We’ve recently had a comment from a Armchair Discernment Ministry to the effect of:

If you OUTRIGHT Deny Penal Substitution then you are twisting God’s Word and are changing and twisting the content of the Atonement and the Gospel itself. [...]

A person who claims to be a Christian AND openly denies and reinterprets the clear words of scripture regarding Christ’s atoning work on the cross is doing the same thing that the Mormon is doing but they are doing in regard to the Gospel itself. That person is redefining the gospel and what Christ accomplished on the cross and has set up a false idol and a false gospel.

Now, besides the obvious fallacy in such thinking (since PSA, as a theory, didn’t exist for the first 1000-1500 years of Christianity), such rigid, dogmatic certainty about matters like this (particularly when used in an attempt to excise entire groups of Christians from the body of Christ) become another Gospel, entirely.  So, with that in mind, I think it is probably incumbant to repost the group project from last year, where we outlined the various orthodox positions on Jesus’ atonement, and link to a key follow-up regarding exclusionary practice in adherence to PSA.

___________________
There has been a great deal of discussion lately on the subject of “atonement”, sin, and the nature of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. In many cases, adherents of specific views of atonement (particularly the theory of Penal Substitutionary Atonement) have taken a dim view of groups of Christians who do not hold to identical views – in some cases, suggesting that the “correct” view (theirs, of course) is required both for evangelizing and for salvation.

Fortunately for Christians throughout the centuries without such ‘enlightenment’, systematic theology does not save, but rather the Grace of God and the mysterious work of salvation made possible through the cross and the empty tomb. In reality, many theories and ‘word pictures’ have been used throughout the history of the church to describe this work, and there is room for liberty in differences of view. Despite this liberty, though, there is need for some boundaries…

Guardrails

In Charleston, S.C., there was a bridge that was rather narrow, and was somewhat frightening for many motorists to cross. Once, during a period of repairs, the outside rails of the bridge had to be removed. Immediately, this bridge went from 2 functional lanes to a single lane, causing all sorts of traffic snarls, because people were afraid of falling off the edge. The rails, when in place, were not very capable of stopping a determined car from going into the water, but they gave some sense of security to motorists.

One of the lessons we can learn from this is that boundaries, contrary to popular opinion, are not always restrictive. Rather, boundaries clearly delineate how far you can be without going over the edge, leaving much more functional room within their borders. Unlike those who acted as if there was only room for one lane on the narrow bridge, once guardrails were in place, there was room for multiple lanes for cars to cross. The bridge, itself, did not change – it did not become wider or narrower. In fact, it became safer AND more efficient.

In the case of atonement theory, it is important that we establish the ‘rails’ – the primary one being that Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection was required in order to bring salvation to mankind. The second rail would be that man could not find salvation by his own means. These rails rule out “all paths lead to heaven” and “if you’re good enough, God will accept you”, and other universalist/semi-universalist views of atonement.

Atonement Views

The Views of Atonement

1) Ransom View of Atonement
This view of atonement, held as the dominant theory in the church for its first 1000 or so years, was first described by Origen. It teaches that Jesus’ death paid a ransom to Satan (whose accusation held humanity to his claim after the fall of Adam and Eve to sin).

Because Satan’s claim against humanity was just, it required God, who is a God of justice, to pay a ransom price in return for man’s release. God paid this in the form of Jesus, on the cross. However, since Jesus had not sinned, he had not earned death, so it could not keep him. Thus, man was redeemed by God and his ransom of Jesus to Satan, and Satan could no longer make a claim upon man. (If you’ve read (or seen) C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, you’ve seen an allegorical story which was written to follow ransom theory.) Christus Victor (see #6 below) is often seen as similar/identical to the Ransom View, though it (CV) takes a more holistic view.

2) Satisfaction View (Anselm’s View) of Atonement
St. Anselm, however, did not like the ransom view, because it placed God in a position of debtor to Satan. Instead, he put forth a theory of atonement called the “Satisfaction View”. In his view, man has defrauded God of the honor and glory due to Him through sin – trying take God’s place, ourselves. Jesus, though, brought full honor and glory to God in his life, and then through his death ’satisfied’ the difference due between man and God.

In this case, Jesus’ substitution is that he suffered for us. In his view, men and angels owe a debt of honor to God. This debt cannot be paid if sin has been committed in their life. Jesus, because lived and did not sin, was able to pay this debt of honor that none other could pay. By dying, though, he suffered in our place to pay that debt of honor.

This theory of atonement was further refined by Thomas Aquinas and codified as the dominant theory in the Catholic church. Even so, like Ransom Theory, it was not considered to be a required belief for salvation, but a secondary matter.

3) Penal Substitution
In Penal Substitutionary Atonement, sin is a crime against God, for which the punishment is death and separation from God. Jesus, because he did not sin, could take this punishment upon himself and absolve those whom he chose from this punishment. In this view of atonement, God punishes Jesus in our place (which is different than substitution where Jesus suffers for us rather than being punished in our place) – if we are one of the elect.

Interestingly, this is the first view of atonement in which the emphasis on Jesus’ atonement was made specific to each individual’s sin, rather than as a general atonement for the sin of mankind. Since Jesus’ crucifixion happened at a specific point in time, it could only cover the sins of people God had chosen at that time for it to cover. Thus, Calvin also had to borrow from Augestine’s theories of double-predestination. Additionally, to distinguish itself from the Satisfaction View, the Penal Substitution View teaches that Jesus was not satisfying a deficiency in mankind, but rather that he was satisfying God’s wrath.

This is the first view of atonement that was codified as a core doctrine in many churches, rather than being of secondary concern. (Thus, the full emphases on sin, punishment and hell become prerequisites to understanding what to believe before one can become a believer.) This is the primary view in Calvinist/Reformed churches, and is a driving force behind much of the criticism of the Emerging Church Movement, which tends relegate the individual’s view of atonement back to its historic place as a secondary doctrine.

4) Governmental View of Atonement
This view of most closely associated with Arminianism and found a home in Methodism. It is similar to the penal substitution view to some extent, but the biggest difference is that the cross is not seen as the exact punishment for sin, but rather it is God’s way of publicly demonstrating His displeasure with sin. So Jesus is still a substitute in this view, but what he is substituting for is different than the penal substitution view. It wasn’t a substitute for punishment, but rather a substitute for the necessity of punishment. This way the moral nature of the universe is maintained.

This may seem like a game of semantics, but it gets down to the scope of the atonement. In this view, forgiveness is available to all who turn from sin. It is as if the president would offer a blanket pardon for all criminals with the only condition being they ask to be released. A prisoner who refuses to ask to be released will not be released. Additionally, the atonement is viewed in a more communal sense im this view. The church has been pardoned, but one may freely choose to enter into or walk away from this pardon.

Not surprisingly, this view has its share of detractors, mostly from Calvinist/Reformed circles. Some common objections are that this view leads to perfectionism, moralism, or other works-based thinking. Others say that it denies total depravity because it assumes mankind is able to see Christ’s sacrifice and turn from its sin.

5) Moral Influence View of Atonement
This moral influence view is an offspring of the governmental view, to a degree. This view is often referred to as subjective, opposed to objective, because it doesn’t really attempt to answer the question of what of actually happened at the cross, as much as it tries to explain why it happened. In the view, the cross demonstrates Jesus’ self-giving, His complete abandonent to God’s will, and His complete devotion to God for the sake of the world. His death is seen as the completion of the message He spoke during His life on earth. It shows us the self-giving nature of God’s love.

When we are touched by this love, it inspires us to follow in Christ’s steps. By looking at Christ, we will naturally start to act like Him. We will be devoted to God’s plan, and we will serve other self-sacrificially. This view, along with the Christus Victor view, seems to be gaining a bit more prominence. It is not surprising, given the way these perspectives lend themselves to being told in a more narrative style.

6) Christus Victor

Borrowed from the title of Gustaf Aulen’s 1931 book meaning Christ the Victor. In his book Aulen builds a historical case for the “classical” view of Atonement, more commonly know as Ransom Theory. He argues that most of the church misunderstands what the early church fathers believed about Ransom Theory. In Aulens view and definition of Ransom Theory it differs from the common view of Ransom in that Christ was not paying a ransom to the devil but rather rescuing humanity from the bondage of sin and death.

When viewed with this perspective God is no longer indebted to the Devil but rather God is sovereign over everything, including the Devil, and chooses to rescue humanity. As Aulen states it “The work of Christ is first and foremost a victory over the powers which hold mankind in bondage: sin, death, and the devil”

SUMMING UP THE VIEWS

Each of these views fits within the biblical guardrails for explaining the meaning of Jesus death, burial and resurrection, with each explaining a different aspect or ‘word picture’ for the atonement. In reality, none of these is likely to be 100% true in trying to explain the inner workings of God.

To some, the prospect of such acceptance of multiple biblical views may be troubling, and the tendency is to want to stake out a single ‘lane’ (accepted atonement theory) and place the guardrails around it – effectively attempting to add human limits to further narrow an already narrow ‘bridge’. Fortunately, it is as the Apostle Paul tells us:

if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

In Conclusion

One of the greatest persecutors of Christians, Nero Caesar, insisted that people burn incense to him as lord, and take his mark upon them in order to be accepted into Roman society. Too often, Christians – whether of the ODM persuasion or not – tend to grasp onto one specific, systematic explanation of an aspect of God – be it atonement, grace, free will/predestination, etc. – and create their own idol of that theological explanation, insisting that it be accepted as the only way that a “true Christian” can believe.

The means to prevent this behavior, though, is not to suggest an “anything goes” mindset with no boundaries. Rather, we should establish the few clear boundaries that exist within Scripture and be gracious and accepting of those who may not agree with our most closely held theories, but whose own theories still remain within those boundaries. In many cases, like with Atonement theories, it may be that all of the theories explain a different aspect of the whole, even if individually they are holistically deficient.

[NOTE: This article was a group effort, written by Phil Miller, Chris and Chris L]

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009 at 10:44 am and is filed under Chris Rosebrough, Legalism, ODM Responses, Original Articles, Theology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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187 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 10:54 am

Let me quickly add this strongly worded opinion. I completely and most strenuously object to men like McLaren defining the penal view as “cosmic child abuse”. That, my friends, is blasphemy. Even Chris R. has shown resepct for different perspectives in the atonement, but to use such dismissive and repulsive verbiage toward the penal view reveals a breathtaking level of self righteousness and a profound disregard for things sacred.

2   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 11:08 am

completely and most strenuously object to men like McLaren defining the penal view as “cosmic child abuse”.

Actually, I believe that was Steve Chalke, who wrote:

The fact is that the cross isn’t a form of cosmic child abuse—a vengeful father, punishing his son for an offence he has not even committed. Understandably, both people inside and outside of the church have found this twisted version of events morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith. Deeper than that, however, is that such a construct stands in total contradiction to the statement “God is love.” If the cross is a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by his son, then it makes a mockery of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies and refuse to repay evil with evil. The truth is the cross is a symbol of love. It is a demonstration of just how far God as Father and Jesus as his son are prepared to go to prove that love. The cross is a vivid statement of the powerlessness of love.

