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!