Ich bin dankbar, dass Stephen J. Wellum ein bei evangelikalen sehr beliebtes Buch zur Sühnetheologie gründlich gelesen hat. Seine Rezension zu The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ von Fleming Rutledge ist fair, bringt aber eklatante Schwächen zur Sprache. So deutet sie beispielsweise mit Hermann Cremer und Ernst Käsemann die Gerechtigkeit als überwiegend horizontalen Begriff und die Gerechtigkeit Gottes als Bundestreue.
In chapter 3, Rutledge rightly argues that God’s justice/righteousness is central to a correct view of the cross. Yet she does not think of divine justice first as an essential attribute of God so that in relation to sin, God, as the moral standard of the universe and the offended party, stands against sin in holy wrath that must be satisfied. She does not think that for sin to be forgiven, God must first satisfy his own righteous demand against sin. Instead, Rutledge views divine justice more “horizontally,” namely, as “rectification” or God making things right (133-134). God is truly outraged against sin (129-130) but more in terms of the effects of sin. Rutledge rejects any view of God as a “remote judge” who hands down pronouncements “according to some legal norm” (136).
Instead, God declares his “enmity against everything that resists his redemptive purposes” (136) so that his justice “is not retributive but restorative” (136). Similar to the New Perspective on Paul, Rutledge argues that divine justice “is not so much that God isrighteous but that he does righteousness” (137)—a display of “covenant faithfulness” (137). God’s wrath or outrage is really a display of his mercy because in the cross, God has taken injustice into himself and begun to make all things right in Christ’s resurrection. In fact, God has so rectified injustices in the cross that seemingly all wrongs are righted so that either “unrepentant monsters of history… will be either utterly transfigured or annihilated altogether, for no one is beyond the reach of God’s power” (603). In Christ, then, God rectifies all wrongs, obliterates any memory of injustices, and annihilates any unrepentant people (who seemingly are few) (610-12). Christ, as the “representative of all humanity” (including the elect and the reprobate ), suffers “condemnation in place of all humanity” and destroys the Power of Sin and Death and inaugurates a new creation (610-11).