Note on Externalism

‘In the west, dualism between the person and the work of Christ (the accidental result of combat with a prior God-world dualism that rendered the Incarnation inconceivable) lodged itself in soteriology, among other places, and more specifically the doctrine of the atonement. The atonement was understood as something Jesus did, not something he was. It was merely an external transaction – the payment of a debt, whether to God or to the devil or to both – that altered juridically, but not ontologically, the relation between God and man. Atonement, we might say, was an act *by* Christ without being the self-enactment *of* Christ. Which cannot be if he is truly God, for in God person and act are one.’

– Douglas Farrow