Habakkuk and Redemption: An Alternative Paradigm

In Tony’s second talk on Habukkuk he opens up the topic of ‘penal substitution’ which is increasingly controversial today.  For many it is the bedrock of the gospel but for a growing number it is an uneasy doctrine that suggests a nasty picture of God. Where do we go with this?  And why on earth is Habakkuk in any way relevant to the issue?  In this talk Tony pursues a multi-perspectival approach to the topic.  He explains how it is based on a metaphor, and begins by diagnosing some of the metaphor’s strengths and weaknesses.  He then suggests a different metaphor – one that dominated the Old Testament far more than the ‘penal substitution’ model and one that is described in Habakkuk in richly poetic terms. This talk aims to begin a journey for us so like any good inquiry it opens up the topic rather than trying to package a neat answer. Whatever the case, we need to think this topic through far more deeply.

Tony Golsby-Smith

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