penal substitution

Tired of wandering the lawless wilds of the AC&A forum? Have a friendly chat in our cozy, velvet-covered civility lounge. Alcohol not permitted, only the Kenny G button works on the jukebox. All undesirable types will be quietly escorted out the back door.

Re: penal substitution

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:02 am

Aaron wrote:Can you think of another portion of scripture to support the idea that justice means having mercy?

I would not say justice means the same thing as mercy but rather that in scripture the concept of being just or righteous includes having mercy. Here are some examples I used in the sermon Psalm 116:5 The Lord is righteous (just); our God is merciful. Isaiah 30: 18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Psalm 85:10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Just as you brought up the issue with atonement in Genesis when God covers Adam and Eve with animal skins I am having some trouble with this portion with Joseph. Isn't it because he is just that he chooses to divorce her even though he probably still wanted to marry her because he loved her? But there was another part of him that didn't want to see harm come to her, he loved her and had mercy for her, so the resolution for Joseph was to divorce her quietly, that way he could still be true to his sense of justice and have mercy of Mary. That's how I read it.

I think you are reading it that way because you come it with the idea that in order to be just he would have to exact a penalty. The text does not say anything about Joseph loving Mary, that is something you are reading in so you can get a strife of attributes into Joseph, it says because he was a just man he did not want to put her to shame by exacting a penalty.
Moonwood wrote:There is a question of whether this word should be translated propitiation or expiation


The Greek word (hilasterion) is derived from a verb which in pagan writers and inscriptions has two meanings:

(a) "to placate" a man or a god;

(b) "to expiate" a sin, i.e. to perform an act (such as the payment of a fine or the offering of a sacrifice) by which its guilt is annulled.



I have always understood the word propitiation to mean much closer to (b) and not like (a).

The doctrine of penal substitution usually takes it to mean placate, as in placating God's wrath.
Moonwood wrote:In earlier Christian thinking salvation is something God works within us. As several of the Fathers say God became man so man might become God. In the doctrine of penal substitution Christ's death does not primarilly change man it changes God enabling him not to act wrathfully towards us. Hence it is not so much our sin we are saved from by being transformed in Christ as God's wrath we are saved from by Christ taking the punishment for us. Or as that Australian bishop put it we are saved from God not sin.

I think they are both true in some degree. When I read verses like Romans 5:9: "Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God." I see that the Australian bishop is correct in that we are being saved from God's wrath, though I don't agree with the bishop in that we are not also saved from our sin.

It was quite an extreme way of putting it. If you understand wrath as God giving us over to the consequences of our sin then the two fit together very well.
We are saved from our sin. Both of those things are happening at the same time. God if he is to be true to righteousness must bring his wrath against the unrighteousness of men for he is the one who sustains men and while he is patient toward unrighteousness for a time he cannot be forever otherwise he would not longer be righteous. So from verses like Romans 5:9 there is a clear teaching that we are being saved from the wrath of God that will eventually come against all unrighteousness. But there is more also going on. Think of all the verses in the Psalms where you have David and others talking about the way everlasting. So we have atonement, but how do we then go on to actually live in the way everlasting? I like Daniel 9:24 for this. There are two items in the several items that are listed that are interesting for this discussion 1. to make atonement for iniquity and 2. to bring in everlasting righteousness. So you have Jesus making atonement for us, saving us from the necessary eventual wrath of a righteous God against unrighteousness and you also have Jesus bringing in everlasting righteousness. So I think the earlier Christians were spot on, God is working in us our salvation, we will finally be able to walk in the way everlasting because in Christ we are a new creation. So I think as Gabriel relays to Daniel there are multiple things that Jesus came to take care of.

You will find I think that this fits very well with the idea that God saving us from his wrath means saving us from the consequences of our own actions rather than somehow enabling him to stop being angry.
Didn't Jesus give us the best insight on whether there might have been another way? From Mark 14:35 and 36 "Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour would pass from Him. “Abba, Father, He said, “all things are possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.”

Yes I think that clear statement that all things are possible for God does mitigate against the idea that God could not withhold his wrath unless someone were punished.
But it does seem that it was God's will to crush him,

Yes but I am not sure what your point is here.
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
User avatar
Moonwood the Hare
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 5192
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:24 am
Affiliation: Christian - pretty traditional

Re: penal substitution

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:52 pm

marcuspnw wrote:
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
1 The doctrine is barely heard of before Anselm develops a version of it in Cur Deus Homo around the 10th Century. The fully developed version favoured by evangelicals does not exist before the 16th century.


Those that adhere to it disagree. Here is a link to an author (a representative of many) attempting to show that this doctrine has some basis in the early Church. To be honest, I don't have a dog in this fight.
https://www.tms.edu/m/tmsj20i.pdf

Some of these are plainly not talking about penal substitution at all. Others come closer but would need to be judged in context.

