Location

Northwestern College, Rowenhorst Student Center

Description

Atonement, the theological issue dealing with the precise nature of Christ’s work, is a central doctrine to the Christian faith and yet it is one which historically has not always achieved consensus among theologians. This problem becomes more complicated when we entertain the possibility that different biblical authors may have had competing understandings even within the New Testament canon. This project explores what might happen if we were to interpret 1 John 2:2’s idea of Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world in light of Rudolf Bultmann’s basic thesis about the Gospel of John’s view of the atonement, namely, that it was a revelatory salvific work rather than a penal substitutionary one. This is more of a theological and exegetical thought experiment than an argument for proposed normativity of belief; nevertheless, it may have value for those who have never considered the theological and literary difficulties of the standard interpretation of 1 John 2:2 within a penal substitutionary atonement paradigm. Ultimately, this project argues for the potential viability of interpreting this verse under the alternate revelatory atonement paradigm, a view which holds to a limited understanding of the extent of the atonement’s work.

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Apr 12th, 11:00 AM Apr 12th, 1:00 PM

Limited Atonement in 1 John 2:2

Northwestern College, Rowenhorst Student Center

Atonement, the theological issue dealing with the precise nature of Christ’s work, is a central doctrine to the Christian faith and yet it is one which historically has not always achieved consensus among theologians. This problem becomes more complicated when we entertain the possibility that different biblical authors may have had competing understandings even within the New Testament canon. This project explores what might happen if we were to interpret 1 John 2:2’s idea of Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world in light of Rudolf Bultmann’s basic thesis about the Gospel of John’s view of the atonement, namely, that it was a revelatory salvific work rather than a penal substitutionary one. This is more of a theological and exegetical thought experiment than an argument for proposed normativity of belief; nevertheless, it may have value for those who have never considered the theological and literary difficulties of the standard interpretation of 1 John 2:2 within a penal substitutionary atonement paradigm. Ultimately, this project argues for the potential viability of interpreting this verse under the alternate revelatory atonement paradigm, a view which holds to a limited understanding of the extent of the atonement’s work.

 

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