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Comparison of Two Theories of Atonement with Direct Reference to Primary Texts - Term Paper Example

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The author with direct reference to primary texts critically compares two different theories of atonement, Powerful Weakness, and Christus Victor. The idea of powerful weakness is closely linked with the moral influence theory. Christ is both our representative and our substitute…
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Comparison of Two Theories of Atonement with Direct Reference to Primary Texts
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Download file to see previous pages The story of the fall in Eden is followed almost immediately by the conflict between men ( Genesis 3 and 4). A recurring question that runs through the scriptures is ‘How can man and God be reconciled? The Bible is also the story of God reaching out to men in love, especially through the life, love, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The word Atonement means to unite and comes from medieval Latin adunamentum. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as expiation, reparation for a wrong and as the reconciliation of God and man. It is thus closely linked to ideas about salvation, reconciliation, and redemption.

Despite being such a central theme of the Bible it is one which is difficult to explain, which is why there have been over the centuries many attempts to explain exactly what Atonement means. There follow some of the many ideas on the subject that developed over time. The list is not complete some theologians arguing for 10 or even 12 theories.

Substitutionary Atonement – This tells us that God's displeasure and wrath, directed at us because of our sin, could only be truly satisfied by the death of Jesus and his perfect, sinless sacrifice. This is sometimes known as the Satisfaction Theory

Moral Influence. Jesus, by his self giving love, as ultimately expressed by his sacrificial death enables us to love God and others more fully as we give our lives once more to God. Powerful Weakness. By becoming totally vulnerable when he submitted to death for our sakes, Jesus reveals God’s love for his creation as well as showing us the true nature of the Kingdom of God – one of sacrificial love. Embodied betrayal – our sin is a betrayal of God and his love and he reveals this to us in the death of his son on the cross.

There are even more theories than this in the literature, none of them perhaps entirely satisfactory.    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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