Yesterday, Peter posted on Lance Wallnaus’s apocalyptic vision of the kingdom. It clearly showed the difference between Dominionist end-time thinking and those who affirm Christus Victor. Granted, Gustav Aulen’s Christus Victor is horribly executed, with not enough exegesis as there could have been and too much of a sorry use of history, I still say that theologically, Aulen is correct. There is a Christus Victor motif in the Bible, and in Christian tradition. In CV atonement, the Lord Jesus defeats sin, Satan, and death on the Cross and at the Resurrection. The Devil is defeated, he has no ground to stand on, no foundation because the Old Creation has passed away, and the New Creation is being born. This is an appropriate understanding of Revelation 12; Satan is defeated and is stuck here, with only the ability to lie. In Job 1, as the narrative goes, the Devil is able to stand before YHWH in the temple/tabernacle (my interpretation–since YHWH’s presence is here on Earth with the Israelites theologically speaking). However, after the Life, Death, and Resurrection Military Victory won by the Son, this is impossible.
Unmistakeably, Dominionists’ theological approach to the Evil One is suspect, based on a serious reading of Revelation, among other texts:
“The result of this process of heaven invading earth, Lance says, is chaos but also new possibilities. He sees Satan taking his last stand on earth. As Christians we are in a place, the kingdom, that cannot be shaken, but to remain unshaken through this we need to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The believer’s edge, advantage for life in this world, is to live in the authority which this gives us, the authority to plunder the strong man’s house.”
Satan is in retreat—this is the message of hope of CV atonement; he cannot hide, he has been exposed. Lance Wallnaus cites one part of Hebrews about us “not being shaken” by the threat of chaos brought by Satan, but he forgets the beginning of that same letter, (chapter 2:14-18):
“Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.”
As much work as I have done on Christus Victor, Peter’s post demonstrates why CV matters, in politics, in eschatology, in things that we hope for. Everything.