That is indeed a problem with Penal Substitution—especially as popularly expounded on. Christus Victor seems to avoid those pitfalls—even though no single view of the atonement can do it justice!
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
A problem, indeed
One common view of atonement considers the cross a propitiatory sacrifice isolated from the resurrection and from human involvement. This model results from viewing the atonement primarily in legal terms, not in the context of the representative journey of Jesus into which the Spirit is inviting us to participate. I want to challenge this way of thinking and place more emphasis on death-with-Christ and life-with-Christ, on our death to sin through the cross and our life with God through resurrection and union. The popular view is distorted, picturing the Father as judge and the Son as victim. It gives the impression that God values his honor more than he values us, and it threatens the unity of Father and Son in the work of atonement.— Flame of Love, page 102