Questions tagged [atonement]

Questions regarding Christian atonement which describes how human beings can be reconciled to God.

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23
votes
2answers
942 views

What are the primary differences and implications of a propitiatory view of the atonement versus an expiatory view?

Western theology tends to view atonement as propitiation, while Eastern tends to view it as expiation. What are the primary differences and implications of each perspective? Are they antithetical or ...
21
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2answers
931 views

What is the Biblical basis for Limited Atonement?

Calvin, among his other points, includes the point that Atonement is Limited; i.e., that Christ's death was sufficient for all but only effective for the elect. What is the Biblical basis for this ...
14
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2answers
3k views

Which theory of the atonement did C. S. Lewis hold?

In C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (spoiler alert), the White Witch, the personification of the devil, says some interesting things: You at least know the Magic which the ...
12
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10answers
110k views

What does it mean to say “Jesus died for our sins”? [closed]

When Christians say "Jesus died for our sins", what do they mean?       I went to Catholic school for 5 years and all I heard was "Jesus died for our sins", "Jesus ...
12
votes
4answers
713 views

What is the Biblical basis for the “penal” in penal substitutionary atonement?

I have been looking at different models of the atonement and am currently looking at penal substitutionary atonement. While I can see the substitution, I'm struggling somewhat with the idea of Jesus ...
12
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2answers
3k views

What was Anselm's biblical basis for his theory of atonement by satisfaction?

Upon which Bible verses did Anselm base his satisfactory theory of atonement?
11
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8answers
5k views

How does Jesus' death and resurrection save humanity? [closed]

Time and again we hear that Christ died for our sins, or that Christ died so that we could be saved. But I've never understood how exactly the two are connected? In what way does the death of Christ ...
11
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2answers
325 views

According to proponents of penal substitutionary atonement, why do we still die?

According to the theory of atonement known as penal substitution, the sin of a person is atoned for by the work of Jesus – he paid the penalty for the sin himself when he died, satisfying the ...
11
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3answers
3k views

What is the basis of the view that Jesus was separated from the Father and Holy Spirit upon death?

From my limited understanding of this matter, some people believe that Jesus was in some sense separated from the Father. This has come up in the context of discussions of the indivisibility of the ...
10
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1answer
745 views

How do Calvinists account for Calvin's statements on atonement?

Calvinism gets its name from John Calvin. One of the tenets of Calvinism is "Limited Atonement", the idea that Christ died for the elect, not for all mankind. However, this does not appear to be what ...
10
votes
1answer
189 views

Did Philip Melanchthon teach penal substitution?

This question is a follow-up to my question, "Did Martin Luther teach penal substitution?" The Wikipedia article on Philip Melanchthon states in its opening paragraphs: Philip Melanchthon . . . (...
10
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4answers
1k views

Are there any Protestant denominations or churches that reject penal substitution?

I come from a background in Protestant/Evangelical churches. The trademark salvation message in those churches is that Christ bore the wrath of God for your sins to satisfy his justice that we have ...
9
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6answers
2k views

What is the Biblical argument against Limited Atonement?

The "L" in the TULIP acronym of Reformed Theology stands for Limited Atonement, which the Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms defines as: Sometimes called 'particular redemption,' the view that ...
9
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2answers
677 views

What is Christus Victor?

According to several internet sites (for example, here and here), C.S. Lewis' book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe expresses a particular understanding of the Atonement, known as Christus Victor....
9
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3answers
634 views

How do opponents of Penal Substitution explain God's declaration that He “will not leave the guilty unpunished”?

In referring to opponents of Penal Substitution theory, I'm referring specifically to those who view it as a false view of the Atonement, not merely that it is incomplete (eg those who hold to ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “ransom theory” and “penal substitution”?

Ransom theory and penal substitution are two (of many) views about the exact nature of Jesus' atoning death on the cross. Both suggest that Jesus in some way paid a price on the cross for the benefit ...
8
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4answers
320 views

What is the biblical basis for the belief that Jesus' death made satisfaction for individual sins?

Among evangelical Protestants, especially, but also in various other quarters of Christianity, it is common to believe that "Jesus died for me" in the sense that Jesus' death made satisfaction for (in ...
8
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2answers
193 views

Is the validity of the ransom contingent on Jesus being God?

