Spectacular View of the Atonement
Spectacular View Of The Atonement is an expression fitly applied to that doctrine of the person of Christ which represents his crucifixion as a mere semblance of suffering intended to impress beholders with his martyr-like sympathy in behalf of mankind, rather than as a veritable death for human sin. The divine nature is thus so far severed from the dying victim as to eliminate its vicarious virtue. The whole scene becomes a human transaction. Jesus is reduced to the level of a moral and religious reformer, who seals his career and attests his sincerity with his blood. The inadequacy of this as a satisfaction to God's law, and an equivalent for man's punishment, is obvious. It is but the old heresy of Docetism revived in a specious Unitarian form. That the sacrifice upon the cross was designed to have a powerful moral influence upon all who should become acquainted with it is certainly true, and, in our opinion, this affords the inner solution of the profound question why that mode of expiation was adopted; but this is a very different position from the above, for it is postulated upon the bona-fide union of the two natures in the atoning victim. SEE ATONEMENT.