So-Called Evangelicals Denounce The Atonement As "Too Individualistic"
In an interesting article posted a Christianity Today, Mark Dever examines growing opposition within the Evangelical community to the substitionary atonement, meaning the death of Christ upon the cross for the fulfillment of our sins.
Thinking they know more than God now, a number of theologians oppose the Atonement as a barbaric holdover from less enlightened times that fosters a sense of individuality among believers. Heaven forbid anything that hinders our sublimation into members of the COMMUNITY.
Frankly though, if Christ did not die for our sins and rise from the dead, why bother being a Christian at all? 1 Corinthians 15:19 says, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."
Furthermore, what's the point of forgiveness and eternal life if it means the obliteration of our individuality in a manner akin to Brahmin in Hinduism or the Nirvana of Buddhism?
Also, the observant might note that, if these theological babblers have constructed elaborate arguments to convince themselves they are without sin, the last thing they want to confront is the most jarring reminder of all that the bad in humanity outweighs the good.
The word sin is simply retained as a convenient tool with which to prod the masses when the uneducated clods drag their feet in implementing the agenda of the elite and hindering the revolution rather than to convict any one person of individual wrongdoing.
For the offenses of materialism, racism, and nationalism mentioned are so broad that they are more interpretations than specific misdeeds.
In the eyes of our social and ecclesiastical overlords, materialism is not so much the Saganist philosophy that the universe all the was, is, or ever will be but rather the failure to relinquish one's property to the state or other institutions of authority. Racism is not so much the mistreatment of a particular individual and thus covered under more traditional ethical codes but rather failure to support undue concessions or favors for protected groups. Nationalism is not so much the elevation of the state above God or even the individual but rather the failure to embrace the headlong rush towards global government.
As all powerful as the Communitarians would like their collective to be, it's not going to do one bit to keep you out of Hell or launch you into a happy afterlife. And if there is no hope beyond the grave, why shouldn't we party like a bunch of Epicureans, maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain as each of us sees fit if death is nothing but the ultimate get out of jail free card as the cold end of it all with neither the guilty being punished or the righteous rewarded?
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.