Author Topic: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith  (Read 3056 times)

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Online Mor Ephrem

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The Resolutions Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has just published the resolution that Malcolm Yarnell and I coauthored (explained here). It is listed below. Later today Southern Baptist messengers will hear the resolution on the convention floor. I am thankful to the committee for their consideration and deliberation.

It is my hope, with Malcolm, that the messengers will formally embrace this resolution as our conventional belief. Without penal substitutionary atonement, there is no satisfaction of the Father’s just wrath against sinners. Without the satisfaction of divine wrath, there is no forgiveness for sin. Without forgiveness for sin, there is no gospel. Penal substitution is not a percentage of the cross-work of Christ; the cross-work of Christ is at its core atonement for sin. That the atonement is a many-splendored achievement does not diminish this reality.

The stakes are very high, as this resolution makes clear. May God use this for his glory and the church’s good.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2017/06/substitutionary-atonement-necessary-evangelical-faith/
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 03:36:30 PM »
Yikes. That was a painful read.

Offline David Young

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2017, 05:45:31 PM »
There is one phrase in this ("imputing to us all His righteousness") that I feel is not clearly and explicitly stated in Scripture, but it may be that I am simply not seeing it. For the rest, it is indeed what we believe and what we preach. It is good to see it so plainly stated.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 09:44:14 PM »
I have a family member planting a church broadly connected to the SBC, though their local model isn't really the typical SBC church. He's more of an N.T. Wright kind of guy. I wonder if this will cause them problems.

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Offline David Young

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 11:09:04 AM »
...more of an N.T. Wright kind of guy. I wonder if this will cause them problems.

It will depend on the hue of the Baptists he is associated with or local to. If they are Calvinistic (i.e. ones who like to call themselves 'Reformed') they will probably like Wright's teaching on the resurrection of the body, but not on justification. If they are somewhat broader and less exclusivist, it may not be a problem. One aspect of the matter is that Wright's view on justification is virtually incomprehensible: people know it's not the inherited view, but what it actually is remains mysterious.

IMHO the term Reformed Baptist is an oxymoron. The Reformers believed in infant baptism and a State church; Baptists have never believed in either.
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Offline juliogb

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 12:15:36 PM »
Quote
The Resolutions Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has just published the resolution that Malcolm Yarnell and I coauthored (explained here). It is listed below. Later today Southern Baptist messengers will hear the resolution on the convention floor. I am thankful to the committee for their consideration and deliberation.

It is my hope, with Malcolm, that the messengers will formally embrace this resolution as our conventional belief. Without penal substitutionary atonement, there is no satisfaction of the Father’s just wrath against sinners. Without the satisfaction of divine wrath, there is no forgiveness for sin. Without forgiveness for sin, there is no gospel. Penal substitution is not a percentage of the cross-work of Christ; the cross-work of Christ is at its core atonement for sin. That the atonement is a many-splendored achievement does not diminish this reality.

The stakes are very high, as this resolution makes clear. May God use this for his glory and the church’s good.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2017/06/substitutionary-atonement-necessary-evangelical-faith/

I see the satisfaction of wrath as the biggest problem within Penal Substitution Atonement, transfering the punishment from mankind to Jesus doesn't seem like forgiveness to me, the image of a tribe that throws virgins into a active volcano to appease the wrath of the mountain gods comes to my mind.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 12:32:33 PM »
...more of an N.T. Wright kind of guy. I wonder if this will cause them problems.

It will depend on the hue of the Baptists he is associated with or local to. If they are Calvinistic (i.e. ones who like to call themselves 'Reformed') they will probably like Wright's teaching on the resurrection of the body, but not on justification. If they are somewhat broader and less exclusivist, it may not be a problem. One aspect of the matter is that Wright's view on justification is virtually incomprehensible: people know it's not the inherited view, but what it actually is remains mysterious.
He's definitely not a Calvinist.

Quote
IMHO the term Reformed Baptist is an oxymoron. The Reformers believed in infant baptism and a State church; Baptists have never believed in either.

I've used a similar line before, but the YRR crowd doesn't really care about the Reformed faith outside of affirming solas (usually in narrower ways than the Reformers) and rewriting TULIP to be both more and less palatable at the same time.

