The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 34 of 261
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The Atonement.
#1.  Wherein the choice of the word "Atonement" in
the A.V. of Rom. 5: 11  is examined, and fully justified.
pp. 108 - 111
The primary object of those responsible for The Berean Expositor is a testimony to
"The dispensation of the Mystery" and the principle of "right division". This does not,
however, imply any narrowness of outlook or any neglect of the teaching of all Scripture,
and a glance through the "Contents" of Volumes I-XXXIII will reveal a lively interest in
all the great fundamental doctrines of the faith. Among such doctrines, that must always
occupy a prominent place, is the fundamental one of the Sacrifice of Sin. At recurring
intervals, articles bearing upon this theme have appeared in these pages, and we sincerely
hope that, until the day comes when we lay down our pen for the last time, this most
moving and precious doctrine of the Scripture will find a prominent place in our ministry.
The present series of articles will not traverse the ground already covered, but is
intended rather to focus attention upon one aspect only of the finished work of Christ.
There have been quite a number of "theories of the atonement" put forward, many of
them widely different from one another, yet all propounded by sincere believers, and all
based upon some one or more aspects of the truth, or upon some one or more key-words
of the Old or New Testaments.
"The difficulties in the way of a solution in the case of the doctrine of the Atonement
are at least threefold--exegetical, theological and spiritual: and due effect must be given
to each of them" (Dr. J. Scott-Lidgett).
The exegetical difficulty lies in the problem of interpreting the terms used.
"It was impossible for all these requirements to be met and their difficulties to be
overcome when Hebrew teacher was interpreted by Greek philosopher or Latin
schoolman, prophet and priest by jurist, ancient seer by modern theologian, with little or
no historical and critical sense or apparatus. And many of the most erratic explanations
of the Atonement are due primarily to the misunderstandings, incongruities, and faults of
proportion of such unequipped and faulty exegesis" (Dr. J. Scott-Lidgett).
The theological difficulties in the way of a satisfactory theory of the Atonement have
been equally serious. These concern the Person of Christ, His relation to God, the
relation of God and Christ to man, and the nature and consequences of sin. And finally,
we must not forget that a spiritual apprehension of the revelation of God in Christ is most
necessary if we are to arrive at a correct exegesis or a satisfactory theology.
"A comprehensive and painstaking intellect is insufficient.  Mental defects are
harmful, but still more faults of heart. Yet until the truth of Christ has by a living
experience pervaded every faculty, and brought at last the intellect of man into full
accord with itself, agreement in a complete doctrine of the Atonement is impossible"
(Dr. J. Scott-Lidgett).