In discussing the trinity, I've often heard people say that "only God could perform the ransom" or that "only the creator of life could defeat death." What is the basis for these claims? To give some ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Did Martin Luther teach penal substitution?

The Wikipedia article on Penal Substitution states (under the heading "Differing views"): Critics, however, argue that the theory of penal substitution is solely a later development, only forming ...
8
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3answers
507 views

Calvinism: How does Limited Atonement Work in View of the Universality of Christ's Work?

Issues, Etc. has a post on Lutheranism vs. Calvinism. I'm more or less in total agreement with the pastor on the first two of the five Calvinistic points. However, he loses me when talking about ...
7
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9answers
8k views

What is the biblical basis for the claim that Jesus took on the sins of mankind?

It's been said that there is no biblical basis for the assumption that Jesus ever took on the sins of mankind, before, during or after his death. What is the biblical proof that Jesus did take on the ...
7
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3answers
1k views

How do Arminians understand the doctrine of Unlimited Atonement in a way that does not make God unjust?

The doctrine of unlimited atonement teaches that Christ died for all mankind, but only paid for the sins of those who believe in Him. If this is the case then either Jesus already knew who would ...
7
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5answers
204 views

What is the earliest reference to the notion that we killed Jesus?

In this blog post, Catholic professor Edward Feser discusses the Crucifixion: No silly talk here of “Flying Spaghetti Monsters” and the like; Nietzsche, unlike so many of his successors, still had ...
7
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3answers
302 views

How do non-Trinitarians who do not believe Jesus is God Almighty explain how Jesus can effect atonement for all of humanity?

Non-Trinitarians who do not believe Jesus is God Almighty include Unitarians, Socinians, Arians, Jehova's Witnesses, etc. This would not include, supposedly, Modalists and LDS/Mormons. The idea of ...
6
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3answers
482 views

How can God be Sovereign (in the Reformed sense) if a man can ignore His call to repentance?

The Scriptures tell us: The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a ...
6
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4answers
928 views

Why does Nephi believe he can keep all the commandments?

I can't get the wording exactly right on this question, and it's gonna take some explaining. Nephi says this about the Lord's commandment to get the brass plates, "for I know that the Lord giveth ...
6
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2answers
140 views

What is the dominant theory of atonement in Catholic theology?

Having a little trouble phrasing the question due to my own ignorance. I grew up celebrating Christmas and Hanukah as basically family gift giving events, as many others do, and I'm trying in ...
6
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1answer
107 views

In which writing(s) does Hugo Grotius set forth the “Governmental Theory of the Atonement”?

I'm trying to locate, in book form in English, the writings of Hugo Grotius in relation to the "Governmental View of the Atonement". I see very little of his writings available in book form in English ...
6
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1answer
363 views

Is there an established concensus meaning of Vicarious Atonement?

The term "Vicarious Atonement" is often used to refer to, or to something described as similar to, Penal Substitution or other understandings of Substitutionary atonement: The phrase 'vicarious ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Confessional Lutheranism: How does Unlimited Atonement work?

I recognize that concerning the mysteries of the faith that Lutherans do not typically like to answer "how does this doctrine work?" type of questions, but I'm hoping for an explanation. Issues, Etc. ...
5
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2answers
467 views

How is the matter of why the Son of God needed to be sacrificed explained in the Roman Catholic Church?

Why did God the Father need to sacrifice His own Son for the sake of granting salvation to the fallen humanity? Couldn't He just forgive humans without making any sacrifice? Why is it so that "without ...
5
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1answer
266 views

In Catholicism, why should Jesus have been murdered on the Cross instead of just dying of old age?

Imagine that Jesus wasn't murdered but just died of old age. Would there be a difference in redemption for those who believed in Him? If so, why did he need to be killed? To be clear, I'm ...
4
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2answers
375 views

Do Lutherans define Justification and Atonement as different things?

I was considering the doctrine of Lutheran Unlimited/Universal Atonement, which says Christ died for everyone's sins. However, the fact stands that not all people go to heaven – thus not all people's ...
4
votes
4answers
454 views

According to the penal substitutionary atonement view, why was Jesus' punishment not eternal?

