The War and The Atonement of Christ

1) COSMIC WARFARE In Scripture:

The Old and New Testament depict a “cosmic war zone” in which humanity is being destroyed and held captive.

Satan is named as a regular character in the divine drama.Not only Satan, but hostile powers are regularly named. They are called the “rulers”, “principalities”, “powers” and “authorities”, who have “dominion”, who are “elemental spirits” and “spiritual forces”.

2) Spiritual Powers ARE REAL.

Missiologist and anthropologist Paul Hiebert claimed that the West suffered from “The Flaw of the Excluded Middle”, where we think that spirits, demons, curses, magic, and the like are all just fantasies and fairy tales.

In the West we tend to think of the world having two stories to it. The top one where God lives and the bottom one where we live.
But most of the world, and the biblical worldview, has three levels. The middle level is where all the spiritual powers dwell. And from this middle realm they harass and enslave humanity because of sin.

3) Jesus’ VICTORY over the Powers

For the Christus Victor view, it is not just the death of Jesus, but his life and resurrection, that impacts the spiritual realm on our behalf.

4) Why Did Jesus Die? Who Demands Death?

In the Christus Victor view, the death of Jesus was necessary, not as a payment of death for death, or the penalty for sin, but as the means by which God—who is LIFE itself—entered into the farthest reaches of the destruction created by sin—DEATH itself—so that God could begin renewing creation from that place.

1) Holiness
False Assumption: Holiness requires a penalty for sin.
True: God’s holiness requires our cleansing of sin.

2) Wrath
False Assumption: God’s Wrath is Connected to being a Judge.
True: God’s Wrath is Connected to a Covenant Relationship

3) Wrath and Sacrifice
False Assumption: God’s Wrath is Appeased through Sacrifice (the death of something).

4) Sacrifices and Substitution of Sin
False Assumption: Sacrifices receive the transfer of a person’s sin.
True: Only the Scapegoat on the Day of Atonement Receives the Sins of the People, and it wasn’t sacrificed.

5) Blood is Given as the Substitute of Death
False: Blood represents the death of one substituted for the death of another.
True: Sacrificial Blood is Given as a Gift of Life.

Primary Problematic Assumption
The primary problematic assumption is that penal substitution advocates see the main problem in the Bible as one of individual sin needing forgiveness.

But when you step back and look at the entire story of the Bible we find that our sin problem is not the main problem.

Rather we find that there is a PRESENCE problem, that humanity has lost access to the presence of God and have therefore lost perspective on the purposes of God in the world.

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