The Winnipeg Free Press faith reporter John Longhurst asked me to put some thoughts together on the subject of atonement to assist him in an article he was writing for Holy Week. Longhurst’s column can be found here. He has also posted the reference article I wrote for him in its entirety on his blog, here.
“One of the great advantages of being a Christian is that we are in a lifetime project to discover how to confess our sins. To be able to confess our sins is a theological achievement that our baptisms have made possible. For sin, as Karl Barth maintained, is only known in the light of Christ. Thus from Barth’s perspective, our fundamental sin consists in the presumption that we can know our sin without having become a disciple of Christ. In short, to be a Christian means we must be trained to be a sinner. Continue reading A Lifetime Project (Series on “Minding the Web”)
I’m hoping to return to my series on Lesslie Newbigin’s marks of the missional church in the near future, but in the meantime I thought I’d share an excerpt from John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion that I came across this morning. In the soaring quote that follows we see resonances with the theme of the “blessed” or “happy exchange” which Martin Luther developed in his famous tract, “The Freedom of a Christian.” In addition, there is also a distinct echoing of the famous Patristic saying affirmed by Irenaeus, Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa, among others, that “God became man in order that man might become God.” The apparent presence of the theme of theosis or deification in this passage lends credence to the recent attempt by Rowan Williams’ to read John Calvin as “The Last of the Greek Fathers.” Continue reading Calvin on “The Wonderful Exchange”