Different Views of Luther’s Atonement Thinking
By way of introduction, Joseph Lortz has observed: “Martin Luther expressed very few views to which we do not find parallels in earlier theologians and reformers. None the less, Luther is something new – an original phenomenon of creative quality and power.”
Ian Siggins holds while motifs from all the historic atonement theories are present in Luther’s thought, there is no ‘nucleus’ in his atonement thought.
H.D. McDonald states the penal substitution is dominant while Gustaf Aulen states Christus Victor is dominant. Althaus sees a combination of the classical and Latin concepts but leans more to the later.
Consequently I suspect Tuomo Mannermaa is correct when he writes: “Luther unites, then the Latin and Classic theories of reconciliation. In his theology, Christ’s expiatory work as such is at the same time victory over the Powers.”
This is a work in progress.