#104: On ministry transition in the middle of a pandemic and making sense of the atonement with Obbie Tyler Todd.

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In this episode of the Ministry Minded Podcast, I am thrilled to be joined once again by my dear friend, Obbie Tyler Todd. A lot has transpired for Obbie both personally and ministerially. But I am so thankful that wherever God calls him, he is resolved to preach the Word with faith and fervor. In this lengthy dialogue, we reflect on an assortment of life- and church-lessons learned through the course of the pandemic. We also dissect his newest book, The Moral Governmental Theory of the Atonement: Re-Envisioning Penal Substitution, in which he endeavors to disseminate a thoroughly “American” doctrine of Christ’s atoning work and explain both its rise and fall from popular ecclesiastical favor. By examining the largely obscure moral governmental theory of the cross, Obbie heightens the importance of theological precision and induces worshipful consideration of the moment in which God’s love was most clearly exhibited before the whole world. “The atonement is the consequence of God’s love,” Obbie writes, “not the cause of God’s love. Put another way, Christ died on the cross because God loved us; God did not love us because Christ died on the cross.”1 I pray you find tremendous benefit through the course of this conversation. 


The Moral Governmental Theory of Atonement: Re-envisioning Penal Substitution, Obbie Tyler Todd

On Obbie Tyler Todd’s ‘The Moral Governmental Theory of Atonement’,” review by yours truly

Church Elders: How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus, Jeramie Rinne

Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples, Thom S. Rainer

Cutting through the glut of the theories of Jesus’s atonement,” article by yours truly

Camouflaged sovereignty and concern for God’s Word,” article by yours truly

7 Theories of the Atonement Summarized,” Stephen D. Morrison

Daily Grace: The Mockingbird Devotional, Vol. 2

Grace: So Much More Than You Know & So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray


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Obbie is the pastor of Third Baptist Church of Marion, Illinois, where he lives with his wife Kelly, and their two children, Roman and Ruby. He also serves as an adjunct professor of theology at Luther Rice College & Seminary in Lithonia, Georgia. Obbie holds a B.A. from the University of Kentucky, an M.Div. and a Th.M. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. His writing has been featured in a number of academic journals, including the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Jonathan Edwards Journal, and Themelios. His research has culminated in a handful of published works, including, The Moral Governmental Theory of Atonement: Re-Envisioning Penal Substitution; A Baptist at the Crossroads: The Atonement in the Writings of Richard Furman (coming soon); and Let Men Be Free: Baptist Politics in the Early Republic (coming 2022). You can read more of Obbie’s writing over on his blog.You can also follow him on Twitter, @obbietyler.


Intro music: “Explorers (Instrumental Version)” by The Midnight, The Midnight Music LLC, 2018.

Ad music: “Coffee Stains” by Finley, licensed under CC BY 4.0.


Obbie Tyler Todd, The Moral Governmental Theory of Atonement: Re-Envisioning Penal Substitution (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2021), 179.