In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is quoted as saying, “…For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Interestingly, the Gospel of Luke tells the same story but omits this “ransom” business, indicating that from the very earliest days, what’s known as the “ransom theory” of atonement was controversial. It turns out that this idea, touted as “biblical” by its modern-day adherents, has a troubled history and an even more troublesome set of implications for the Church today.
I don’t usually post sermons here (but hey, why not?), but I felt this one was too important to not shout from the rooftops. Rev. Mark Flynn, lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in my hometown of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, preaches a sermon that’s part exegesis, part church history lecture, and 100% courage and conviction. If you haven’t thought much about ideas that give form to history, I urge you to listen to this remarkable sermon to the very end.