Atonement

Author: keithprosser ,

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  • keithprosser
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    Following D's 'salvation' thread I'd like to discuss atonement.

    I can accept that Jesus was partly historical, and that he was very likely crucified.   Over the centuries, Christian theologians have speculated on why it was necessary that Jesus had to suffer and die.   
    Some of the theories aput forward are described in wikipedia as the ransom theory, the recapitulation theory, the satisaction theory, the moral government theory and others.

    It seemsthat there is no consensus amonst Christians about its most central events!  They agree Jesus was crucified, but not about why or how it helped with man's sinfulness!   

  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    The Orthodox Catholic Church is the only authority on Christian theology.


    Central to your issue is the identity of Jesus Christ. Who do you say He is? The Orthodox understanding is central to realizing salvation.
  • Stephen
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    --> @keithprosser


    I can accept that Jesus was partly historical,

    Eh! ??????? he either existed or he didn't. This is you sitting on the fence again, isn't it. So which is , did Jesus exist or didn't he?

    and that he was very likely crucified.  

    Eh!?????  "very likely"?? Why only  very likely? 




    Over the centuries, Christian theologians have speculated on why it was necessary that Jesus had to suffer and die.

    Yes they have and it all boils down to the fact - in short and simplified - that he was a legitimate heir to the High Priesthood this was heresy in the eyes of the serving Roman appointed high priesthood, not to mention that this claim threatened their lucrative positions as "false priests", which they were more concerned about..   And his pedigree put him up as the legitimate king of the Jews, but this only niggled the Romans and could  have brought charges of lese majesty as they had installed their own puppet king, Herod , whom was an Arab. The truth here though is that the Romans didn't actually care who was "king of the Jews" as long as he buckled down and kept his people in order.  They all between them conspired to rid themselves of the legitimate  Priest King  Jesus.

    To put it even shorter and simpler, Jesus was a pain in the arse agitating zealot who had at his core a inner circle of rich men of high status and position & rich women of substance who were also zealots and who believed his claim as legitimate heir to the throne.  
     
       


    It seems that there is no consensus among Christians about its most central events!  They agree Jesus was crucified, but not about why or how it helped with man's sinfulness.


    There are many things the gospels themselves cannot agree on. Including what day the Christ was crucified. And you cannot get off the fence either, one minute your calling it all myth and telling us at post #45 here that ;


    Of course are talking about legend, not history!  https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/1952?page=2

    and  the next you are telling us you accept a "partly historical Jesus" . Seems to me you want to cut this cake all ways when it suits you. 

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stephen
    I think that Jesus was a person,not a god or a divinity.   I think he probably did say some of the things ascribed to him, but he couldn't perform miracles.   I think he probably was crucified, but he certainly wasn't born of a virgin.

    I hope that clears up what I mean by 'partly historical'.  Did Jesus exist?  If by 'jesus' you mean a charismatic human preacher who founded a religion, then yes.   If by 'Jesus' you mean the miracle working, divine virgin born son of a god then no.





  • Stephen
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    --> @keithprosser
    I think that Jesus was a person,not a god or a divinity.  

    So do most level headed biblical historians. but this is the first time I have heard you admit that and I agree. 

    I think he probably did say some of the things ascribed to him, but he couldn't perform miracles.

    That depends on what you- now a believer in the historic Christ -  would call a miracle.     





    I think he probably was crucified, but he certainly wasn't born of a virgin.

    Not as it is peached in the gospels and by the  preachers, I agree. Again, it would come down to understanding,  but we are drifting from the original purpose of your post concerning attomment.

    I hope that clears up what I mean by 'partly historical'. 

    Yes it's taken you years to admit that though, hasn't it, usually you dismiss the whole lot of the scriptures and the existence of the Christ, and this is the first time I have seen you admit to believing in an historic Christ. Maybe now we could possibly have a proper conversation about these gospels without having to prefix everything with "if jesus existed"  or suffix everything with "if one believes he existed" every time Jesus of the gospels is discussed. It is this purposeful ignorance by you that has stifled what could have been many a decent theological conversation between us. But I will wager that you will fall back to form before long. You just can't help being contrary for the sake of it because you are a pompous, self  satisfied,  smug  git,  who believes in his own self importance. 

     They agree Jesus was crucified, but not about why or how it helped with man's sinfulness.

     I have given my reasons why the christ was put to death. Now that you believe he existed, why do you believe he was put to death? I think we might agree that it had absolutely nothing to do with relieving us of the burden of our sins.



  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stephen
    I'd say Jesus was executed
    a) by the Jewish religious establishment for religious reasons
    or b) by the Roman authorities for political reasons
    or c) both!

    The only near contemporary accounts of his 'trial' are in the gospels which are not impartial sources.  The evangelists certainly want their readers to lean towards a), with the Romans somewhat reluctant to get involved. 

    However the gospels don't paint pontius pilate as the harsh dictatorial figure described by Jewish historians such as Philo and Josephus.  Pilate was quite capable of ignoring and even flouting the demands of Jewish priests.   Pilate was even recalled to Rome to account for the severity of his rule.

