But where are your quotations and documentation from advocates of Penal Satisfaction Theory that the resurrection is ATONING in a manner such as without it THE CROSS ALONE WOULD NOT BE SATISFACTORY TO EXPIATE OUR SINS? (*shakes ice in glass, waiting...*). For those who articulate the penal substitutionary model, the resurrection is about God's sign that the sacrifice of Jesus was accepted by the Father, that Christ "rose for our justification". Without the resurrection you'ld just have a sad martyr story, and everyone who believes in penal satisfaction acknowledges that.
Paul does not say "If Christ has not been raised... you would be without a sign that you are not in your sins." He says "If Christ has not been raised... you are still in your sins"
(1 Cor 15:17).
Penal satisfaction claims the penalty of crucifixion was fully satisfactory to expiate sins. But the crucifixion alone was not satisfactory to expiate sins:
"If Christ has not been raised... you are still in your sins"[/b] (1 Cor 15:17).
“...because of the singular focus on penal satisfaction, Jesus’ resurrection is not really necessary according to this model" (Joel B. Green and Mark D. Baker, Recovering the Scandal of the Cross (Downers Grove: IVP, 2000), p. 148).
Saying the resurrection is necessary as a sign is a far cry from admitting the resurrection is ATONING in a manner such as without it the cross alone would not be satisfactory to expiate our sins.
So your objection is to developement of novel doctrines, not to the truthfulness of the theory?
That is not an objection I have stated.
Truthfulness? My objection is that the theory is false because it is partial: it takes a part (the cross) for a larger whole (atonement). If "penalty satisfaction" were true there would be no *ATONING* role for the resurrection such that without the resurrection there would be no expiation of sin (the cross/"penalty" alone would *satisfy* everything). But a crucified savior, biblically, is not of itself satisfactory. Christus Victor is more comprehensive than the cross (you will recall that N. T. Wright does stress that Christus Victor is by far the predominant atonement metaphor in the Bible). A savior who through death conquers death, delivers captivity captive, is (and must be) resurrected for our justification, who ascends to the right hand of the Father to intercede for those who abide in Him, and returns for His Church is the full story; penal satisfaction is not only partial -not tell the larger or whole story- it is most "unsatisfactory" in what it affirms: that the cross alone is *satisfactory* regarding the atonement and the expiation of sin, but it isn't.
"If Christ has not been raised... you are still in your sins"[/b] (1 Cor 15:17).
There is one problem I do see with the novelty aspect. In the Reformed tradition refusal to affirm a theory which is still fairly new historically speaking is often deemed virtually if not actually "heretical" -despite a great deal of disagreement not only against it but concerning its definition, implications, etc. within Protestantism itself.
Why is Gregory Nanzianzus the final authority on what atonement theories are out of bounds?
That is not an objection I have stated; it actually misses the point of the earlier post. Let's try one more time.
You said "I personally find the piety of the Cross, in Jesus paying a debt that I could not owe to the Father to be beautiful."
I asked (and you still have not answered) Where pray tell does scripture say Jesus paid something to the Father? It indeed speaks of a ransom from death, but not of a ransom paid to the devil or the Father. You are either imagining this aspect or borrowing it from a late Protestant tradition (you have traditions too) not grounded in exegesis.
That is when I brought up St. Gregory, not as a final authority, but as saying payment to the Father was unacceptable as the first historical mention of payment to the Father. The main point made is that he has not been exegetically corrected -that is impossible, because the Bible never says payment was made to the Father.
In general Protestantism de-emphasizes metaphysics and instead focuses on biblical language whenever possible.
Oh, like "payment to the father"??? Did I also miss the word satisfaction, satisfaction immediately following the word penal in the Bible? I am not defending a "use only Bible words" paradigm, but neither do, I think, proponents of satisfaction theory or those who speak of the ransom payment being given to the Father.
And "theosis" is an alien,
Horsefeathers. "He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature [γένησθε θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως]..." (2 Pet 1:4).
Ultimately faith in Jesus Christ is about ones heart, not about metaphysical speculations. In this respect Orthodox theology fails when it chides Protestantism for being disinterested in "theosis".
