Monday, January 20, 2014

Jesus, Lamb of God

"Lamb of God" and "saved by the blood of the Lamb" are two of many traditional Christian metaphors, rooted in biblical imagery, which many contemporary Christians find troubling, perhaps even disturbing.

The difficulty emanates from the orthodox Christian teaching that Jesus had to die in order for God to forgive human sin. Theological conceptions of this use ideas including atoning sacrifice, expiation, and propitiation to explain this concept. Although the various explanations have significant, sometimes mutually exclusive ideas, all of the explanations presume that God can forgive human sin only in conjunction with a blood sacrifice. Since the sacrifice must be without blemish (i.e., without sin), and only God is perfect, only God (or God's son) can satisfy the requirement. This explanation justifies, even necessitates, Jesus' death on the cross.

Thankfully, contemporary Christian theologians increasingly find such ideas very troubling. Those traditional concepts depict God as either a masochist (choosing to suffer) or abusive parent (inflicting the suffering on God's son). Both options are spiritually and morally repugnant.

In my sermon yesterday, I offer an alternative interpretation of the metaphor of Jesus as the Lamb of God, an interpretation rooted in the metaphor itself while preserving a faithful continuity with the Christian tradition (Read more).

1 comment:

George Clifford said...

A reader sent me this comment, adding helpful historical detail:

I tend to agree with you. The main problem with SSBN’s has always been communications while submarines are submerged. Despite the large amounts spent on VLF and ELF comms systems, this remains the weak point in the chain. There is only a slow, one-way comms channel to SSBNs on patrol.
I suspect, although I don’t have the numbers to prove it, that keeping the fleet of SSBNs deployed is also much more expensive than operating the USAF missile silos – although I could be wrong about that. Also, the current SSBNs will have to be replaced starting in 2030 at a cost of billions per boat.
It used to be that the warheads released by Trident missiles were substantially less accurate than the warheads released by the USAF Minuteman III, but I believe the latest generation of Trident is now good enough in that respect.