Normally, we think of apologetic writing as a defense of the Christian faith to those outside of it. I wonder if it could be used for inter-Christian debate. Dave Warnock at 42 has taken up a defence of Steve Chalke and his understanding of the atonement.
Chalke, an British evangelical leader, has caused controversy in the last few years by rejecting the Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement (the theory that Jesus’ sacrifice was made to appease the wrath of an angry God looking for someone to punish). On the positive side, it has created a lot of discussion, in particular in evangelical circles. Most recently, this is seen in the book, The Atonement Debate.
On the negative side, it has caused a lot of name calling, declaring from some people saying Chalke is no longer an evangelical (which could be read non-Christian). Enter Adrian Warnock (no relation to Dave). He has posted a series deriding Chalke, and by implication all those who disagree with Adrian.
Dave has posted his own series to dialogue with Adrian (as much you can – I don’t know Adrian, but it appears that there is not a lot of ‘dialogue’ on his side). I think the Penal Substitution Theory has dominated too much of evangelical Christianity thinking, in particular the image of God of full of wrath, almost upset he has no one left to punish because he can only think, ‘Oh, yeah – I sent Jesus. I can’t smite them now.’ Penal Substitution has always only been ONE theory among many, and now people are seeing the faults. So, I think discussion is important enough to highlight, and I list post to Dave’s comments (he also gives the links for Adrian’s post).
- Back on form through atonement
- Back on form: disagreeing
- Back on form: defining evangelical
- Development is not evangelical and other arguments of straw
- The problem of one way streets
- Sub-Biblical arguments against Steve Chalke
- The end of Adrian Warnock on Penal Substitution
I thought better to highlight it here than in my week’s end post.