Pat Bailey, Insights: Substitutionary Atonement?

Many Christians in the West, and especially the US, view substitutionary atonement as the only way of understanding the cross of Christ and Christian salvation.What is substitutionary atonement? Is it biblical? Is it what the Apostle Paul meant when he said “Christ died for our sins”?  Is it what the passion narratives of the Gospels intend with their portrayals based on Yom Kippur and Passover? Is it the majority opinion of Christianity today or through our history? Why is it a doctrine that finds such little purchase in today’s consciousness? In last week’s sermon, I addressed these questions and why I think that the Christian message is much deeper and more liberative than this popular interpretation can provide.

Pastor Pat Bailey in front his church

Pastor Pat Bailey

Editor’s Note: Dr. Pat Bailey of Telluride’s Christ Presbyterian Church, is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1987. For 16 years, Pat served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. He is also an Iraq War veteran. Pastor Pat holds several degrees: a Master of Divinity from Columbia Seminary, a Master of Theology in comparative religion from Emory University, and (recently) a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. His primary professional interests are interfaith spirituality, evolutionary consciousness, nature spirituality – and accompanying others in spiritual community. To that end, Pastor Pat has been blogging on Telluride Inside… and Out for years. His “Insights” series continues weekly and now often in the form of videos capturing Pastor Pat’s affirming messages.



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