How does God save? More specifically, how do Jesus’ death and resurrection bring salvation? This is the question of “atonement”—the core of Christian theology.
Posts over the next several weeks will explore the theology of atonement in light of honor-shame. However, my approach will be a bit different. The posts will focus on the passion narratives of the Gospels. We often communicate our atonement theology through abstract, propositional discourse. As a result, we emphasize the propositional elements of the New Testament (i.e., Pauline letters, Hebrews, 1 Peter) to construct our atonement theology. However, the early church also communicated atonement via narratives of Jesus’ death. Therefore, the posts will focus on the crucifixion stories.
Also, my question is different. We usually start with the question, “How does Jesus save me?” This question, though important, is leading, and perhaps even distracting from other aspects of salvation accomplished on the cross. So, my questions are:
- How did Jesus’ death create a new paradigm of honor?
- How does Jesus reveal honor?
- What do the gospel narratives of Jesus say about honor?
We often emphasize the transactional aspects of salvation. But there may be ways the atonement is redefinitional. God not only removes something and debits an account, but he also reframes reality and opens new understandings of Truth through the cross. My thoughts are preliminary, but hopefully the next several posts will enrich our theology of honor and salvation in Christ.
Previous posts on the atonement are available here.