I am currently reading a surprising little book entitled The Death of Christ by Fisher Humphreys, formerly of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Humphreys sets forth a view of the atonement that he calls "Cruciform Forgiveness." Incidentally, Humphreys was kicked out of New Orleans Baptist Seminary by the SBC in part for such views.
It is a surprising read because what I am finding here resonates with some of my own reflections on atonement theory. It is also quite refreshing to see some of the ideas floating in my head articulated from a different angle. Many of my friends and students will know already that over the years I have grown more and more disenchanted with the so-called penal-substitution theory of the Reformers and Anselm's Satisfaction Theory as well. As we head into Holy Week, in anticipation of Good Friday, I will share some of my thoughts on this matter. For now, enjoy this intriguing tidbit from Humphreys:
If the objectivity of the cross is located in God's experience, then it is even more objective than the theories of Anselm, Calvin, and Aulen. For the life of God is a more fundamental reality than his honor or his justice or even the demonic forces. (Fisher Humphreys, The Death of Christ, p. 126)Until next time.
P.S. My friend and future colleague Jeff Steel's blog - http://meam-commemorationem.blogspot.com - deals quite a bit with the nature of Eucharistic Sacrifice. I think that there is little doubt that most of the Reformation controversies (i.e. Protestant hang-ups) over this aspect of the Eucharist stem from faulty thinking on the atonement in the West. After all, the Eastern churches don't have these hang ups!