This is my personal blog. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the congregations or presbytery I serve.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sin and Atonement From the Eastern Church Perspective

Along the lines of Gregory of Nyssa, this is a spectacular summary of the difference between the understanding of sin and atonement in the Eastern and Western churches.  Check it out.

In the West we have largely been fed only one version of sin/atonement, the one derived from Augustine and Anselm. This article articulates another, older, and more fundamental perspective on the matter. I have always found this profoundly liberating.

Today someone in my church reported that their teenager announced that he didn't believe in God. Though I have had my disagreements with Marcus Borg, he has taught me to ask such people the question, "Which God don't you believe in?" Invariably, when hearing about the God they don't believe in, the describe a God I don't believe in either. The God they describe is, among other things, the heartless God of "original sin" and the "satisfaction" theory of the atonement.

There are far better, more scriptural, and more faithful ways of talking about the atonement.

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