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Compare and contrast two theories of atonement What do they say about God What if God was one of us Just a slob like one of us just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home like a holy rolling stone back up to heaven all alone nobody calling on the phone except for the Pope maybe in Rome These words sung by Joan Osborne talk about what if God was one of us But God did come to earth as Jesus Christ almost 2000 years ago albeit in a very different context to the song and this awesome event has caused a lot of discussion over the reasons for this incarnation and the atonement between God and man Many theories of why this event happened have been put forward one such being the satisfaction theory advocated originally by St Anselm of Canterbury in his book titled Cur Deus homo whereby Christ repays humanitys debt of sin to God by his death Another theory is the classic victory theory put forward by writers of the early church who furthered the New Testament image of Christ as victor The Catholic medieval theologian St Anselm wrote his theory of atonement in 1098 the contextual masterpiece Cur Deus homo simply in English Why a God-Man Anselm living in a feudal period where the practice of penance was kept as satisfaction for sin had come to the conclusion that the human condition cannot be self remedied Humanity lacks the required resources therefore Anselm put forward that God provides these resources through Christ and they redeem us to the full extent of required justice Christ through his perfection had such worth to God that in his death came a good greater than the sin of humanity thereby satisfying or vindicating God This was only possible by this perfection and by as McGrath states it the ability as God and the obligation
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