Abelard – The Look of Love

logs on fire

In the previous post we looked at the Satisfaction Theory of the atonement. As we saw, this was developed by Anselm who drew heavily from the honour based culture of the middle ages in which he lived. Now we turn to look at a theory which does not seem have its focus in any cultural […]

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Anselm – On being Satisfied

a knight looking satisfied

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)[1] – considered by some to be one of the greatest Christian thinkers – wrote a much loved book called ‘Cur Deus Homo’ – ‘Why Did God become Human?’ In this he has a dialogue with one of his students, who goes by the superb name of ‘Boso’. Boso wants to understand […]

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Irenaeus Explains the Atonement.

ball of tangled wool

This post carries on the introduction to the recapitulation theories that were framed by Irenaeus (130-202). Irenaeus was taught by Polycarp, who in turn heard sermons preached by a certain John the Evangelist. Imagine what that must have been like – to meet first generation apostle – someone who knew Jesus the man? So, we […]

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Irenaeus and two Early Atonement Theories

christ the champion

At long last it is time to launch into one of the theories of the atonement, or more correctly one of the early church Father’s writings about atonement. In study group one of these went down very easily, and the other required a bit more wrestling. I could see that their horizons were being opened […]

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A Constellation of Images

constellation of leo

In the last post I introduced two of the creeds. These are recited week in week out by Christians the world over. Given that these blogs are written to support a study on atonement why take this detour into something seemingly so off topic? Simples. These creeds were written at a time when the church […]

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The Creeds

nicene councilby Fresco in Capella Sistina, Vatican

I have become increasingly interested in how the beliefs of Christianity developed. Yawn yawn… Sure, history is cool, but more important to me is how our following of Jesus is to be understood and lived out in a society has changed so dramatically since the documents we use were written. There are gigantic shifts going […]

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What does ‘Atonement’ actually mean?

As you might know I was/am a teacher – having done some 14 years in the classroom. During my time in secondary schools I watched several wonderful new ‘initiatives’ that were ‘bound to raise attainment’ come into fashion and then quietly fade off the agenda as the mandarins at the top of the profession altered […]

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Atonement – plunging in

Edward's siummer reading list on atonement

I began to think about doing a series on the ‘Atonement’ in life group as soon as life group started – sometime in September 2018. I plunged into the idea during July 2019. I began by getting the group to share testimonies, which was very good – though not as I thought it would be […]

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The Fall – What it wasn’t

We have seen something of the awesome task given to our first Mother and Father – that of extending the temple (sanctuary) of Eden out to encompass the whole of the earth. Now it’s finally time to begin to answer that question – just what did they do wrong? Notice they – not Eve. Our […]

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Human identity – part 4 – godlike

In “human identity – divinity” we cemented the connection between image (tselem) in Genesis 1 and cult statues or idols. To the people of the aNE (ancient near east) an idol was the living embodiment of their god, and not just a physical thing like a statue in the local park. To them it was […]

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Human identity – part 3 – divinity

identity divinity

In the first post “human identity – representation” we looked at the Hebrew words used for image and likeness. In “human identity – crowned” we looked into the royal meaning behind some of the words the Hebrew bible uses to describe Adam and Eve’s role and status. Given that the same ‘image’ language is used […]

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Human identity – part 2 – crowned

identity crownedd

In the first post “human identity – representation” we looked at the Hebrew words used for image and likeness. We concluded that the authors of Genesis wanted us to think-in an holistic manner, which suggests that to their mind the image/ likeness was something included ideas around a statue ie physical. We also introduced the […]

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Human identity – part 1 – representation

identity representation

In the previous posts I set out something of my thinking regarding the directions this series on atonement would go. We now come to look at Genesis to get a grip on what we, as humans, were created to be. Remember, our aim here is to look at our purpose and our nature as well […]

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Atonement – why?

atonement foundational

As I said in the first of these posts – atonement – ‘asking the question‘ this subject is a right old rabbits’ maze of dimly lit tunnels. One question leads to another and another and another – you get the idea. It is easy to get lost (unless you are a rabbit) and at times, […]

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Atonement – our story?

at-one-ment-testimony

When planning the Atonement series for our home fellowship group (ugh – what awful terminology) I started off by getting the members to give their testimonies. I had thought this would take two sessions, and I wasn’t wrong. In all eight people shared something of their various journeys to faith and it was really, really […]

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Atonement – Asking the Question

atonement as at-one-ment

Over the last four or five years I have found myself wondering deeply about my understanding of the many issues surrounding ‘sin’ and ‘salvation.’ It has been a long process.  There were several false starts but it really got going when one of my lecturers asked ‘What if God just forgave sins?’ Good question. What […]

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