Worthy To Reign: The Cross And The War For Dominion -- By: Shawn Lazar

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 30:59 (Autumn 2017)
Article: Worthy To Reign: The Cross And The War For Dominion
Author: Shawn Lazar


Worthy To Reign:
The Cross And The War For Dominion

Shawn Lazar

Associate Editor

I. Introduction

Why did Jesus have to die? For whom did He die? What did His death accomplish? Of all the ways that God could have saved the world, why the cross?

Theologians have given different answers to those questions. Their answers are commonly called theories of the atonement.1 Discussions of the atonement among conservative Evangelicals have too often been confined to debating a narrow range of questions raised by Calvinists and Arminians over one theory, penal substitution, and whether it is limited or unlimited. Although those are important questions, it does not exhaust the breadth of the Biblical evidence about the meaning of the cross.

This journal has already addressed different aspects of the atonement.2 In this article, I want to explore a neglected theme that sheds light on the meaning of the cross. I will argue the cross is part of the war between God and Satan for dominion over creation. I believe this theme fruitfully ties together different strands of Biblical evidence regarding the meaning and purpose of the cross within redemptive history.

II. The War Between God And Satan From Creation To The Fall

The Bible can be read as a war drama. It begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. I am not the first to recognize the theme of war between God and Satan. For example, R. B. Thieme described it in dramatic terms:

From the moment of birth, every person, regardless of age or gender, regardless of status in life, is in the midst of the great war. A ceaseless war! No man knows exactly when it began, and no man can end it. The resolution will never be attained during human history. The antagonists are irreconcilable; the conflagration, inescapable.3

Likewise, while commenting on Genesis 3, Sidney Greidanus wrote: “Human history will consist of a long struggle between evil and good.”4

And Erich Sauer understood that “the opposition between [Satan] and the kingdom of God is henceforth the theme and the essential subject of the universal super-history outlined in Holy Scripture.”5

What is the purpose of the war between God and Satan? Wars are often waged to control a territory, and that ...

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