I Guess He Didn't Get the Memo
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Whoa! Talk about missing the point! Terry Eagleton, a professor at the University of Manchester, says that the crucifixion of Christ wasn't really all that bad, and that Christ got off lightly since it only took him a few hours to die. Mr. Eagleton is described as a Marxist academic (isn't that an oxymoron?)

I've also read this in a religious article, written by a major leader of the denomination, which shall remain nameless lest I be accused of hate speech. Musings on the Atonement of Christ:

The Meaning of the Atonement
With this background in mind, let us now ponder the deep meaning of the word atonement. In the English language, the components are at-one-ment, suggesting that a person is at one with another...
Well, they almost have it right. Atonement does come from English roots - at one- but it is the Satisfaction of Christ for our sins, by which God and man are brought together. Originally from the Middle English at oon, it meant "reconcile".

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
In any view, the Atonement is founded on the Divine Incarnation. By this great mystery, the Eternal Word took to Himself the nature of man and, being both God and man, became the Mediator between and men.

St. Anselm sheds some light on the Atonement, while simultaneously refuting the claims of the Word of Faith movement centuries before the Trinity Broadcast Network pushed their brand of Name-it Claim-it Success theology, a cornerstone of which is the idea of "Satan's rights" or "Satan's legal ground". (This is how Kenneth Copeland, for example, explains why Christ had to descend into Hell; he had a deal with the devil.)

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
No sin, as he views the matter, can be forgiven without satisfaction. A debt to Divine justice has been incurred; and that debt must needs be paid.
t man could not make this satisfaction for himself; the debt is something far greater than he can pay; and, moreover, all the service that he can offer to God is already due on other titles.
The suggestion that some innocent man
, or angel, might possibly pay the debt incurred by sinners is rejected, on the ground that in any case this would put the sinner under obligation to his deliverer, and he would thus become the servant of a mere creature.
The only way in which the satisfaction could be made, and men could be set free from sin
, was by the coming of a Redeemer who is both God and man. His death makes full satisfaction to the Divine Justice, for it is something greater than all the sins of all mankind.

St. Anselm's view is echoed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
#616 It is love "to the end" that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. (John 1:13) He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. (Gal 2:20, Eph 5:2, 25)

Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died." (2 Cor 5:14) No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all.

The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.

The point of the Crucifixion, and the Atonement, does not lie in the fact that a man suffered more, or less horribly than other men. The heart of the matter is that God suffered and died for us.

BTW - it did take 6 hours. Mark 15:25 records that it was the 3rd hour when they crucified Christ, and he died at the ninth hour (Mark 15:33).

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/21/2008 08:15:00 AM | Permalink | |