Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gustav Aulen & The Ransom View Of Atonement (PhD Edit)

Sweden-Denmark Oresund Crossing

Matthew 20:26-28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His [a]life a ransom for many.”

Footnotes: Matthew 20:28 Or soul

Matthew 20:26-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a] 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,[b] 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:43-45 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

43 But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His [a]life a ransom for many.”

Footnotes: Mark 10:45 Or soul Footnotes: Matthew 20:26 Greek diakonos  Matthew 20:27 Greek bondservant (doulos)

Mark 10:43-45 English Standard Version (ESV)

43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a] 44 and whoever would be first among you must beslave[b] of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Footnotes: Mark 10:43 Greek diakonos Mark 10:44 Greek bondservant (doulos)

1 Timothy 2:5-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony [a]given at[b]the proper time.

Footnotes: 1 Timothy 2:6 Or to be given 1 Timothy 2:6 Lit its own times

1 Timothy 2:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)

5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Footnotes: 1 Timothy 2:5 men and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4

Gustav Aulen & The Ransom View Of Atonement (PhD Edit)

Origen presented the ransom view of atonement. In his Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Origen explains that the atoning work of Christ was a ransom price as Christ gave up his life in order that human beings could have their lives back. Origen (ca 203-250)(2001: 30).

The primary historical exponent of this view is Gustav Aulen, a Bishop in the Church of Sweden who wrote Christus Victor and the journal article ‘Chaos and Cosmos: The Drama of Atonement’ both in 1950. In Christus Victor, he explains that the central theme of atonement is Christ’s dramatic victory over Satan, sin, and death. Aulen (1950a: 14). Through the incarnated Christ’s death and resurrection, Aulen notes in this drama that Christ reconciles the world to himself. Aulen (1950a: 5). I

In ‘Chaos and Cosmos’ Aulen writes that every Christian doctrine of atonement should include the concept that the love of God through Christ destroys the evil powers. Aulen (1950b: 156). The atonement should be primarily viewed as the means by which God provided humanity with victory over evil and reconciliation with God. Aulen (1950b: 158).

Aulen like Anselm did view Christ’s atoning work as sacrifice, but Aulen points out it was done willingly by Christ who suffered and then overcame evil. Aulen (1950b: 162).

The ransom theory of atonement places less importance on God’s need for justice and sacrifice, and more of an emphasis on God freeing humanity from the bonds of Satan, sin, and death. Instead of atonement being mainly about a sacrifice offered to God for sin from humankind in Christ.

Gustaf Wingren states that Aulen’s view is primarily concerned with God overcoming evil for his people. Wingren (1965: 310).

Bloesch reasons that Christ has purchased and redeemed his followers through the atoning work. From this task God’s love for humanity is shown as persons cannot save themselves through merit. Bloesch (1987: 97).

2015 Additions

Millard J. Erickson points out, atonement theory is multifaceted including the concepts of sacrifice, propitiation (appeasement of God), substitution and reconciliation. Erickson (1994: 811-823).

The ransom view is within multifaceted atonement theory as a Biblical position.

Oxford and Browning state that from Mark 10:45 that the Son of God is vindicated in victory, but only after suffering and service. Browning (1997: 315).

From the Matthew and Mark verses λύτρον, ου, τό :something to loosen with as in redemptive price. Figurative : atonement as in ransom. Strong (1890)(1986: 60).

λύτρον, ου, τό: Price, release and ransom, and specifically from Matthew and Mark verses as a ransom for many. Bauer (1986: 482).

From 1 Timothy ἀντίλυτρον, ου, τό: a redemption price-ransom. Strong (1890)(1986: 13).

ἀντίλυτρον, ου, τό: Ransom. Bauer (1986: 75).

AULEN, GUSTAV (1950a) Christus Victor, Translated by A.G. Hebert, London, S.P.C.K.

AULEN, GUSTAV (1950b) ‘Chaos and Cosmos: The Drama of Atonement’, in Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, Volume 4, April, Number 2, New York, Interpretation.

BAUER, W. (1979) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Translated by Eric H. Wahlstrom, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

BROWNING, W.R.F. (1997) Oxford Dictionary of the Bible, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

BLOESCH, DONALD G. (1987) Freedom for Obedience, San Francisco, Harper and Rowe Publishers.

ERICKSON, MILLARD (1994) Christian Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.

ORIGEN (ca. 203-250)(2001) Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Peter Kirby, California, Early Christian Writings. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen-matthew.html.

STRONG, J. (1890)(1986) Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Burlington, Welch Publishing Company.

WINGREN, GUSTAF (1965) ‘Gustaf Aulen’ in A Handbook of Christian Theologians, Nashville, Abingdon Press.

Previous related posts

January 9, 2008

February 4, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The World Is Becoming More Evil: Revisited

Conwy, Wales-trekearth


At work there are corporate internet terminals. I check Facebook to see the 'PC' version as just opposed to the 'Mobile' version. They have some differences as many will know. After I logged in past the regular corporate security I went to Facebook and realized it was someone else's account. I did not alter their account and stayed ethical, but noticed that my most recent posts and status updates on my main page do not appear to a non-friend. The non-friend page does more so place emphasis on 'new friends'.

However, my Facebook blog page seemed up to date.


2010 Theodicy and Practical Theology: PhD thesis, the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Lampeter

Previous related posts

April 11, 2013

October 17, 2007

Question 46: The world is becoming more evil

With these questions the scale changed, and is now ranging from 1 to 5, 1 being ‘little’ and 5 being ‘much’. 

One hundred and eleven respondents (52.1%) chose ‘4 to 5’ meaning a majority favour the proposition.

Sixty persons (28.2%) chose ‘1 to 2’ and 42 (19.7%) chose ‘3’.

The World Is Becoming More Evil: Revisited

Within my doctoral problem of evil survey results, 52.1% of respondents within Christian churches supported this proposition.

Are individuals and institutions becoming more evil, making the world more evil, and/or are incidents of evil simply being reported in greater numbers due to more television stations and the internet?

In the Western world there are commercially far more television stations available today than in the 1970s.The internet and the worldwide web also provide worldwide coverage of events and therefore the problem of evil on a global scale can be digested by persons in local markets, and evil can appear to be greater in amount than it was thirty to forty years ago.

From a Biblical Christian world-view there has been some negative trends in the world, including within Western society and the Christian Church itself. Those within the Christian Church, which hold to a Biblical world-view, may tend to see the world, the Western world, at least, as becoming more evil as many tend to reject Christian concepts.

Hal N. Ostrander, Chair of the Religion & Philosophy Division at Brewton-Parker College in Washington State, explains that in today’s post-Christian era and society, Christians will face cultural and intellectual challenges to the faith. Ostrander (2004: 1). The Church is in a defensive position where it needs to defend a faith, not accepted by most in Western society. Ostrander (2004: 1)

Harold Lindsell provides the opinion that many Christian institutions have slowly over time moved away from orthodox, Biblical theology and have gone astray. Lindsell (1976: 185). If Biblical theology is rejected within very liberal theology, then what occurs is that Biblical Christianity is replaced by a human made religion. This religion is not of God, but rather represents the attempts of certain religious persons to make God palatable for 21st century consumption.


I listened to an online pastor the other week that stated the world will continue to become worse and worse in regard to evil until the end of this age, this based on a Biblical worldview of Genesis to Revelation.

Contrast that view with what I heard on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news program earlier this week that stated (paraphrased) that Papal views in regard to the decline of Western society over the last five hundred years are an example of an outdated worldview.

The commenter, a business professor, noted that there have been many vast improvements for the typical Canadian example, in just the last few decades, economically and socially.

He then asked (paraphrased) if the Pope would like Western society to go back to the Middle Ages?

The Professor, as he often does on the program, made some good points, although I doubt he holds to a Biblical Christian worldview...

But I am not a supporter of the Papacy and I would definitely not like to live in the Middle Ages or a similar era.

In regard to the survey, I answered that particular question during the PhD research rather cautiously and non-dogmatically.

This was because I can acknowledge both sides.

There have been technological and social improvements in the Western World over the past decades and centuries.

I am in agreement basic with Ostrander and Lindsell, that there is a decline in Christianity in the Western World. I reason there are many spiritual negatives as a results which will occur in all aspects of humanity.

There have been many technological and social improvements made in the Western World. But I do not reason this is because human beings have evolved in nature. The nature remains the same, fallen and sinful (Romans 1-6, Genesis 2-3) and in need of the Gospel for salvation.

Sin and death remain theologically and philosophically unsolved as ultimate human problems, within a secular worldview.

With abortion on demand still taking place in the Western World, for example, it has not as of yet become pragmatic socially and politically to protect the unborn as a class of human beings, although scientifically human at the earliest stages.


Medicine Net

'Embryo: An organism in the early stages of growth and differentiation, from fertilization to the beginning of the third month of pregnancy (in humans). After that point in time, an embryo is called a fetus.'

This distinguishes the embryo from non-fertilized human genetic material, such as semen.

Some would like to state that they are virtually the same thing in favour of a pro-choice position, but scientifically the first is a fertilized egg, while semen is non-fertilized male reproductive fluid.

This demonstrates as example, that human nature as sinful has not changed. Human lives are still being taken unjustly by Western society.

Circumstances have caused many positive changes over Western history, as opposed to a change in in human nature or the evolution of human nature.

As the Pastor at church recently noted (paraphrased), human beings are just as evil and as capable of barbaric acts as ever. This explains the brutality of ISIS he noted on a world scale, or the disgruntled employee that goes on a killing rampage in the Western World.

Then there is my example of abortion on demand in the Western context, specifically which demonstrates the termination and therefore killing of unborn human beings.

LINDSELL, HAROLD (1976) The Battle for the Bible, Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing House.

OSTRANDER, HAL N. (2004) ‘Defending the faith in a post-Christian era’, The Christian Index, Duluth, Georgia, The Christian Index. http://www.christianindex.org/206.article