virtue of his two-fold nature, that every claim of justice is satisfied. The sinner who accepts what Christ has done in his behalf is saved.
Dr. R. W. Dale, in his work on The Atonement, states the question before us: ?What must be Christ?s relation to men, in order to make it possible that he should die for them?? We would change the form of the question, so that it should read: ?What must be Christ?s relation to men, in order to make it not only possible, but just and necessary, that he should die for them?? Dale replies, for substance, that Christ must have had an original and central relation to the human race and to every member of it. See Denney, Death of Christ, 318. In our treatment of Ethical Monism of the Trinity and of the Person of Christ, we have shown that Christ, as Logos, as the immanent God, is the Life of humanity, laden with responsibility for human sin while yet he personally knows no sin. Of this race- responsibility and race-guilt which Christ assumed, and for which he suffered so soon as man had sinned, Christ?s obedience and suffering in the flesh were the visible reflection and revelation. Only in Christ?s organic union with the race can we find the vital relation, which will make his vicarious sufferings either possible or just. Only when we regard Calvary as revealing eternal principles of the divine nature, can we see how the suffering of those few hours upon the Cross could suffice to save the millions of mankind.
Dr. E. Y. Mullins has set forth the doctrine of the Atonement in five propositions: ?1. In order to atonement Christ became vitally united to the human race. It was only by assuming the nature of those he would redeem that he could break the power of their captor. The human race may be likened to many sparrows that had been caught in the snare of the fowler, and were hopelessly struggling against their fate. A great eagle swoops down from the sky, becomes entangled with the sparrows in the net and then spreading his mighty wings he soars upward bearing the snare and captives and breaking its meshes, he delivers himself and them. Christ, the fountain head of life imparting his own vitality to the redeemed and causing them to share in the experiences of Gethsemane and Calvary, breaking thus for them the power of sin and death. This is the atonement, by virtue of which sin is put away and man is united to God.?
Dr. Mullins properly regards this view of atonement as too narrow, inasmuch as it disregards the differences between Christ, arising from his sinless nature and his deity, and men. He adds therefore that ?2. Christ became the substitute for sinners; 3. He became the representative of men before God; 4. He gained power over human hearts to win them from sin and reconcile them to God; and 5. He became a propitiation and
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?