I don't see how you can claim the Reformed title without the covenant theology of the Calvin that was expanded somewhat by the Dutch Reformed and — off continent — Knox ... And if you embrace that, you've got to embrace paedobaptism.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 12:33:13 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline juliogb

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 12:48:42 PM »
I have the impression, with this article about PSA, and other articles like the ones in Pulpit&Pen, that SBC is building a wall around themselves and basically saying that a true saved christian is the one that believes in PSA+Sola Fide+strict version of Sola Scriptura.

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 12:53:37 PM »
I have the impression, with this article about PSA, and other articles like the ones in Pulpit&Pen, that SBC is building a wall around themselves and basically saying that a true saved christian is the one that believes in PSA+Sola Fide+strict version of Sola Scriptura.

P&P is the rabid raccoon trapped in a garbage can of the SBC, minus the charm.

I recently saw someone much more mainstream within the SBC offering a critique of P&P's view of Sola Scriptura because it is so narrow that it virtually eliminates the need for the Holy Spirit.

The Yarnell segment has always been there, but despite their emphasis on "Baptist distinctives," they aren't malicious. They've got nothing of the scheming ability of the old guard of the 70s Resurgence movement, which is by and large anti-Calvinistic. The difference is that they're getting old.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 12:56:22 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline David Young

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2017, 12:57:40 PM »
the image of a tribe that throws virgins into a active volcano to appease the wrath of the mountain gods comes to my mind.

May I suggest that the mountain was Sinai, the one God was Yahweh, the 'active volcano' is actually Hell, and the 'virgins' should be replaced by sinners? But in the voluntary death of the Son of God, the wrath was quenched and sinners are invited to accept a pardon offered freely to all.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 01:01:50 PM »
What would Jimmy Carter have to say about this, and why wasn't his name in the title?
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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 01:10:01 PM »
I just prefer saint Ireneus of Lyon about the ancestral sin.  I can't stand this forensic view. It is contrary to the Old Testament. ONLY ORTHODOXY. :P
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2017, 01:21:38 PM »
the image of a tribe that throws virgins into a active volcano to appease the wrath of the mountain gods comes to my mind.

May I suggest that the mountain was Sinai, the one God was Yahweh, the 'active volcano' is actually Hell, and the 'virgins' should be replaced by sinners? But in the voluntary death of the Son of God, the wrath was quenched and sinners are invited to accept a pardon offered freely to all.

The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline beebert

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2017, 02:29:00 PM »
Isn't most of all this just theological nonsense? What the bible teaches and especially what Jesus taught is that we shall Believe in him, trust him, love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. And we shall strive to be merciful, kind, and just. That is enough.
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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2017, 02:31:16 PM »
...more of an N.T. Wright kind of guy. I wonder if this will cause them problems.

It will depend on the hue of the Baptists he is associated with or local to. If they are Calvinistic (i.e. ones who like to call themselves 'Reformed') they will probably like Wright's teaching on the resurrection of the body, but not on justification. If they are somewhat broader and less exclusivist, it may not be a problem. One aspect of the matter is that Wright's view on justification is virtually incomprehensible: people know it's not the inherited view, but what it actually is remains mysterious.

IMHO the term Reformed Baptist is an oxymoron. The Reformers believed in infant baptism and a State church; Baptists have never believed in either.
Justification in the original Language though has a completely other tone than what it has had in protestant theology in general. It is not a Word that has to do with legal and juridical something something.
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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2017, 02:32:57 PM »
Quote
The Resolutions Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has just published the resolution that Malcolm Yarnell and I coauthored (explained here). It is listed below. Later today Southern Baptist messengers will hear the resolution on the convention floor. I am thankful to the committee for their consideration and deliberation.

It is my hope, with Malcolm, that the messengers will formally embrace this resolution as our conventional belief. Without penal substitutionary atonement, there is no satisfaction of the Father’s just wrath against sinners. Without the satisfaction of divine wrath, there is no forgiveness for sin. Without forgiveness for sin, there is no gospel. Penal substitution is not a percentage of the cross-work of Christ; the cross-work of Christ is at its core atonement for sin. That the atonement is a many-splendored achievement does not diminish this reality.

