basic form, substitutionary atonement is a legal picture of our relationship to God. The twist comes in because God sends his son, to pay that penalty for us. In his death he saves us from the consequence of our own actions by stepping into the gap for us.

Keywords: christian church, church

Contact Jeremyduncan

Email - none provided

Print this page

Other products and services from Jeremyduncan


collected thoughts | | Page 3

I’d like to try to tell two stories with nothing in common to make a single point. Sorry for the lack of proper sentence structure, I don’t talk in proper English. This is an unedited manuscript for a message I gave last month a Westside.


random | | Page 2

There are a couple store apps available but honestly the official mobile portal through safari is great enough. Still on the list for now but if the CDN pay plan comes in this is off the list. In honor of the release of Skype for iPhone here is my list of essential apps. App StoreEvernote: simply awesome and the new 2.0 is so much faster. Obviously only useful if you have a wordpress powered site. Jailbroken AppsPDANet: 3G tethered modem.


church |

In the past people gave up meat from Monday to Saturday during Lent and the shared a family meal after church on Sunday as a mini celebration rehearsal for the coming Resurrection Sunday. Father, our source of life,I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand;let me walk more readily in Your ways.Guide me in Your gentle mercy,for left to myself I cannot do Your Will.


collected thoughts | | Page 2

Intro There are a number of traditions in the family of the Christian Church and each of those have placed a different emphasis on parts of the life of Jesus. The protestant tradition which is where Westside has come out of, by contrast, has primarily focused their attention around the death of Jesus. Hopefully it can help shape a different frame on Jesus life and death than the sometimes myopic view presented in the evangelical church.


collected thoughts |

I would collectively define this collection of expressions as the evolved ability to represent and classify experiences with symbols and to act on those experiences creatively and imaginatively in the communal life of people groups. While some would choose to forgo the unease and side with either Christ or culture even Niebuhr’s analysis, while acknowledging the possibility, would seem to push us towards a more nuanced understanding of the pair.


random |

This is often my experience when I reach back into the Old Testament narrative books and it’s exactly what we encounter in the story of Esther. A somewhat small story about an isolated period of Jewish history that, if we allow, has significant implications for our faith journey today. Esther and the deadly Dilemma was a five part series that I taught at unedited spirituality in the fall of 2011.