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Steve Chalke on the torture of the cross

Maybe this is well known but I was intrigued by finding this in a second hand bookshop:



Chalke wrote it in 1995.  On the cross he writes this:


" complete the rejection, [Jesus] was abandoned by God the Father.  To a large extent, it was this emotional torture which killed Jesus... It shows the completeness with which he was prepared to pay the price of human sin."

This from a man who in 2003 denied a penal substitutionary view of the cross.  Having quoted John 3:16, Chalke says

" then, have we come to believe that at the cross this God of love suddenly decides to vent his anger and wrath on his own Son? The fact is that the cross isn't a form of cosmic child abuse - a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for an offence he has not even committed. Understandably, both people inside and outside of the Church have found this twisted version of events morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith" (The Lost Message of Jesus, p182).

Anyone know if Chalke has ever explained his earlier explanation of the cross in the light of this later one?




0 thoughts on “Steve Chalke on the torture of the cross

  1. pgjackson

    In 'lost message' he admits having moved on this doctrine, saying that he used to preach a psa version of the cross. Not sure what page but its near the bit you quote above if I remember correctly.

  2. timothycairns

    never mind what he says - you got to dig those early 90s threads! has he ever repented of them??!!

    Seriously, I don't have the book in the office here but Don Carson's (truly wonderful and sharp) "Becoming conversant with the emerging church" talks about it. Althought I think Carson should have used the term emergent rather than emerging in his title.

  3. Will

    Perhaps he doesn't consider "abandonment" quite the same thing as an active and angry punishment. I wonder if he was ever fully comfortable with penal substitution as we might ordinarioy describe it.

    I like the photos - makes it seem like you were on a covert mission. Did you actually buy it?

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