Friday, May 04, 2007

Dr. Greg Boyd on Christus Victor

There's an excellent sermon by Greg Boyd over at Mars Hill's Web site. It's an MP3 on another, often overlooked, lens through which to understand the atonement - in some theologies, the most important or only lens. There are a couple of minor problems I have with the sermon, though that's just because I'm ornery - they are mostly Catholic-Protestant differences.

The one thing I would have like to hear more about, since I believe it is of paramount importance to a full understanding of Christus Victor, (the linked article does a poor job of reflecting Catholicism's view of the atonement, but, Hey! it's Wikipedia) is Christ's descent into hell - and what that meant/means for us and for humanity. But perhaps he simply didn't have time to speak about it.

(As a long-drawn-out aside, I am not endorsing all that is Greg Boyd and his ministry, as wonderful as much of what he does is. I do not subscribe to Open Theism, for instance. Greg Boyd does. I'm Catholic, for another instance, and he isn't. [That's me being cantankerous and having fun, by the way - sorry it's not as much fun for you.] But that doesn't mean we need to toss him out with the morning garbage either. He is a brother in Christ with some important insights for Christianity, especially within his own milieu of evangelical/post-evangelical[?] Protestant Christianity.)


Dan said...

I heard him this past week too, and found him quite compelling. The notion that "the gates of hell" cannot withstand the power of Christ made me think of the gates of Mordor, and the tiny band of Gandalf, Aragorn and Co. assembled in front of it. The notion of consciously viewing ourselves as assailing the gates of hell, metaphorically speaking, in the world around us, was an exciting way of seeing this in my mind.

Dan said...

I just read about open theism...can't subscribe to that at all. I believe there's a difference between foreknowledge and forcing us to act in prescribed ways. Because God knows we'll act in a certain way doesn't limit our ability to act in a way that allows for free will. I have no problem reconciling free will with God's omnipotence and omniscience. After my brief read of open theism, I find it very disconcerting.

Sven said...

I too am Catholic. Have been all my life. I'm also a fan of Greg Boyd. I first learned of his work through publicity connected to his most recent book, Myth of a Christian Nation. I have been listening to his sermons via podcast for almost a year and I find his messages to resonate strongly with me and the way I try to live a Christian life. Although he might disagree, I find a strong parallels between his vision of The Kingdom of God and that promoted by advocates of Liberation Theology. I don’t pretend to know a lot about Christos Victor, Open Theology or the discussion of Atonement you long for but as a result of reading your post, I plan to educate myself a bit more. Which never hurts. Thanks.