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Christus Victor
Gustaf Aulén
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Christus Victor

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  157 ratings  ·  22 reviews
s/t: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of the Atonement
The term Christus Victor comes from the title of Gustaf Aulén's groundbreaking book 1st published in '31 which drew attention to early Church understanding of the Atonement. In it he identifies three main types of Atonement Theory:
The earliest was what he called the "classic" view of the Atoneme
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published December 28th 1992 by Peter Smith Publ. Inc (first published January 1st 1930)
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(showing 1-30 of 324)
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Joel Wentz
This classic work of theology is indispensable reading for anyone who grew up in the Western church tradition. Aulen was a prominent theologian in the early 1900s, and this short book is one of his most well-known works, and for good reason! Growing up in the evangelical church, I had always assumed that "penal substitution" was simply the only way of understanding Christ's atoning work. As an historical overview, Christus Victor clearly shows that this tradition emerged from what Aulen calls th ...more
Judah Ivy
Aulen's book was a much-needed elucidation for me. Before reading it I'd only heard references and short descriptions of the "Christus Victor" view of Christs' work of atonement.
It's a very informative work. He details the origin and development of the three main types of atonement theology:
The Classic view, which he puts forward as the authentic type, and shows to have been the main idea of the atonement held by the early church fathers.
The Latin type: proposed in its detailed form by Anselm
Joseph Sverker
Man kan helt klart förstå attraktionen av den här boken och varför den fick det enorma genomslag den fick. Aulén skriver och argumenterar med otroligt tydlighet för hur "den klassiska försoningsläran" fallit i skymundan i teologin p g a 1700 och 1800-talets ensidiga fokus på subjektiv eller objektiv försoningslära. I detta kan han säkert ha rätt, att diskussionen i mångt och mycket verkat ha handlat om subjektiv eller objektiv försoningslära. Boken har dock mycket av äreräddning av Cristus Victo ...more
Jacob Aitken
Triumphing over the powers, July 15, 2008
This book provides an historically-faithful alternative to the substitutionary and exemplary models of the atonement. Its strength lies in its presentation of a vivid and robust picture of the work of Christ. Its (the book, not the model) weakness is its simplistic reductions of other theologians' thoughts.

The Christus Victor model presents the work of Christ as a triumph over the devil, powers (demons), bondage of sin, and the "law." Accordingly
Gustav provides what, in his time, was a groundbreaking theological resurrection of what he calls the 'classic' view of the atonement - that is, the view held by the Church Fathers and, as he argues, the Apostles. His argument from the Fathers (particularly of Sts. Irenaeus, Gregorys Nyssen, Nazianzen and the Great, and Athanasius) is solid and nigh unassailable, though the exegetical and biblical substance of his argument is less than convincing. I believe this is primarily due to an inconsiste ...more
I finally got around to reading this book. Aulen's stated purpose is to outline the classic view of the atonement and to compare it to the objective (latin) model and the subjective (exemplar) model. Aulen does an excellent job of describing the patriotic view and the development of penal substitution. One major difference he sees between the classic model and the later penal models is an emphasis on Christ's divinity in the former and Christ's humanity in the latter. The classic view posits tha ...more
Among the top five books I have ever read! "Christus Victor" is mildly technical, highly accessible, intriguing and compact theology. Any Protestant or Roman Christian will be challenged by this view of atonement. Most Western Christians (Protestant and Roman) do not know that their understanding of the cross is only one of the Christian views of the cross. Aulén presents the Eastern Orthodox theology of atonement, claiming it is the historic and Lutheran theology of atonement. Even if the reade ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 14, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to Erik by: David Lotz
Shelves: religion
I obtained this book in New York. It was probably assigned for a church history course at seminary, but whether it was for the Ancient class or the Medieval one I no longer recall. Being relatively short, odds are we read it between two class sessions as a supplement to the primary source materials covered.

Christian soteriological theology has generally perplexed me. Both the ransom and the satisfaction theories strike me as psychotic, what with their personifications of good and evil, notions o
Patrick Williams
GREAT BOOK! Written in German from lectures Gustaf Aulen presented in the early 1900's. Gustaf was a professor at a college in Switzerland and taught historical dogma (doctrine). This book explores what the earliest church's model of the atonement was - which was the "Chrisus Victor" or "the Classic Model" (as Gustaf called it. It is also known as the "ransom theory"). The Christus Victor model shows that Christ battled for us against the destructive powers that had us in their bondage (death, s ...more
John Roberson
Aulen challenges the then-received wisdom that atonement theology was not seriously developed until basically Anselm, arguing that the first millennium of the church -- as well as the East since, and many in the West -- held a powerful understanding of the "atonement" worth bringing to the table. Succintly and passionately he exposits this ancient alternative: Christus Victor, Christ is victorious over the powers of sin and death forever! While most of the little details have been proven impreci ...more
Donald Linnemeyer
Solid overview of atonement theology. I realize I can't understand the historical significance of this work, but given my reformed background, it definitely is making me think.

It is a brief overview, though, so it does proceed remarkably hastily through a long, and much more complicated history (which he admits). I'd like more thoughts on how specifically a reformed atonement theology can be recast to allow for classic atonement theology, but that's not really his project, so I'll have to go el
Samuel Garcia
One of the best arguments of the atonement theology you should read it Aulen says

God sent his son as a non violent gift in order to remove the wrath of God from the saints and, because of that the atonement and the salvation plan for the human kind was firstly conceived in the mind of God, that is why the question Who killed Jesus? find its perfect answer here God killed Jesus because He loves me enjoy it
A valuable elucidation of how Atonement was understood for the thousand years before Anselm got hold of it, how it was distorted further by the Reformers, and how a liberalizing backlash denuded the cross of virtually all import. Not a definitive treatment, but a helpful remedy for those raised to believe that there has only ever been one understanding of what happened on Golgotha.
Jul 02, 2007 G$ rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: advanced theology students
Shelves: theology
This book is very good if you can get past the learning curve. It is definitely not for beginners. However, once you make it through the first couple of chapters, it gets easier to read. Do not let the complexity of the book cause you to leave it off of your to-read list. It is very helpful in adding to or helping you develop your theology on the atonement.
Technically, I don't own it: it's on loan. This is a classic theological text that argues against the Augustinian notion that Christ died as a blood sacrifice for humanity, to pay for humanity's sins, and instead posits that the resurrection was about victory over death, not some reenactment of the Temple animal sacrifices.
Charles Watson
This book is an excellent read! It's not an apologetic for Christus Victor, but a thorough history on the three views. It's definitely a prerequisite for any apologetic for or against it or for or against the other views.
Steven Wedgeworth
Important for its day, this book is now largely discredited. Bad history and weak systematic imagination. If it merely gets the CV theory out it isn't a total flop, but it still requires much qualification and correction.
Jun 18, 2014 Jeremy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
My dad said that, despite the unnecessary attack on forensic justification, he loved this book. Probably similar in ways to Stott's The Cross of Christ.
Skipper Boatwright
Great survey of atonement theory. Establishes a platform for 21st century discussions of the atonement.
This is certainly an important book but I think it is flawed on several accounts. For the sake of brevity I will offer only two points of critique. First, I don't agree that Aulen has accurately grasped Anselm's doctrine of atonement and therefore sets him up as a rationalist before rationalism. Second, Aulen did not interact sufficiently with the primary texts, instead glossing over them as if he didn't need to quote his sources. But the books merits include the fact that it finally (back in 19 ...more
R'Sean Johnson
R'Sean Johnson marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2015
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Rui Coelho marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2015
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