Monthly Archives: October 2008

Christus Victor and Penal Substitutionary Atonement

I just read this article from Greg Boyd about atonement theories. Most of you that have been around for a while probably know that I have a broader understanding of atonement than many, and I definitely have some problems with traditional PSA, namely, the idea that God was wrathful and punished Jesus for our sins. That doesn’t sit well with me, as it doesn’t make much sense that a God of love, a God of mercy would need to punish before he forgives. I tend to hold to the Christus Victor model which, to put it in a nutshell, says that Jesus’s death on the Cross defeated evil and freed us from oppression. It seems natural to me that Jesus death wasn’t needed in the sense that God needed to punish someone or something for forgiveness of sins. He has the power to do it if he wants (how many people were told by Jesus that their sins were forgiven before he died and rose?) but the sacrifice of blood was needed for US to understand what was going on. This is the point of sacrifices all through the old testament. God didn’t need a goat or a lamb to be slaughtered… WE needed that for us to truely understand what was going on.

Anyway, check out Greg’s post… and if you haven’t read any of his books or articles, I highly recommend them!


The Optimist Endorses Obama

ACU’s student newspaper, The Optimist, endorsed Barack Obama in their latest edition.

This comes as a surprise to any familiar with church of Christ universities, which tend to lean fairly hard to the right (at least among donors, and the student body).

While I was happy that the Optimist was willing to stand up to what I imagine was some pressure to not endorse Obama, I left this comment below the story.

I am glad that the Optimist isn’t afraid to anger the mostly conservative c of c members who donate to the school. That is something schools in our fellowship need to take note of.

Let me preface by saying I dislike McCain in a way I can’t quite describe… I will not be voting for him, or Obama, in this election. And this article is one of those reasons.

There’s a whole lot of “Obama wants change” and “Obama knows (fill in the blank) so he will be better at (fill in the blank). In my opinion, Obama knows little about economics and how to get our country out of this crisis. He knows about legalizing theft from people, such as my father, who will retire if Obama is elected, because his average tax rate on his income will go from roughtly 48% to 60%. 60 percent of his income will be taken from him in taxes, so that Obama can give a “tax cut” to me, and the rest of the 40% of Americans who don’t pay a dime in income taxes. That is not a tax cut. It is a welfare check. Its Robin Hood economics, and I for one believe it is unchristian to use force to achieve justice. It certainly was not what Jesus, or the early church were about. And besides that, there is a lot of evidence that this type of justice is no justice at all. Creating dependents out of people who are fully able to help themselves is immoral. It kills the human spirit, and if I remember correctly, there is also something in the New Testament to the effect of “if you do not work, you do not eat”.

Being rewarded wages by working… and then willingly giving up those wages to make sure there are “no poor among you” is true justice. Truely Christlike.

Now is our system biased against certain people? Absolutely. Do the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer? They have been for a while. But the answer is not redistributing wealth. The answer is not printing money to hand out to people, whether it be Wall Street fatcats or the poor. The answer is an economy of free choices, one of sound money that cannot be manipulated to make the wealthy wealthier in times of trouble.

But the ultimate answer, the answer we cannot get around, is that the church needs to actually BE the church. No more charity to make ourselves feel good, while never spending time with those Jesus did. No more voting for the guy who is going to take other peoples money, spend half of that on government bureaucrats, and give the other half away in substandard goods, services, and housing. Christians need to stand up and realize that government is inherently evil, exists for its own self interest, lives and dies for power and more power. The church is the alternate way. A way of love, sharing, and non violent resistance to the powerful who claim to be our lord. They are not.

What would have been a lot more ballsy of you, dear optimist, is if you had stood up and said… “No more will we vote for the lesser of two evils. No more will we silently sanction war and violence, against those who want to harm us, and against those who just happen to make more money than we do. Our call is to be a prophetic witness to the world, and show that the empire has no clothes.

Until that happens, chalk this up to a change in the tide of the political wind. Obama, McCain. They are all the same. Jesus Christ, who spoke truth to power, and let himself be killed rather than take power himself. HE is our King and ultimate example. Its time we started living it.

What Has Happened To Conservatism

Unbelievable. Even though knowing the questions that were asked to these people getting these responses are important, I think its still telling that these responses happened at all.

Been a while…

Its been a hectic, ridiculous, worrisome, couple weeks since I last posted. In that time period, I’ve gotten behind in school, partially because I’ve been glued to Google Finance, Clusterstock, and CNBC, and partially because I got the cold from hell.

I was sick for an entire week with the most flu-like thing I’ve had since I had the flu 5 and a half years ago. I spent 3 days on the couch, running 2 and a half degrees of fever. Missed a week of class, and one test, and I’m just not getting caught up. Its been ridiculous.

I saw this article over at clusterstock that I wanted to share. It talks about what situation our government has gotten itself into now that its propping up banks. What happens if those banks still fail? You can read the post, but it can be summed up pretty easily. The government is not going to let anyone go under ever, especially now that they’ve invested in said company. If a bank that they’ve propped up fails, they lose their entire investment. And only the government is powerful enough (at least at this time) to make sure the company they invested in does not go out of business.

Also, I’ve been doing a little studying history recently. I don’t have any charts, but I thought I’d mention that in most of our recessions, or panics, or whatever you’d call them, there are phases. A strong drop, a brief strong recovery, followed by another large drop. Guess where we are today?

Not to mention, most of the largest one day gains on the Dow Jones were during, you guessed it, the Great Depression.

Enjoy your day. And take it from me, its much easier to do that if you avoid financial news, so, uh, sorry.