Recently I was at a cell (small) group meeting where the study was on the forgiveness of sin and the concept of atonement was discussed. Being good Presbyterians, the understanding was that of penal substitution. However the people there were stupified and horrified when I introduced them to other concepts of atonement such as Christus Victus, ransom, moral influence, moral government and the satisfaction view. These good Christians grew up with the idea that penal substitution is the only explanation for atonement or the work of Christ on the Cross.

They were understandably disturbed and I am disturbed because they were disturbed. I wondered whether I should have kept my mouth shut and left them alone without rocking the boat.

After spending some time in reflection, I have come to the conclusion that it is good for them to realise that their tradition do not have the final word on God, and that human beings do not know everything. It is good to acknowledge that God is still a mystery in many things.

What do you think? Should I have kept my mouth shut?

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