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As He is, so are we. Good conversation that I have had twice in the last two days with students — good conversations. Here is a slidepack that used with a class that I taught. This would be a good book to read on the subject. He has a lot more points than I. Children in Heaven — teaching. When I was a boy, we lived in a rural part of Alabama. We spent a many a summer day in that creek and in the evening, as we were being called in for dinner a common scene took place:. Rob approaches the sliding-glass door at the rear of the house bearing the filthy joy of creek-playing hedonism.

You are not setting foot in this house until you clean up. Rob starts to attempt wiping off the mud — only there is mud on his hands and on every part of his body. Only smearing and deeper staining is occurring. What Rob needs is an outside source — something clean that can take the filth from him. Rob needs a clean towel and his brother to spray him with a water hose. Without a clean source to take the stains away, there is no hope. Truly on this side of the analogy AND the sliding glass doors, the fried chicken has never tasted so good. The comments that I receive, I think, could be missed and this is sad.

The dialog that many choose to have with me is such a joy to my life.

Richard Sturch

My brother, Dimitrios responded to my post about the Sacrifice for Sins in the future Millennial Kingdom with an excursus on the Blood of Christ. Here is a quote:. That is a prime example of man-made religion. They have Blood on them, on their hands. The evidence is in. The weapons have been tested and its His Blood on them.

They are guilty of sin against God. How can it be? Simply to forgive you would be to trivialize sin; it would be against the moral order of the entire universe…. Then the elder brother spoke up. The first of which calls into question whether the father could honestly said to have forgiven the boy. But to a free forgiveness nothing is more opposite than such a satisfaction as they contend for, and the payment of an equivalent price.

Now, the one who owed the debt goes free without having to pay it, and the one who did not owe it suffers hard labor. Another criticism relates to the manner in which Christ not only died, but suffered. Michael Murray and Michael Rea explain:. For purposes of meriting a reward or for serving as an exemplar, why would it not suffice for Christ to dwell among us, live a perfect human life resisting all earthly temptation, and then die a quiet death at home? Lastly, satisfaction approaches atonement from the limited perspective of medieval feudal justice. However, God never demanded equity when he instituted the sacrificial system in Leviticus.

He willingly accepted animal and grain offerings. We could even say that the precedent of the Hebrew system was for God to require only partial payment. For example, on the Day of Atonement, God had them do the following:. Leviticus And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.

Does God only require one measly goat to atone for the sins of the entire nation? In the end, what makes a sacrifice efficacious is that God accepts it, not that it has equal value.

Here is a typical way of stating this advantage:. This way of approaching atonement avoids the justice worry to some extent since the judge decides to take the punishment himself. Even if it is not biblical or coherent, I cannot help but admire the beauty and affective draw of a God who willing gives up everything to come and save his helpless creation. Even so, we dare not accept an account purely on how inspiring we find it.

Recall that the demons regularly recognized Jesus for who he was when he encountered them Mat 8. Along similar lines, the satisfaction and penal theories break down when we consider them from a trinitarian perspective. Collins insightfully explains the absurdity from the perspective of one-self and three-self views of the Trinity:.

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To see the problem clearly, first note that if we consider God the Son as one with God the Father, the Atonement under the Satisfaction view simply amounts to God paying God, which is equivalent to God forgiving the debt. On the other hand, if we consider God the Son as distinct from God the Father, the question arises: Who pays the debt we owe to God the Son because of our sin against him? If Christ—that is, God the Son—pays it, that is equivalent to God the Son paying himself and hence forgiving it. So either way you look at it, it turns out that God the Father can simply forgive our debt without demanding repayment, contrary to the central claim of the Satisfaction theory.

Atonement 2007

To put it more crassly, God beats himself up to satisfy his wrath against everyone else. Additionally, the classic dual natures doctrine hypostatic union teaches that God the Son unites with impersonal human nature. Thus, in his death, only impersonal human nature dies while his divine nature lives on unhindered. Of course, this is far less valuable than the death of a real human being. Lastly, believing in the deity of Christ results in a significant contradiction.

If the Christ is true God then he cannot die owing to texts like 1 Tim 1. However, none of this chicanery will suffice. To experience death is to die; to die is to cease living. But, even if death were merely shucking off his human shell, this is precisely what Christ cannot do if he is immortal. Human sin offends God, provoking his righteous indignation. As the moral arbiter of the cosmos he must ensure justice prevails ultimately. However, eventually the hammer must fall, dealing out rightful retribution. John Calvin explains:. Christ interposed, took the punishment upon himself and bore what by the just judgment of God was impending over sinners; with his own blood expiated the sins which rendered them hateful to God, by this expiation satisfied and duly propitiated God the Father, by this intercession appeased his anger, on this basis founded peace between God and men.

Christ stands in as our substitute, taking the penalty we deserve. The moral obligation that we owe for our sins is paid to God, who is thereby placated. To expiate is to express regret by making amends. To propitiate is to appease the wrath of an offended party.

Is Barth’s Understanding of Atonement Evangelical? An Excursus and Indulgence in theologizing

Whereas expiation focuses on the penitence of the offender, propitiation concentrates on the conciliation of the offended party. Here are the relevant passages:. Propitiation appears to work in the wrong direction in these texts. Rather than Jesus propitiating God, God propitiates Jesus or more accurately, rather than using Jesus as a way to propitiate God, God uses Jesus as a way to propitiate our sins. The real question is whether appeasement makes since for Romans 3. Wright makes the case it does:.

I do not intend to settle the debate here, just to present the contours of the discussion. We must now shift our attention to substitution. Before moving on to offer some criticism for penal substitution, I need to present the case for substitution.

Excursus Article: Christ’s Finished Work on the Cross |

He continues:. If Christ should be killed that certain security would be obtained on account of it. Therefore he really wished to substitute the death of Christ for the ruin otherwise impending…. This is the same as to say that he wished that Christ should perish in the place of the people, who otherwise—that is, under the contrary condition—would perish.

Isaiah The servant stands in for the transgressors; he takes punishment in the place of those who deserve it cp. Gal 3. As with the satisfaction theory, the justice worry is the primary criticism of penal substitution.

Excursus Article: Christ’s Finished Work on the Cross

As I mentioned before, it seems radically unjust for an innocent person to suffer on behalf of someone who is guilty. Another criticism is that Christ did not truly suffer the penalty for sin. I struggle to understand how seeing his beloved Son, bloodied and battered, suffering in agony hour after hour, the Father would have righteous anger in his heart rather than heart-broken love and compassion.

Finally, penal substitution looks suspiciously like a pagan human sacrifice offered to appease the angry gods. Understandably, both people inside and outside of the Church have found this twisted version of events morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith. Of course defenders of penal substitution have answers for these criticisms, but I do not have space here to engage further. In Hugo Grotius wrote A Defense of the Catholic Faith concerning the Satisfaction of Christ, against Faustus Socinus because the latter taught God could forgive sin without requiring satisfaction.

Although Grotius did not intend to innovate, but defend the traditional understanding, his unique approach to the atonement due to his professional interest in international relations led to what eventually became the known as the governmental theory of atonement. Here is how Grotius unpacks this idea:.