"Yes. OK. Next, there's the 'perfect penitent' theory. This theory acknowledge the question your raised before: 'If God wants to forgive us, why doesn't he just do so?' And the real answer this theory gives is that forgiveness, for it to be legitimate and real, requires and expression of sincere repentance from the wrongdoer."
"And?" Kerry asked.
"And none of us are very good at repenting. None of us can repent sincerely or fully, because deep down, a part of us, at least, still loves to sin. Our best repentance is always ambivalent, partial, holding back. so this theory sees Jesus' acceptance of death--after all, he could have escaped any number of ways--as his enacting, on behalf of the whole human race, perfect repentance for us. He becomes a representative of all humanity and willingly submits himself to being condemned and punished on our account, in spite of his true innocence, as a way of acting our real repentance for the human race.'
"I've never heard of that one," Kerry said.
Neither have I, and I'm a pure-bred Baptist form Atlanta!' Carol added.
I continued. "It was the view preferred by C. S. Lewis, ...He had problems with the substitutionary atonement theory for the same reason you do.
I noticed I quoted more than I meant. I'm pretty sure I looked up Lewis' thought in Mere Christianity and it really started making some sense. I'll see if I can update that later today.