June 2, 2008

Taking out the Trash!

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to watch a wonderful sermon by Gregory Boyd entitled "Taking Out the Trash". Greg raises up some very good points about problems with strict judicial atonement theories such as the Calvinist - Retributive Substitution Atonement Model.

The main issue any atonement theory must address is not only the removal of the penalty of sin, but more importantly it must reform the sinner from selfishness to loving God supremely (An essential to becoming a citizen of God's Kingdom or moral government). An atonement must pardon us of the "crimes" we have committed, but at the same time ascertain that the criminal (or sinner) has been truly reformed from the heart! To strictly forgive without reforming the heart would be like pardoning a criminal from prison and unleashing them back onto society to reek havoc upon the society. The Retributive Atonement model lacks this essential element as it simply addresses the strict judicial transaction and in no way reforms the sinners heart, but simply takes away the penalty and then "secures" them in their still sinful state.

To make his point Greg uses two wonderful analogies here - the "Truck Driver" and a simple bag of trash. The reality is God does not simply overlook our sinfulness, but he truly desires that we are transformed and we truly become a "new creature in Christ" whereby we are no longer walking according to the flesh, but according to God's Spirit. Again, this plays right into my analogy I provided a couple of weeks ago regarding the steak in the toilet - do you really want to eat any part of that steak? God desires that we have no part of sin as Kingdom citizens!

Although this is not the entire video sermon, you can see the sermon in its entirety here.


joeldad said...

Preston, thanks for posting this sermon by Boyd.

Though Boyd is a genius, this message is a fairly elementary introduction to understanding the flaws in the reformed view of the Atonement, as opposed to the governmental view.

It's a great starting point to give to friends and family so they can begin to understand the fullness of what the Atonement has done for mankind (and not that "Jesus paid our debt to God").

I can't find many people who will listen to or read overtly theological teachings, so this is a good find. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I have been struggling with the amount of sin in 'the church' for so long. I am so tired of lying pastors with no moral fiber, teams of sinners in charge of making the decisions for the church, church members sitting back and letting apathy lead them by the nose right to the gates of hell.

joeldad said that this message if fairly elementary ~ AND it is... Why do those in 'the front office of the church' not throw out the trash that is their sin and REPENT.
Then the rest of their church could follow suit.

Sitting at to feet of Christ, and looking up into those loving eyes and saying to Him, 'I can't help it, but I'm just gonna slap your loving face and sin today ~ cause you made me this way!' uhg! I just want to shout, "JUST MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE!!!!! You're taking the rest of your congregation with you....'

Preston N said...


Indeed it is very elementary and is not overtly deep, but given the general disdain most church goers have for anything "theological" these days, this is good "milk" and therefore is a good starting point.

Anonymous - Indeed I greatly sympathize with you and your disdain for the modern church. I too am heart broken over just how compromised the church as truly become. My beleif is that the poison of Calvinism and Augustinianism has so corrupted mens thinking - that we have a theological system that allows men to become "positionally" holy and yet they're hearts are still darkened and corrupt. It's as if they can have their sin and holiness at the same time - how great a contradiction! It is truly a theology of death! Any theology that never truly delivers men from their sin is false and brings great harm to the character of God.