Posts Tagged ‘ Victim ’

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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