Addressing the 1,000 pound Mennonite Gorilla named “Atonement”…

Well, I’ve been back from Los Angeles for 4 months now, and I’ve had plenty of conversations, e-mails, phone calls and general inquiries about what I think about the whole Atonement Debate that is going on in Canadian Mennonite Brethren Circles.  Ever since the 2009 study conference in Saskatoon, the name “Mark Baker” has been tossed around everywhere.  Everyone I talk to defintiely has an opinion about his ideas, and some of them get pretty warm.  So, after a few months of getting settled, I’m going to delve into this topic myself.  I plan to do a little light reading, engage some of what is said, and throw down some thoughts.  If anyone wants to join me, here’s the list of what I’m going to be reading:

Mark Baker’s own lists of articles he has written, as well as his recommended resources on the atonement, including both of his books (though only Recovering the Scandal of the Cross is really important since Proclaiming the Scandal of the Cross is a collection of essays, most of which are not written by Baker, expanding on the first book).

I’ll look at his chapter in Brad Jersak’s book Stricken By God, which is interesting simply for the reason of who else is in that book (people like Marcus Borg, who Walter Kaiser once called “one of the wolves that Jesus warned us about”, to his face, at a meeting of the Evangelical Theology Society).

I’ll maybe post a thought on his apology for his remarks at the study conference, though much has been said about this.

This won’t be a point for point critique of everything, but I’ll try to map out the main idea that Baker has and then interact with that.  This will likely take me a week or more, since I’m both working and candidating while I’m doing this, but this has also been something that has been on my radar for a while and I’d like to get it done.  Feel free to think through these issues with me.

Longing for the day,

Lyndon “The Armchair Token Conservative Mennonite” Unger


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