Are there two unreconciled theories of the atonement in Athanasius? Do the writings of Athanasius contain two theories of the atonement - a ‘physical’ theory which teaches that, through Christ’s assumption of humanity, mankind is clothed in the incorruption and indestructibility that is inherent in Christ the Word and a ‘legal’ theory which maintains that the heart of the Gospel lies in Christ’s payment of the debt owed to God by humanity? Seen in isolation from each other, as distinct theories, the terms, ‘physical’ and ‘legal’ can be very misleading. In its modern sense, ‘physical’ is regarded as the direct opposite of ’spiritual’. With reference to the atonement, ‘physical’ suggests an automatic or mechanical understanding of the communication of the benefits of Christ’s atonement to humanity. The question must be raised whether the ‘physical’ theory is capable of giving adequate expression to the moral character of human beings. The ‘legal’ approach suggests the idea of a legal fram…
Marcuse draws attention to the tension between the truth and its practice.
Discussing the relationship between the theoretical truth of the critical theory of society and the practice for which the theory calls, he writes, “the facts and the alternatives are … like fragments which do not connect … Dialectical theory is not refuted, but it cannot offer the remedy … the dialectical concept, in comprehending the given facts, transcends the given facts. This is the very token of its truth. It defines the historical possibilities, even necessities; but their realization can only be in the practice which responds to the theory, and, at present, the practice gives no such response” (One-Dimensional Man (ODM), p. 253, emphasis mine).
In a way that echoes Marx’s call for a world-changing philosophy which refuses to remain content with interpreting the world, Marcuse emphasizes the unbreakable connection between theory and practice.
He does not assert that the theory will ever find the practi…
These comments are taken from the Jack Rogers book, "Confessions of a Conservative Evangelical" (Philadelphia, 1974).
Berkouwer was reared in a denomination which "began in rather conservative isolation ... he has developed a scholarly, pastoral, evangelical stance. And he has brought a whole denomination with him" (p. 143) - "you can become less conservative and more evangelical" (12).