I heard a bit of audio where he said something similar, though he made the “cosmic child abuse” comment regarding PSA “as some are prone to teach it”.

3   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 11:11 am

I actually wrote a whole post about how this relates to McLaren here.

4   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 11:40 am

I believe I read an interview where McLaren quoted that and found it had some legitimacy. His point was to devalue completely the penal perspective.

5   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 11:52 am

As much as some of you find distasteful when someone demands the penal view, how is it you cannot find equally distasteful when someone dismisses fully the penal view and in fact demeans it in terms that defines it as a false teaching and a substantive misrepresentation of God Himself and the redemptive narrative.

You cannot pounce on Chris R. but find room for McLaren without losing some credibility.

6   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Well, I guess the thing is I’ve never seen him out and out deny it. I guess the part he would have trouble with is the idea that God the Father is the one punishing Jesus, because of all the negative associations and connotations that brings with it.

I’ve known many Christians, and still know many, who have a hard time experiencing the love of the Father because they grew with the impression that He was a demanding legalist who would make sure every sin is accounted for. People live with this fear that if they aren’t perfect, God will stop loving them.

I guess I view the PSA theory a bit like electricity – it is powerful when explained correctly. But when it’s used incorrectly or not applied correctly, it’s dangerous.

7   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 12:13 pm

There are numerous accounts of divine behavior in the Scriptures that are indefensible in our human understandings. If we are to only accept those concepts that are humanly palatable as it pertains to God’s interjections in the affairs of mankind then we make God a man.

God kills children. God wipes out entire cities. God strikes men with leprosy. God directs bears to kill young boys simply because of a prank. Let us not pretend that we have God in our fallen box, and that we can clearly extrapolate His divine purposes in some of His more shocking acts.

To dismiss something because it seems cruel to us is to define God through the prism of our own understandings and not at least attempt to remain fully dependent upon God’s revelation of Himself.

8   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Great points Rick.

9   Ian    
March 23rd, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Rick

I think the point Steve was making in Lost Message of Jesus (which kicked this whole thing off in 2003) is that the way PSA is taught by some people looks like Cosmic Child Abuse – a vengeful father satisfying his wrath upon His child – and he argued that perspective does not line up with the wider portrayal of God in Scripture.

That does not mean that all who hold to PSA believe this, or that PSA itself inherently teaches that, but that some teach it that way.

The context of the book was that if this picture of the atonement is alienating people from the gospel, then perhaps there are other pictures that still fit within scripture that will do the job better (Chalke plumps for Christus Victor).

The Blasphemy is with those who would exclude and sit in judgement, taking the place of God, when they have neither fully understood the position of someone like Steve Chalke, nor have interest in doing so.

10   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Ian – I believe the penal view showcases a divine love for fallen humanity that cannot be understood more profoundly than the divine fulfillment of Abraham’s unfinished sacrifice. Let us not forget that God commanded Abraham to offer his only son, and just because God intervened does not alter the fact the He had commanded it.

And let is also not limit the power and communicative mystery of the Holy Spirit by suggesting we must hide the uncomfortable aspects of the cross when we discover some find it distasteful. Learned men, brilliant men, sophisticated men, powerful men, and men with cultural sensibilities have come like children to Christ sometimes based upon the glorious revelation of such a divine spectacle of a Father giving His own innocent Son for asubstitutionary punishment.

Why did the priestly lamb have to be without blemish? Was it not to foreshadow the innocent being slain for the guilty?? Please, in the midst of sharpening each other’s iron, let us not diminish the horror of God’s redemptive sacrifice by avoiding the obvious and uncomfortable issue of substitutionary punishment.

In a core and substantive way, the substitutionary punishment of God’s own Son is what elevates redemption above just winning a spiritual tug of war. It must be a mystery; it must be beyond human comprehension; it must be above human glory; it must be a profound conundrum; and although it cannot be fully captured by mind or words, it cannot be stripped of the paradox of the Father’s love for His Son juxtaposed upon the Father’s love for sinners.

And the Father allowed and gave His Son to be punished in our place not soley because He loved us, but because the Son that He loved perfectly asked His Father for that cross. We could chew on that theology for eternity and still just scratch the surface, all to His absolute and ultimate glory.

Halleluiah to the Lamb!

11   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Rick,

Amen and Amen!!!

12   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Chris R,

Since we have moved this discussion to this thread, I will ask again for the 4th (or is it the 5th?) time…

Let’s try again…

Do you deny Christus Victor and JUST believe in penal substitution?

IOW’s do you believe Christus Victor or any other view such as the Satisfaction theory to be false doctrine?

iggy

13   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Iggy,

I answered your question.

See comment 63 on the other post.

Also, take some time to listen to the mp3’s I link to in comment 43.

14   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
March 23rd, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Chris L, did you pay the ADMs royalties to use “another Gospel”? They have copyright on that phrase.

15   nc    
March 23rd, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Chris R,

Please.
You’re bringing it to this thread too.

Calm down.

16   Ian    
March 23rd, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Rick

You are confusing a nu,ber of things:

1. Penal Substitutionary Atonement in its purest Anselmian form.

2. Penal Substitutionary Atonement as popularly taught by certain reformed preachers.

3. Substitutionary Atonement.

Number 2 is what Steve is attacking. He argues that this is a distortion of scripture. Number 1 is commonly misunderstood by those who reject 2. Number 3 is what most people defending numbers 1 and 2 are really defending.

You can believe:

that humanity is sinful and cannot be saved by its own works

that Jesus died in our place, a perfect sacrifice for sin

AND yet not accept PENAL substitutionary theory.

17   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Chris R,

Sorry as it was not addressed to me and I missed it…

But IF THAT IS YOUR ANSWER then what is your real beef? As it seems you are arguing with all and seem to agree with all!

No one here has denied Penal Substitution… can your get that? I mean you are arguing with AIR! :lol:
iggy

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Penal Substitution =

Christ was punished (penal) for our (substitution) sins.

I do not understand the differences in your list of three.

“that Jesus died in our place, a perfect sacrifice for sin AND yet not accept PENAL substitutionary theory.”

“died in our place” = substitutionary

“Perfect sacrifice” = appeasement

Appeasement for what? A perfect ( satisfaction) for what? It was a payment, a ransom, a redemption, and a punishment for the wages of sin. How did mankind get into this condition? It was a result – a punishment – for sin.

Something has to satisfy that punishment for the guilty to go free. Pay the punishment, pay the ransom, pay the redemption, and then the sentence will have been satisfied – finished – tetelestai. What is finished??

The punishment has been meeted out in full.

19   Ian    
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:15 pm

PENAL is used as a shorthamd to describe a system where God needs sacrifice to appease wrath, and that the wrath is directed to Jesus ont he cross. Some would see this as more pre-Christian and pagan in concept – that God cannot forgive without sacrifice.

You can believe that God is wrathful, and that the sacrifice satisfies the justice of God, and that therefore He has no need to be wrathful anymore without believing this.

20   andy    
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:25 pm

#15 Chris R was asked a question so replied , hes hardly bringing it to this thread ..

21   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:27 pm

The entire sacrificial system given in the law is entirely based upon a sacrificial appeasement of God. The scapegoat itself is metaphorically specific, and the death angel in Egypt, murdering the firstborn males, only passes over households that can prove they MURDERED a lamb as a substitute.

Tha is not pagan, that is YHWY.

22   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Chris R. – you and I disagree on some things, but you obviously attempt to be Biblically scholarly. I will take this week and I ask you to do the same and both of us post an article revealing what we see is Biblical proof of the penal substitutioanry view.

One caveat – you can project the most strenuous importance of the issue but you cannot in this post suggest it is salvidic and therefore relegate the post to just an attack rather than a substantive teaching tool. OK?

23   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:36 pm

The entire sacrificial system given in the law is entirely based upon a sacrificial appeasement of God. The scapegoat itself is metaphorically specific, and the death angel in Egypt, murdering the firstborn males, only passes over households that can prove they MURDERED a lamb as a substitute.

Tha is not pagan, that is YHWY.

I don’t see where the sacrificial system is necessarily an appeasement. It’s an act of obedience based that God laid out in the covenant.

Even the passover wasn’t really an appeasement – God simply stated that He would spare those who did what he told them to do. I don’t believe He required blood sacrifice to appease some sort of desire for appeasement on His behalf. He desires obedience, not sacrifice.

24   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Chris L, did you pay the ADMs royalties to use “another Gospel”? They have copyright on that phrase.

Brendt,

I was just trying to use language they’d understand (you know, using the context of your audience :)

25   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Rick,

#11–you got some Paul and Luann type amens there. Now I’m suspicious. :)

jerry

26   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 3:42 pm

“God simply stated that He would spare those who did what he told them to do. I don’t believe He required blood sacrifice to appease some sort of desire for appeasement on His behalf.”

Just wow. Without the shedding of blood there is no…never mind.

“He desires obedience, not sacrifice.”

Completely out of context. This refers to a kind of indulgence, i.e. as long as I provide a sacrifice I can do my own thing.

27   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 4:08 pm

22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Well, there are two ways to look at this statement. Is it saying that God needs a blood sacrifice to satisfy some sort of brutal judicial system? I think if that’s the case that is inconsistent with Jesus us to forgive our enemies and bless those who curse us.

But if we back up and look at the context, we get a fuller picture.

19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” [e] 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies.

The blood represented the formalization of the covenant. It was like God notarizing His promise to us. So the forgiveness of sins comes with the formalizing of the covenan – Jesus shedding His blood on the cross.

28   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Rick: You cannot pounce on Chris R. but find room for McLaren without losing some credibility.

RA: I agree. I am unsure as to why certain people — be it Chris R. or Brian McLaren — must go to extremes.

I am still waiting, btw, for Rosebrough to retract:

1. “Penal Substitution is a non-negotiable part of the gospel”; and

2. “Penal Substitution IS the heart of the atonement. To deny that is to deny God’s Word and [to deny that is] to twist the gospel into a false gospel.”

If he doesn’t, he’s basically advancing another Gospel by adding that THEORY to the pure and simple truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

RAbanes

29   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Richard,

I won’t retract those statements because those who deny the Penal Substitution are not denying a theory they are denying what God’s Word actually teaches regarding what Jesus did on the cross. Those who deny Penal Substitution have a different definition of Christ’s work on the cross and as a result believe a false and different gospel in just the same way that a Mormon believes in a false and different Jesus by redefining who Jesus is.

Gal. 1:6   I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

30   Chris P.    
March 23rd, 2009 at 6:14 pm

“Now, besides the obvious fallacy in such thinking (since PSA, as a theory, didn’t exist for the first 1000-1500 years of Christianity), ”

This is the same argument that th rcc uses against the Reformation.

If longevity is a sign of veracity then judaism, hinduism, etc are more valid than your beliefs.

nuff said

31   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 6:16 pm

CR: ….those who deny the Penal Substitution are not denying a theory they are denying what God’s Word actually teaches….Those who deny Penal Substitution have a different definition of Christ’s work on the cross and as a result believe a false and different gospel in just the same way that a Mormon believes in a false and different Jesus…

RA: So be it.

You have become, IMHO, what you so vehemently hate — i.e. an impediment to the glorious Gospel of grace. You have added a condition to the pure and simple Gospel. In your misguided zeal are trampling God’s Word and his message.

