Friday, April 27, 2012

James Denney on what the atonement is

What, then, is the Atonement, as it is presented to us in the Scriptures, and vindicates for itself in our minds the character of truth, and indeed, as I have said already, the character of the ultimate truth of God?

The simplest expression that can be given to it in words is : Christ died for our sins. Taken by itself, this is too brief to be intelligible ; it implies many things which need to be made explicit both about Christ's relation to us and about the relation of sin and death. But the important thing, to begin with, is not to define these relations, but to look through the words to the broad reality which is interpreted in them. What they tell us, and tell us on the basis of an incontrovertible experience, is that the forgiveness of sins is for the Christian mediated through the death of Christ.

(Denney, James. The Atonement and the Modern Mind. New York: A.C. Armstrong & Son, 1903. Print.)

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