The stakes are very high, as this resolution makes clear. May God use this for his glory and the church’s good.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2017/06/substitutionary-atonement-necessary-evangelical-faith/

I see the satisfaction of wrath as the biggest problem within Penal Substitution Atonement, transfering the punishment from mankind to Jesus doesn't seem like forgiveness to me, the image of a tribe that throws virgins into a active volcano to appease the wrath of the mountain gods comes to my mind.
Agreed. It is a ridiculous thought.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2017, 02:52:32 PM »
I just prefer saint Ireneus of Lyon about the ancestral sin.  I can't stand this forensic view. It is contrary to the Old Testament. ONLY ORTHODOXY. :P

No doubt, in the matters of faith what has Athens to do with Jerusalem?
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Offline juliogb

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2017, 03:54:49 PM »
Quote
The Resolutions Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has just published the resolution that Malcolm Yarnell and I coauthored (explained here). It is listed below. Later today Southern Baptist messengers will hear the resolution on the convention floor. I am thankful to the committee for their consideration and deliberation.

It is my hope, with Malcolm, that the messengers will formally embrace this resolution as our conventional belief. Without penal substitutionary atonement, there is no satisfaction of the Father’s just wrath against sinners. Without the satisfaction of divine wrath, there is no forgiveness for sin. Without forgiveness for sin, there is no gospel. Penal substitution is not a percentage of the cross-work of Christ; the cross-work of Christ is at its core atonement for sin. That the atonement is a many-splendored achievement does not diminish this reality.

The stakes are very high, as this resolution makes clear. May God use this for his glory and the church’s good.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2017/06/substitutionary-atonement-necessary-evangelical-faith/

I see the satisfaction of wrath as the biggest problem within Penal Substitution Atonement, transfering the punishment from mankind to Jesus doesn't seem like forgiveness to me, the image of a tribe that throws virgins into a active volcano to appease the wrath of the mountain gods comes to my mind.
Agreed. It is a ridiculous thought.


I was reading some discussion boards about the PSA subjects and I saw a lot of confusion, PSA, adherents tend to see any kind of substitution as equal to the whole PSA idea. As far as I know, the most problematic part of this idea is the wrath of God as something that NEEDS to be appeased, seems like God demands from mankind a moral standard that Himself doesnt hold to.

Offline David Young

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2017, 04:06:37 PM »
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline David Young

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2017, 04:08:49 PM »
what Jesus taught is that we shall Believe in him, trust him, love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. And we shall strive to be merciful, kind, and just. That is enough.

Indeed it is, praise God! Nonetheless, God has revealed some of the mystery of how Jesus saved us, and has given us minds which desire to understand what has been revealed. To understand helps us to hold on, to trust.
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2017, 04:09:20 PM »
Isn't most of all this just theological nonsense? What the bible teaches and especially what Jesus taught is that we shall Believe in him, trust him, love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. And we shall strive to be merciful, kind, and just. That is enough.

The question isn't how to be saved, but how the supposed mechanism of salvation operates in heaven. A question of dubious worth, which does impinge on "how to be saved," unnecessarily, since fundamentalists not only insist one believe their answer to be a Christian but teach that their answer implies their peculiar salvation formula (pray once a certain way to be saved).

I just prefer saint Ireneus of Lyon about the ancestral sin.  I can't stand this forensic view. It is contrary to the Old Testament. ONLY ORTHODOXY. :P

It is the Old Testament that makes it necessary, or so they say.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2017, 04:09:28 PM »
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.

What "justice" was satisfied? Nobody offended God.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2017, 04:10:20 PM »
what Jesus taught is that we shall Believe in him, trust him, love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. And we shall strive to be merciful, kind, and just. That is enough.

Indeed it is, praise God! Nonetheless, God has revealed some of the mystery of how Jesus saved us, and has given us minds which desire to understand what has been revealed. To understand helps us to hold on, to trust.

"God" didn't make up the doctrine of penal substitution. Anselm of Canterbury did.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2017, 04:10:24 PM »
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.

What "justice" was satisfied? Nobody offended God.

