Separating the Atonement from the Christ Event

November 1, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:50 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology

Moggett started using an excellent term in some of her posts over at FPR: “The Christ Event”. The Christ Event, as I understand it, is a name for the events in the life of Jesus between the last supper (or perhaps the triumphal entry into Jerusalem…) and the resurrection, including the Garden of Gethsemane and the cross. I think this is a very useful term to be used in conjunction with the broader term atonement. Making such a delineation may not be all that important in some settings, but when we are trying to discuss atonement theories such added precision becomes a necessity. (more…)

Penal-Substitution anyone?

October 12, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 11:47 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

In the previous thread, Matt started up a defense of the penal-substitution theory, so I am putting up this post as a place to discuss it in more detail. (more…)

Some thoughts on atonement theory

October 9, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 10:22 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

Not too long ago here at the Thang we were arguing about Blake Ostler’s atonement theory. In the course of that discussion, more than one person made a statement to the effect that some particular question was the central question of atonement theory, or, on one occasion, that a given theory did not really qualify as such unless it resolved a certain problem.

When you get focused on some specific problem it is easy to start thinking this way, but I don’t really buy into it. (more…)

Relative righteousness vs. absolute righteousness

September 7, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:36 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Scriptures,Theology

Over in Jacob’s last thread one of the 5 or 6 topics we discussed was the issue of righteous societies vs. less righteous societies. I commented that righteous societies didn’t necessarily generate more righteous individuals because there is nothing very commendable about choosing the right just because everyone else is doing it. Ethical choices motivated by peer pressure are not very impressive. That led me to this idea I have wanted to discuss for some time though: I think that the scriptures describe at least two scales upon which righteousness (which I’ll define as “conduct in accordance with virtue or morality”) should be judged. There appears to me to be an absolute scale (measuring one’s conduct against God) and a relative scale (measuring one’s conduct against one’s circumstances). (more…)

How I Would Torture Saddam Hussein

July 31, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 9:47 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Ethics,Theology

Sometimes people do unimaginable things to other people. When I hear of a horrific crime against an innocent child, my first reaction is sadness. The nightly news makes me cry routinely. My second reaction is anger. My sense of justice cries out for retribution on the criminal. Saddam Hussein provides a good example because his atrocities are already part of the public consciousness to some extent. (more…)

What exactly do our scriptures mean when they say “salvation”?

July 4, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 12:44 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Scriptures,Theology

My post on Blake Ostler’s views on LDS soteriology quickly ballooned to more than 100 comments and revealed that there are a lot of differing soteriologies among us. In this post I will describe the various things I think scriptures mean when they use the term “salvation”. (more…)

Ostler on Salvation (Part 1)

June 30, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 1:41 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Ostler Reading,Theology

Chapter 6 in Blake Ostler’s new book is titled “Soteriology in LDS Thought”. For those of you not familiar with the term Soteriology, it is basically the study of salvation. As the article in Wikipedia puts it: “A particular stance on what constitutes salvation is thus known as a soteriology.” This chapter is a little unusual because it seems to be directed to non-Mormons in many ways and is largely focused on fending off accusations that Mormonism “preaches salvation by works and that it focuses on works to the exclusion of grace.” (189) Ostler goes about disputing this accusation by defining salvation in LDS thought and asserting that in LDS thought a low form salvation is possible without any work another than confessing Jesus as the Christ, and that only higher levels of “salvation” including exaltation are contingent on our works. (more…)

A shout out to all y’all Mormon Pelagians

April 17, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 12:59 am   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,McMurrin Reading,Ostler Reading,Theology

Sterling McMurrin was on to something when he said:

Indeed, since Mormonism is essentially Pelagian in its theology, exhibiting, as already has been pointed out, a quite remarkable similarity to the Pelagian doctrines of the fourth and fifth centuries, it is subject to the same criticism an condemnation from orthodoxy that made Pelagianism the most celebrated heresy in Christian history. But Mormonism outdoes its fifth-century cousin by its denial of the orthodox doctrine of creation, and it thereby produces a basic problem for its own theology in its relation to Christian orthodoxy, the problem of why the doctrine of the salvation of man should involve the traditional pattern of atonement through Christ. (Theological Foundations, pg. 82)


Ostler’s “Compassion Theory of Atonement”

April 12, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 11:59 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Life,Ostler Reading,Theology

As part of this week’s whirlwind series on the atonement I skipped ahead in the reading of Blake Ostler’s Exploring Mormon Thought – The Problems of Theism and the Love of God to chapters six and seven which cover soteriology and the atonement. Blake proposes what he calls “The Compassion Theory of Atonement”. Here are the basic components (not necessarily in the right order): (more…)

Theories on the Atonement of Christ – An Overview

April 10, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 11:41 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

As the second installment in this pre-Easter series on the atonement I decided it would be useful to give and overview of many of the popular traditional views on the atonement of Christ. Just a little Web searching turned up some very useful information. I’ll give some brief info on them and comment on the possible connections to Mormonism. (more…)

Brainstorming on the Atonement

April 9, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 11:31 pm   Category: Atonement & Soteriology,Theology

Do any of you really understand the atonement? I don’t think I do. Sure, I have the pithy one-liners about the atonement memorized just like ya’ll do but I can’t say I really get it. As we approach Easter 2006 I thought I’d post on the atonement this week to see if we can help each other understand this whole concept a little better. (more…)

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