Tag: atonement

Today You Shall Be with Me in Paradise

On this Good Friday, I am speaking in the service being held in my church—All Saints’ Episcopal in Lakeland, Florida. Here is what I’m sharing. Why crucifixion? What did one have to do to receive this particularly gruesome method of execution? There were two main reasons. One was terrorism (or imputed terrorism such as speaking out against Rome)—this was what the Jewish leaders used to convince Pilate that Jesus had to be crucified; he threatened Roman rule. Even though He… Read more »

Finney: The Atonement Is for All

After Charles Finney’s overwhelming conversion experience, his pastor, the Rev. Gale, undertook the task of trying to train him for the ministry. The theology he tried to convince Finney to accept didn’t seem right to him. As he explains in his autobiography, Soon after I was converted I called on my pastor, and had a long conversation with him on the atonement. He was a Princeton student, and of course held the limited view of the atonement—that it was made… Read more »

Finney: Understanding the Dynamic Atonement

Charles Finney had a definitively non-Calvinistic view of how the atonement of Christ worked to take care of the sin problem in man. For the record, I believe he has provided a great corrective to the usual explanation. We have to begin with certain questions. What does God, the governor, do when people who break His law and are bound for eternal punishment are truly sorry for their disobedience? Can He simply say that their sorrow is sufficient and He… Read more »

Why Was Jesus Forsaken on the Cross?

There are so many facets to the events of Good Friday, the atonement for sin through the death of Jesus on the cross. I want to comment today on just one: the moment when God the Father turned away, leading to Jesus’ cry, “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Theological interpretations of what exactly occurred at that moment are many, but only one resonates with me. Consider: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit had… Read more »

Living Vicariously

The inspiration for this post comes from a Facebook comment by one of my former students. After reading my Big Government article from last week, she commented that she lives vicariously. I thought that was rather humorous, probably coming, as it did, from her current experience as a mother of young children. That responsibility can dominate one’s life. The word “vicarious” may need some explanation. I’m used to hearing it because theologically it describes what Christ has done for us… Read more »