BOOK PICK: ‘Atonement’
SOUNDINGS IN BIBLICAL, TRINITARIAN, AND SPIRITUAL THEOLOGY
Margaret M. Turek
Ignatius Press, 2022
266 pages, $19.95
To order: ignatius.com or (800) 651-1531
Requested why Jesus suffered, the typical Catholic would possibly say: to atone for our sins. If pressed, he’d doubtless clarify Jesus “made up” for our sins when it comes to justice.
The higher catechized would possibly paraphrase Anselm of Canterbury: Sin is an infinite offense in opposition to God as a result of God is infinite. Man can not restore what he destroyed, as a result of he’s each broken and never infinite. So we wanted a God-man as Second Adam to repair what the primary ruined.
However why the cross? If something Jesus did has infinite worth, couldn’t atonement have occurred much less horrifically? Sure, however the Father so willed it to emphasise the gravity of sin.
What sort of picture of the Father would possibly some draw?
Margaret Turek, who teaches at St. Patrick’s Seminary and College in California, proposes a difficult and intriguing rethinking of the doctrine of atonement, recast when it comes to the calls for of divine love. Removed from diluting the seriousness of atonement, this work of speculative theology, constructing on the considered 4 modern theologians (John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Hans Urs von Balthasar and Norbert Hoffmann), arguably deepens its significance. It does so by connecting atonement with each Trinitarian theology and theological anthropology.
“… a merely juridical understanding of the relation of forgiveness and satisfaction can not do justice to the profoundly interpersonal high quality of the method by which sin is eradicated. … [O]ur examine has dropped at mild that what’s at stake within the Christian doctrine of atonement is nothing lower than the Christian idea of God. To see into the center of the cross occasion is to understand it as a dramatic epiphany, formed in response to sin, of the thriller of the everlasting Trinity. It’s to understand that forgiveness and atonement are rooted within the Trinity like fatherhood and sonship, lively and receptive era” (232-33).
Sin leaves actual injury that have to be repaired: It can not simply be wished away or ignored. If God is “offended” on the sinner, it’s as a result of the sinner is made in God’s picture and likeness, and God can not conform to what mars or destroys that picture and likeness. God’s anger is simply the alternative facet of the coin of his love, as a result of the Father intends to create “sons within the Son” and can’t acquiesce in what negates that sonship. When, in response to God’s initiative of conversion, the sinner “turns” again, sin causes him to expertise a way of abandonment, as if God was not current. Willingly following the Father regardless of that forsakenness imitates Christ and his sense of abandonment on Calvary. Christ atoned by taking up sin, together with the sinners’ sense of abandonment, but remaining devoted to the Father. The Father permits himself to be hidden with out ever not supporting his Son.
This course of is rooted within the lifetime of the Trinity itself: The Father by no means clings so tightly to his divinity that he doesn’t pour it out utterly within the eternally begotten Son. The Son doesn’t grasp that divinity so tightly as to not return it to the Father, in order that the Spirit proceeds from them each. In that sense, the “giving and receiving” within the Trinity itself each offers a mannequin for the Incarnation and for what man’s adoption in Christ ought to entail. It’s all measured totally by divine love.
This temporary evaluate can not discover the density of Turek’s severe theological hypothesis about God’s loving ardour because it entails sinners, its biblical foundations, or implications for Trinitarian theology or spirituality. The ebook calls for cautious and attentive studying, however I’m satisfied it’s on to one thing necessary, when it comes to an understanding of atonement that seeks to be orthodox whereas, on the identical time, drawing out the completely severe implications of what it means to be liked by a God who’s Love.
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