Christian Theology’s Worst Nightmare

by Luke Muehlhauser on June 3, 2010 in Christian Theology,Indexes

Goodness. Ken Pulliam at Former Fundy has been writing up a storm of interesting, well-researched posts on Christian theology. Ken is one who fell away from evangelical Christianity not because it failed the Outsider Test, but because it failed the Insider Test – Christianity didn’t make sense even from within its own bubble, let alone from the outside.

Go check it out: a Ph.D.-carrying theologian hard at work explaining – in great detail – why Christian theology no longer makes sense to him.

His recent writings:

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Hanson June 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Ken has definitely become a hero of mine during and after my recent deconversion. I love that he’s seems to be the ultimate counter to the average Christian idea of atheists as bitter, angry and ignorant of scripture. I really hope he writes a book so I can buy it as soon as it comes out. “Why I deconverted” is one of my top three blogs besides this one and Debunking Christianity.

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Bill Maher June 4, 2010 at 4:17 am

I have a lot of respect for Ken. It takes courage to leave something that your personal and financial life is built on.

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noen June 4, 2010 at 7:35 am

There are other theological explanations for the crucifixion than penal substitution. Ken Pulliam seems to me to be addressing fundamentalists. It is a mistake to equate fundamentalism with Christianity.

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Paul June 4, 2010 at 9:01 am

noen -

Can you point me to a resource that may elaborate on this?

“There are other theological explanations for the crucifixion than penal substitution”

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noen June 4, 2010 at 9:20 am
Paul June 4, 2010 at 9:53 am

noen -

LOL at how you presented it. However, I clicked on various links and there was no obvious links (to me, at least) that seemed to discuss the “other theological explanations”

To me – in effect – atonement and penal substitution are interchangeable. Am I misinformed?

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Haecceitas June 4, 2010 at 11:02 am

“To me – in effect – atonement and penal substitution are interchangeable. Am I misinformed?”

Penal substitution is one among many theories of atonement. I think it’s the one that is most faithful to the NT teachings on the matter. I would have a very hard time denying that it is at least approximately the correct understanding of the atonement, but still, there are other theories as well (some of which I find plausible as giving part of the picture, but not the whole picture).

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Jon Hanson June 4, 2010 at 11:53 am

You can easily dismiss PST, all you have to do is throw out the writings of Paul. Of course very few Christians seem willing to do this.

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Paul June 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I still need help sorting this out.

If PST is dismissed. Would this be equivalent to saying that Jesus did not die to absolve humanity of its sin.

If so, what would he have died for? Still unclear about this.

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Ken Pulliam June 5, 2010 at 8:00 am

Thanks for the comments. Yes there are other theories of the atonement but the PST is overwhelmingly the dominant position in Evangelical Christianity. Actually, its not a theory for most evangelicals–it is the teaching of Scripture.

Nevertheless, all the other theories have a similar problem. In every theory Jesus dies for the sins of man. Each one still needs to be able to explain how the death of an innocent man can somehow atone for the sins of others.

It is easier to do with some theories than others but it is fatal to the PST. BTW, I have other problems with each of the other theories that I will eventually get around to discussing.

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