I suggest you re-read 1 Cor. 15:1-4 to remind yourself of the simple Gospel that saves. And I pray that you will repent of perverting Paul’s outline of that Gospel — much like the Judaizers of old.

Indeed, Gal 1:6 is applicable here, Chris. But it is applicable to you. How satanically ironic is that?

I suggest you read a few good scholarly volumes on the essentials of the faith (including theological volumes), and how those essentials differ from the non-essentials of the faith.

And FYI, “Penal Substitution” IS INDEED a theory. It is one of several views regarding the atonement, just as the OP rightly outlines. I draw your attention to the following scholars:

THEORIES of the Atonement. . . . The meaning and impact of the atonement are rich and complex. Consequently, various THEORIES of the atonement have arisen. Given the abundance of biblical testimony to the act of the atonement, different theologians choose to emphasize different texts. Their choice of texts reflects their views on other areas of doctrine. . . . [W]e will come to see the incompleteness and inadequacy of each one of them by itself. . . . Each of the THEORIES we have examined seizes upon a significant aspect of his work. While we may have major objections to some of the THEORIES, we recognize that each one possesses a dimension of truth” (Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, pp. 781, 783, 799). “Penal-substitution THEORY of the atonement. See Satisfaction THEORY of the atonement” (Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, p. 1292). “Satisfaction THEORY of the atonement. . . . in relation to other THEORIES” (Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, p. 1295).

“Although the decades that followed the Reformation witnessed the introduction of several additional THEORIES, none was able to compete with the penal THEORY. It became the quasi-orthodox doctrine of the atonement. . . . And it remains perhaps the most widely accepted understanding among evangelicals today” (Stanley Grenz, Theology for the Community of God, p. 449). “Penal THEORY, 449″ (Stanley Grenz, Theology for the Community of God, p. 866).

“It is mainly on the grounds of of Paul’s statements about substitutions. . . . that a penal THEORY of the atonement has been advocated. Whereas there is string modern objection to this THEORY, it cannot be denied that Paul’s language gives some support to the view that Christ suffered what in some sense sinful man should have suffered” (Donald Guthrie, New testament Theology, p. 470). “penal THEORY of the atonement 470″ (Donald Guthrie, New Testament Theology, p. 1060).

I could go on……but why? You are wrong. Penal Substitution IS a theory and is presented as such. I agree that it appears to be the fullest from a theological perspective, the most biblically sound, and the most consistent with related passages dealing with God’s attributes. Nevertheless, it remains a THEORY (see above) and is NOT in any sense a non-negotiable part of the gospel of grace.

To declare otherwise, as you have done, is to trample God’s grace and pervert the simple Gospel, which rests in the wholly in the Good News that Jesus died for our sins on the cross and rose from the dead:

“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

Chris, in all humility, and with a heart filled by concern for you and the direction you are going with this, I plead with you in Christ’s name — turn around and stop going down the road you are walking.

Gretchen has warned you. I have warned you. God is trying to get through to you. Do not shut out his voice. You are now accountable.

peace in him,

Richard Abanes

32   John Hughes    
March 23rd, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Phil: I think if that’s the case that is inconsistent with Jesus us to forgive our enemies and bless those who curse us.

Phil: That is a mis-application and an unsubstantiated transference of a command made to humans to an attribute of God.

Does God ever require something of humans he does not require of Himself? Most certainly and this is a prime example:

Romans 12:19 – Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Hebrews 10:29-31 – How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY ” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Therefore God’s prohibition of certain actions on our part do not **necessarily** translate or contravene a particular attribute of or action of God on His part. Vengence and wrath upon enemies is a prime example. God is both love and justice. This goes to the core of His holiness.

Just because God prohibits us from taking revenge or performing violence on others does not mean He does not reserve the right to do so. Nor does said (threaten) violence based upon His punishment of unrighteousness negate His love, as especially in this case the future threatened violence is completely avoidable.

33   nc    
March 23rd, 2009 at 7:50 pm

God is NOT both love and justice.

God IS love.

And God, as Love, acts justly.

Justice is an expression of God’s Love…not some attribute that requires a balance with Love or is in tension/competition with Love.

I’m deeply suspicious of the call that God, in God’s being, is Justice.

God in God’s being is Love. Again, God’s justice is one of the ways God, in God’s being of Love, makes God known as Love. (phew!)

Holiness is a category that speaks of God’s singular distinctiveness and radical difference from the whole of the created order–that difference being much bigger than just a need to see God as a bigger, perfectly behaved version of human beings. The need to equate holiness with mere moral-ethical perfection is a deep misunderstanding of holiness.

Moral-ethical perfection is an expression of holiness, but not its essential content. HOliness is not another word for “good behavior of a superlatively religious kind”.

34   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Richard,

I stand with John Piper on this one who said, “For if God did not punish His Son in my place, I am not saved from my greatest peril, the wrath of God”

Penal Substituion is not a Theory it is the clear and sound teaching of the Word of God and it tells us what Christ Death for Our Sins means.

Again read Isaiah 53:5 and then try as you might, you cannot deny that the clear text says that the PUNISHMENT that brought us peace was upon Christ.

I choose to believe God’s Word and reject any theologian or apologist who contradicts these clear words.

For every Theologian that you can dig up claiming that PS is just a theory I can dig a theologian that says otherwise. I stand with those theologians whose teaching on the atonement correctly aligns with and God’s Word.

Here are two for you.

http://theocentricview.blogspot.com/2007/06/da-carson-on-penal-substitution.html

http://piercedforourtransgressions.com/content/view/20/36/

35   nc    
March 23rd, 2009 at 7:56 pm

The key here is the word “deny”.

I don’t know why anybody here is going after people for “denying”.

I might have missed a damning comment to the contrary in these long threads, but why is saying that PSA is one way in a non-hierarchical constellation of ways to speak of the atonement a denial?

Can’t we just say that the witness of the Church has been a multi-form way of talking about the atonement that help unpack its far and wide ranging implications?

36   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Penal Substituion is not a Theory it is the clear and sound teaching of the Word of God and it tells us what Christ Death for Our Sins means.

Actually, it is one of several ‘theories’, because each explains a different aspect. While Isaiah 53 may paint one picture, you have Isaiah 51, Jeremiah 31, Hosea 13. Or for that, Jesus’ own words from multiple Gospels:

whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Where the atonement is described as a ransom, where it is Satan who is paying out the punishment, at the allowance of the Father, and Jesus is paying the ransom for Creation.

Or Paul’s teaching of atonement to Timothy:

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.

Again, Jesus’ death is a ransom payment, and his punishment is at the hands of Satan, not God.

Or (possibly) Paul’s words to the Hebrews:

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

So, indeed, PSA is a theory, not a fact – and insisting that it must be treated as irrefutable fact is adding to the Gospel, making it another gospel, indeed…

37   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:13 pm

nuff said

Oh Lord if that was only true!

38   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Nc,

You are VERY correct. The key word is DENY.

William Young, author of The Shack DENIES the Penal Substitutionary Atonement.

This whole discussion was kicked off because of the post regarding Slice’s post regarding William Young.

Make no mistake about it. William Young DENIES Penal Substitution.

http://www.alittleleaven.com/2009/03/william-young-author-of-the-shack-outright-denies-the-penal-substitutionary-atonement.html

39   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Chris,

You have the truth in front of you. Now, you are accountable.

You’re adding to the Gospel. You’re affixing a deeper, more complex, advanced THEORY about the atonement that IS NOT part of the simple-pure Gospel of faith that is to be preached.

STOP acting as if the Gospel is some kind of academic class at Concordia. The Gospel is the cross. It’s Jesus. It’s his death and resurrection.

You pull out your pet verses used to support the Penal Substitution THEORY, at the expense of Rom. 10:9 and 1 Cor. 15:1-4.

1. The GOSPEL is the GOSPEL.

2. The various explanations and theories surrounding the complex metaphysical workings BEHIND the “Gospel” are not the same thing as the Gospel that saves.

You are mixing the two categories, and by doing so, are changing the Gospel. You have inadvertently come to the borderline of heresy.

If you continue your course, you will be a heretic, while professing a Gospel-sounding main message, which is undermined by conditions you are placing on salvation — i.e., you must not deny the penal substitution theory.

RA

40   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Chris L,

I’ve already made it clear that I don’t deny the other aspects or facets of the atonement that are taught by God’s Word. These include ransom, redemption and victory.

But, the heart of the Gospel is Penal Substitution. It is not a theory, it is the aspect / facet of the atonement that is the very heart of the Gospel.

God’s word does not give us the freedom to pick and choose which aspect of the atonement that best appeals to our sensibilities. Instead, all that it teaches that the atonement is, is true. This includes PS.

41   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:36 pm

But, the heart of the Gospel is Penal Substitution.

The heart of the Gospel the Person of Jesus…

42   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Deny is NOT the key word. The key word is BELIEVE.

You can deny the “Penal Substitution” Theory and STILL believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Second Person of the Holy Trinity, died for your sins on the cross, rose again three days later, and that by his shed blood your sins were forgiven, and that it is by grace through faith in him alone that you will be saved.

And you WILL be saved — whichever THEORY of the atonement you embrace or deny. The Gospel is not listed in scripture as PART OF THE GOSPEL that saves. It is an after-conversion THEORY about how the atonement works — and a person can either deny or accept it.

Stop perverting the Gospel message and adding to it.

R. Abanes

43   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Chris, just fyi, the more you say, the worse you make it.

RA

44   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Richard,

God’s word is truth and if I am going to be accused of running to the borderline of heresy because I am affirming and defending the clear teachings of the Word of God (derogatorily called ‘pet verses’) then I would claim that the one claiming I am a heretic is the one who is off.

Heretics are not the ones who defend and proclaim the clear teaching of God’s Word. Heretics are the ones whose teachings differ from and contradict the clear teachings of God’s Word.

45   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Richard,

BTW, I was going to say the same about you.

The more you say, the more you show that you don’t even understand what Christ has done for us on the cross.

46   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Richard,

So if I define the gospel according to one of the modernist Liberal theories of the atonement then I am still saved?

Wrong!

Modernist Liberal “Theories” of the atonement redefine the gospel and by doing so they create a false gospel. Those who believe their false gospels are NOT saved.

That’s the rub. The Gospel is defined by how you define the atonement. Get the atonement wrong and you’ve created a false idolatrous gospel.

47   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Isaiah 53:4. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

I wondered if Chris R noticed who considered Jesus as punished… I see “yet we” meaning that the people who witnessed the Crucifixion saw Jesus as stricken by by, and again that word…”yet” he was pierced for our transgression. I do notice that it was ” Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows” so it say that God punished Jesus but he volunteered to take up out offenses.

Now to me words like “yet” or “but” are contrast words… meaning that man viewed Jesus one way, but God was doing something else.

So again, to use this passage as a proof text for Penal Substitution is a total re-write of the passage itself.

