"The Christus Victor model has rightly been recommended as a fruitful resource for believels’ church theologizing. Yet the emphases of Christus Victor have been presented as opposed to those of the classical creeds. Through an examination of patristic writers (chieﬂy Justin Martyr and Irenaeus), who both advocated Christus Victor and afﬁmed many creed-like staments, this essay argues that these two resources need not be incompatible.
It then outlines more positive ways in which believers' church theologians can appropriate the creeds. Finally, this shows how Christus Victor, as conceived by Justin and lrenaeus, involved not only the social and ethical dimensions that believers’ church theologians stress, but personal and spiritual ones as well.....
Since Christus Victor can be appropriated without setting it sharply
against the creeds, let us consider this motifs content. Most basically,
Christus Victor depicts Jesus' atoning work as a conflict between the
forces of God and the forces of evil. Jesus opposes the latter during his
life, is apparently conquered by them in his death, but triumphs over
them through his resurrection. Weaver traces this conflict through Jesus'
ministry. He stresses good news to the poor and love for enemies as
basic features of God's reign; and Jesus' rejection of Satan's approach to
power in the wilderness and at Peter's confession as flash points of the
struggle (281-83). In such a motif, Jesus, God's reign, and later the
Church clearly stand over against the forces that otherwise rule the