Wrapping up the past few episodes, which focus on the cross, Steve points to some of the criticism and inability to listen that he’s encountered throughout the past few weeks.
Steve points to some of the atrocities that have been committed under Christianity in the past, suggesting that, “the litmus test of how good any theology, built around the revelation that God is love, is always simply this; how practically and pastorally helpful it is?” This helps us navigate the many different views there are on navigating not just the cross but also widely debated points in Christianity.
The point, then, is that we need to learn to listen to each other better. Steve suggests that the even the gospel in and of itself contains multiple interpretations of the cross. No matter what side we’re on, we shouldn’t be afraid to listen to someone who we disagree with.
Steve recognises that “no single theory can ever capture the breadth and profundity" of the cross. However, penal substitution, “the view that it is God’s wrath that leads to the necessity for the cross,” simply does not fit.
What do you think? How can we learn to listen to each other and not repeat some of the infamous mistakes Christians have made in history? And thinking about the cross, are we are redeemed through love or via anger, retribution and vicarious punishment?