Again, if anything this passage is very weak in making your point… I am still waiting for all the punishment, chastisement and discipline” verses that concern Jesus in the NT…

iggy

48   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Sorry let’s try this again as my keyboard is sticking for some reason…

Isaiah 53:4. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

I wondered if Chris R noticed who considered Jesus as punished… I see “yet we” meaning that the people who witnessed the Crucifixion saw Jesus as stricken by God, and again that word…”yet” he was pierced for our transgression. I do notice that it was ” Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows” so it does not say that God punished Jesus but he volunteered to take up out offenses.

Now to me words like “yet” or “but” are contrast words… meaning that man viewed Jesus one way, but God was doing something else.

So again, to use this passage as a proof text for Penal Substitution is a total re-write of the passage itself.

Again, if anything this passage is very weak in making your point… I am still waiting for all the punishment, chastisement and discipline” verses that concern Jesus in the NT…

iggy

49   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Iggy,

You just rolled your own interpretation of Isaiah 53. Unfortunately, God doesn’t give ‘creativity points’ when it comes to Biblical interpretation.

Do you roll your own theology too??

50   nc    
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Chris R,

I don’t think that anyone here is denying that and so I have to wonder why you keep harping on it.

Young hasn’t been the topic of the running comment fire fight here, despite the OP.

Who cares about Young? He’s nobody to me or most people I know.

On the flip side, your equating the gospel with PSA is deeply problematic too.

51   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Young and his denial of PS IS the original context of this discussion and I’ve never once forgotten that fact.

Out of pure curiosity, since Young outright denies Penal Substitution, what do you make of that?

Is his denial of PS benign or is it wrong and dangerous?

52   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Chris R,

I am taking the text as it is..you are the one adding all the extra stuff to it… I laid down a challenge for you and you seem unwilling to take it up… why? Afraid of what you will find?

Now how do you understand words like “yet” or “but”?

Read it slowly and prayerfully and God may show you what is there…

iggy

53   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Chris,

You wrote:

You are VERY correct. The key word is DENY.

William Young, author of The Shack DENIES the Penal Substitutionary Atonement.

Now, since you are so well versed in what constitutes a saving faith, can you please show me, from the Scriptures of course, where it says: TO deny the Reformation Doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement is to Deny Christ and a Core Cardinal Doctrine of the Gospel is equivalent to Heresy enough to condemn you to hell for all eternity?

I’m not joking. Because the Bible I have says, and I quote, “All those who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

I mean, as long as we are talking about what Scripture clearly, plainly teaches, let’s be fair. That is what Scripture say–in more than one place I might add. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, does it say: In order to be saved you must accept a particular atonement theory. It says: All those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. That is the clear teaching of the Scripture you hallow.

I’m sorry friend, but you are setting your doctrines, your interpretations of Scripture, above the person of Christ who is revealed in those Scriptures, for the sake of winning an argument that doesn’t need to be won. You are so intent on finding fault that you cannot see God’s grace. You are so intent on being right that it pains you to admit that you might just be wrong. You are far too quick to toss out the word heretic.

And even if it is a sin to deny Reformational Penal Substitutionary Atonement, and I am in no way saying it is, Jesus also said there is only one sin that is unforgivable. One.

jerry

54   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Sin + Forgiveness = Salvation

The cross. Simple – Profound. To assign a deeper level of doctrinal understanding as a salvidic necessity is legalism and doctrinal self righteousness. Millions of sinners have been converted throughout the ages and throughout the world who could not read and never understood the gospel and the cross any deeper than forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life (heaven).

Teach the penal view, as do I, but to suggest one cannot be saved if you do not understand it in that context is profoundly legalistic and counter to the doctrine of God’s grace.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

All the rest is blah, blah, blah. Let God grade the salvation tests while we must be responsible for our own souls. It is curious how many lives have been changed by a false gospel simply by the force of a depraved and fallen spirit. There running around by the thousands at Saddleback. ( :roll: )

55   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Let’s back up the passage a bit more… notice who despised Jesus?

Isaiah 53: 3. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

1. So it was man who despised and rejected Jesus.
2. Jesus is who took up our offenses.
3. It was “we” who “considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.”
4. BUT he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
5. According to the previous verses the punishment was done by man… as they were the ones the despised and rejected Jesus.

The conclusion is clearly that Jesus willfully took up our offenses and took the punishment from men so that our sins would be on Him and by doing so, we are healed by his wounds.

Show me where it says clearly God punished Jesus in these verses?

Again, I am just going through the verses and not adding to them… just using basic reading and comprehension skills that most ODM’s seem to lack or hate. :lol:

iggy

56   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:29 pm

NC,

The sentence “Jesus Died for Our Sins” has to be defined in order to determine if a person is proclaiming Biblical orthodoxy.

Jesus is the Who.

The Atonement is the What.

If you define Jesus as anything other than God the Son, second person of the trinity in human flesh then your definition of the sentence “Jesus Died for Our Sins” is heretical.

If you define ‘died for our sins’ as Jesus was merely setting a moral example for us to follow (moral theory of the atonement) then your definition of the atonement is heretical and does convey the Biblical meaning of the Gospel.

The Bible CLEARLY teaches PS along with redemption, ransom and victory. No single aspect covers all the atonement bases and the Bible doesn’t invite us to pick the one that agrees the most with the God we’d like to believe in. However, PS is a non-negotiable aspect of the atonement and I, along with others argue that it is the heart of the atonement.

Those who deny PS are mishandling and denying the clear teaching of God’s Word. Like I’ve said over and again, those that do so more often than not have redefined the gospel so that the offense of the cross is removed and as a result they create false gospels that cannot and do not save anyone.

57   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Chris R,

Man take a chill pill… I read your comments and you are arguing with everyone and you agree with them! You can’t see that?

The Bible CLEARLY teaches PS along with redemption, ransom and victory. No single aspect covers all the atonement bases

Good grief! You just stated what everyone else has been stating all day…

Are you off your meds or something?

58   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:37 pm

CR: Heretics are not the ones who defend and proclaim the clear teaching of God’s Word. Heretics are the ones whose teachings differ from and contradict the clear teachings of God’s Word.

RA: You are missing my point entorely because you are so fixated on defending PS. You are obsessed with the cart and forgetting about the horse.

CR: The more you say, the more you show that you don’t even understand what Christ has done for us on the cross.

RA: I find that rather sad since it only shows you haven’t even bothered to slow down enough to read that I’ve already affirmed PS. Did you miss that? Read #31 again. I’ve also stated repeatedly on the Internet, in this very thread, and in my books exactly what Christ did on the cross for us.

So save the absurd accusations/insults that have no bearing on the subject at hand. The issue is what are the differences between the essentials of the faith and the non-essentials.

You are declaring in your own private world that denying a non-essential understanding of some theory about the metaphysical intricacies and complexities is tantamount to an outright denial of the Gospel that saves, and likened it to the Mormon concept of a false Jesus.

But such a view cannot be substantiated by the passages that clearly outline:

1) the pure & simple Gospel;

2) the steps to salvation.

This has been explained to you in terms plain enough for your mind to grasp. You are easily intelligent enough to understand the point I am making.

That you will not accept it shows a psychological/emotional agenda behind your arguments, which go against scripture and a good many Christian scholars. There’s really only so many ways to tell someone the truth. I see it all the tie when I talk to cultists. Your just proving the point I’ve been making of late.

The ODMs are moving ever closer to “cult” status. How many more conditions, bits of knowledge, subjective ideas, and so-called “biblical” perspectives will you and others add to the Gospel?

CR: So if I define the gospel according to one of the modernist Liberal theories of the atonement then I am still saved?

RA: I’m not sure where that came from. That’s completely out of left field and has nothing to do at all with my points. Sad. Bob & Gretchen didn’t teach you that. I don’t know where you picked it up, but its too bad.

CR: Modernist Liberal “Theories” of the atonement redefine the gospel and by doing so they create a false gospel. Those who believe their false gospels are NOT saved. That’s the rub. The Gospel is defined by how you define the atonement. Get the atonement wrong and you’ve created a false idolatrous gospel.

RA: You’re so all over the place here in your logic leaps and assumptions, I wouldn’t even be able to begin picking it apart in this type of limited forum. This is actually breaking my heart, Chris. Truly.

I defer to my brother Rick Frueh, with whom I have not always agreed, and he will be the first to tell you this, but he says: “Sin + Forgiveness = Salvation.”

And that about says it.

Rick adds: “The cross. Simple – Profound.” I say Amen 1000 times over.

THE GOSPEL IS WHAT SAVES
– not the PS Theory.

THE CROSS is the power of God unto salvation
– not the PS Theory.

THE BLOOD of Jesus cleanses us from all sin — not the PS Theory.

I just can’t say it any clearer.

peace,

RA

59   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 9:49 pm

How do you explain the conversion experiences of sinners who came to Christ via the pupose driven conduit? Why are some of the changed lives at Saddleback no different than at Grace Community Church? How does a lost sinner believe on Jesus, forsake significant sin habits, become evangelistic, teach His Word, and worship Jesus on Sundays at that church, all be being deceived with a false gospel?

I have met commited Lutherans, committed Baptists, committed Calvinists, committed Charismatics, committed Shack lovers, committed Finney lovers, and there is little if any discernable difference. Surely the “true” gospel would have observable manifestations that would separate it from the “false” kind.

Or not.

60   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Richard,

Here is where you and I differ.

When the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, defines the Gospel as “Christ Died FOR our Sins” that phrase is correctly understood in light of PS. In other words, PS is not some non-essential theory of the atonement that we can take or leave. It is at the heart of the very definition of the true gospel.

I can’t make it any clearer.

Again the original context of this discussion is William Young’s denial of PS. Which explains why I keep brining up liberal theories of the atonement. I think Young is closer to Emergents and Post Modern Liberals in his views than Biblical Christianity.

I am fully aware that you believe and affirm PS. The issue is whether or not it is non-essential doctrine. You claim that it is. I deny that it is based upon the clear teaching of scripture. What Christ accomplished on the cross IS NOT a non-essential. Sorry but you’re not going to be able to convince me otherwise because God’s Word is too clear and unambiguous on this issue.

61   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Rick,

The gospel does get preached at Saddleback. Not in every sermon and many times it is obscured by bizarre and bad Bible twisting and bad metaphors. But the gospel is still preached and proclaimed at Saddleback.

God’s Word does what God’s Word Says its gonna do.

I’d say that God grants faith to people at Saddleback despite the bad, shallow teaching and scripture twisting.

62   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 10:15 pm

So to deny PS as essential is to actually deny it. And anyone who denies it cannot be a Christian. Is someone who believes Jesus is the only way to eternal life but says it is a non-essential saved? You cannot have it both ways, if Richard denies that the PS view is part of the gospel he is not a Christian.

I always had my suspicions. :cool:

63   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 10:19 pm

“I’d say that God grants faith to people at Saddleback despite the bad, shallow teaching and scripture twisting.”

So magnanimous of you. I would suggest that God has used Rick Warren to bring more sinners to Christ than anyone in our generation save Billy Graham. I might also say that God grants faith to people at your church despite the bad, harsh teaching and Scripture twisting.

I’m declaring a gracious tie.

64   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 10:26 pm

When the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, defines the Gospel as “Christ Died FOR our Sins” that phrase is correctly understood in light of PS. In other words, PS is not some non-essential theory of the atonement that we can take or leave. It is at the heart of the very definition of the true gospel.