Given Christianity believes that the "punishment for sin is death" (Rom. 6:23, etc.) and that punishment is eternal (2 Thes. 1:9, Matt. 25:41, Rev. 20:10, etc.), how was Christ's punishment a ...
4
votes
1answer
321 views

What is the basis for the LDS (Mormon) teaching regarding Atonement in Gethsemane rather than at Calvary?

I recently read the the LDS Church teaches that it was in Gethsemane while Jesus was praying where the atonement occurred rather than on the Cross of Calvary. What is the biblical basis for this ...
4
votes
2answers
463 views

Is penal substitutionary atonement most prevalent among Calvinists?

I've been looking at penal substitutionary atonement and am finding that although Calvinists and Arminians seem to affirm it, it appears to be Calvinists who affirm it most strongly. Is this accurate?...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

If God cannot change, then why does His wrath need to be appeased?

More or less I am asking for a defense of the propitiatory view of atonement in which God changes from being angry to being happy with us rather than sinners being the ones who need to change. Perhaps ...
4
votes
1answer
277 views

Mormons, for how long can I be forgiven of all my sins?

What I understand is: Upon baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, I'm sin-free, 100% forgiven, not perfect, but clean, clean like I could dwell in the presence of God if I died right after I was ...
4
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2answers
259 views

(LDS) What kind of payment can a murderer make to receive a pardon?

Related to this other question about whether murder is unforgivable according to the LDS Church. One of the answers to the question says that: Murder is a very serious sin, and while it can't be ...
4
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1answer
179 views

The New Perspective on Paul and the Christ Followers Self Understanding

This is mostly a set of questions that are being asked of Protestant Christians, particularly those that hold to the "New Perspective on Paul." I have really enjoyed the work of modern "New ...
3
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2answers
285 views

Jesus's atonement equivalent to sinners' punishments

When Jesus went to the cross, he experienced the ordeal of his arrest agony for three or so days The loss of the rest of his natural life When a sinner sins (without accepting Jesus), he ...
3
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6answers
1k views

Why couldn't we reconcile ourselves to God? [closed]

I always hear people say things like, 'the debt was too large' ... well, why? Why couldn't I pay for my own sin? I don't like that Jesus took punishment for me, I would hate for my earthly father to ...
3
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5answers
2k views

How is it just that Jesus, an innocent, would be punished for our sins?

From the perspective that Jesus' suffering on the cross was in fact a punishment for our sins, how is punishing an innocent (Jesus) for the sinners justified? Jesus was innocent but the people were ...
3
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2answers
446 views

Did the atonement end on the Cross? [closed]

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. When Jesus said it is finished did he mean that the atonement for ...
3
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0answers
38 views

At what age could a man start bringing offerings for sin in ancient Israel to the priest?

I just want to know if the scriptures or another source specify if little children or young man could offer sacrifices. Or if there was a minimum age for it. Only men? Grown up, men?
3
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0answers
834 views

How does the Catholic Church view Penal Substitutionary Atonement?

How does the Catholic Church view Penal Substitutionary Atonement (as formulated within the Reformed tradition)? A comment on this question, states that PSA 'has been declared doctrinal heresy'. Is ...
3
votes
0answers
153 views

Looking for a good overview of atonement theory (book or other resource)

I am looking for a good overview/introduction to atonement theory that covers multiple points of view so that I can better understand the difference between the various different theories. I am not ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Am I a party to the covenant of atonement? [closed]

Jesus prayed (Jn 17:21) that “they may be one in us as you are in me and I am in you.” (Easier to comprehend if in means in union with.) This is the original sense of at-one-ment. “We also joy in God ...
2
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5answers
3k views

Why must we obey the ten commandments if Jesus died for our sins? [duplicate]

I was told that you must please God if you want to have paradise after life, therefore you should follow the Ten Commandments, but then what does that mean about Jesus? I realized he died for our sins ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Did everything Christ did perfectly match what was required for salvation?

I was thinking about Christ's suffering for sinners and am wondering, 'Since everything he did as a man on earth was a form of suffering for the eternal son, did everything he do perfectly match what ...