Alibris Secondhand Books Standard

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Steve Jones, in his blog Freethinking Faith, has some thoughts on a subject that I've often struggled with: The 'Why' of Christ's Death. Some Christians understand Jesus' death as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. Steve's blog points out some of the weeknesses of this theory. He ends his post with this statement: "Maybe the death of Jesus is a thing to be lived more than defined."

His view certainly resonates with me. Jesus' death and resurrection are important to my faith, but I can't say they make sense rationally. The substitutionary theory is one of several doctrines of the atonement that I've heard. I don't find any of them wholly convincing. The 'why' of Christ's death remains a mystery to me.

But in the end, I'm not sure it matters whether I understand. Faith is not a set of intellectual propositions to piece together like a doctrinal jigsaw puzzle. A few (or many) unknowns should not get in the way of a relationship with Christ. On the contrary, the mysteries of faith can only underscore the need for reliance on God.

That's my experience. Your mileage may vary.


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