Moonwood the Hare wrote:2.The doctrine depends on a supposed conflict between God's desire to be just and his desire to be loving; a conflict never found in scripture where justice and love work together. The scripture knows nothing of a strife of attributes.


Any doctrine of salvation has to satisfy both these conditions and the conflict that arises is in how humans try to logically formulate an understanding of salvation given the many attributes of God. Maybe Christ's sacrifice is multi-faceted and too profound an action to be expressed or contained by one perspective. Perhaps, each explanation provides a piece of the puzzle. Why do these ideas have to be seen as mutually exclusive?

It is much less of a concern when this doctrine as seen as one aspect of the picture. But there are many evangelicals who would call this doctrine the gospel. It is all about Christ dying so that God does not have to punish us in hell.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:3. The doctrine logically leads to limited atonement as the later protestants start to realise and this means that any texts suggesting Christ dies for all have tobe reinterpreted and explained away.


Unless you believe that Christ's sacrifice on the cross will reconcile all humans to God then limited atonement is a logical conclusion. If people can resist God's grace then they will remain apart from God and the set of the saved will be less then the set of all human beings. Atonement will be limited but not by God. God's intention can still be that all will be saved even if He has knowledge that His gift will be rejected. This knowledge is eternal and not bound by time and space as our knowledge is so committed and so bounded. Calvinism like tea time is a human invention. I don't know God's position on either of these things
.
That is not what Clavinists mean by limited atonement. Many prefer the term directed atonement; the idea is that Christ dies for those he wants to save and his grace is irresistible. This is explicitly stated in the canons of Dort which also explicitly states that salvation is based on foreseen faith.https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/canons-dort The majority of Protestants are not aware of this teaching these days. Chap are you familiar with the Canons?
Moonwood the Hare wrote:
4. The word propitiation is used at most once in scripture and yet it is central to this doctrine


True, but is one time not enough?

Chap has pointed out that there are two other uses. But the question is what the word means. Does it mean an expiation or cleansing of sin or a turning aside of God's wrath.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:5. The doctrine externalises salvation. One Australian Anglican Bishop put it like this: Christ did not die to save us from sin, he died to save us from God - that is a parody of the gospel but it is what this doctrine implies.


Yes, a certain aspect of God's revealed character but the wrath of God is not entirely God.

You will know now that I agree if you have read my sermon.
Moonwood the Hare wrote:6. The doctrine depends on the idea that someone else can be punished for my wrongdoing and that somehow makes everything okay.


A firefighter rushes into a burning meth house that was set ablaze by the carelessness of its occupants. She succeeds in saving some meth addicts from death but succumbs to smoke inhalation and dies. Did she suffer the consequences not of her making? Yes. Is this fair? No. Did she act rightly? Yes, she is honor bound to give aid regardless of the worthiness in character of those she saves, she was trained for just such a task and she chose this occupation or volunteered for this duty. Did it make everything okay? That's debatable but in my opinion we live in a better world when saving lives is a noble goal even if tragedy is unavoidable and it comes at a steep price.

Now many people can train to be a firefighter and save lives but how many can become a Savior to the world? Regardless of the doctrine that you prefer as an explanation of the atonement, there is an element of unfairness. It is not an equal transaction, not a fair exchange. An unblemished Lamb was slaughtered for blemished souls. Yet, all shall be well.

Yes there is something in that kind of analogy.
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
User avatar
Moonwood the Hare
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 5192
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:24 am
Affiliation: Christian - pretty traditional

Re: penal substitution

Postby Aaron » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:53 am

Hey Moonwood, I was just reading in 2 Corinthians 3 and came across verse 9:

For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.

I found it very interesting, this ministry of righteousness is about giving life as we get from verse 6. Sometimes it is hard for me to understand the fullness of God's grace toward us, it is more than just expressing what is righteousness so that we receive it on external tablets of stone and can know from the law what is right and what is wrong, but the real ministry of righteousness is much greater than that, it is internal, to the deepest inner part of a person, so that the person is transformed into a new creature, we get a letter from Christ written on the tablet of our hearts not with ink but with the very Spirit of the living God himself and there is nothing greater or more powerful than that, nothing ever ever ever can come against His word, His word will last forever.

I just really loved that part of the ministry of righteousness and wanted to share, God is more gracious and awesome than I understood.
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else" - C.S. Lewis
User avatar
Aaron
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 3075
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:29 pm
Location: Alaska
Affiliation: Christian

Re: penal substitution

Postby Aaron » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:43 pm

Was just reading Isaiah 1:27 and thought of this thread again:

Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent by righteousness.

I thought it was interesting that we be redeemed by justice. It's an interesting way of putting it.
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else" - C.S. Lewis
User avatar
Aaron
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 3075
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:29 pm
Location: Alaska
Affiliation: Christian

Previous

Return to The Civility Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest