Original Sin? Part One

(11 minutes) Many modern/postmodern people are reluctant to talk about sin. Part of the reason is because of the sick theology from much of the church regarding that subject. Emphases on original sin, trivial sins, threats of hell, exclusive claims regarding salvation, and a judgmental, punishing God are a turnoff… Continue reading

Paul and the Gospel, Part Four

The use of metaphors is a very important way for humans to express themselves and abstract or complex concepts and actions. Here is a useful definition of metaphor: A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn’t literally true, but helps… Continue reading

The Crucified God: The Death of Jesus

Whatever else we may say about our Christian faith, I think most of us would agree that at the very least, Jesus reveals the nature of God. When we see Jesus, we see and understand what God is like, who God is, and how God feels toward us. That’s what… Continue reading

The Death of Jesus: The Scapegoat for Everyone (Mark 15:21-39)

(Based on the writings of Debbie Blue and Rene Girard) The concept of scapegoat goes back to Leviticus 16 in the Hebrew Scriptures. Originally it referred to the goat upon which Aaron, the priest and brother of Moses, symbolically placed the sins of the people of Israel on the Day… Continue reading

The Death of Jesus: The Way of the Cross

Luke 9:23-25—Then Jesus said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who would want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save… Continue reading

The Death of Jesus: Christus Victor

In the previous article on atonement I told you that the Eastern Orthodox Church never interpreted the death of Jesus in Penal Substitutionary terms. I also wrote that for the first thousand years of the church, the Penal Substitutionary interpretation we are so familiar with today was not the message… Continue reading

The Death of Jesus: Penal Substitutionary Atonement

Since the very beginning of Christianity, the death of Jesus has been central to the Christian faith. No interpretation of that faith can avoid the significance of that event. Jesus’ death, however, for many centuries was never looked at or thought of in isolation. What came before and after his… Continue reading

The Cross in the Heart of God

“It is only because I can see God entering the darkness of human suffering and evil in his creation, recognizing it for what it really is, meeting it and conquering it, that I can accept a religious view of the world. Without the religious dimension, life would be senseless, and… Continue reading