Everyone offends God. Man is an offense even to himself.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2017, 04:23:39 PM »
You know, I believed a lot of what is in that statement, until I read (most of) the Bible without listening to anyone.  And the more I did that, the less satisfying that explanation was.  I was left with a lot of knowledge gaps and questions, but one certainty was that the Evangelical Baptist picture of Christianity left me feeling famished and anemic.

I don't feel the statement even answered its own question.  It merely equated PSA with the Gospel and then reasoned, "If we don't have a gospel to preach, then we can't evangelize, so we MUST have PSA to evangelize."  It honestly comes across like the authors would lose their faith if PSA were disproven.

May I suggest that the mountain was Sinai, the one God was Yahweh, the 'active volcano' is actually Hell, and the 'virgins' should be replaced by sinners? But in the voluntary death of the Son of God, the wrath was quenched and sinners are invited to accept a pardon offered freely to all.

My problem with this is that it requires God to be mutable and anthropomorphic.  Mutable in that He did not possess wrath for eternity past, until we incomprehensibly had the power to tick Him off enough that He couldn't handle His own wrath until Christ died for us on the cross.  Then His wrath went away again.  It kind of flies in the face of the idea that God is the same "yesterday, today, and forever."  Anthropomorphic in the fact that He is frail enough to possess wrath in His Divine Nature to begin with (plus the aforementioned lack of Self-control).

The fact that you don't deny that God "needs" to be appeased is troubling as well.  If God "needs," then God lacks.  And if He lacks, then He is not God.  Rather, we need because we lack.

It's not that there's no place for juridical language; I needed a serious spiritual sledgehammering at one point in my life, and juridical language was good for that.  But if that's the entirely of the view, there's really nowhere to grow.
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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2017, 04:28:13 PM »
PSA [penal substitutionary atonement], ... As far as I know, the most problematic part of this idea is the wrath of God as something that NEEDS to be appeased,

You are precisely right in identifying the wrath of God and his requirement for the satisfaction of his justice as the "problematic part" as perceived by so-called Protestants who have discarded the doctrine (often called "Liberal theologians"). It began to be perceived as a problem from about the 1830s onwards, to a large extent influenced by the Romantic movement, with such writers as Samuel Coleridge especially influential. The Victorians didn't begin by intellectually challenging the doctrine: they began by finding it distasteful to their sensitivities - "problematic" to them, and to others since, as you rightly identify. It was only after half a century or more of this sense of distaste that (on the ground of Higher Criticism) the Bible was no longer seen as inspired, and so need no longer be believed - except the bits they liked. By 1900 the Liberals had largely won the field, though there were always believers who remained loyal to the old doctrines. When the bankrupt vacuity of the "New Theology" became apparent, after two world wars, a resurgence of Evangelical theology began in the 1950s. And so the debate goes on. But the Liberals of the New Theology have not been able to disprove PSA from the words of Scripture. It is simply that they do not want a God like that! And so, because of where their sensitivities and desires lie, it is for them, as you rightly say, 'problematic'. Having set aside the authority of Scripture, they feel at liberty to create a god they like.

I am not saying that this is why Orthodox reject the doctrine. I am aware that the East has always emphasised the resurrection of Christ more than his death in the means of salvation. But in the West, certainly among the originally Protestant churches, I think you will find that my analysis is correct.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2017, 04:28:39 PM »
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.

What "justice" was satisfied? Nobody offended God.

Everyone offends God. Man is an offense even to himself.

That's certainly not what the Saints teach. God is not overcome by offense. That's a form of blasphemy. God is not a man.
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Re: Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2017, 04:29:37 PM »
What "justice" was satisfied? Nobody offended God.

I had.
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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2017, 04:30:00 PM »
Isn't most of all this just theological nonsense? What the bible teaches and especially what Jesus taught is that we shall Believe in him, trust him, love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. And we shall strive to be merciful, kind, and just. That is enough.

The question isn't how to be saved, but how the supposed mechanism of salvation operates in heaven. A question of dubious worth, which does impinge on "how to be saved," unnecessarily, since fundamentalists not only insist one believe their answer to be a Christian but teach that their answer implies their peculiar salvation formula (pray once a certain way to be saved).

I just prefer saint Ireneus of Lyon about the ancestral sin.  I can't stand this forensic view. It is contrary to the Old Testament. ONLY ORTHODOXY. :P

It is the Old Testament that makes it necessary, or so they say.

