Is there a link between bad atonement theology and abortion?

Abortion is murder, absolutely murder.

If you’ve had an abortion, God’s already forgiven you, He’s not holding your sins against you, and you aborted child is already safe in His arms.

I find myself wondering… does our horrible atonement theory contribute to our societies sin of abortion? Maybe I’m connecting dots that aren’t there, but when I think about the fact that many evangelical Christians teach that God poured out His wrath on the Son and turned His back on Jesus on the cross… I’m reminded of Jeremiah’s words in the following three passages and I think about the horrible way that I’ve heard Abraham and Isaac taught, and I wonder if our poor theology has contributed to the millions of abortions in America.

Jeremiah 7:31 “They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.

Jeremiah 19:4-6 “Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind ; 6 therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-hinnom , but rather the valley of Slaughter.

Jeremiah 32:35 “They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Watch this to understand the problem of abortion…

Watch this to see the mistake we’ve made with bad theology…

Jesus and the Undoing of Adam – by C. Baxter Kruger

I have a slightly unique way of reading and reviewing a book.  I underline and mark a book up pretty good, but I always write little notes in the front of non-fiction books with the page number so I can quickly find good quotes and ideas later when I need them. This blog may serve to help you find some good nuggets in C. Baxter Kruger’s Jesus and the Undoing of Adam.

I loved the book, Kruger’s theology is right on. Anyone would be helped to read and think about Kruger’s writing.

My bullet notes for your review or reference… (keep in mind that sometimes the thoughts I bullet below are my thoughts, other times they are straight from the book, and sometimes they are a combination, also just because I make a bullet about it, doesn’t mean that agree with it – but often or usually I do)

  • Kruger was taught Calvinism as a child – p. 8
  • Incarnation is the biggest news of all – p. 9
  • There’s a word about marriage that I thought was worth thinking on – p. 11   ( a key to marriage is revising our perception of one another )
  • “If we are going to penetrate the mysteries of our world, then our perception of it must be in constant revision.”    p. 11
  • Repent means “change thinking” p. 11
  • “In science, the price of imposing our own ideas onto reality is the loss of discovery, with all its immense rewards. In Christian Faith, it is the loss of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Forcing our own ideas upon Jesus is a singular disaster, for it is only in knowing the staggering truth about Jesus – who He is and what He has done for and with and to the human race – that we are set free from the bondage of our profound and debilitating anxiety into the freedom to live.” p.12
  • New thoughts on the Pearl of Great Price p.13
  • We must be aware of our thought patterns or habits of thought p.13
  • Why Jesus died – “What happened on the cross? Why did Jesus die? How do we understand the meaning of His death? The death of Jesus Christ was part of a seamless movement in which the Triune God laid hold of the human race and decisively and sovereignty altered its very existence, cleansing it of all alienation, quickening it with new life and lifting it up into union with the Father, Son, and Spirit. It is finished.” p. 16
  • THIS ISN’T REALLY A COMPLAINT BUT KRUGER DOES REPEAT HIMSELF QUITE A BIT IN THIS BOOK SO YOU SHOULD READ THE WHOLE BOOK TO FULLY UNDERSTAND WHY JESUS DIED BECAUSE KRUGER IS ADDRESSING THAT QUESTION ON MANY PAGES, BUT I DIDN’T NOTE IT OVER AND OVER
  • I thought about the deification of man on page 17
  • When Christianity says God it says relationship – p. 18
  • Human race – included in the trinity (invited, welcomed, drawn) p.20
  • Atonement theory – starts with diseased p. 21
  • Curative view of the cross p.22
  • Fall wasn’t eating fruit – rather loosing faith in relationship or trust in God (It seems that God has been showing me something along these lines lately – In a chat with Michael Hardin I learned that sin is mentioned in the bible until the Cain kills Abel story and not in the Adam and Eve fall narrative) p.24
  • The Fall – damaged fellowship – p.25
  • Fellowship filled their existence with the Great Dance of life p. 25
  • We are still hiding from God – like in the garden – p.26
  • fall changed the way “the man” saw God – Adam (the man) = all men p.27
  • This explains the OT – p. 27
  • God is opposed to our destruction p. 28
  • trinitarian fellowship (this is a key concept – you might say theme of Baxter’s theology) p. 32
  • Incarnation was dangerous…?  never thought about it the way Baxter puts it here.  p. 33-34
  • We are at war – strange war – not won they way we imagine wars are won p. 34
  • The cross freed Jesus of His Adamic flesh – Kruger uses the word circumcised in this context I believe – p. 35
  • God’s the Father’s NO! was no I will not allow man to be destroyed
  • Jesus’ Yes was yes, I’ll redeem mankind
  • The final word p.36
  • Jesus is still man today… p. 36
  • therefore all died in Christ p. 37
  • David versus Goliath is compared to Jesus versus Adam p. 38
  • Cross Answer p.40
  • Trinity – the truth about God p. 41
  • Why many don’t get what I’m saying (the natural mind cannot receive the the things of the Spirit – 1 Cor 2:14) p.41
  • Law thoughts… p.44
  • typical evangelical gospel starts with proclaiming the legal holiness of God p. 45
  • also on page 45 Kruger basically defines Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA) p. 45
  • The cross changed man – not God or just God’s view of man p. 46
  • PSA = Janus faced God p.47
  • Athanasius quote contrasted with Johnathon Edwards quote p.49
  • The Jesus Lens idea shows up on p.51 (it seems all of the books that I love have this idea in common – we need to see the bible through the lens Jesus and not Jesus through the lens of the bible.  p. 51
  • Assurance of Salvation is impossible as long as a person thinks in the PSA mindset p. 51
  • Modern evangelical thinking with PSA has the church hiding from God the Father behind Jesus’ blood p. 51
  • I bet self help book authors sell more to “Christians” or “marginal religious people” than to non-religious people      p. 53
  • Great explanation of what I believe about Jesus “My God, My God…” line on the cross pp. 58-62
  • Great St. Hilary quote about talking about and studying God “to deal with lawful matters, to scale perilous heights, to speak unutterable words, and to trespass forbidden ground,” p. 63
  • Moral Influence Theory?  Kruger may see some merit in the Moral Influence Theory of the Atonement, I certainly do… p. 69