Wow… you have not made a strong argument here and seem to think that saying the same thing over and over will make it true!

I asked you to show me all the verses that connected Jesus with punishment, chastisement, and discipline… and then showed you that your interpretation of Isaiah was very weak at best… and all you do instead of building a stronger argument from the bible itself, is re-state the same weak assertion.

The disciples in Acts then did not preach the Gospel according to you as they preached that Jesus rose from the grave and often left out the dying part… so if it was so essential, then why?

In fact according to Acts 5:42 they preached simply that Jesus was the Christ… contrasting that to what you have stated they preached a false gospel… as they did not include penal substitution.

At best, as I agree with Richard here, you show a very simplistic understanding of what you are talking about and and that seem to lack seem to not truly understand what you think you do.

iggy

65   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 10:27 pm

“I’d say that God grants faith to Chris R. despite the bad, shallow teaching and scripture twisting.”

There, fixed it…

iggy

66   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 10:47 pm

CR: When the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, defines the Gospel as “Christ Died FOR our Sins” that phrase is correctly understood in light of PS.

RA: Really? Ahhh, I see. And you learned this from…….who exactly? The Holy Spirit? Or, perhaps you have a new translation I seem to not have found that reads:

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, understanding this Gospel I preach unto you, verily, in light of the Penal Substitution view of the atonement, that although now remains hidden, will 1500 years come to pass from the lips of my disciples, who shall under the Holy Spirit, reform the church…..” (1 Cor. 15:1-4, CRV).

Can you send me a page from that version? Thanks in advance.

CR: It is at the heart of the very definition of the true gospel.

RA: Please forward that page from the Bible, too. Mine still says the heart of the Gospel is Jesus.

CR: What Christ accomplished on the cross IS NOT a non-essential.

RA: Oh, I AGREE!!!! I agree 100%. And what he accomplished was the deliverance and rescue of sinners through his shed blood, which is the very think Paul alludes to when declaring the Gospel message, the Good News, in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 (non-Chris-Rosebrough Version). And this fits perfectly with the condition of salvation: “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

There is NOTHING here about having to accept Penal Substitution, which is a theory that came 1500 years after Christ ascended.

Yes, I believe, just as you do, that such an explanation is resident within scripture. YES, Chris. We are in 100% agreement. But to force one to embrace that view is not biblical. To be saved a person must embrace Jesus. God the Son, who died for their sins on the cross, and rose again from the dead.

So, I guess we stand at an impasse. All has been said.

RA

67   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 23rd, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Richard,

The impasse is a good place for us to stop for now. It’s very late here in Indiana and I’m not getting any younger.

BTW, NC was correct. I’ve been arguing through the lens of William Young’s denial of PSA. You’ve been arguing from the lens of belief. This is why I think we are at an impasse.

As I see it, Young’s denial of PSA reveals a flawed hermeneutic and a false gospel. His gospel is not false BECAUSE he Denies PSA. Instead, his false Gospel rules out PSA and cuts him off from confessing and affirming the clear teaching of scripture regarding PSA. Plus, Young has more doctrinal problems than just his denial of PSA.

But we’ll have to discuss that some other time.

68   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 23rd, 2009 at 11:46 pm

The only impasse I see is that Chris R seems to have no ability to see that he is arguing with himself… :roll:

69   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 24th, 2009 at 7:45 am

When sections of the church get obsessed with “views” of the atonement, it has then become obvious that the lost don’t clearly see a “view” of the atonement in our lives.

Rick Frueh circa A.D. 2009

70   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 24th, 2009 at 8:40 am

From the heading of the Extreme Theology blog:

“Dedicated to the proclamation and defense of the most extreme religious claim of all time; that Jesus of Nazareth IS the ONE TRUE God in human flesh, He died for the sins of the world, rose victorious from the grave and is coming again to judge both the living and the dead.”

I see substitution (for), I see no penal (punishment). My question would be is that statement a false gospel, an incomplete gospel, or a nebulous gospel? Just curious.

71   wilson    
March 24th, 2009 at 10:16 am

Just curious (too), what then was the scourging and beating and crown of thorns etc.? some might say that is punishment. Jesus simply wasn’t placed on the cross and executed, there was a lot more to it than that, as the Gospel accounts detail.

Also the punishment or consequence of sin is death right? I mean, isn’t there a sense in which the death is the punishment? In terms of Genesis, “you shall surely die”? (or is that merely the “consequence” of their action?)

We as Christians, are no longer under condemnation, but for those who are not written in the Book of Life they will, in a sense, bear their own sins in their own body at the judgement, for which the English translation of the Bible uses words like punishment, torment, destruction and death.

If the punishment is death or if death is the punishment, then isn’t the substitutionary atonement always penal?

On the other hand, the priest sacrificing the lamb for sins does not torture or punish the animal for the wrongdoing, although I guess today some would say that in itself is a kind of torture.

Anyway, just thought I’d put that out there.

72   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 24th, 2009 at 10:35 am

wilson,
That was my point as I was looking at Isaiah 53. There is “punishment”, but in context it is from man… it seems as I read it that God is not punishing Jesus more that Jesus is willingly taking the punishment to suffer at the hands of man to take on our suffering. I see this more in line with the thought that Jesus “learned” obedience as Hebrews talks about.

No doubt there was punishment, yet again, as I asked Chris R to look at, I see no direct connection that Go punished Jesus (no matter what word one uses) in scripture… I asked him to show me all the verses that state Jesus was, punished, chastised or disciplined by God.

Now I do agree that the death of Jesus in part was to fulfill the legalities of the Law, yet to say that is the only thing that happened on the cross seems to miss the over-all picture… and the funny thing is Chris R agrees that other views are acceptable! Yet, if an emergent stated what Chris R said he agreed with… they are crucified over the word, “just”.

It seems really that Chris R wants his cake and eat it to… he wants to point to others who say that PS is part but not the entire view of what happened at the cross as heretics yet hold the view himself!

Most of the ODM’s I have talked to call me a heretic out-right for hold the same view as Chris R… strange huh?

iggy

73   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 24th, 2009 at 10:40 am

Wilson,
As I mentioned on the other thread, I think the issue with PSA is who is doing the punishing. The standard explanation is that the Father was crushing the Son. Now I have no problem saying that the Father allowed the Son to be crushed by the Enemy, but I do have a problem presenting the Cross as God actively killing Jesus.

I think in some ways it gets back to the way some people define God’s sovereignty. Some people assume that sovereignty means that whenever anything happens, it is because God decreed it to happen, and so He is the one essentially doing the action. So as it relates to the Cross, God is the one punishing Jesus. He essentially was the executioner.

Now it’s one thing to say God was the execution if all His wrath was satisfied at the Cross. It’s another to say only some of it was, and that He is still full of wrath towards sin. If He is still wrathful, will He strike me down if I mess up and sin? Do I have to live looking over my shoulder for the other shoe to drop? Will God eventually get so fed up with my failings that He will lash out me, and take His heavenly belt to my sinful behind, as it were? For people who have grown up around fathers prone to lash out in this way, it’s not hard to see why describing God the Father in these terms is a hard pill to swallow.

Fortunately, though, I don’t think this is the picture the Bible presents of God. God is presented as the prodigal Father who is waiting for His children to return. He runs to them while they are still a long way off. He is moved with compassion for us despite our failings. To me, a gospel presentation that leaves out these facts isn’t the gospel at all.

74   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 24th, 2009 at 10:46 am

Phil,

I agree. As I was looking at PS, and thinking of the sacrificial system itself… God did not do the sacrifice… man sacrificed the animals unto God.

I think Hebrews 5-10 has a lot to say about this topic s well as it explains about Jesus being appointed the High Priest by God, and that he learned obedience and was perfected by God, and willingly gave his own life as the perfect sacrifice… allowing himself to be sacrificed once for all by the shedding of his blood… then Jesus sat down as no other sacrifice was needed.

As I re-read Hebrews and look at Isaiah… I still do not see God doing the punishing… I see Jesus allowing himself to be punished by man or man’s sake.

iggy

75   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 24th, 2009 at 10:49 am

Funny… now thanks to Chris R I may not believe in Penal Substitution! :lol:

76   John Hughes    
March 24th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

NC: God is NOT both love and justice.

God IS love.

And God, as Love, acts justly.

NC. You are correct – Justice is not an attribute of God. I meant to say God is both Love and Holy. I agree with the remainder of your comments, also. However, I think the intent of my post is a valid argument.

77   Jose    
March 24th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

can some one explain the difference in God asking abraham to kill his son and God asking jesus?
Can these two stories be a parallel?
sorry for the drive by?

78   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 24th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

The story of Abraham and Isaac is primarily a forehsadowing of God providing His Son for a sacrifice. Whether or not the Father was actually the physical force behind the cross is irrelevant since the Father’s acquiescence is a de facto orchestration of that crucifixion.

The stories are parallel to a large degree.

79   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 7:42 am

The church has sometimes become more concerned with defining the atonement (cross) than in living and communicating its redemption to those who are without. To a large degree I find it spiritually unseemly when we spend inordinate amounts of time and energy hashing over the finer points of verbal theology while refusing to admit that our orthodoxy concerning the cross far outdistances our orthopraxy concerning the same.

The sheer weight of the cross with its selflessness, sacrifice, humility, shame, violent redemption, all intertwined with an unsearchable love that defies any earthly understanding, is many times treated as an equation rather than an indictment to our so called Christian lifestyles. In many ways we have lost what it means to BE a Christian while continuing to preach and write about the theology of redemption.

The world needs to read living epistles that confound the wise and are counter to the rushing cultural stream of aggressive projections of self and self’s opinions. So much of the evangelical community wishes to emulate the spirit of John the Baptist at the exclusion of the spirit of the cross and its central figure.

I firmly believe that the Spirit of Grace is more repulsed than we imagine by some of the verbal projectiles that not only are self elevated to ek cathedra status, but openly question the regenerate status of anyone who sees things somewhat differently concerning finer points of systematic theology.

Where oh where is the hot debate about living out the Person of Christ and the essence of the cross? Where are the conferences from all theological corners that challenge us all in our lifestyles and in the way we interact with others? On one evangelical street corner we obsess about methods of church growth while down the block we gather pastors together to hear how a self respecting Calvinist should be pre-millennial. The word absurd is infinitely inadequate.

While the church continues to form fit within the culture we continue to lose sight of that same cross. How can we “live the cross” in ways that are demonstrable and in profound inward ways that seem to naturally work their way out in our lives? How can we change from thinking about the cross into the cross doing all our thinking? How can a human physical existence manifest a redemption that both substantiates our theology and simultaneously creates a thirsty curiosity from those who have not heard our theology? We are consumed with protecting God’s redemptive honor at the expense of projecting God’s redemptive honor. And so many times, like Samson, we are unaware that we are at our weakest when we still believe we are exhibiting strength.

And those of us who espouse the penal substitutionary view of the cross are unwilling to take a painful inventory of our own lives to see if we mirror that theology or if we are just protecting something we do not live. It is infinitely easier to strongly defend the theology of the cross than it is to be translated by a painful and selfless acquiescence to its Lordship. The “Father forgive them” ingredient is often replaced with a “Father destroy them” mentality and behavior, all while still ardently professing a cross orthodoxy, but that has an observable contradiction in tone, redemption, and profound humility.