They say that. Not the Old Testament. Nowhere God blames people about the sin of Adam and Eve nor He said that we are total depraved. This could violate the gift of free will. He says that it is in our choice to follow life or death, good and evil (Deuteronomy 30:15). As for the sacrifices, Israelites brought offerings to God for restoration of their relationship with Him and remission of their sins.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 04:31:06 PM by Alkis »
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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2017, 04:37:42 PM »
The fact that you don't deny that God "needs" to be appeased is troubling as well.  If God "needs," then God lacks.  And if He lacks, then He is not God...  But if that's the entirely of the view, there's really nowhere to grow.

1) I hope it was not I who introduced the word needs, though I may have gone along the someone else's wording in the course of the discussion. I would prefer the word demands.

2) I agree with your second statement. I do not believe anyone has the entirety of understanding how Christ saved us when he died for us. As C S Lewis says, it was "deeper mystery from before the dawn of time". Nonetheless, I believe that the hymn which describes our Lord on the Cross in the words "in my place condemned he stood" is true. We are told in Hebrews that he offered himself by the Spirit to the Father. The Trinity was involved in this 'transaction'. So I think you are right: penal substitution is not the entirety of what transpired - but it is part of it. And faith in that part has been enough to persuade millions of sinners to rest their hope of salvation on the Cross, and to find the Spirit within them crying Abba, Father as a result.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 04:38:20 PM by David Young »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2017, 04:54:59 PM »
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.

What "justice" was satisfied? Nobody offended God.

Everyone offends God. Man is an offense even to himself.

That's certainly not what the Saints teach. God is not overcome by offense. That's a form of blasphemy. God is not a man.

"Surely it is meet to be said unto God, 'I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more' " (St. Job). "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world: The Son of man shall send forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (our Lord).

But that's all by way of countering mere pedantry. What you're really asking is:

What "justice" was satisfied?

"Justice" comprises the qualities of imposing what's right and avenging what's wrong. Your question is essentially arguing nobody has done wrong, and if you say that, then you are only heaping guilt on guilt.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2017, 05:01:09 PM »
My problem with this is that it requires God to be mutable and anthropomorphic.  Mutable in that He did not possess wrath for eternity past, until we incomprehensibly had the power to tick Him off enough that He couldn't handle His own wrath until Christ died for us on the cross.  Then His wrath went away again.  It kind of flies in the face of the idea that God is the same "yesterday, today, and forever."  Anthropomorphic in the fact that He is frail enough to possess wrath in His Divine Nature to begin with (plus the aforementioned lack of Self-control).

Holy Scripture is full of such characterizations of God. "God is angry with the wicked every day." "Then God repented him that he had made man." These off the top of my head. It goes further than such epigrams, as, for example, there are Minor Prophets whose whole books comprise characterizations of God as grieving husband, offended father, frustrated farmer, and so on.

Quote
The fact that you don't deny that God "needs" to be appeased is troubling as well.  If God "needs," then God lacks.  And if He lacks, then He is not God.  Rather, we need because we lack.

You're fastening on one usage of "need." It is perfectly valid in English to say a quality "needs" or "requires" another quality due to the nature of their relationship. For example, when adding 2 to 2 one does need to find 4, and this is no commentary on the passibleness of arithmetic. In a similar way, God cannot contradict his own nature, not because he lacks some ability or quality but because he is true.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2017, 05:02:44 PM »
There is one phrase in this ("imputing to us all His righteousness") that I feel is not clearly and explicitly stated in Scripture, but it may be that I am simply not seeing it.

That is what Luther read into Romans when talking about justification.
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Re: Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2017, 05:15:27 PM »
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.

What "justice" was satisfied? Nobody offended God.

Everyone offends God. Man is an offense even to himself.

That's certainly not what the Saints teach. God is not overcome by offense. That's a form of blasphemy. God is not a man.

"Surely it is meet to be said unto God, 'I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more' " (St. Job). "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world: The Son of man shall send forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (our Lord).

But that's all by way of countering mere pedantry. What you're really asking is:

What "justice" was satisfied?

