The Atonement as Theodicy

September 12, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 8:29 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

This post was an experiment in whether concentrating on the issues in my previous post would enable me to better put forth a discussion of the atonement. Your input and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

First to give context, I recently read a blog post about a “Reductio ad Hitlerum” film put on by BBC regarding the problem of Evil [1]. At the same time, I was listening to the Book of Job on my commute to work, slowly working my way through the Old Testament for the first time. As I dealt with these two items simultaneously, it renewed my interest in the way the church has dealt with the problem of suffering and evil. It is my opinion that the Church uses its particular theological tenants regarding the Atonement and the way things are as our own theodicy, and that this theodicy is strong.

Now perhaps theodicy is the wrong word, some may argue, but here I am taking theodicy to simply mean a defense of God’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil [2]. And again, perhaps atonement is the wrong word, as this can sometimes be construed to mean everything between the act in Gethsemane and the entirety of the Plan of Salvation. [3] For my purposes here I am going to initially begin by framing the problem in the whole of the plan and hopefully drill down to examine the event in Gethsemane in context of that plan.

Why the Atonement is so hard to discuss. (Warning, this is all Meta)

September 4, 2008    By: Matt W. @ 5:55 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

Today I went back and read a few old posts, and a few things became apparent.

The Atonement, as defined by “Preach my Gospel” is not substitution.

December 26, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 1:39 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

As it is the current tradition of the Church to publish the majority of it’s texts online, The Church has now done so with Preach My Gospel, the current Guide to Missionary Work in the Church. As this Manual will shape the thoughts and feelings of missionaries and converts for years to come, and thus, arguably, the majority of the future leadership of the church, I’d like to take the opportunity to examine the definition of the atonement as given in this important text.

Habit, Character, and Stains on the Soul

October 14, 2007    By: Jacob J @ 11:32 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

In his Principles of Psychology, William James has a chapter exploring the nature of habits.

Point One: Habits are physical. If a substance can be shaped or manipulated and then hold its new configuration, it is capable of developing a habit. For example, “everyone knows how a garment, after having been worn a certain time, clings to the shape of the body better than when it was new; there has been a change in the tissue, and this change is a new habit.” Similarly, “when a bar of iron becomes magnetic or crystalline through the action of certain outward causes” it has developed a habit. The structure of these materials resists change, which is why the developement of a habit takes time. However, “when the structure has yielded, the same inertia becomes a condition of its comparative permanence in the new form.” (more…)

An Atonement Parable from Truman G. Madsen.

October 7, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 3:11 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

A while back, Jacob brougt up the idea of posting something devotional on sundays. It being conference weekend and all, I thought I’d make an effort. This is what I did between sessions.

On this blog there have been many stories or parables discussed. We have, of course, argued the intent of Packer’s Mediator. We have discussed “the parable of the bicycle”, and Geoff J has graced us with his own piano player parable,and another financial parable. In discussing the atonement in a recent thread, Blake brought up the idea of using the story of a Bishop who has a great capacity for empathy as a parable of the Atonement. Heck, I even once tried to compare the atonement to an eagle teaching her children to fly. (Sorry If I missed any.)

Redeeming Boyd K. Packer from the Penal Substitution Theory

September 4, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 2:41 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

Boyd K Packer is often maligned for his parable of the atonement he put for in his 1977 conference talk entitled the mediator.

Life before the atonement

July 27, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 12:00 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

One of the conundrums for me has been in resolving how the effects of the atonement were efficacious before the cause of those effects had even occurred.

The Gethsemane Event in Church History

March 29, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 8:00 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

Ok, I am studying what the church has taught about Gethsemane, and it is pretty interesting to me, so I thought I would post it here and also ask for a little help.

An [evangelical] Survey of Mormon Teachings

March 26, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 11:45 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

In 2003, Dr. Cky J. Carrigan presented this survey for our edification and perusal. First, let me say I do not find anything in what I have skimmed from this article malicious, and actually was thoroughly impressed at the effort Dr. Carrigan put into it.

I thought I would post Dr. Carrigan’s conclusions here for our discussion.

I stupidly said judgment would be fair

November 28, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 1:09 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

I walked right into it by using the word fair in the same sentence as judgment. It was a rookie mistake. (more…)

A rough and untitled outline of an atonement theory [Update 2: Exemplar-Empathy Theory]

November 5, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:16 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

I’ve been threatening for quite some time to post an atonement theory. Blake Ostler has written a good one of his own and has thrown out the challenge to the rest of us to come up with a better one if we can. As it turns out, coming up with a coherent theory of atonement is really quite difficult. We have discussed his theory and others here for months and no one has come up with a theory that answers the questions we have have discussed about the atonement. Jacob wrote an excellent paper on the atonement (it was published in the Spring 2006 issues of Dialogue) in which he critiqued some of the theories out there but ended up demurring when it came to answering many of the tough questions a theory should answer. Mark Butler has talked about a theory but has never written it down in a single and concise form that can be adequately engaged. So this post is my preliminary and very rough whack at an atonement theory. (more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »