Christus Victor

I quoted this Wikipedia excerpt yesterday in a comment on this blog:
"The term Christus Victor refers to a Christian understanding of the atonement which views Christ's death as the means by which the powers of evil, which held humankind under their dominion, were defeated. It is a model of the atonement that is dated to the Church Fathers, and it, or the related ransom theory, was the dominant theory of the atonement for a thousand years, until it was removed in the West by the eleventh-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm, and replaced with his "satisfaction" model."
I first learned about Christus Victor on Derek Flood's blog where he contrasts Christus Victor with Penal Substitution. Since then he has published a book. Here is the Amazon description of it:
Why did Jesus have to die? Was it to appease a wrathful God's demand for punishment? Does that mean Jesus died to save us from God? How could someone ever truly love or trust a God like that? How can that ever be called ''Good News''? It's questions like these that make so many people want to have nothing to do with Christianity. Healing the Gospel challenges the assumption that the Christian understanding of justice is rooted in a demand for violent punishment, and instead offers a radically different understanding of the gospel based on God's restorative justice.
I suggest that you take a look at Derek's comparison of these two views of what happened on the cross. You can read his thoughts here. You may not change your view but it will definitely give you something to think about.


  1. Dear Bob,
    Found you by using my search engine and the phrase 'performance orientation.' I like what you have written on the subject. Would you consider doing more? Testimonies of those who have broken free, steps to break free, Elijah House resources, et cetera?

    1. Thanks for the comment Arise. I am currently in a devotional series on the Gospel of John. After that I may do more on the topic if I am so moved to do it. Have a great week!


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