The perveyors of doctrinal purity deal in words and doctrinal systems, never worthless in and of themselves, but powerless and meaningless without the lit fuse of a passion to deny one’s self, shine your light upon a hill, and walk in the valley of paradox, filled with boldness wrapped in humility and truth wrapped in grace. And instead of unearthing that spiritual journey, many have been blinded into believing something far more self serving and far less Christlike.

So in a painful revelation, we know much more about atonement theories than we do about atonement living.

80   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
March 25th, 2009 at 9:01 am

our orthodoxy concerning the cross far outdistances our orthopraxy concerning the same.

Rick, I heartily agree with this. Having read some of the comments on this post, I am reminded of

… discussions I’ve been in where people are more concerned with trying to decipher what Jesus wrote on the ground than with His staggering example of both forgiving the woman and the jarring her accusers (John 8)

Something terrible happens when we become heady philosophers.

I believe in the importance of biblical truth very strongly, but oftentimes (as evidenced in this discussion) we end up defending man-made dogma more than the truth of God’s word. All the joy and wonder is stripped out, replaced by a cold substitute of religion.

81   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
March 25th, 2009 at 9:03 am

sorry – that was John, chapter 8 (disregard sunglasses ;) )

82   Michael    
March 25th, 2009 at 10:03 am

I was over at Vintage Faith and Dan Kimball was referencing the video at this web site: http://www.ilovepinatas.com/#/sea/4532834375

If you get a chance, check it out. In light of what we are discussing, it hit me right between the eyes, and reminded me of one of the main reasons that we do the things that we do…

83   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 10:17 am

Michael,

Thanks for sharing that! :SMILE:

84   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 10:35 am

Yep, a good and indicting video.

85   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 10:43 am

I envision the same lighthouse rescue team having a light they call the “cross”. For many years they took that light out into the dark storm and many who were drowning saw it and were brought to shore.

However, in later years, the rescue team brought that light into the lighthouse and began to have discussions about the extent of its light, who can see it, who shines it correctly, and many other details about this light called the “cross”.

As those discussion continued, many people drowned in the dark without that light. Some lamented that fact, while others suggested they were meant to drown anyway.

86   Michael    
March 25th, 2009 at 11:19 am

Lol, Rick,

but also, very sadly true.

87   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 25th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Rick,

That post of yours, #79, was a real blessing in light of the heat I have been taking over indirectly making your exact point in my newest article on the issue.

peace in him,

RA

88   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 25th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Richard & Chris L,

Both of you claim that PSA didn’t exist for the first 1000 – 1500 of the church’s history.

This is patently false and you are both guilty of passing along misinformation.

Here is a list of some of the early church fathers that clearly taught PSA.

JUSTIN MARTYR (c. 100-165), Dialogue with Trypho
EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA (c. 275-339), Proof of the Gospel
HILARY OF POITIERS (c. 300-368), Homily on Psalm 53 (54)
ATHANASIUS (c. 300-373), On the Incarnation
GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS (c. 330-390), The Fourth Theological Oration
AMBROSE OF MILAN (339-397), Flight from the World
JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (c. 350-407), Homilies on Second Corinthians
AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354-430), Against Faustus
CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA (375-444), De adoratione
GELASIUS OF CYZICUS (fifth century), Church History
GREGORY THE GREAT (c. 530-604), Morals on the Book of Job

If you’d like to review what each of these church fathers specifically taught regarding PSA you can do so at

http://piercedforourtransgressions.com/content/category/5/15/52/

Since, ya’ll don’t want to be accused of schlocky and false scholarship I expect that you will retract your inaccurate and false claims regarding this issue and will also consider the implications of this truth upon your theology.

89   Joe    
March 25th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Cyril was a heretic, when he died everyone rejoiced.

90   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 25th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Joe,

That doesn’t change the fact the PSA was not a late development in Church history.

91   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Chris R. has accurately identified the reason why I do not count the theology of “early church fathers” as anymore authoritative as my own. When you use the early church theology as theological weight you leave yourself wide open to alternate views of other “early church fathers”.

What the Holy Spirit shows you is all you should be projecting. Who care what anyone else believes? “What saith the Scriptures” is the standard, and the priesthood of the believer releases us from relying on former or present teachers.

I Jn.2:27 – But the anointing which you have received of Him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you…

92   Joe    
March 25th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Yeah, I know. I’m just saying if you look at your list, most of those people had theology that you would call heretical. I find it interesting that they are being used to support your cause.

93   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Chris,

None of the figures you mention (having read the links) have a full-blown view of PSA (and some could arguably be more in line with Anselm’s satisfaction theory. One of the key points of PSA is that it is atonement for the sins of individuals, not the sins of mankind. (In fact, it is the first of the major streams to make this separation). So, while those you listed may have had proto-PSA views, they did not hold the exclusivist position you suggest.

No retraction is forthcoming, because none is needed.

94   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

He who lives by theological precedent, dies by theological precedent.

95   Nathanael    http://www.borrowedbreath.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Rick,
Your re-wording of “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword” reminds me of a line from a song by the band Hoots and Hellmouth.

“What good are plowshares if we use them as swords?”

96   nc    
March 25th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Having been taught church history by a man who was personally mentored by Jaroslav Pelikan I have to say that I was a bit suspicious….

so I went to just the Athanasius piece…

the highlighted passages do not speak of PSA, but are speaking of “death” in relation to our corruptible nature and how “salvation” for the early church fathers was a matter of restored stability in the material body, not merely the ascent to the sweet by and by.

It is his articulation of the Logos’ creative salvation.

This has a lot to do with the hellenistic ideals about the nature of God and the new creative act of God by the power of the Logos.

Athanasius is making a case for the eternal deity of the Logos that is still in keeping with hellenistic articulations of God’s impassibility and self-contained perfection.

So…

Fail.

97   nc    
March 25th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Cyril was the key voice to speak of the Logos not just merely taking on human form, but taking up all of humanity in himself.

His highlighted phrase is not PSA.

The early church never denied that God said in the garden that people would die if they turned from God.

Our physical deaths do hang over us since the garden.

The Fathers operated under the understanding that if our first parents had not sinned, humans would not experience physical death.

Again, we’re talking about physical corruption and instability as judgement.

Say what you will about the hellenism of the Patristics, but your link ain’t meaning much.

Do you want me to keep going? I probably shouldn’t I have a paper to write.

;)

98   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Chris R:

Since, ya’ll don’t want to be accused of schlocky and false scholarship I expect that you will retract your inaccurate and false claims regarding this issue and will also consider the implications of this truth upon your theology.

NC:

Athanasius is making a case for the eternal deity of the Logos that is still in keeping with hellenistic articulations of God’s impassibility and self-contained perfection.

So…

Fail.

Chris R:

99   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Amigart the II agreed with me in his treatise concerning the dualistic underpinnings of the atonement as understood by 1st century Jews. The Second Council of Ephesus approved his ascertation and it has become a foundational doctrine of Biblical authority.

Any unravelling of this truth would nave to be considered careless, and on some level, doctrinal compromise. :cool:

100   nc    
March 25th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Chris L and Rick:

:)

101   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

“and will also consider the implications of this truth upon your theology.”

And what would be the implications of self righteousness, abrasiveness, and doctrinal hubris, pray tell?

I would expect a retraction forthcoming concerning all those unbiblical manifestations. :cool:

102   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Again, as was stated by many of us, there was the development of the idea of Penal Substitution that cultivated in Calvin in the 16th century.. that does not mean it was never talked about… yet it was not developed.

Now, the thing is though in context in the bible in which Paul and others are addressing the one they are writing to… they most likely were not talking about PS as it is now known… in fact much of their writing seems to be sort of distorted by PS if you understand the concepts that were in existance. Paul wrote of substitution… yet it was in light of Jewish or Roman legalities.

Both Roman and Jewish thought on the legalities of the Law was that it was to be “satisfied”… and with Rome not always justly… The closest idea of “substitution” in Roman law was that if one wanted to not serve in the military they could have an heir serve in their place.

Yet that does not fit the Penal Substitutionary idea.

OT sacrifices were not “penal substitutes” but a covering as they did not take away sin… only covered it for a time… so the lamb slaughtered was not a substitute but a reminder… which to me is interesting in the light of Jesus on the Cross… the God/man who was slaughtered as a reminder of our sin… “do this in remembrance of me”.

I see that though penal substitution is not wrong, it is by far not the best and can distort what did go on at the Cross… it is taking western legal ideals and imposing them on the context. It is forcing our own cultural ideas on cultures that did not have these ideas as we know them.

iggy

103   Bo Diaz    
March 25th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

In this thread Chris R has unwittingly given us a glimpse of the core of ADMs. Notice he defines everything in terms of whether or not you did it right. In other words, the core of the religion of the ADMs is peitism. The scriptures are just another way to judge whether or not someone has lived up to be “good enough”. And so misinformation or misinterpretation (note, this is making of a mistake not maliciously or negligently spreading untruths) primarily becomes sin in need of repentance and and confession, rather than life changing and shaping through the work of the Holy Spirit (after all, how could the Holy Spirit have a part in sin?).

I really can’t imagine the amount of arrogance, delusion, and work it takes to pin your entire salvation on your ability to work through the scriptures exactly perfectly. It also turns the scriptures from life and freedom into burden.

104   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

“I really can’t imagine the amount of arrogance, delusion, and work it takes to pin your entire salvation on your ability to work through the scriptures exactly perfectly. It also turns the scriptures from life and freedom into burden.”

I wish I had said that. :cool:

105   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 25th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

IN RESPONSE TO CHRIS’ ERROR about the Early Church Fathers, as posted at The Heresy Hunter Hunters:

________BEGIN

CR: Both of you claim that PSA didn’t exist for the first 1000 – 1500 of the church’s history. This is patently false and you are both guilty of passing along misinformation.

RA: Oh, really? Let’s see who’s guilty of what.

What I’ve stated is that NONE of the Early Church Fathers embraced the view as we now see it being taught (key words here, Chris). The Penal Substitution Theory/View as we now see it being taught (note the qualifiers) is a Reformation/Post-Reformation dogma.

(Irenaeus, for example, actually held to the “Ransom to Satan” view developed by Origen, rather than the Penal-Substitution view. Are you prepared to say Iranaeus was not preaching the full Gospel, but that he was a heretic, or that he was preaching a false gospel?).
___________________
CR: Here is the list of Church fathers that taught Penal Substitution, the years that they lived and the books in which they teach and promote Penal Substitution.

RA: With all due respect, you need to take your church history classes over.

The early church fathers held to a “Substitutionary Atonement” view of sorts, which advanced the idea that Christ SUFFERED for us–along with the general thought that his suffering was a kind of ransom to Satan. The cross was a trap. Christ was the bait, his deity was the fish hook. And the victim who swallowed the bait and got tricked was Satan.