"Justice" comprises the qualities of imposing what's right and avenging what's wrong. Your question is essentially arguing nobody has done wrong, and if you say that, then you are only heaping guilt on guilt.

No, what I'm questioning is the idea that God's offense is infinite. That's just not true. God is not incapable of showing mercy merely due to the fact that he's offended. That's what makes Anselm's theory defunct.
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Offline David Young

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Re: Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2017, 05:21:28 PM »
"Justice" comprises the qualities of imposing what's right and avenging what's wrong. Your question is essentially arguing nobody has done wrong, and if you say that, then you are only heaping guilt on guilt.

Quote
No, what I'm questioning is the idea that God's offense is infinite. That's just not true. God is not incapable of showing mercy merely due to the fact that he's offended. That's what makes Anselm's theory defunct.

Maybe I am wrong, but I thought that Anselm focussed on offending God's honour, not his justice.
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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2017, 05:38:14 PM »
the image of a tribe that throws virgins into a active volcano to appease the wrath of the mountain gods comes to my mind.

May I suggest that the mountain was Sinai, the one God was Yahweh, the 'active volcano' is actually Hell, and the 'virgins' should be replaced by sinners? But in the voluntary death of the Son of God, the wrath was quenched and sinners are invited to accept a pardon offered freely to all.
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.

Yet if in fact one reads the whole scripture, it doesn't quite afford this contraposition to "Calvary, that other hill," where God is quenched:

Quote from: Heb. 12:18ff
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, which voice, they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more (for they could not endure that which was commanded, "And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned or thrust through with a dart"; and so terrible was the sight that Moses said, "I exceedingly fear and quake"): but ye are come unto mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven; and to God the Judge of all; and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven; whose voice then shook the earth, but now he hath promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not the earth only but also heaven." (And this word, "yet once more," signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken: as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.)

Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved: let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear --

For our God is a consuming fire.

So we see that, in fact, the holy writer to the Hebrews is actually likening the situation of "the saved" approaching heavenly things (Mt. Zion) to the situation of Israel approaching the Law (Mt. Sinai): whereas Sinai was holy, Zion is holier; whereas the voice of God from the earthly mountain shook the earth, the voice from the heavenly mountain will shake the entire created universe. And his conclusion: "Serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for our God [of the Hebrews, now, even more revealedly, of the Christians] is a consuming fire."

Speaking of getting burnt, proof-texting is such a hazardous occupation.
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2017, 05:41:19 PM »
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.

What "justice" was satisfied? Nobody offended God.

Everyone offends God. Man is an offense even to himself.

That's certainly not what the Saints teach. God is not overcome by offense. That's a form of blasphemy. God is not a man.

"Surely it is meet to be said unto God, 'I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more' " (St. Job). "As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world: The Son of man shall send forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (our Lord).

But that's all by way of countering mere pedantry. What you're really asking is:

What "justice" was satisfied?

"Justice" comprises the qualities of imposing what's right and avenging what's wrong. Your question is essentially arguing nobody has done wrong, and if you say that, then you are only heaping guilt on guilt.

No, what I'm questioning is the idea that God's offense is infinite. That's just not true. God is not incapable of showing mercy merely due to the fact that he's offended. That's what makes Anselm's theory defunct.

Again, the question is not whether God has infinite grace, but by what mechanism he extracts it. A question of dubious value; and when the supposed answer is turned into a test of salvation, as fundamentalists tend to make their answer, an impiously ironic one.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2017, 09:11:50 PM »
The fact that you don't deny that God "needs" to be appeased is troubling as well.  If God "needs," then God lacks.  And if He lacks, then He is not God...  But if that's the entirely of the view, there's really nowhere to grow.

1) I hope it was not I who introduced the word needs, though I may have gone along the someone else's wording in the course of the discussion. I would prefer the word demands.

You're fastening on one usage of "need." It is perfectly valid in English to say a quality "needs" or "requires" another quality due to the nature of their relationship. For example, when adding 2 to 2 one does need to find 4, and this is no commentary on the passibleness of arithmetic. In a similar way, God cannot contradict his own nature, not because he lacks some ability or quality but because he is true.

