My friend George Ella writes about why Tyndale intentionally coined the word "atonement" in order to translate the Bible into English:
The Roman Catholic Church, in the days of Tyndale, viewed the atonement as reconciliation being made to God for man’s guilt or original sin but not for the penalty of sin which had to be worked off by works of special merit and penance. This left the reconciled without true union with Christ and with Christ’s work only half done. This error led Tyndale to realise that the entire Biblical teaching was concerned with man becoming fully accepted in the Beloved, and thus becoming one with God. Christ’s reconciling death, he therefore saw, was an at-one-ment with God and promptly used the word to express both the Old and New Testament words to do with a sinner becoming right with God through an expiatory sacrifice at God’s initiative.I agree with Tyndale's view of the atonement. At Calvary, the blood of Christ became an at-one-moment when God united Himself with His people -at His initiative - through the blood of Jesus Christ. The holy, righteous and just anger of our Creator against our sins was propitiated (i.e. "satisfied and poured out") through His Son, Jesus the Anointed One.
This is the Good News. It is the gospel. Proclaimers of the gospel simply broadcast what God has done. The atonement is so powerful, so efficacious, so accomplished that every one for whom the blood of Christ was shed is at one with God. Were it not for the teaching of Scripture that Christ died for a particular people (i.e. "the church," "the elect," "the sheep," "the bride of Christ," "believers"), then one would have to be a Christian universalist; for that which covers sin and propitiates the wrath of God for sinners is Christ's at-one-ment.
Interestingly, some Baptist Identity writers have taken me to task for asking William Paul Young speak at our church. They say that Paul Young has a faulty view of the atonement. They say he denies the substitutionary, penal death of Jesus. It will be a privilege to discuss with Paul issues surrounding the atonement, and I may find there is disagreement between us - but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be allowed to speak at Emmanuel. For heaven's sake, many of my Baptist Identity friends are just as shaky in their understanding of the atonement. They actually believe that union with God requires something more than Christ's at-one-ment! Ironically, I would let them preach at Emmanuel too, though their view of the at-one-ment is as powerless as that which they claim Paul Young holds.
Jesus saves. Our faulty understanding of the atonement is not a hindrance to what Christ actually accomplished.