The Penal-Substitutionary Theory/View of the atonement we have today, which originated much later (i.e., after Anselm), taught that Christ was PUNISHED for us through the suffering that he endured. That’s something entirely different than what the earliest church believed. Even Anselm’s view went through development to get us where we now are:

“Anselm of Canterbury made the FIRST attempt at a harmonious and consistent representation of the doctrine of atonement” (Louis Berkhof [LUTHERAN], The History of Christian Doctrines, p. 171).

So, no Chris, you are wrong. YOu are the one passing misinformation (surprise, surprise). The predominant view of the Early Church Fathers was the “Ransom to Satan View.” I quote one of your own LUTHERAN scholar/ theologian:

“If we were to name ANY theories that are characteristic of the Greek patristic period, we would point to what Mackintosh calls ‘the great exoteric doctrine of atonement in the Greek Church,’ the doctine of ransom paid to the devil; and to what he styles ‘the esoteric theory of recapitulatio.’ (Louis Berkhof [LUTHERAN], The History of Christian Doctrines, p. 167).

I could produce more, but tbh, this subject is now beginning to tire me. So go somewhere else now and argue with Louis Berkof. Oh, what the heck….just one more:

“Theories of the Early Church. . . .THE RANSOM-TO-SATAN THEORY. . . . THE RECAPITULATION THEORY….” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, pp. 384-385).

Hmmmm, nope, no “Penal Substitution Theory” mentioned here in the Early Church.

Good day,

RAbanes

106   Joe    
March 25th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

This post isn’t about Cyril but please indulge me. Theodoret wrote a letter to Domnus of Antioch upon the death of Cyril:

At last and with difficulty the villian is gone. The good and gentle pass away all too soon; the bad prolong their life for years.

This Wretch, however, has not been dismissed by the ruler of our souls like other men, that he may posess for longer times the things that seem to be full of joy. Knowing that the fellow’s (Cyril) malice has been daily growing and doing harm to the body of church, the Lord has lopped him off like a plague and taken away the reproach of Israel. His survivor’s are indeed delighted at his departure.

It goes on for quite a lot more. Good book.

Just for fun, he also had some issues with whether or not Christ was two or one nature both before and after his incarnation.

Now, I originally brought up this point not to disparage Cyril but to point out the irony that Chris R came here and slammed down his proof case. Many of the people he listed, had they lived today and held the same beliefs they had when the did live would be condemned by both Chris R and his colleagues as heretics.
Of course, Cyril engendered the same types of feelings that many of the ADM’s do so I can see the kindred spirit feelings going on.

107   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

“Just for fun, he also had some issues with whether or not Christ was two or one nature both before and after his incarnation.”

Me too.

108   Joe    
March 25th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

What’s really funny is that our **cough** **cough** friends **cough** over at ??N (I refuse to give them the C) blog must be having some slow times. Think about how many posts they’ve put up that mysteriously deal with showing the world the error of the ways of those who blog here. Probably just a coincidence, I’m sure.

109   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 25th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

That blog, like Lord Voldemort, is the Blog That Must Nit Be Named…..LoL.

RA

110   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

#108 – yep. I noticed that. Last time I suggested a discussion of the two natures of Christ Ingrid put down the National Enquirer and posted about that “heresy”.

May I suggest that hatred, bitterness, and mocking is orthopraxic heresy. We need a new look at the different strains of heresy, I call it “A Generous Heresy”. :)

111   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

My head is exploding once more. How can the same blog post Phil Johnson’s message on language (a la Mark Driscoll) and then post a conference with Mark Driscoll preaching along side of John Piper?

Where is the GBA when you need it?? :lol:

112   nc    
March 25th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Bo,

I noticed that too…

this obsession with words like “you’re guilty” to characterize what could be simply a mistake. All the highminded finger pointing. Casting everything as some zero-sum game of win-lose, right-wrong, evil-good.

Joe,

Great points too. Those Antiochene guys really hated the guys from Alexandria. Cyril “won” at the council of Ephesus that marginalized doctrinal views primarily held by the Antioch guys. Part of the way he won was to bring more Egyptian monks to beat up and shout down his opponents at council.

The church was ugly from the start.

Glad to see the ODM’s are trying to keep that lovely tradition alive.

113   Joe    
March 25th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

NC,
When we were studying Cyril’s tactics, I was struck with how much his tactics were just like a certain self titled pastor/teacher we know…

114   Joe    
March 25th, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Even writing styles were the same…

115   nc    
March 25th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Joe,

true, true, true, my brother.

116   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 25th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Moral of the story: Be careful how you use theologians as your evidence, most were all over the map on some things.

BTW – Every self respecting Arminian should be amillenial. :lol:

117   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
March 26th, 2009 at 8:09 am

“You can deny the “Penal Substitution” Theory and STILL believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Second Person of the Holy Trinity”

Boy oh boy, how reprobate am I, not following PSA AND believing Swdenborg Oneness?

118   nc    
March 26th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Just wondering where Chris R ran off to…

Probably taking a cruise on his pirate ship.

119   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 26th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Last I saw of Chris, he showed up to make his case against me at The Heresy Hunter Hunters, where I responded to him with basically the same thing he said over here……then, he disappeared.

RA

120   Joe    
March 27th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

If you’re research doesn’t exactly muster up to what would be considered “scholarly level” on the position you’re trying to hold, what do you do?
what
do
you
do?
Oh, well, if you own the radio station, you just do an episode giving an answer for the hope found in you, repeating your information. If you say it enough times, maybe it’ll end up being true.

121   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 27th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Joe,

Oh my. I have no words……that is just plain, old, sad…..

RA

122   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 27th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Ah, yes, Chris R puts himself in good company.

“the principle— which is quite true in itself — that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily,”

So, if he can just repeat his lie often enough…

123   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 27th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Chris R seems to have the affliction that other ODM’s have…

Don’t confuse me with facts as I have my theology… and anything before the 16th is suspect unless it backs ME and MY theology…

Again, Truth is the casualty in the Truth War.

iggy

124   nc    
March 27th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Yikes. Goebbels.

125   nc    
March 27th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Talk about passive aggressive. Chris R posts his schlockey link, gets a little bit of a rebuttle and he runs off and does a “radio show” tantrum to his listenership–what there is of it.

I wonder if he’s bucking for a spot on VCY America…

;)

He’d fit right in.

All you need is a microphone, a bone to pick and a “calling” to piss and moan about it.

Voila! Radio ministry!

126   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
March 27th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

How long is that episode? Are all of them that long?

127   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 28th, 2009 at 12:55 am

Sorry I couldn’t stick around to watch ya’ll make fools of yourselves as you invent reasons to ignore sound scholarship regarding Penal Substitution in the writings of the early Church Fathers. But I had some very important meetings over the last two days with Jim Jones, Sun Myung Moon, Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler. We were planning our ultimate kool-aid solution.

Jeremiah 5:21

128   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 1:05 am

Chris R,

Did you read comment #102? I mean you are so far out in left field instead of catch a fly ball you are trying to get a hot-dog from an ice-cream truck!

I think you missed the sound scholarship as you tried to rewrite Christian history to your own theological view….

iggy

129   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 1:16 am

Sorry I couldn’t stick around to watch ya’ll make fools of yourselves as you invent reasons to ignore sound scholarship regarding Penal Substitution in the writings of the early Church Fathers.

No need to make up anything. The crock you’re trying to sell pretty much speaks for the vacuousness of the untenable position you’ve staked out…

130   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 1:29 am

(Imagining SNL’s glory days:)

Paul Baldwin (Mike Myers): okay, okay, talk amongst yourselves, let me give you a topic, Pirate Christian Radio, it’s neither Pirate, nor Christian, nor Radio

131   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 7:02 am

Sound scholarship. There’s the problem in two words. Much of the discernment world hang their entire Christian experience on scholarship, and of course the adjective “sound” represents pride, and they seem very lacking in grace, humility, compassion, and genuine love for saint and sinner.

Representing Christ, and living His humble life, IS sound scholarship manifested. Our Lord never called us to be Bible scientists, dissecting every jot and tittle in your search to find a greater detail to your systematic theology with which to challenge and debate all naysayers both in the church and without.

Read the words and teachings of Jesus and if you are without predjudice you will find His teachings were overwhelmingly orthopraxic, and even His teachings on theology were usually tethered to a calling to manifest those truths through a living prism of humble grace and love. This notion that just believing and telling a certain theological truth is God’s love is misguided at best and self righteous at worst.

We see Jesus forgiving the woman caught in adultery when there seemed to be no repentance. We see Jesus eating with the worst of sinners without any preconditions about their lifestyles. We see Jesus choose twelve flawed men to follow and assist Him, including choosing His own betrayer to whom He showed the same love and respect that He showed the rest. The entire earthly life of Jesus of Nazareth was at odds with the spirit of this world which had been adopted by the Jewish religious hierarchy as well.

And here we are today caught in the same spiritual paradox that consumed so many Pharisees of old. There is something very wrong and self serving when we use the one instance where Jesus showed anger as the template and reference for the tone of our ministries.

Those believers show show sound scholarship are those who labor in war torn Angola. They are those who put their lives at risk and minister to the earthly and spiritual needs of South African AIDs sufferers. These “scholars” share the love of Christ in Iraq while knowing they could be murdered any night or day. These believers teach sound scholarship more with their actions than with their lips and they believe spreading the gospel is defending it.

Sitting around a table or on a church platform and dispensing your “sound scholarship” is a caricature of Christianity and disembowls the power of the gospel itself. Truth becomes a museum spectacle and the scholars are doctrinal taxidermists who hang dead, stuffed truths in their books and writings and preachings and think they do God a service. And when some other believers begin a movement to elevate the life and works of Jesus, these Pharisees can see no benefit in any of their assertations since some of their theology is suspect.

There is no attitude that says, “I cannot agree with some of their theology, but their focus on living a more outwardly expressive life that ministers to the world is indicting and appealing”. No, that might appear weak and might give credibility and respect to someone who is much more easily a target than a source.

And so called “Christian” conferences are reduced to reinforcing the choir rather than uncomfortable challenges that invade their own pastures. Most of us who are of the free will bent are not enamored with gathering together to revel in our free willism, and yet much of the Calvinist camp in all its forms makes it clear on their blog home page and their messaages and their books that their theological perspective is a brand name complete with many different designer lines of doctrinal clothing.

It’s like standing on the deck of a ship and watching people drown but being consumed with discussing the engineering of the ship’s life boats still hanging empty along its side. No hungry man is ever fed by people agruing over the kind of sandwhich he needs. No thirsty man is ever quenched by listening to the mineral makeup of the water. No naked man was ever clothed by tailors at odds about whether cotton or wool should be used to make a coat. And no sick man was ever cured by listening to discussions on the various drugs that should be used.

And now we come to the gospel. The plain and good news of the gospel, profound in its simplicity and glorious in its universal application. But not content to preach it, we now must examine it and dissect it and hang stipulations upon it so that the 10 year old little South African girl will not be misled about the wrong theory of atonement. I suggest that many if not most born again believers throughout the ages were never consversant with the theories of atonement, and many if not most were fuzzy in the mystery that is the penal view.

