Sympathetic Resonance: Jeremy Begbie

Jeremy Begbie
A legal (forensic) view of the atonement leads to such unfortunate statements as, "when God looks at me, he sees only Jesus." The sentiment here is that God overlooks my sin by seeing, instead, the sinlessness of Jesus.

We are, of course, full of gratitude that Jesus has borne away our sin through his substitutionary sacrifice. But the truth of the gospel is far greater than a mere legal transaction! God does not overlook us in order to see Jesus. Rather, through the continuing Incarnation of the Son of God, God includes us - he sees us, in union with his Son, as his dearly loved, forgiven, accepted and adopted children. He looks upon us with eyes of Fatherly love and joy.

The atonement, as it actually is in the person of Jesus, does not negate our personal humanity. It is not "more of Christ, and less of us." Rather, in our union with God, in Jesus, it is MORE of us, re-born in Christ to be all we have been created to be.

Non-Christians (and, sadly, some Christians too!), fear that if God is "let into" one's life, there will be less life for them to experience and enjoy. A forensic view of the atonement reinforces this untruth. But the full gospel speaks of a "sympathetic resonance" of God with humanity. Trinitarian, incarnational theologian and music professor Jeremy Begbie helpfully addresses this in a lecture entitled "On God and Freedom"--shown in the video embedded below. I encourage you to watch it and rejoice that God's grace means all of God and all (not less) of us, redeemed in Christ. This is our true and full humanity, which is true and full freedom!

Comments

  1. Here's a related comment from Karl Barth (recently quoted on The Adopted Life‎ blog):

    "If we see Him [Jesus] alone, we do not see Him at all. If we see Him, we see with and around Him in ever-widening circles His disciples, the people, His enemies and the countless millions who have not yet heard His name. We see Him as theirs, determined by them and for them, belonging to each and every one of them" - Karl Barth (Church Dogmatics 3/2 [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1960], p.216)

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