God Crucified?

On Sunday we were listening to Nadia Bolz Weber doing her “Lutheran theology rocks” thing in an interview at Wild Goose. (Seriously, folks, she is living out the law/gospel, simul justus et peccator thing better than anyone else I’m familiar with in 2013.) At one point she started talking about the atonement. So much of […]

Atonement & Martyrdom

Increasingly, the idea of atonement is a tough one for folks to grab hold of. “Jesus died for our sins” is not only subject to lots of interpretation and reinterpretation. One of the questions we have to keep coming back to in this discussion, at least to get our bearings, is how first-century Jewish people […]

Our Sin in God

Karl Barth, thoughts on our sin and God, appropriate for Holy Saturday: It is His heart, not ours, which is suffering when we think that we are the sufferers and that we have a right or obligation to lament. His heart is wounded, and wounded through our heart… Sin attains its true form as opposition […]

Does Mercy Seat Work for You?

How do we understand what Jesus is on the cross? Romans 3:25 speaks of Jesus as a hilasterion. This is translated in some versions as “sacrifice of atonement,” in others as “a propitiation,” and now the CEB is translating it, “the place of sacrifice where mercy is found.” The word is used in the LXX […]

Can’t God Just Forgive?

When people wrestle with atonement theology (i.e., how does the cross, in particular, bring about forgiveness of sins), the objection to atonement theology as a whole is sometimes voiced: why can’t God just forgive? Does God really need some sort of payment? On the one hand, yes, God can do whatever God wants. This is […]