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I wonder if a good bit of our problem with substitutionary atonement is that when we deal with what happens at the cross we suspend our understanding of the trinity? By no means do I think that an appropriate understanding of the cross stops at any one view of the atonement, but it is a far different thing for God to offer Himself as a sacrifice for His children than for Him to "kill" His "Son" in an act of vengance. Thinking about the Trinity makes my head hurt, but it would seem to me that we cannot understand the cross without taking into account the trinity.

Thats a relly good thought... I'll ponder on that, I think it may go further than just the Cross situation... we are generally aware of the Creation story and the interplay of the Trinity... but I wonder if we really think that deeply about the nature of the community of God?

To be fair, I don't think public misunderstanding with evolution has anything to do with Darwin who had a quite subtle and insightful view of the process of evolution which is still inspiring researchers today. The Origin of Species is still worth a read today.

Linz, He didn't mean there was anything wrong with "TOOTS" ;) per se.... what he meant was popular understanding got stuck with Darwin, (probably even a understanding of Darwin which doesn't actually reflect "TOOTS"... because they haven't looked into it themselves)... pure survival of the fitest, smooth curve evolution etc. as is the want of professors he was being provocative. The "public" believe that Darwin solved it once and for all, the book is closed... wheras he would say that Darwin was a great starting point, but there have been many more discovires and theories since, indeed there are still many many more questions and mysteries about the "process" and reality of evolution - the eye, trilobytes complex exoskeleton etc etc (interestingly many of the anomalies that the creationists point to too!) An example being the recieved wisdom that humans developed from Chimps and other contemporary apes... as opposed to a proto-primate that was probably very different to both humans and contemporary apes... The point I was making was that "penal substitution" may be the recieved wisdom, but a)it raises as many questions as it answers, b)just because it is the popular understanding doesn't mean that the book HAS to be closed c)that whilst it may be part (perhaps a starting point) of the answer it isn't nescessarily the whole picture/truth.

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