    So - and you call it fence sitting if you like - the causes and circumstances of Jesus' death are far from clear!   Short of inventing a TARDIS I don't think it's possible to know 'who killed JC'.  

    Personally, I'd say its probably more a) than b), but I'm open to persuasion.  I'm not married to any particular interpretation.

    But what didn't happen is the disappearance of Christianity.   The early church hit on the idea of putting a positive spin on the disaster of losing it's figure head ie 'atonement' (although it got that name much, much later).   As with James Dean and Kurt Cobain, dying was probably the best career move Jesus could have done!




  • Stephen
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    --> @keithprosser
    I'd say Jesus was executed 
    a) by the Jewish religious establishment for religious reasons
    or b) by the Roman authorities for political reasons
    or c) both!

    Well if we are to take the scripture at face value then the story is pretty clear why Jesus was put to death. They wanted him gone. He posed a threat that could cause them to lose everything :


     If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

    and here for once, all four gospellers agree that Jesus was arrested because the elders wanted to kill him, (Matthew 26:3-4; Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:2; John 11:53). But the charges varied! Matthew 26:21 states “This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days”. Mark 14: 58-59 tells us the same but adds “and within three days I will build another made without hands”. Matthew then tells us,
    “Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death”. Matthew 26:56-66.KJV






  • Polytheist-Witch
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    You mean make fun of atonement and any theist who responds. Hate mongering. 
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Stephen
    It seems we agree that the bible makes the Jews out to be the bad guys.  But.... the Christianity that really took off was Paul's 'gentile friendly' version rather than the more othodoxly Judaic version promoted within Israel.   

    I think Jews - especially Jews inside Israel - may have been sympathetic Jesus, but less so to Paul's reformulation.  So the Paulines more or less gave up on converting Jews and focused on outsiders, hence in their version of history it was Romans good, Jews bad.

    If so, the historical consequences over the millennia have been vast.

    But I want to learn more about the relevant history and my opinions may change... but I don't think there is much hope of finding anything deifnitive now, after 2000 years!!   Certainty is not going to be possible.

  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    You have made up yiur mind that Jesus is a person. Indeed Jesus is the 2nd person of The Trinity.


    But what you are really saying is that we Christians worship a man as God. If that was really the case, why is it that Paul wrote in his letter to The Romans, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man"?

    If you do not know the Jesus that we know, you don't know Jesus.





  • Goldtop
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    --> @Mopac
    If you do not know the Jesus that we know, you don't know Jesus.
    But, you have shown thousands of times on this forum you have no concept of what Jesus said, you even lied about calling him the Ultimate Reality, a phrase that does not appear anywhere in scriptures, you just made it up yourself, an obvious fabrication.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    But what you are really saying is that we Christians worship a man as God.
    I would say you worship a god that does not exist. The jesus you worship never existed - I believe the 'son of god' is a character in a myth that has at its historical core a real, flesh and blood person.   I don't think you do not worship a man as God... I think you worship a fiction as God.

     
  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    Well, either way, you are saying we worship creation as God.


    This is simply not the case, and if it was, how can it also be written in Saint Paul's letter to The Romans...

    "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

    So you simply do not know Jesus Christ.



  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    how can it also be written in Saint Paul's letter to The Romans...
    You seem unaware how writing works.   All it needs is pen and paper... truth is optional, and very often absent.

  • Polytheist-Witch
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    Keep this in mind with his own posts. LOL
  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    The point is that you neither know Jesus or what we believe.

    Apparently, what we believe is irrelevant to your own opinion, which I don't believe is righteous discernment.


  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    Apparently, what we believe is irrelevant to your own opinion, which I don't believe is righteous discernment.
    But what I believe is irrelevant to your opinion, so it cuts both ways.

  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    What I believe is not simply opinion.

    Your opinion is blasphemous, impious, and an intentional attack on the faith of the church. 

    So there is a difference.

    Now this topic is about atonement, and The Orthodox Catholic Church is the authority on this subject.

    The "no consensus among Christians" is a false assertion, because heretics are hardly Christian. They have no authority on this subject, and if they have the right position it is because it is the same position as The Orthodox Catholic Church.

    You are not an authority on this subject either.

    Now you can play the smug skeptic to your own just damnation, or you can take this subject seriously, maybe with a little reverence, and hear some good news.



  • Stephen
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    It seems we agree that the bible makes the Jews out to be the bad guys. 

    That's right, they were Jewish bad guys, priests to be precise and  not Christian bad guys. The point is he was killed for many reasons and The high Priesthood, The Romans and Herodians all had their own reasons for wanting him gone.




    But.... the Christianity that really took off was Paul's 'gentile friendly' 

     Which is something that is accepted by most academics. 

     

    I think Jews - especially Jews inside Israel - may have been sympathetic to Jesus, but less so to Paul's reformulation. 

