Atonement - the Greatest Role Model

Topics: Christianity, Philosophy, Jesus Pages: 4 (1543 words) Published: May 26, 2013
Christianity is an intricate religion, with more branches and complexities then any other faith. Many of these complications stem from the myths surrounding the life and death of Yeshua, known to the Christians as Jesus Christ. The Christian people commonly believe that Yeshua died for the people’s sins, and that his supposed resurrection occurred because God forgave the sinners and believed that they had learned their lesson. They also thought of Yeshua as a sort of pawn for the human race - after he died for them they worshiped him, and when he allegedly arose from the grave they thought of him as their savior, a miracle maker and mini-god, instead of as an actual person, albeit an exceptionally good person.

Philosophers, however, had different perspectives on Atonement, the meaning of Yeshua’s death. Justin Martyr, Athanasius and Augustine all partly taught substitutionary atonement, the theory that Yeshua was a substitute for all humankind being punished - only he could be the substitute because he is the only one who is not seeped in sin. The thought that Yeshua was a ransom asked for by Satan, in return for our sins, was most widely spread by Christian philosopher Robin Collins, and the similar idea that Yeshua died to defeat the powers of evil in the world, entitled the Christus Victor, was popularized by Gustaf Aulén's book. These theories were succeeded by Anselm of Canterbury’s satisfaction theory, that Yeshua was sacrificed to satisfy the powers of justice and regain God’s honor. A further atonement theory stands apart from the rest. This is the moral influence theory, which teaches that the purpose of Yeshua’s life and death was to bring positive moral change to humanity. As James Kiefer said it, “...Christ came to win men’s hearts by an example of reconciling love.” It is the oldest view of the atonement in Christian theology and the dominant view for most of Christian history. The moral theory of atonement is the most sound of the atonements...
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