This is a case where I agree with the conclusions but disagree with the argument.
I believe Jesus is God, and in particular God become man and not man become God.
But the argument that salvation requires some kind of magical power derived from a divine sacrifice is something I very much disagree with. In fact there is a list of weird claims behind this argument that Jesus has to be God in order for the atonement to “work.” I reject them all as totally insane!
- An innocent person can pay for the crimes of the guilty. CRAZY IRRATIONAL AND IMMORAL!
- God cannot forgive people without some kind of blood sacrifice. DEMONIC!
- The value of a punishment depends on the value of the person punished! MEDIEVAL!
- The value of a crime depends on the value of the person wronged! CLASSICIST HOGWASH!
AND PLEASE do not quote the Bible at me in support of this garbage. I am well aware of what the Bible says and I affirm all of it. I just do not think it means any of these four things above. But I guess the key point is that there are several metaphors in the Bible for understanding the atonement and making this one legal metaphor literal is not rational. So instead I will say…
- The innocent pay for the crimes of the guilty all the time… i.e. they suffer the consequences and the fact that they do is often what it takes to make people change. So Jesus paying for our sins is also a metaphor just like when we say that our soldiers pay the price for our freedom. Taking this literally is just stupid.
- God can, of course, forgive people easily but that doesn’t mean He should because it is well known that cheap forgiveness is the worst thing you can do for your children, teaching them that their actions have no consequences.
- The most important value of punishment derives from how well it helps people to change. Even the second value of punishment as deterrence is dubious.
- The only thing that might vary the “value” of a crime are mitigating factors having to do with what the victim may have done to incite the crime against them. To be sure there are no mitigating factors when it comes to God. But this is true of many victims, who did no more to incite the crime against them than God did.