Friday, June 20, 2014

Guest post by Mark DeRaud-- The Atonement Part 3: Reintroducing the "Good" in the Good News of the Gospel

  I (left) am honored to host a new series by guest poster Mark DeRaud  (right)
Click Mark's name under "topical diving" at right for more on Mark
Part I, click here
Part 2 click herePart  3 below:

 The Atonement Part 3:
Reintroducing the "Good" in the Good News of the Gospel
  by Mark DeRaud

"[Christ] gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age..." Galatians 1:4

New understanding of the Atonement reorients us from concern for life hereafter (Do you know where your will spend eternity?) to the 'here' and 'after'......Life, life in the present, in the New Covenant of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 59:21). Now.

"Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," invokes heaven coming to earth rather than us going to heaven.

Just prior to the Reformation (launch in 1517) Michelangelo was in Rome creating his masterful mural on the Sistine Chapel ceiling under the auspices of Pope Julius II.
artwork by Mark DeRaud

Needing to fund Michelangelo, the expansion of St. Peter's
Basilica and assorted military campaigns Pope Julius II stepped up the sale of indulgences to raise money.

What better sales program was there but to turn up the fires of Purgatory's cleansing flames, then offer indulgences for a price, to quench them? Reformers had had enough and Luther ignited a revolt.

While Luther maintained belief in Purgatory, Reformers eventually abandoned Purgatory along with their rejection of indulgent sales, leaving us to inherit a pre-occupation with hell-fire, eclipsing the good news gospel message that God's Kingdom has arrived for the taking, now.

The Atonement, then, has been relieved of its 'earthiness'. The Atonement, even as administered under the Old Covenant, is popularly understood as God's means to transfer souls into heaven through Christ's blood.

So strong is this concept that we gloss over scripture that argue the Atonement is meant to transfer us, or better, Jews, from the Old Covenant into the New, here on earth, here on earth in the Spirit, with eternal life secured for a distant Final Judgment. Gentiles are then invited to join the family of faith.
This view, Atonement as a transference from the Covenant of Law to the Covenant of Grace (Charis, from where we get Charisma) better aligns our evangelism efforts to those of Christ and the Kingdom of God He preached, "on earth as it is in heaven."

Good News! You have access to the love, power and gifts of God, here on earth as it is in heaven, secured by Christ's atonement.

"For He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son." Colossians 1:13

"But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God," says Jesus, "then the Kingdom of God has come upon you." Matthew 12:28
by Mark DeRaud

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