Steve Chalk just got kicked out of a major youth conference because of his position on penal substitution atonement, a perspective on Christianity that – in some instances – insists that God inflicted punishment on Jesus when he died on the cross.
It seems as if a sizeable number of Christians have decided that this issue marks the distinction between orthodoxy and heresy. From their perspective, if you can’t agree that God consciously and intentionally tormented Jesus on the cross, you aren’t a Christian, even if you otherwise profess that Jesus’ death saves us from our sins.
Why is this such an important issue to supporters of this form of PSA? And why is there such a strong movement in opposition to it?
Clearly, something important is going on here, and I suspect that the answers to these questions are telling about the “break” that is occurring between mainstream evangelicals and post-evangelicals.