As anyone who knows me or reads my blog regularly will realize, I am quite fond of atonement theology. Besides the numerous posts that I have made concerning it, I have also done a significant amount of study–both personal and academic–in relation to this matter of Christian theology. As the parties aforementioned will also realize, I am a supreme antagonist of penal conceptions of atonement, i.e., those atonement theologies which primally locate and ultimately terminate both the problem and solution of atonement exclusively within the psychology of God concerning human sinfulness.

Those who would disagree with me on this assessment often point to what they perceive to be "clearly" penal language in the Pauline corpus of Scripture, arguing that Paul (or the writers of the more broadly labeled collection and theological method) is my most definitive theological antagonist. While I can certainly understand why these individuals would arrive at such conclusions given their starting presuppositions, I now simply wish to share some reflections which I have concerning a very interesting portion of Ephesians which I feel call into question the legitimacy of characterizing the Pauline understanding of atonement as "penal."

The main text which I wish to reflect upon in is chapter More >