Monday, December 5, 2011

A Word from John McLeod Campbell

My friend John MacMurray emailed these quotes from John Mcleod Campbell's The Nature of the Atonement.   
"If the atonement is rightly conceived of as a development of the incarnation, the relation of the atonement to the incarnation is indissoluble; and in a clear apprehension of the incarnation must be felt to be so. Further, if the eternal life given to us in Christ is that divine life in humanity in which Christ made atonement for our sins, then the connection between the atonement and our participation in the life of Christ is not arbitrary, but natural: and thus the incarnation, the atonement, and man's participation in the divine nature, offer to our faith one purpose of divine love, reaching its fulfillment by a path which is determined by what God is and what he wills that man should be.

"Yet I cannot forget that there are earnest and deep thinking minds in whose case the faith of the incarnation and their acceptance of it as the fundamental grace of God to man to the light of which all that concerns God's relation to man is to be taken, has issued, not in the recognition of the atonement as a development of the incarnation, but on the contrary, regard the atonement as in the light of the incarnation alike uncalled for and inconceivable."

"So soon as the incarnation... is accepted as itself the light to which the subject of the atonement must be taken, we are prepared to find that all conceptions of the atonement, which accord not with the love of the Father of spirits to mend his offspring manifested in the incarnation, will be rejected."