Posts Tagged ‘ Christus Victor ’

Redemption, part 6: Christus Victor

In terms of an articulate and comprehensive treatment, the final model of this series – Christus Victor – is one of the more recent developments in atonement theory. This is not to say that the model does not have roots in scripture or that it finds no affirmation among theologians ancient and modern; quite the contrary. But in terms of being a fully developed theory, Christus Victor has really only been around for about eighty years, having its full genesis in a book of that title published by Gustav Aulén in 1931.

I must admit I have read only smatterings of the original text, but Aulén’s argument is fairly easy to follow. He begins by identifying three broad streams of atonement theory: 1). the Scholastic view (satisfaction theory) 2). the Idealist view (moral influence) and 3). his own theory, which he termed the Classical view (Aulén links it closely with a ransom model, though there are nuanced differences). He then proceeds to trace these three threads up until the Protestant Reformation, arguing all the while that Christus Victor is the oldest and most appropriate model of atonement. Continue reading

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Redemption for Malcontents: Towards a Theology of Atonement

Part 1: An Introduction to Atonement Theory

Redemption. Atonement. Salvation. If you’ve ever been in a church context for longer than 10 minutes, you’ve probably heard these words. Heck, they’re part of the vernacular even outside of the Church. We often talk about literary characters being redeemed (usually through some kind of redemptive violence. More on that later). Frequently, we experience salvation of one kind or another. “I’m saved!” we shout, as some situation beyond our control is suddenly rectified. Whether we would admit it or not, most of us have some understanding of the word redemption or atonement. Continue reading

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