Penal Substitutionary Atonement and Concern for Suffering: An Empirical Study
- Volume 45
- Spring 2017
- Penal Substitutionary Atonement and Concern for Suffering: An Empirical Study
The present study tested a hypothesized model of the degree of belief in penal substitutionary atonement (PSA) predicting a negative association with a sense of responsibility for reducing pain and suffering in the world. Gender complementarian beliefs were hypothesized as a mediator of this association based on theological frameworks within the “New Calvinism” movement connecting PSA, gender views, and the positive spiritual significance of pain and suffering. The sample (N = 225) was comprised of masterslevel students at an Evangelical seminary in the Midwestern United States. Results supported a mediating role for complementarianism in the negative association between PSA and responsibility for reducing pain and suffering in the world. Implications of the findings are discussed in terms of theologies of suffering in connection with social ethics. This study highlights the potential interdisciplinary value of empirical research on specific theological views.
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