I find that seminary has three parts to it. 1st you come in with your own ideas and are able to defend them, they are clear and boundaries are demarcated through experience in and of your local church. then you start considering other parts (this would be part two) and you start hearing the logic and views of your classmates. meanwhile you're in another setting with other ways of doing and view the Christian Tradition. This leads to confusion and boundaries start to bleed. the third stage is just before you graduate you realize what you used to believe and claim it again, only this time, more loosely as you're able to consider other points of view.
applying this to my understanding of atonement, it would look like this:
1. i came in thinking that these two models at hand (Jesus as sacrifice and victor) were awful and bad theology.In the words of James Allison, i thought that these atonement theories set up "God and his Son in some sort of consensual form of S&M- one needing the abasement of the other in order to be satisfied, and the other loving the cruel will of the Father." I would have claimed, as Allison does that these theories "have done more to contribute to atheism among ordinary people than any number of clerical scandals, and that if being a believer means believing this, then it is better to be among the non-believers."
2. I have examined these more closely and tried to consider their Christology and historical import as seen in the previous post on the matter.
3. Where I'm at now sees how others view and i even see a place where we intersect. an email conversation with DPS proved quite fruitful in coming to this conclusion. he suggested two books, Susan Bond's The Trouble with Jesus and J. Denny Weaver's The Nonviolent Atonement. DPS claimed that you can't be a universalist without being in the Christus Victor model, or believe apokatastasis without it in some form. it's just what form that is important. in the next few posts, i'll talk about my interactions with Bond and Weaver and where i stand. hope you'll stick around!