The Evangelical Universalist Forum

An Inquiry Regarding the Moral Influence Family of Theories

Howdy all.

Recently I’ve been reading on the nature of the Atonement, exploring the various explanations that have been offered to make sense of the Biblical texts regarding Christ’s death as it relates to our salvation. Currently I’m working on “The Nonviolent Atonement” by J. Denny Weaver, who espouses a view he calls, “Narrative Christus Victor”, which is, no surprise, in the Christus Victor family of Atonement theories. While it has certainly contributed significantly to my understanding of this topic, I am not convinced that this theory is sufficient to fully, or even adequately, represent the atonement for all it’s worth.

Perhaps somewhat ironically, the book’s treatment of the Moral Influence theory, while exceptionally limited, and also somewhat critical in nature, has piqued my interest. I am interested in learning more about the Moral Influence theory, or theories, as the case may be, and was wondering if anyone around here could recommend any good resources (books, websites, etc.) for me.

Thanks everyone, I do appreciate your help!

I think that many – most, even, of the various atonement “theories” contribute to a panoramic picture that simply can’t be painted in one shade alone. My favorite is Christus Victor (narrative), but they all have something to contribute. Sorry I don’t know any writings specifically on Moral Influence, but I’ll bet someone here does. :slight_smile:


One of the things I don’t have many of are books on atonement theory (unfortunately). I would have to make guesses about what the Moral Influence family of theories involves–Christ acting on the cross as an example for us to follow?

That’s a major part of my own analysis of the goals of God in atoning us to Himself, in Sword to the Heart–although like Cindy I incorporate a number of overlapping and complementary effects.

You can download a free copy kept here on the forum if you click on the SttH hyperlink in my sig and then look for the attachment to that opening post. My arguments about atonement logically follow from my arguments about sin, and those start at chapter 40 (with pickups from 39. It’s one long progressing argument, so sometimes I have a hard time advising people where to start. :wink: ) The final Section, which follows those chapters, has a lot to do with atonement theory, too.

Hope that’ll be helpful!

Oh yes, Jason!

I did finish STTH and wow! What a lot of work hours you’ve put into it. I really appreciate you making it available for everyone. While I wasn’t quite up to following the arguments all the time, I know I benefited from reading it – a lot. Maybe when I read through again I’ll be better able to keep up. :wink: Anyway, Thanks!

Blessings, Cindy