"Two broad understandings of what atonement signifies in Revelation compete for primacy: 1) whether atonement in Revelation “signifies primarily a sacrificial death that expiates sin and puts humanity right with God”;17 or 2) whether it refers to “the larger cosmological significance of Christ’s death as it relates to the overcoming of evil and the working out of God’s purposes on earth.”18 The former would see atonement as substitutionary19 and thus relating to realities of human sin and the need for personal redemption. This includes both objective and subjective aspects of atonement. The latter would be revelatory, relating primarily to questions of theodicy and the reputation/character of God (including substitution but not the emphasis or center). The latter also often sees Christ’s death as exemplary—a model for believers to follow.20 It is tacit “anti-sacrificial,”21 “anti-substitutionary,” “non-violent.”22 We will explore this tension, suggesting that it is not an either/or, but rather two aspects of a unified whole in the Book of Revelation and that the movement is that substitution by the blood of the Lamb vindicates God’s character. A third aspect of atonement will come into view in the process, i.e., how that substitution by the blood of the Lamb brings about the salvation of God’s people including their change of status within God’s sovereign reign in the Great Controversy. Both theodicy and redemption are substitutionary based and the latter is part of the movement towards the former. This will be a three-part discussion accordingly: atonement as substitution, atonement and salvation, atonement and theodicy."



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