For nearly one thousand years, theologians, philosophers, and Christian apologists have felt the effects of Anselm of Canterbury. Anselm’s theological method was rigorous, and represented a seismic shift in medieval thought. He is widely considered the founder scholastic theology, and he has been called the church’s “second Augustine.” His treatise on the atonement, Cur Deus Homo was the first to systematically articulate the penal substitution theory of the atonement, which was later developed by John Calvin and widely embraced by Reformed and evangelical churches. He was also the first to construct and systematize the ontological argument for the existence of God. The Major Works of Anselm of Canterbury contains Anselm’s important theological and philosophical writings: the Proslogium, the Monologium, and Cur Deus Homo, plus his exchange with Guanilon.
“Anselm. Therefore to sin is nothing else than not to render to God his due.” (Page 202)
“For, as death came upon the human race by the disobedience of man, it was fitting that by man’s obedience life should be restored. And, as sin, the cause of our condemnation, had its origin from a woman, so ought the author of our righteousness and salvation to be born of a woman. And so also was it proper that the devil, who, being man’s tempter, had conquered him in eating of the tree, should be vanquished by man in the suffering of the tree which man bore. Many other things also, if we carefully examine them, give a certain indescribable beauty to our redemption as thus procured.” (Page 183)
“God did not, therefore, compel Christ to die; but he suffered death of his own will, not yielding up his life as an act of obedience, but on account of his obedience in maintaining holiness; for he held out so firmly in this obedience that he met death on account of it.” (Pages 193–194)
“To remit sin in this manner is nothing else than not to punish; and since it is not right to cancel sin without compensation or punishment; if it be not punished, then is it passed by undischarged.” (Page 203)
“Therefore the honor taken away must be repaid, or punishment must follow; otherwise, either God will not be just to himself, or he will be weak in respect to both parties; and this it is impious even to think of.” (Page 207)