Tuesday I presented the Christus Victor view of the cross. The following view is sometimes called Penal Substitution.
Following are a few counterpoints that Derek Flood presents on his blog:
Instead, Anselm suggested that we (sinful humans) owe God a debt of honor: "This is the debt which man and angel owe to God, and no one who pays this debt commits sin; but every one who does not pay it sins. This is justice, or uprightness of will, which makes a being just or upright in heart, that is, in will; and this is the sole and complete debt of honor which we owe to God, and which God requires of us." This debt creates essentially an imbalance in the moral universe; it could not be satisfied by God's simply ignoring it. In Anselm's view, the only possible way of repaying the debt was for a being of infinite greatness, acting as a man on behalf of men, to repay the debt of honor owed to God. Therefore, when Jesus died, he did not pay a debt to Satan but to God, His Father. In light of this view, the "ransom" that Jesus referred to, in the Gospels, would be a sacrifice and a debt paid only to God the Father, in behalf of "many".
Anselm did not state specifically whether Jesus' payment of debt was for all of mankind as a group or for individual people, but his language leans in the former direction. Thomas Aquinas' later developments specifically attribute the scope of the atonement to be universal in nature.
- When we strip the human experience of the language of passion, then we are left with a soulless theology. Love cannot be dissected into a formula without trivializing it. It can only be articulated in the language of the poet.
- Satisfaction-Doctrine takes the love out of the cross, and turns it into a calculated legal transaction.
- There is no conflict between God's justice and mercy. Justice is about mercy. Justice comes through mercy and always has.
- Satisfaction-Doctrine, although it prides itself on facing the gravity of sin, in fact treats sin superficially without dealing with the roots.
- Love from God is not based on who we are but on who God is. We are justified by God's love, not by law. Likewise sanctification comes through living in God's love.
Which view attracts you more? What aspects of that theory appeal the most?