Faith and Philosophy

Volume 38, Issue 4, October 2021

Meghan D. Page, Allison Krile ThorntonOrcid-ID
Pages 409-430

Have We No Shame?: A Moral Exemplar Account of Atonement

Although Christ’s atoning work on the cross is perhaps the most central tenet of Christianity, understanding precisely how the cross saves remains a theological mystery. We follow the Abelardian tradition and argue that Christ’s death on the cross acts as an example of God’s love for humanity and a means of drawing us back into communion with the triune God. However, our view avoids the standard objection to exemplar views—that they are Pelagian—by introducing an alternative conception of the problem of sin, according to which Christ’s example of God’s love is in fact required for salvation and sanctification.