Saturday, December 17, 2005

Richard Cunningham Interview

Adrian Warnock has interviewed UCCF Director Richard Cunningham. This is well worth reading for anyone involved in Christian Unions, but also in the UK Evangelical church and beyond. Headlines, as expected, are high view of the Cross and of local Church.


  1. Interesting stuff.

    "There is a commitment within our DB to Penal substitutionary atonement as a fundamental truth"

    is of particular note, because I do think that causes divisions amongst christians who are otherwise very doctrinally similar.
    The DB never spefically mentions 'wrath', it does cover penal substitutionary atonement but does not seem to be clear about the doctrine of Christ recieving God's wrath against sin.

    I don't think Steve Chalke et al ever 'questioned the atonement', just a particular model and presentation of it.

    Is it important to agree on the exact mechanism on how it is the cross achieves our salvation? Or does this cause us to stray towards 'salvation by faith in the correct doctrines' as opposed to 'salvation by grace'?

    If we are sure that not signing the DB does not equate no real Christian faith, how can we then explain that the CU is esentially choosing not to fully work with other people who know Christ? Doesn't this appear strange, pointless and petty to non believers?

    These are questions I would ask Richard, I guess!

  2. Dear brother - just one comment in response to what you wrote...

    >I don't think Steve Chalke et al >ever 'questioned the atonement', >just a particular model and >presentation of it.

    I have to say that I disagree with you here. Steve Chalk doesn't just 'question' a particular model and presentation of the atonement. What he wrote in his book was a fairly aggressive attack on the doctrine.

    He clearly doesn't believe in penal substitution - unless I've really misunderstood where he's coming from. Really happy to be corrected if I have.

  3. >Is it important to agree on the exact mechanism on how it is the cross achieves our salvation?<

    I think it is Chris yeh. I mean, the Bible is very clear about propitiation, and therefore so must we be. We must be united around core truths of the gospel if we want to be an effective witness and mission team.

    With regards to the DB in terms of teaching, i wouldn't want to be taught by someone who didn't believe in penal substitutionary atonement...what else in the Bible doesn't he believe?

  4. The other views of the atonement appear to argue that God requires no payment for sin- that he is happy to waive the penalty and expiate us without excercising justice.

    That's surely a slur on God's character- a denial of his complete holiness, and therefore a big problem as far as I see it.

    It might seem petty to unbelievers (and evten some Christians) but as Mr Stott says, penal substitonary atonement is the basis for every other image and shade of what the cross achieved.

  5. Hatchris.

    I can see where you are coming from. But the fact is that Chalkey himself said that people who believe in penal subsitution had totally misunderstood the character of God.

    I'm totally committed to it as a model - so by his own words, the God we believe in isn't the same. So there just isn't any unity there - no point in pretending that there is.