Adult Sunday School Schedule of Readings

A new series of Adult Sunday School / Adult Christian Education studies will start on Sunday, March 4th, 2018. Any and all who are interested are welcome to come between Sunday Services at 9:45 – 10:45 am in the Chapel. Details of the March study can be found below:


“Understanding Atonement – A Study of Five Theories”

Week 1:   Overview and Initial Foundation for Study

  1. What does the life of Jesus mean?
  2. Why did Jesus die?
  3. Did Jesus have to die?
  4. Who is affected by the death of Jesus?

Concepts: Critical Lens, Systematic Theology, Soteriology, Justification, Atonement

Week 2:  Ransom Theory and Satisfaction Theory

Ransom Theory – Early Church Fathers, esp. Origen (200 to 400 CE)

  • Problem: Generational captivity to Satan himself. A redemption must take place.
  • Solution: God buys back (redeems) humankind from Satan through the sacrifice of Jesus.
  • Bible Verses: Mark 10:35-45, 1 Tim. 2:5-6

Satisfaction Theory – Anselm of Canterbury, “Cur Deus Homo” (1094 BCE)

  • Problem: Human behavior is sinful. A punishment must occur.
  • Solution: Jesus accepts punishment for all of humankind.
  • Bible Verses: Colossians 2:14; John 8:34; Matthew 6:12; Isaiah 53:7; John 10:19

Week 3:  Penal Substitution and Christus Victor

Penal Substitution – Reformed Period (Starting with Calvin) (1550s to 1800s)

  • Problem: God cannot overlook sin. A penalty must be paid to God.
  • Solution: Jesus pays a penalty (not a ransom!) for all of humankind.
  • Bible Verses: Isaiah 53, 1 Peter 3

Christus Victor – Gustaf Aulen (Early 1900s)

  • Problem: Humankind is being held captive by the force of sin.
  • Solution: Christ’s death defeats the force of sin, balancing the cosmic order.
  • Bible Verses: Hebrews 2:1-18; Luke 11;21-22; 2 Cor 4:4

Week 4:  Moral Influence Theory of Atonement

Moral Influence Theory – St. Augustine (300s) and Peter Abelard (1100s)

  • Problem: Humankind has lost touch with the core of compassion for the world.
  • Solution: Live as Jesus did and this will reconcile us to God’s image.
  • Bible Verses: Philippians 3:8-21; John 15:1-17

Closing Discussion and Observations from Participants

We hope to see you in Adult Sunday School!

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