Friday, June 22, 2007

It's the same old story

Here are two extracts from Bavinck on objections to penal substitution:

...Satisfaction is not necessary. God's righteousness and mercy are not opposed to each other, and these attributes are not characteristic of God's nature but the effects of his will and dependent on his will. Whether or not God wants to punish or forgive sins is determined not in any way by his nature but his will. God can just as well--and better than a human being--forgive sins without satisfaction. In fact, his justice is nullified by satisfaction, because it punishes the innocent and acquits the guilty; and his mercy loses its value if it can only manifest itself after satisfaction. God, accordingly, has always promised forgiveness to the penitent and wants us to follow him in that respect.

...the doctrine of satisfaction is also harmful because it elevates Christ with his mercy above God with his demand for satisfaction. It obligates us to be more grateful to Christ than to God...

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Sin and Salvation in Christ, p. 348-9

Now the question I have is whether these objections are more likely to find a hearing, or sympathy, in mainstream evangelicalism or whether they would be exposed and refuted. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

What do I think? Thank you for asking. I think the actual reason for Jesus' crucifixion has been totally misunderstood. Christian religious teachers are so closed minded and defensive of their conclusions, and rightly so since they have so much riding on them, they dare not ever think of compromising one of their conclusions. Contemporary Christian scholars conclude the Bible to be teaching a seamless thematic system of obtaining relief from sins' problems if a satisfactory sacrifice is found and offered up to God in behalf of the sinner. Contemporarily this is the general thought relative to the only reasonable explanation for Jesus' crucifixion. Since nearly all contemporary "Christian" churches are built on this foundation the leaders of those type of Christians will go so far as to kill the opposer of substitutionary atonement, penal or otherwise, thinking they have done God a favor.
One of the most damaging statements to the theory of substitutionary atonement is Jn. 16:8, which is a direct quote by Jesus. If the theory of substitutionary penal atonement has been perfected by the crucifixion of Jesus why is it true that guilt relative to sin remains the outstanding issue on God's mind AFTER Jesus' crucifixion. Whereas the pontificator of penal substitutionary atonement says that God has punished Jesus instead of punishing you God's statement relative to the crucifixion is the opposite. There is a great amount of difference in saying "I believe in God" verses "I believe what God has said".
For isn't it plainly stated by Paul that no person knew the actual reason for Jesus' crucifixion BEFORE he was crucified 1 Cor.2:7-9, or he would never have been crucified. But the pontificator of penal substitutionary atonement flips the Bible back to Leviticus 16 and says "Well see here. We know Jesus was intended as your substitute on your behalf. He became sin for us."
There is a seven word rule for correctly interpreting what the Bible actually means. "Do not go beyond what is written" for as soon as you do what ever interpretation one might come up with, rest assured the Bible already has a written statement against the proposal. If Leviticus 16 is the substantiation for a reasonable understanding why Jesus was crucified it would have also enabled a correct deduction for his crucifixion. But Jesus was crucified at Passover and not on the Day of Atonement for one particular reason. The Day of Atonement sacrifice does not require mandatory individual participation for obtaining a benefit from the sacrifice but Passover does. Refusing to participate in Passover excludes Passovers' benefit of escaping death for the individual who refuses to participate. There is only one perfected small narrow gate for the individual to use for escaping death. Jesus says make every effort to use it, but there are only a few that find it. Another of the problematic features of PSA, Christus victor, SA and the other diversions of thought of Jesus' death having been in place of yours etc. is gates.
Each denominational sect of contemporary Christianity proposes to have a better handle on what the crucifixion of Jesus actually means and there by gates are formed allowing for many ways to get into the kingdom of God. I don't intended to critique each of these gates since it is a waste of time but, the existence of gates relative to the crucifixion of Jesus assumed to have been substitutionary is another indicator of the corruption the theory of substitutionary atonement has caused. Many gates is described by Jesus as the broad way and is relative to bad seed i.e a lie about why Jesus was crucified.
The theory of substitutionary atonement might have merit if the fact of the Acts 2 event were not a fact. Substitutionary atonement can only have any value of being true by there not being any type of judicial process for salvation. For the theory of substitutionary atonement's value for salvation is only within the correct sacrifice being offered. However no man's life can be taken by bloodshed and result in not having to give a direct accounting to God for that action. What the proponents of substitutionary atonement ignore is that the crucifixion of Jesus is actually the sin of murder caused by bloodshed. The second thing they ignore is that only relative to the sin of Jesus' crucifixion, in that his life was taken by bloodshed, one word has been added to the law of God in regard to this particular sin, but only relative to this sin. The actual reason that Jesus was crucified was for the purpose of adding one word to the law. Which has made it mandatory for each person to save himself by confessing to be sorry for the sin of Jesus' crucifixion directly to God. Every person who refuses cannot benefit from Jesus' crucifixion and will not escape death. The resolution between you and God is only obtained by the faith to obey Jesus' command given through the apostles. Repent means repent of the one sin of Jesus' murder for the forgiveness of all sins, but refusing means there is one outstanding sin to your account. The guilty shall not go unpinished.
Theodore A. Jones

Anonymous said...

Is there no one who will rise to defend the truth of the bloody sacrificial death of Christ Jesus, a penal substitutionary death, to redeem His people with the price of His own blood, as Rutherford exhorted Gillespie for another truth?

Da lucem, Domine; Give light, O Lord.

from Alexander Whyte's biographical sketch

'Rise, George, man,' said Rutherford to Gillespie, who was sitting with his pencil and note-book beside him. 'Rise, George, man, and defend the Church which Christ hath purchased with His own blood.' George rose, and when he had sat down, Selden is reported to have said to some one who was sitting beside him, 'That young man has swept away the learning and labour of ten years of my life.' Gillespie's Scottish brethren seized upon his note-book to preserve and send home at least the heads of his magnificent speech, but all they found in his little book were these three words: Da lucem, Domine; Give light, O Lord.

Jim Vermillion