The apostle Paul wasn't even present at the crucifixion of Christ, yet he declared that this act was an act of cosmic and supernatural proportions. This was a real drama of theological redemption. Here the curse of God's law was visited on a man who bore the sins of His people. For Paul, the crucifixion was the pivotal point of all history. Paul was not satisfied to give an account of the event. While affirming the historicity of the crucifixion, Paul added the apostolic interpretation of the meaning of the event. He set forth propositions about the death of Christ.
The issue before the church is this: Is the apostolic propositional interpretation of the cross correct or not? Is Paul's view merely a first-century Jewish scholar's speculation on the matter, or is it a view inspired by God Himself?
What difference does it make? This is not a trifling matter or a pedantic point of Christian doctrine. Here nothing less than salvation is at stake. To reject the biblical view of atonement is to reject the atonement itself. To reject the atonement is to reject Christ. To reject Christ is to perish in your sin.
Please let us not soften this with an appeasing dance. Let us be clear. Those teachers in the church who deny that the death of Christ was a supernatural act of atonement are simply not Christians. They are enemies of Christ who trample Jesus underfoot and crucify Him afresh.
Taken from "Accepting the Atonement of the Cross" by Ligonier Ministries (used by permission).