Theosis is not metaphysical speculation; it is God's gift and purpose:
"Christianity is more than a theory about the universe, more than teachings written down on paper; it is a path along which we journey -in the deepest and richest sense, the way of life. There is only one means of discovering the true nature of Christianity. We must step out upon this path, commit ourselves to this way of life, and then w shall begin to see it for ourselves. So long as we remain outside we cannot properly understand... The final end of the spiritual Way is that we humans should also become part of this Trinitarian coinherence or perichoresis, being wholly taken up into the circle of love that exists within God. So Christ prayed to his Father on the night before his Crucifixion: 'May they all be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, so may they also be one in us' (John 17:21)" -Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, pp. 7-8, 28.
"For the atonement made necessary by our sins is not an end but a means, the means to the only real goal ...union with God. What does it matter being saved from death, from hell, if it is not to lose oneself in God?" Lossky, Orthodox Theology (Crestwood NY: St Vladimir's, 1978), p. 111.
Though disagreeing in part I will agree with part: the heart is where conversion to God takes place (Joel 2:12; cf. Colin Brown, DNTT 2.181). To enter the true heart of Christianity requires more than intellect alone. Believing (in John usually in the Greek present/continual action tense -not a Grand Moment of belief) involves trusting Christ with our entire life, not just our head. One must be intuitively open to God's Spirit to arrive at the heart within which is to characterize the new covenant according to Jeremiah 31.
Union with Christ happens through the Holy Spirit when God sets us aside for his own purposes, for the Kingdom of God. It is not a purely ascetic struggle on behalf of the individual human person.
It is true that ascetic struggle is not itself union with Christ.
A purely moralistic or ascetic understanding of holiness smacks of legalism and Lutheranism is quite right in this respect to focus principally on justification and forgiveness of sins. "Theosis" is really God's work in man, nothing more needs to be said.
Christ learned obedience through suffering (Heb 5:8).
I agree that Christianity should eschew legalism -as I am convinced that Orthodoxy absolutely does; however you say Christianity needs no no askesis (discipline/training). St. Paul says "discipline/train yourselves" 1 Tim 4:7.
Without struggle Christianity is Gnostic (salvation as knowledge).
"...if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons." -Heb 12:8
Christianity teaches a praxis of death to self, self-denial, and self control. Because 40% of the NT is exhortation material to EXCLUDE asceticism/askesis/discipline is itself a notion most alien to the Bible and alien to a legitimate Christian faith. Neither did Luther suggested such (not here meaning to accuse you of implying that he did) though it is true that Martin Luther insisted our works are not the ground for our confidence before God.
"Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved." —St. John Chrysostom
"By the grace of God I am a Christian, by my deeds a great sinner." -Way of the Pilgrim
"'For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do according to good will.' (Phil. 2:13) What could well be clearer than the assertion that both our good will and the completion of our work are fully wrought in us by the Lord? And again 'For it is granted to you for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him.' (Phil. 1:29) Here also he declares that the beginning of our conversion and faith, and the endurance of suffering is a gift to us from the Lord." - St. John Cassian, The Conferences, 3: The Conference of Paphnutius, 15 http://www.ccel.org/osis/xml/cassian-conferences.xml
"The thief who received the kingdom of heaven, though not as the reward of virtue, is a true witness to the fact that salvation is ours through the grace and mercy of God. All of our holy fathers knew this and all with one accord teach that perfection in holiness can be achieved only through humility." -St. John Cassian, in Philokalia Volume 1, p. 83 On the Eight Vices/Pride
According to Orthodox Christians, man would be utterly doomed without the free and primary action of divine grace. God is fully sufficient in Himself. Man needs God, or else He is lost. I fully affirm that as a non-Calvinist.
That does not mean discipline has no place, even a central place, in our Christian life. Only by askesis do we show rather than simply know the fruit of our faith. Only by askesis do we touch rather than simply feel o simply think. Only by askesis is our religion any different from that of a gnostic whose salvation is in his knowing, or a scribe with his scriptural knowledge of doctrine. In askesis we do not merit the gift of salvation, we work it out. In Christian askesis Christ is in us working, as the Father is working, without whom we can do nothing.
Christianity without askesis is Christianity without discipline, which is Christianity without the Spirit's fruit, for the fruit of the Spirit is "...self discipline..." Do not miss the paradox here: Spirit and self. Lose either side and you fall from a fully incarnational Christology-in-you toward a sort of practical Docetism or humanism. Neither mistake this for heretical Pelagian or Semi-Pelagian thought where man acts or agrees apart from God -this is fruit.
