Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I'll break it down first and explain why it's incorrect -- (sorry this came out longer than I expected) the atonement is a big topic let me know if you have questions or if something needs clarification. I can provide sources for everything that I'm saying as well if you wish.

"God is sacrificing"

This makes it sound like Christ was a passive agent in the events of the passion and resurrection, which he is not -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have the same will.

"God is sacrificing his own son, which is also him"

Note how this statement must be false because it's contradictory. How can X "sacrifice" Y, when X == Y? This comes from a misunderstanding of the phrase "Jesus is God" -- that phrase means that Jesus is 'homoousious' in Greek or 'has the same nature/essence' with God the Father. However some people understand it incorrectly as "Jesus is the same person as the Father".

The idiom for Jesus is not God (which is never mentioned in the NT or the nicene creed -- never it is said that "Jesus is God") but the idiom is 'Son of God'. This idiom is the one language that is used by the council of Nicaea to formulate the creed. And to explain what 'Son of God' means the creed goes on to say that Jesus is homoousious with the Father.

"to himself"

The popular and incorrect understanding of this is that God just wanted someone to be punished instead of humanity (note how that doesn't even make sense how humanity is reconciled to God if someone else took the punishment! And how is Jesus supposed to die instead of humanity when he later rose from the dead? the whole thing is absurd!) but this understanding of the atonement (called 'penal substitution') is part of 16th century reformation theology. In the firsth 10 centuries of Christianity we have ZERO authors who thought about the atonement that way (have a quick look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_in_Christianity for a general view of this). The reason all Christian apologists believe this and try to defend it is because they are protestant.

"in order to satisfy rules that he himself also put in place"

This just portrays God as one who needs to find a 'loophole' in the system which he himself has put in place. How can this be even intelligble? God can do whatever he wants and he could have forgiven humanity easily. It's just that what humanity needed was more than forgiveness: human beings needed to be made alive again after being subject to death because of sin. Again just to be clear: the death because of sin is not a punishment -- it's the natural course of events when a human being turns their back to the source of life -- God.

"so that he doesn't have to send people he created and loves infinitely to be tortured forever in a place he created"

The popular image of God throwing people in a pit of fire and torturing them for eternity is not a Christian image. It first made its way to Christianity long long ago (which is probably why it's still prevalent) with the apocalypse of Peter -- a document that was influenced by pagan ideas (I'll put a reference here because this is important: this is from Bruce Metzger's The canon of the NT)




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: