by Doug Hammack In the lesson we did before the summer break, there were two Stories about how we think about Jesus “dying to save us,” that we couldn’t fit in.  I thought they were beautiful enough stories that they needed to be retold, so in this lesson I tell them both.

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We conclude our lesson on thinking about what the words “Jesus died for our sins” mean.  Today we look at other stories that frame our understanding besides the “penal substitution” theory of salvation.  We consider the Ransom Theory, the Christus Victor Theory, and the Perfect Penitent Theory.  Each of these tells a story of Jesus […]

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In this lesson, we look at some of the problems with the most common way Western Christians think about salvation.  The “penal substitution” theory of salvation was advocated in the 11th century by a man named Anselm, and while it was an excellent way of seeing things for people who lived in a feudal society, […]

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Having laid two weeks of foundational concepts, we turn in this lesson to some introductory remarks about what we think the words "Jesus saves us from our sins" mean. In this lesson, we begin looking at some other ways of thinking about this than the familiar "substitutionary atonement" theory of salvation. This kind of thinking makes some folks a bit uncomfortable. Have a listen.

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Christians say that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus was about more than just a good man, standing up for the downtrodden, and being martyred for his efforts. We believe that Jesus fulfilled something of great historical significance, enacting God's purposes to save humanity. To be able to think clearly about what it means that Jesus saves people, in this lesson we think about what sin is (the stuff we believe Jesus saves us from).

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This would be a continuation of the "Two Views" series of lessons, and we would call it "Two Views of Jesus." However, over the course of this lesson, we'll encounter at least five historical views of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We could have called it "Five Views of Jesus," but where's the symmetry in that? In this introductory message, we do some background thinking about God and love, and retell Jesus' parable of the workers in the vineyard.

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Two Views of People (Part 3)

In this lesson, we conclude our look at two views of people. We see that the common view of ourselves as foreigners on the earth, waiting to go to heaven to find our heart's true home tends to make for a version of Christianity less engaged with the teachings of Jesus. The view that we and the earth are being redeemed, and that we are co-travelers on the journey toward God's purpose... * this makes for a version of Christianity that better cares for the earth, better watches over it, and in general, makes us better citizens of the planet.

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Two Views of People (Part 2)

There is an old-time hymn titled, “This World is Not My Home.” The sentiment behind the hymn, and behind a common Christian view of humanity, is that we (ie the followers of Jesus) are resident aliens on this earth. We’re just waiting to get snatched away to our true home in heaven. In this message we examine the problems with this view of things. If we’re resident aliens on the earth, it’s proving pretty difficult for us to be very good citizens here.

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Two Views of People (Part 1)

We’re doing a series of lessons called “Two Views.” The last lesson we looked at Two Views of God. This week, and for the next couple of weeks, we’ll look at Two Views of People, and after that, Two Views of Jesus. In these introductory remarks before we begin our second installment, we talk about why we’d poke people’s settled religious views in the eye. Why irritate people over settled religious convictions? The reason is expediency. Our Christian spirituality has grown quite ill over the last few generations, and unless we go back and question our fundamental assumptions about following

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Two Views of God (part 2)

How we think about God profoundly affects how we think of the Christian journey. Today, we continue examining how our image of God as King, creates a different version of Christianity than does an image of God as Lover.

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