Well there are my notes.

I hope this blog causes you to run out and buy a copy of Kruger’s book!

Repentance (short rushed blog) – hopefully more research later…

The modern day idea of repentance is “doing the right thing,” “turning from sin,” “avoiding evil,” “feeling regret,””acknowledging our faults before God,” “process of correction and refinement,” “being different,” “changing behavior,” “being sorry for something,” “turning from wrong doing,” “turn or burn,” “confessing sin,” “changing behavior,” “a 180 degree change in direction,” or saying and really meaning “I’m sorry.”

Above is the modern day idea of repentance. That’s my main point here, the first things that come into many of our minds when we think of repentance are all about behavior, actions, and a single moment in time.

In the New Testament we find the word repentance (or repent) in our English translation in the neighborhood of 50+ (remember quick blog – there may be more) times.

In the New Testament the word translated as “Repentance” Metanoeo / Metanoia means to change your mind. It doesn’t automatically mean to change your mind about sin, or turn around, or feel sorrow, or behave differently – in fact the behavior isn’t always the problem. For example a person can be doing the right things for all the wrong reasons and he or she may still need to metanoeo (change their thinking).

So the two things that I wanted to say in this rushed blog are,

  1. We might to better to say “Open your mind or burn” than to say “Turn or burn!”  
  2. This repentance (Metanoeo / Metanoia) that the scriptures speak of is not a one time event but a process that we should live in daily.

Changing our minds is a daily process, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”  Maybe Paul is encouraging us to be open to truth more than we thought!

Sometimes after taking some heat from the religious friends in my life, I reflect on how much I’ve changed theologically over the years and I realize that METANOEO is happening in my life.

If your thinking hasn’t changed over the last few years, if you are still looking for that old time religion that you heard as a child, maybe you are resisting METANOEO.

A Special Request

Michael Hardin Co-founder of Preaching Peace

Today I am posting here to ask you to pray about giving – but not to aplacetotalk. aplacetotalk doesn’t have a donate here link, and for now we don’t want to. I have a friend who is preaching peace, non-violent atonement, and God’s amazing radical grace but has come to a crossroads financially. They need to raise $50,000 by May 15th to continue their operations.

Here is a quote from their website. “We take minimal salaries, use our money wisely and have accountants audit our books every year.” Because I trust Michael, I believe that quote is totally true.

I’m not asking or telling you to give, I’m simply asking you to visit the Preaching Peace website and pray about whether or not you WANT to give. I want to give and I’m thinking about what amount I can give, I wanted to give others an opportunity to give as well. If you haven’t heard from or learned from Preaching Peace, you should. I’ll share some ways to hear from Preaching Peace below.

You can listen to Michael’s heart by listening to the podcast he and I recorded a few months ago. You can find the talk by clicking on podcast at the preaching peace site or by linking to my site here.

Another way to hear from Michael and understand the heart of Preaching Peace is to watch Hellbound. It isn’t going to be avaiable on DVD until May 28th, 2013 but there seems to be a 10 minute clip that you can watch for $2. Here’s a link to watch that 10 minute video. If you click on that link, and pay the $2 a portion of that will also go to Preaching Peace.

Michael has also been a guest pod-caster multiple times on Beyond the Box Podcast. Here is a link to one of those pod-casts. Here’s another link.

Whether you are able to give or not, I hope you take advantage of the Preaching Peace Ministry by clicking on every link! Have a great day, Josh.