"I gladly admit that I am simply bewildered whenever I meet someone who claims to be an evangelical Christianity but rejects substitutionary atonement as the latter is so intrinsically tied in with the former—historically and theologically." - Roger Olson
"he demonstrates conclusively that the ancient church fathers—from Irenaeus to Augustine (and he could have gone further) believed in and taught substitutionary atonement. It is simply a myth that they taught the Christus Victor or ransom theories instead." - Roger Olson
"The first error, which is the most common among scholars, is to suggest that the early church never spoke of penal substitution, which I hope to dispel. The second error, more common among evangelicals, is to overstate the case and read penal substitution into texts." - TGC
According to one writer at Beliefnet, Jesus didn’t die on the Cross for our Sins. She further added under the title of her articles that, “The idea Jesus ‘paid the price’ isn’t found in the Bible.”
The Beliefnet piece came across my path on a twitter feed. But it isn’t the first time I’ve seen this sentiment expressed in this way. The idea has been espoused by a number of Christians who often are self-proclaimed progressives. The author takes issue with the doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement. She claims that,
This theology was not part of Christian doctrine for the first 1,600 years after Jesus was crucified. The idea was originated and developed by human beings who were having trouble understanding what the Bible teaches about how Jesus Christ saved humanity. They worked with what they could to better understand Jesus’ teachings, but missed the mark. This lead [sic] to a creation of a belief that wasn’t really based on the Bible.
She says that Christians typically – when asked – will say that Christ died on the cross to “pay for our sins.” The quotation marks reflect her disagreement with this. Her assertion is that the teaching has become widely taught and deep-rooted; stated as fact, but not found in the Bible.