The Atonement: A Series

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.

resources for Majority World ministry

5 Comments on “The Atonement: A Series

  1. Be careful not to push the Atonement of Christ to much into honor.

    Christ died to make “dead in sin” people alive again (Eph. 2).

    Honor follows being made alive again. But the cross of Christ is not about honor. As if God paid us a great compliment when his Son died for us.

  2. We so much look forward to these upcoming posts! We need your redefinitional observations so that we can teach them to our majority world contacts. Hurry!

  3. That’s what I thought about his idea of atonement for shame in another article recently. Surprised there isn’t more interaction here on the articles! what a shame! Blessings to you (and honour to Him)!

  4. There seems to be a quadrilateral instead of a triangle in each culture we need to analyze, according to Pauline Theology:
    Wisdom-Folly
    Righteousness/Rightstanding-Guilt/Condemnation
    Purity/Holiness-Uncleaness and shame
    Redemption/Power/Trust-Slavery, fear, oppression

    See 1 Cor 1:30-31; Jn 16:5-11

  5. Thanks so much for your work on the 3D gospel. You have a lot of material on honour and shame, which is very significant. But I would like to see more material on fear/power and the atonement/gospel. I minister among Hindu people and this is a very significant dynamic for them. Thank you!

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