“We ought to be quite clear that no full and final theory of the atonement has yet been given and that this is not simply because we have not yet been fortunate enough to hit on the right solution. It is because we are not good enough as men and not profound enough as thinkers ever to get to the bottom of the subject. The problem is too big for us. Our minds cannot take in at once and the same time all the complexities involved.

“But the problem is not only a mental one. It is salutary to reflect that those who understand the atonement best seem not necessarily to be great scholars (though some are). They are rather those who have suffered deeply and who are sufficiently pure of heart to see God. We will need H. R. Mackintosh’s reminder that the basic reason why we do not understand the atonement is that we are not good enough.

-Leon Morris, The Cross in the New Testament (Eerdmans, 1965)