As the late great Evangelical theologian Donald Bloesch observed "The will to love is something given [by God] but the act of love requires effort on our part, sometimes supreme effort" (Donald Bloesch, Theological Notebook I, p. 116).
Discipline seems painful at the time (Heb 12:11) -unless one's "Christianity" is painless/undisciplined.
Discipline is Christian; self-discipline is fruit.
You may have a large library of books on Protestantism, and maybe that's half your problem.
Last post you suggested Orthodox not knowing about Protestantism was a problem.
Learning of my Protestant seminary education and library you now suggest that is a problem.
Actually there is nothing that problematic about having a library except when it comes time to move or dust.
Being a Christian has never been primarily about getting our theology right or having all the answers at our fingertips. It's about faith which is manifest in prayer and devotion to God, and to a heart given to good works, not about getting our theology right. Again, I'm not impressed by your intellectual pursuit of Protestantism to exhaustion. That doesn't prove that Orthodoxy is my only choice.
I agree with all of this; I also do not think Orthodoxy is for you at this stage of your life (though I do view it as embodying the fullness of the Christian faith and having much that Protestantism lacks. Not saying this to be polemical -just one former Protestant's opinion).
The free nature of grace is something that a Protestant cannot deny. People do not earn their salvation through what they do,
That is entirely true. Salvation is not a thing to be earned; it is a Person, Jesus Christ. Salvation is Immanuel/God with us; it is Christ in us, transfiguring us from glory to glory; it is theosis.
they are saved by what God has done for them.
That is part of it, yes, but we are also being saved by what God is doing in us now. In thinking about justification some have tended to take a part for the whole. Salvation is not summed up in a penalty transaction: the Bible also speaks of salvation through sanctification and salvation to come; we are also being "saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth" (2 Thess 2:13).
go back and read those parables of Jesus again and ask why you demand that grace be costly for the sinner?
It would be a mistake to emphasize one side of a two-sided truth to the exclusion of one side. Grace is both freely given and costly, as Bonhoeffer so brilliantly illustrated above.
"...whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." (Lk 14:26-33).
"...the secret of orthodoxy in the fathers was their capacity 'to observe both' aspects of a truth that was dialectical. For it was a basic methodological principle that 'to say now one thing and now another, both being true, is natural to any man who would theologize aright.' Heresy, then, consisted not so much in the outright denial of an orthodox dogma as in the adherence to one pole of a dialectical dogma at the expense of the other pole belonging to the same dogma; 'you will see that almost every wicked heresy originated from such ambiguities of theology.' The correctness of a heretic's actual teaching was not assurance of his orthodoxy, for it might have been achieved at the cost of another aspect of the truth from which it was inseparable." Jaraslov Pelikan, The Christian Tradition
, vol. 2, p. 264.
That is why an Orthodox Christian has no problem speaking just as strongly about costly grace and grace that human virtue certainly cannot earn. That is also what is wrong with the suggestion that the cross/a penalty is satisfactory as the whole of the atonement. This is not because the cross is not crucial, neither is it because penalty or wrath are necessarily unacceptable as metaphors, but because it the cross is a part of a larger whole. Without the resurrection there would be no expiation of our sins, so the cross alone is UNsatisfactory to explain atonement. What is worse is systematic extrapolations from that theory which present other "truths" on the basis that the cross penalty is the whole truth about the atonement proper.
Few people, even his own disciples, could accept Jesus radical message. His message is offensive to all of us who bear a grudge against God for not being a cosmic moralist and upholding our own standards of morality and not judging and condemning the world on our terms. That is really what is so shocking and radical about Jesus, why the Pharisees and Priests put him to death, and why people misunderstand him to this day.
Yes, sadly many people misunderstand the message of Christ; they are not ready to embrace Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.
"Theology does not answer a non-believer's questions. It is not meant to do so. The intention of theology is to lead those with an open spirit into a meeting with God. The mind cannot grasp the message of doctrine, but a mind and heart in communion with God can. One is changed in Christianity by who he knows, not what he knows." -Bajis, Common Ground p. 10