    The Jewish population of Jerusalem didn't even know who he was although a "messiah" was expected" anytime soon. This was another danger Jesus was at pains to keep quiet about, that would indeed have caused the Romans to be put to death immediately and probably without trial when it is understood what was expected of a messiah 

    But I want to learn more about the relevant history and my opinions may change...
      
    Don't you mean the consequences? The relevance simply boils down to religion and nothing much else, one is a believer or he isn't. That is unless you really want to know why all this shite is going on and has been since the days of Mesopotamia and continues right up to this present time or age. The system hasn't changed.  Some of the consequences are obvious as you have pointed out: Jews or Romans or both get the blame for deliberately doing away with the "son of god" according to Christians causing animosity and war over the years. The fact is that they done away with a bloodline who's time had come to inherit the throne - or they thought they had, some believe it continues to this day, which isn't an impossibility at all.  

    But we are well off the subject of atonement and I don't see many responses coming your way on this matter from the Christian community.


    but I don't think there is much hope of finding anything deifnitive now, after 2000 years!!   


    Then why bother at all. 

  • keithprosser
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    Then why bother at all. 
    Everyone needs a hobby!

  • Stephen
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    --> @keithprosser


    Then why bother at all. 
    Everyone needs a hobby!


    I take it that you've never heard of plant pots and compost, then

  • PGA2.0
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    --> @keithprosser
    It seems we agree that the bible makes the Jews out to be the bad guys.  But.... the Christianity that really took off was Paul's 'gentile friendly' version rather than the more othodoxly Judaic version promoted within Israel.
    You'll notice that the entire NT has a Jewish theme of warning to it. That is because the OT Mosaic Covenant they made with God was never kept. He sent prophets and teachers to them to warn them that if they did not turn from their apostacy He would bring judgment upon them. 

    “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.

    Jesus told His disciples that John was the Elijah to come.

    And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.

    John was the one calling in the desert, warning Israel to repent before the axe struck the tree and brought it down (Matthew 3:5-12).

    Matthew 3:7
    But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

    10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

    So, Israel sensed judgment was coming upon them. You can find the theme of soon coming judgment and warning throughout the NT.  


    I think Jews - especially Jews inside Israel - may have been sympathetic Jesus, but less so to Paul's reformulation.  So the Paulines more or less gave up on converting Jews and focused on outsiders, hence in their version of history it was Romans good, Jews bad.
    Paul built on Jesus' teaching and part of that teaching was the atonement. Paul explained what Jesus accomplished. No animal was sufficient to take away sin. An animal did not sin against God yet God permitted it as a covering for sin until a perfect Man could offer Himself in the place of an animal.
    The animal represented the person and nation for God had said that the soul that sins would surely die. Thus, it was a substitutionary sacrifice until Jesus presented the sacrifice that could take away sin. The book of Hebrews, among others, conveys this message.

    Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 

    The animal sacrifices were a pattern of a greater truth, as is the whole OT worship system. 

    What is more, animal sacrifices had to be made every year on the Day of Atonement to cover the sins of the people (Israel) they had committed against God. But Jesus offered a far greater sacrifice and one that did not have to be repeated over and over again, thus, His sacrifice pleased God. His life was holy and His sacrifice paid the penalty (in substitution, just like the animal did in the OT) for the sins of the believer. 

    13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    As I said, the reason that animal sacrifice could not take away sin, only cover it until the covenant was abolished, was that it was not an animal that had sinned against God and destroyed the intimate relationship with God that Adam enjoyed in the Garden until the day sin was found in him.  

    Thus, Jesus, the Second Adam, restored that relationship by the merit of His life lived on behalf of the believer. So, one He [Jesus] had atoned for sin He sat down at the right hand of the Father in the greater sanctuary, the heavenly one. He also established a new covenant in His blood, just like God had made a covenant with Israel with blood. Throughout the NT we see the transition taking place between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. AD 70 marks the completion of the Old Covenant in which God judged and removed it in place of the eternal covenant. 


  • PGA2.0
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    --> @keithprosser
    17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. 18 Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.”

    24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

    Thus, the verse explains the sufficiency of Jesus atoning sacrifice. A man lived perfectly before God to restore the relationship lost in Eden. Not only this, but Jesus is the tree of life, the living water, the Lamb without spot or blemish. His one sacrifice put away sin on behalf of the believer. What is more, Jesus is also our High Priest before God. He is the One who represents us before God. And not only this, His death paid the penalty for those who believe. His life was offered in exchange for theirs. Thus, God does not judge us upon our own merit as believers but as Paul said, we have been crucified with Christ and Christ now lives in the believer. We have identified and been counted in His sacrifice! Thus, the atonement, which the OT foreshadowed, is the greatest news the world has ever heard, for those who believe! 


  • Mopac
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    A man lived perfectly before God to restore the relationship lost in Eden.

    Can you say that Mary carried God in her womb and gave birth to Him?
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    --> @Mopac
    A man lived perfectly before God to restore the relationship lost in Eden.

    Can you say that Mary carried God in her womb and gave birth to Him?

    I can't say Mary give birth to the eternal God. I can say that God, in Jesus, took on humanity.