Better Understanding of the Cross Needed? Brian Zahnd & Looking Further…

Brian Zahnd has come on the scene as of late to popularize an older understanding of the Cross that doesn’t receive as much attention as it should. It’s essentially a view that looks to sacrifice as an accommodation to human standards of retribution by God rather than a ratified idea that God requires for him to relate to us, i.e. sacrifice is necessary because we require it, not God.

If you aren’t satisfied with a primary or regnant retributive view of God and are “looking further”, this short video is for you. But as Father Richard Rohr, reminds us when faced with changing paradigms, it is not necessary to trade one if for another, but rather to “include and transcend“.

1 Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, instruction about baptisms and laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And we shall do this, if only God permits.  – Hebrews 6:1-3

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  • Perry L. Stepp

    You realize that “infantile” and related terms are insulting to the people who disagree with you?

    There’s a group of your readers who don’t hold your view of the atonement, but we’re willing to listen to & consider what you’re saying about it. If you’re attempting to convince us that your view is better than ours, you might want to drop the snark.

    (I realize that winning people over might not be the point; you might post stuff like this for back-slapping, self-congratulatory, “aren’t we glad we’re smarter & more sophisticated than the other guys” purposes.)

    • Perry,

      Your critique is apt and timely. Thank you for speaking to this issue. Our purposes here do cause us to wade into snark at times, which is not wise and we appreciate your patience. While there might be a place for it once in a great while, I know all of our writers would agree that it is not a helpful way to write to a broad audience too often.

      As such, I am removing the word and pointing to the passage in Hebrews as the better option.

      In the way of an explanation, our understanding of infantilism falls more in line with a general category of human limitation. I’ve added it in my writing as a third and distinct form of human limitation along with fallenness and finitude. In fallenness, we are prone to destructive choices and life ways because of sin’s distortion. In finitude, we are, by nature, limited in our capacities to make the best choices, have adequate power, be aware enough, etc. In infantilism, we are inherent learners and developers because of our humanity, fallen or unfallen, thereby requiring that we cooperate with our need to grow, learn and develop. The choice to not cooperate with that inherent growth cycle is labeled as infantilism. We all have it in one capacity or another and it creates a third category of limitation, next to our finitude and fallenness.

      We believe that everyone is held down by one or another form of their infantilism as they are with fallenness and the limitation of their finitude. As such, for us, it applies broadly in the way described above to every human except Christ. But, as you pointed out, I did not use it in that capacity, and as such your concern applies.