Did the Earliest Christians Really Believe in Substitutionary Atonement (and Even Imputation)? One Important Example

Substitutionary Atonement

In a prior article (here), I explored how the second-century work the Epistle to Diognetus clearly affirmed the full divinity of Jesus–a doctrine that some say did not come around until the fourth century. I continue this theme by exploring yet another doctrine that some suggest is a late invention: substitutionary atonement.

The average internet-level narrative goes something like this: the earliest Christians had no clear understanding for why Jesus died on the cross and what it accomplished. The idea of a substitutionary atonement is a late invention designed to retroactively explain the (otherwise embarrassing) death of Jesus.  In fact, it was not until Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo

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Melissa Kruger Launches New Blog

Melissa Kruger

I am very excited about my wife Melissa’s new blog which launches today. There are a tremendous amount of resources available on this site, covering a wide variety of topics such as women’s ministry, motherhood, contentment, life as a pastor’s wife, and more.

The site also includes a number of her articles, podcasts, talks, and videos.  Many of these have been published on other sites like the Gospel Coalition, Christianity.com, Reformation 21, and others.

Based on Psalm 107:27, she has creatively titled her new blog “Wit’s End: Having Nothing, Possessing Everything.”  Here is her explanation of the meaning of the title:

Slowly I am learning that being at my

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A Christmas Gift from the Mainstream Media: Newsweek Takes a Desperate Swipe at the Integrity of the Bible (Part 2)

Newsweek on the Bible

On Christmas Eve, I wrote part one of my review of Kurt Eichenwald’s piece (see here), and highlighted not only the substantive and inexcusable litany of historical mistakes, but also the overly pejorative and one-sided portrait of Bible-believing Christians. The review was shared by a number of other evangelical sites and thinkers—including the Gospel Coalition, Tim Challies, Denny Burk, Michael Brown, and others—and ever since I have been digging out from under the pile of comments. I appreciate that even Kurt Eichenwald joined the discussion in the comments section.

But the problems in the original Newsweek article were so extensive that I could not cover them in a single …

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A Christmas Present from the Mainstream Media: Newsweek Takes a Desperate Swipe at the Integrity of the Bible (Part 1)

Newsweek

It is not unusual for Newsweek, and other major media magazines, to publish critical opinions of Christianity and the Bible during major Christian holidays. I have lost count of how many March/April issues of such magazines have cast doubt on the resurrection, just in time for Easter.

However, the recent Newsweek cover article by Kurt Eichenwald, entitled “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin,” published intentionally (no doubt) on December 23rd, goes so far beyond the standard polemics, and is so egregiously mistaken about the Bible at so many places, that the magazine should seriously consider a public apology to Christians everywhere.

Of course, this is not the …

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