I didn't say you did, David!  I commented because while you were filling julio's post with correct meaning, you didn't seemed bothered by the idea of God "needing appeasement."  But fine point, both of you.  So we all recognize that God doesn't have a need, as in a lack.  What about demand?  Why would He demand something of us that He knows we can't give?  To bluff?  To appear all the more magnanimous when Christ came?  No.  Of course not; that is akin to play-acting and cannot be done by a God Who is Truth.
To me, the demand that is laid on us is that in order to have a relationship with God, we must be righteous through obedience to Him.  "Be holy as your Father in Heaven is holy."  The demand doesn't even need to be made by God, because it seems inherent in the reality of our needing a relationship with Him.

2) I agree with your second statement. I do not believe anyone has the entirety of understanding how Christ saved us when he died for us. As C S Lewis says, it was "deeper mystery from before the dawn of time". Nonetheless, I believe that the hymn which describes our Lord on the Cross in the words "in my place condemned he stood" is true. We are told in Hebrews that he offered himself by the Spirit to the Father. The Trinity was involved in this 'transaction'. So I think you are right: penal substitution is not the entirety of what transpired - but it is part of it. And faith in that part has been enough to persuade millions of sinners to rest their hope of salvation on the Cross, and to find the Spirit within them crying Abba, Father as a result.
I did not use the term penal substitution but "judicial" (although I think I misspelled it the first time!).  I think of penal substitution as the judicial bit of atonement blown way out of proportion.  It is unnecessary, also, when one understands the Fall and Redemption primarily as a broken and reconciled relationship.  In other words, if salvation were a photograph, penal substitution would be like taking the 5% of the picture that deals in judicial terms, isolating it, and acting as if the the other 95% doesn't exist (and now these guys are essentially saying it is heresy to suggest anything other than PSA exists). 
As for your last statement, no one but God can verify it.  As I related earlier, my personal experience with it was that it was a good hook, but left me hanging.  According to your tradition's dogmas/doctrines and general attitude, I'm an apostate for wandering into the rest of the salvation picture looking for spiritual healing and nourishment.  If those millions you mentioned confessed under a PSA gospel but then later returned to secular life or found a different Christian expression outside of PSA Evangelicalism, how would that look on your salvation scoreboard?

My problem with this is that it requires God to be mutable and anthropomorphic.  Mutable in that He did not possess wrath for eternity past, until we incomprehensibly had the power to tick Him off enough that He couldn't handle His own wrath until Christ died for us on the cross.  Then His wrath went away again.  It kind of flies in the face of the idea that God is the same "yesterday, today, and forever."  Anthropomorphic in the fact that He is frail enough to possess wrath in His Divine Nature to begin with (plus the aforementioned lack of Self-control).

Holy Scripture is full of such characterizations of God. "God is angry with the wicked every day." "Then God repented him that he had made man." These off the top of my head. It goes further than such epigrams, as, for example, there are Minor Prophets whose whole books comprise characterizations of God as grieving husband, offended father, frustrated farmer, and so on.
I know!  However are they used because they are a 100% objectively accurate portrayal of how God functions, or because those are the terms we can understand?  Maybe I misused the term in making my point, though.  :)
"Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that."  ~me

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2017, 09:21:37 PM »
... What about demand?  Why would He demand something of us that He knows we can't give?  To bluff?  To appear all the more magnanimous when Christ came? ...

Because it's right? Because he's just and good? If there weren't right and justice, what could the future of humankind amount to? Chaos is not much to aspire to.

Quote
... The demand doesn't even need to be made by God, because it seems inherent in the reality of our needing a relationship with Him. ...

If the demand, as you're now terming it, is proper and right, then it is proper also of God to voice it and expect it.

Quote
... However, are they used because they are a 100% objectively accurate portrayal of how God functions, or because those are the terms we can understand?

What would this even mean?

Overall, I just think your objections to God's requirement of justice -- it doesn't matter as much what terms we put it in -- and his characterization of himself as personally in pursuit of justice -- it doesn't matter that much what adjectives we pick -- are not useful objections. Since the truth remains that we are unjust, untruthful, unhumble, and unkind beings -- yes, ungodly -- and this is a serious evil and presents a very serious problem. We wave it away at our peril.
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Ainnir

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2017, 10:08:49 PM »
What would this even mean?
It's the difference between 1) us experiencing our separation from God and resulting sinfulness as wrath and 2) God being wrathful in His essence, or Nature.  If we choose the latter, we bring in the question of the mutability of God, since I hope most of us would think it silly for God to be wrathful before the Fall.  The former makes more sense to me.

