Saturday, March 25, 2017

Healing and the Atonement - at Redeemer

Detroit River, in Wyandotte

Two weeks ago at Redeemer I preached on 1 Peter 2:24. This message was part of preaching through the letter of 1 Peter. I assumed I would just continue into chapter 3, but God had different ideas.

Stay on 1 Peter 2:24. This was very clear to me. So here we are, and here I am. At Redeemer we are now focused on Healing and the Atonement. And, our praying for the sick has ramped up. In the past two weeks we have seen some people healed of physical and emotional illness. We'll do it again tomorrow morning, and the next week, and on Palm Sunday, and on Easter Sunday, and...? Until God directs otherwise.

I confess to liking this very much. It seems that most of our people do, too.

Because one of my love languages is Study, I am engaging in Atonement studies. Periodically, usually as we near Easter week, I revisit the atoning work of Christ on the cross. My background studies include doing one of my doctoral qualifying exams on ancient Christology, especially the Christological controversies about the nature of Christ, and the eventual formation of the Creeds.

I love studying Jesus more than eating a Cadbury egg (this is saying a lot - on occasion I have studied while eating one, thereby experiencing the best of both worlds). I love knowing and experiencing his now-activity, his "with us" presence. Hopefully, this is happening in your church. That is the point of the whole thing, right?

If you want to engage in Atonement studies the best place to begin is this book - The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views, by Thomas Schreiner and James Beilby. It includes Greg Boyd's cool presentation of the famous "Christus Victor" position, and theologian Bruce Reichenbach's "Healing View" of the Atonement.