• Dying and living with Christ: A sketch of a participatory theory of the atonement founded in Platonic realism and an Irenaean "soul-making" theodicy

    Albert Roland Haig (see profile)
    Philosophy of Religion, Religious Studies, Theology
    Theology, Philosophical theology, Theology, Doctrinal
    Item Type:
    Atonement, New perspective on Paul, Systematic theology
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    A theory of the atonement is outlined which is grounded in an appropriation of the Platonic doctrine of participation, and an Irenaean theodicy. The purpose of Christ’s life and death was to enable humans to destroy the sinful aspects of their character, and to manifest Christ’s righteousness, by means of participation in the same Form. The theory is similar to versions of the Christus Victor model which emphasise recapitulation and theosis. Forgiveness of past sin is connected with Christ’s sacrifice because such forgiveness must be conditional upon the possibility of rehabilitation of the offender, and this rehabilitation is only possible because of Christ’s sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ was metaphysically necessary if human salvation was to be achieved. A number of assumptions are involved: the Platonic theory of Forms, the temporality of Form, strong metaphysical constraints on divine omnipotence, and suffering as essential to the finite expression of goodness. Scripturally, the theory is motivated by the insights of the “new perspective on Paul.” Since both forgiveness of past sin, and also sanctification/theosis are dependent upon Christ’s life and death, the theory readily accommodates a wide range of scriptural motifs concerning the atonement, including substitution and appeasement of divine wrath.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago
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