E. W. Kenyon is widely considered the originator of what is now called the Word of Faith. A previous series of posts showed that Kenyon’s teachings about divine healing were in line with the 19th century faith-cure movement (see here). Theological issues that arise concerning E. W. Kenyon’s writings include his theory of the atonement.
Although theories of the atonement are often considered a part of the orthodox core of Christianity, they are not. Through the centuries Christians have disagreed about the particular reasons for the death of Christ, what its significance is, and what it accomplished. For example, several theories of the atonement are given here.
E. W. Kenyon has his own variation, which combines the Ransom and Substitutionary theories of the atonement, as described in his book “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne” (Seventh Edition, 1969). Here are some excerpts (combining his one sentence paragraphs):
So the object of the redemption that God wrought in His Son was to make man righteous. That was the ultimate objective of the Father. He dared to make His Son a Substitute for the human race. p.13
He (Jesus) not only pays the penalty of our transgression, but He conquers our enemy and master, Satan, and strips him of his authority; then makes re-creation a possibility on legal grounds. p.14
He (Jesus on the cross) is humanity’s substitute, paying the penalty of its transgressions. He is bearing the fruit of Adam’s sin in the substitution. He is suffering the torments of the damned, for the men who crucified Him. p.58
Jesus, after He had been justified and made alive in spirit, became Satan’s master. And “having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2:15) … He had conquered Satan. He had stripped him of his authority. p.65
(Chapter X: What Happened at the Resurrection) The Son of God, who died like a lamb had arisen as the Lord High Priest of the New Covenant. p.68
After His resurrection, He carried His blood into the Holy of Holies; for you remember He died a lamb and He arose the High Priest of the New Covenant. That New Covenant had just come into being when He carried His blood into the presence of the supreme court of the universe. p.72
Throughout eternity He will be the God Man, the Head of the Church. p.78
The Father’s heart is filled with joy, for in that Upper Room [on the day of Pentecost] the Holy Spirit has given birth to the beginning of a new and mighty family. p.82
Satan had been the master of the human race from the fall to the cross. On that cross he thought he had conquered the Man who had said, Get thee behind me Satan.” … On the cross, Satan believed he had that Man at his mercy. For three days and three nights he caused that Man to suffer beyond anything that the human imagination can dream. The he saw that same Man free Himself from the Forces of Darkness, strip him of his dominion, paralyze the pangs of death and arise from the dead. … The Upper Room spells the eternal defeat of Satan. p.88
[The Father] so loved us, when we were ruled by the devil, that He sacrificed His Son to make it possible for us to receive eternal life. p.92
Everything the Father did in Christ belongs to us. “He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenlies in Christ.” [Eph. 1:3] … “Of His fulness we have all received.” [Jn. 1:16] Now we have the ability to use that fulness to enter into all the riches of His finished work. p.98
[Jesus] was like His Father, He did things with words. He taught us how to use words, how to fill them with authority. p.110
Jesus evidently walked in the light of His confession. He was what He confessed. It is strange we never knew until recently that faith follows in the footprints of our confession. … Salvation follows confession. “For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord.”[Rom. 10:9] … Christianity is the great Confession. p. 156
Jesus has met the demands of Justice; He has met the needs of man in Redemption, now He is to meet the needs of the New Covenant. When He sat down His first office was that of Mediator. p.186
The Theopedia states:
the Christus Victor view is rooted in the incarnation and how Christ entered into human misery and wickedness and thus redeemed it. Irenaeus called this “Recapitulation” (re-creation). As it is often expressed: “Jesus became what we are so that we could become what he is”.
One needs to understand the theological background of this view to understand some of Kenyon’s statements, which may otherwise appear controversial, such as:
This is a remarkable fact, that Jesus was born again before He was raised from the dead. p.64
Since many who following Kenyon’s teachings do not reference them, misunderstanding is a problem.
The next post in this series is here.