Overall, I just think your objections to God's requirement of justice -- it doesn't matter as much what terms we put it in -- and his characterization of himself as personally in pursuit of justice -- it doesn't matter that much what adjectives we pick -- are not useful objections. Since the truth remains that we are unjust, untruthful, unhumble, and unkind beings -- yes, ungodly -- and this is a serious evil and presents a very serious problem. We wave it away at our peril.
Suit yourself.  :)
I don't see how acknowledging our deep brokenness and need for God's mercy through Christ absolutely requires accepting the idea of a wrathful Divine Nature.  But I'm still learning, so I'll let you know how things turn out in 20 or so years.  :D
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 10:21:20 PM »
What would this even mean?
It's the difference between 1) us experiencing our separation from God and resulting sinfulness as wrath and 2) God being wrathful in His essence, or Nature.  If we choose the latter, we bring in the question of the mutability of God, since I hope most of us would think it silly for God to be wrathful before the Fall.  The former makes more sense to me.

No, no, I mean what could this even mean:

Quote
a 100% objectively accurate portrayal of how God functions


Quote
Overall, I just think your objections to God's requirement of justice -- it doesn't matter as much what terms we put it in -- and his characterization of himself as personally in pursuit of justice -- it doesn't matter that much what adjectives we pick -- are not useful objections. Since the truth remains that we are unjust, untruthful, unhumble, and unkind beings -- yes, ungodly -- and this is a serious evil and presents a very serious problem. We wave it away at our peril.
Suit yourself.  :)
I don't see how acknowledging our deep brokenness and need for God's mercy through Christ absolutely requires accepting the idea of a wrathful Divine Nature.  But I'm still learning, so I'll let you know how things turn out in 20 or so years.  :D

Who said repentance "absolutely requires" a knowledge of God's anger? Perhaps it doesn't, I don't know; how would we measure such a thing? But the point I think you're missing is that he is angry and that he will punish -- the Scriptures and Saints don't simply invent divine attributes with an eye toward effect -- you might be taking the more-liberal apologetics for our faith too-nearly literally.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2017, 10:44:36 PM »
Ok, well load me up with Patristics!  Then give me a couple of decades.

No, no, I mean what could this even mean:
Quote
a 100% objectively accurate portrayal of how God functions

God's view of God.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 10:45:28 PM by Ainnir »
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Offline beebert

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Re: Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2017, 04:02:05 AM »
What "justice" was satisfied? Nobody offended God.

I had.
How can God be offended? That, if you follow protestant theology to its only logical conclusion, would suggest that God was offended by no one but himself
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 04:02:32 AM by beebert »
'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)

Offline beebert

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2017, 04:04:25 AM »
The way Sinai comes across in the Hebrew scriptures, it was a mighty salvation for Israel.

"a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was it that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.'" (Hebrews 12) Such was Sinai when the Law was given. But on Calvary, that other hill, the exactions of the Law and the loving mercy of God meet: justice satisfied, and the way opened for the likes of me to come to God, resting only on the Atonement as giving me licence to do so, and drawn by the love that made it possible.
Justice and mercy aren't seperated as two completely different things. They dont contradict eachother
'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)

Offline beebert

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Re: Why Substitutionary Atonement Is Necessary for Evangelical Faith
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2017, 04:08:27 AM »
Isn't most of all this just theological nonsense? What the bible teaches and especially what Jesus taught is that we shall Believe in him, trust him, love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. And we shall strive to be merciful, kind, and just. That is enough.

The question isn't how to be saved, but how the supposed mechanism of salvation operates in heaven. A question of dubious worth, which does impinge on "how to be saved," unnecessarily, since fundamentalists not only insist one believe their answer to be a Christian but teach that their answer implies their peculiar salvation formula (pray once a certain way to be saved).

I see. Well... I find it hard to Believe that God Works in the same way as a human Court of law would
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 04:09:45 AM by beebert »
'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)