But doctrinal nuances have in some quarters been elevated to religious relic status, even suggesting that without that view people are not saved. Is God such an academic that he demands sound scholarship before he accepts a sinner’s plea of faith that rests upon the Christ of God? Is the heroin addict who hears the simple gospel in the Bowery Mission and begs Christ to save him, is he refused by Christ because if we questioned him his understanding of theology would be significantly lacking and possibly unorthodox? Have we taken Christ and His gospel and created a form of doctrinal magistarium which sits in sifting judgment to all who have a different perspective, all except each other?

Most of the world suffers greatly, physically and spiritually, and they no nothing of our self gratifying doctrinal squabbles. What does God think about sinners who are made whole completely by His grace and then package that same grace with the demands of doctrinal law at the smallest level? I think He echoes the words of Shakespere,

“What a piece of work is a man…”

132   Bo Diaz    
March 28th, 2009 at 7:54 am

Chris R has spoken ex cathedra, there is no reason to question or comment further.

133   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
March 28th, 2009 at 9:45 am

#127

Titus 3:4-8

Grace. Yep.
Mercy. Yep.
Kindness. Yep.
Love. Yep.
Rebirth. Yep.
Renewal. Yep.
Justified. Yep.
Trust. Yep.
Holy Spirit. Yep.
Jesus Christ. Yep.
Washing. Yep.
Hope. Yep.

Penal substitution? Nope.

Wonder what Paul was thinking that he should leave out such an important doctrine in the only letter he wrote to Titus? What about those poor Cretans?

Worse than that, consider chapter 2 where Paul says the content of ’sound doctrine’ is ‘older men…be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and endurance.’ Etc.

It seems like you are staking your inheritance on a doctrine and not a person.

134   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 28th, 2009 at 10:40 am

CR: Sorry I couldn’t stick around to watch ya’ll make fools of yourselves as you invent reasons to ignore sound scholarship regarding Penal Substitution in the writings of the early Church Fathers.

RA: Sound Scholarship, for those who missed it, equals any snippets from some scholar/theologian that can be manipulated and/or used in isolation from any other scholar/theologian statements that might throw more light on the original remarks cited as the alleged “sound scholarship.”
__________

RA: Yes. Fools like Louis Berkhof.

LOUIS BERKHOF: “Theories of the Early Church. . . .THE RANSOM-TO-SATAN THEORY. . . . THE RECAPITULATION THEORY….” (Systematic Theology, pp. 384-385). “Anselm of Canterbury made the FIRST attempt at a harmonious and consistent representation of the doctrine of atonement” (The History of Christian Doctrines, p. 171).

LOUIS BERKHOF: “If we were to name ANY theories that are characteristic of the Greek patristic period, we would point to what Mackintosh calls ‘the great exoteric doctrine of atonement in the Greek Church,’ the doctrine of ransom paid to the devil; and to what he styles ‘the esoteric theory of recapitulatio.’ (The History of Christian Doctrines, p. 167).

RA: Thank you, Louis. We appreciate your scholarly knowledge and wisdom, although some here would say that you are a fool and refuse for some reason to even acknowledge what you’ve stated. But thank you for stoppping by.
________
CR: We were planning our ultimate kool-aid solution.

RA: Who needs Kool-Aid?? A deep-seated emotional/psychological agenda mixed with a few doses of arrogance/pride, a dash of unresolved issues about self-worth, and/or some other version of subjective inner turmoil will do just fine.
________
IGGY: Did you read comment #102?

RA: Oh, he read it….sort of.

- Mormons also read statements about Joseph Smith being an occult glass-looker who sought buried treasure with a peep stone.

- JWs read their organization’s list of false prophecies, beginning with 1874.

- Followers of Eckhart Tolle read about how he completely obliterates the context/meaning of the various Bible verses he quotes.

Get the point?

In situations like this, Iggy, truth, reason, careful thought, clarity of logic, and a willingness to tolerate another view, even based on painfully clear facts, is not an option because to do otherwise would rock a VERY large boat that contains a LOT of issues. Life itself would become unstable on many levels.

RA
(note: I am not stating that CR is a cultist EXACTLY like any Mormon, JW, or Tolle-ite, but rather, expressing my personal opinion — guaranteed to me by America’s Freedom of Speech — about a similarity in thought processes that seem to exist within many different kinds of people, including CR).

135   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 11:13 am

On another blog there seemed to be a disdain for what they called “goats”. I contended that we are called to reach goats, and that I used to be a goat. I was surprised to find that the reformed crowd does not conisder the as yet unregenerate as goats, they refer to them as sheep waiting to be revealed who were never goats.

Think of the implications of that view and how it frees you to castigate and mock goats. This entire view of sinners in a cultural and moral way is antithetical to the gospel of redemption. It suggests a kind of preference for some sin over others as it applies to those without.

I like the lost respectable business man down the street much better than I can like the gay couple a few blocks down. That is not the heart of God or His cross.

136   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 28th, 2009 at 11:19 am

I hear they eat goats in Morocco. And the delicacy is the eye balls. Yuuummmy.

RA

137   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 28th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

#135
We are supposed to reach ‘goats’ if that is to mean the unregenerate, Rick.

But we are not supposed to build the church around them and their opinion. The church is to build up the sheep, equip the sheep, to bring glory to God.

When the goats show up, they are to feel completely uncomfortable, drawing them to repentance or to never come back.

138   Bo Diaz    
March 28th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

When the goats show up, they are to feel completely uncomfortable, drawing them to repentance or to never come back.

Really? Is there any Biblical citation for that at all? Or is this another one of those things like “unregenerate” or “goat herders” where entire theologies spring up around a word that is no where in scripture.

139   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 28th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

#138

1 Corinthians 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, o falling on his face, he will worship God and p declare that God is really among you.

140   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

“When the goats show up, they are to feel completely uncomfortable, drawing them to repentance or to never come back.”

Could there possibly be a more callous and antiseptic view of the church? Even Paul instucted the church at Corinth not to offend unbelievers that may show up at gatherings. So when those of us who have unsaved relatives, goats if you will, get the news that one of them will be attending a church service this Sunday we can pray that they will either repent or NEVER COME BACK.

That is not the Christianty of which I am a part by God’s grace.

141   Bo Diaz    
March 28th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

pastorboy,
That says nothing of deliberately making them uncomfortable. In fact there’s an “if” there, which is an indication that there may be unbelievers attending indefinitely.

You’ve added to the scriptures, inserting your own philosophy into it.

I’m asking for scripture in which an unbeliever is deliberately made to feel uncomfortable so that he never comes back.

142   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

“1 Corinthians 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, o falling on his face, he will worship God and p declare that God is really among you.”

You have missed the spirit and context of that verse. When was the last time everyone in your church prophesied? Or an unbeliever fell on his face and worshiped God because everyone was prophesying?

The same people who lament about churches contouring their services toward unbelievers have no such conviction about contructing their services so the non-elect never come back.

I am not a goat herder, I am a goat lover…just like my Savior.

143   Bo Diaz    
March 28th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Hmm, guess Rick answered for me. Oh well, the dangers of not reading ahead.

144   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 28th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Dear Pastorboy,

I wish I could be as confident about anything as you are about everything.
________
PB: we are not supposed to build the church around them and their opinion. The church is to build up the sheep, equip the sheep, to bring glory to God.

RA: pastorboy might be one of those who are of the opinion that we’re not even supposed to bring unbelievers to church, let alone to ANYTHING……horror of horrors…to make them feel loved, comfortable in a communal way, safe, respected, and honored as people in their own right who are creations of God.
_______
PB: When the goats show up, they are to feel completely uncomfortable, drawing them to repentance or to never come back.

RA: Well, that’s nowhere in the Bible. NOWHERE. A one shot chance if they happen to wander in — either they’ll get it right that one time, or they should feel so $!@%!$ miserable lousy about everything, they never come back.

God forbid, they might ever want to take some time to better understand things or ask questions. Brilliant. Of all the views of church I’ve heard, that’s got to be the most counter-productive, unbiblical, cold-hearted view ever. And it’s also very, very sad.

RA

145   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Just when I think I could not disdain Calvinism anymore than I do, someone opens my heart to a deeper level of disdain.

The story continues…

146   Bo Diaz    
March 28th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

It always amazes me how much extraBiblical theology ADMs rely on to make up the lion’s share of their orthopraxy. Sure they’re not deifying Mary, but they sure are busy formulating the very structure of the church based on their self-generated doctrines found no where in scripture.

Its a sad thing when a term like “goat herders” becomes more defining of their orthoproxy than something like “love your neighbors”.

147   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 28th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

“Love your neighbors”?

“Treat others as you would have them treat you”?

“clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness”?

Huh? What? How dare you spread such strange heretical things. I’ve never heard of these apostate notions. The best “sound scholarship regarding church structure and tone” shows you’re a fool. Repent! :-)

RA

148   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

A boy of 12 becomes a believer in Jesus Christ. During his teenage years he has his struggles, and then one Sunday morning at age 17 he feels the unmistakable call of God’s Spirit to become a preacher of the gospel.

He enters Bible school and energetically begins his journey. In his junior year, he meets his life’s partner and they both set their faces like a flint to serve the Risen Christ and reach a lost world.

They pray, they struggle financially, they have two wonderful children, they become youth miniters, and at age 30 he is called to his first pastorate. He and his wife love the people and the people love them.

Over the next five years they see souls come to Christ, marriages healed, young people learn to serve Jesus, and the church becomes deeper spiritually. However they use some methods that others might disagree with in an effort to reach out to the lost.

And as they, through sweat, tears, and prayers, shepherd their flock with God’s help, some 2 bit judges in other parts of the world look down their all knowing noses and carelessly refer to this precious couple as “goat herders”. It is hubris and self righteousness like that which is infinitely more at odds with Christ than any seeker sensitive church.

149   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Wow PB,

You seem to miss the point of the separation of the sheep and goats altogether.

Goats think they are saved, but are the religious leaders that deem themselves worthy by THEIR works… they are unsaved only because they rejected the Messiah…

Unsaved people may be religious, but most often are not goats, but lost sheep… who are being sought by the Chief Shepherd.

I am no longer amazed how you are ablt to twist scripture to fit your own weird theological view!

iggy

150   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
March 28th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Mat 13:28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’
Mat 13:29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Of course it’s weeds here and not goats….mebbe that’s the difference, eh?

151   Bo Diaz    
March 28th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

As much as ADMs like to focus on goats, the piece of scripture being used clearly has Jesus as the only one who knows for sure, and He doesn’t separate them until judgment day.

For claiming sola scriptura so much ADMs sure don’t read much of it.

152   Joe    
March 28th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

#151. It kind of makes me smell goats when I’m around them….

153   nc    
March 28th, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Actually, the whole framing of sheep and goats in this conversation is unbiblical.

The presumption of the sheep/goats narrative is that they are already in the Church and indiscernable to us and possibly even themselves. Remember? They’re surprised…

Same thing with wheat and tares. They aren’t able to be distinguished until the end.

To name people as Goats is the eschatological province of God at the end of time.

Looks like Chris P has some job competition again…or maybe the Godhead is expanding in membership.

All that being said…I really like the adding to Scripture about people only get “one shot” if they happen to come to church.

Adding to the Gospel, adding to the Scripture, it’s all par for the course.

Your own standards condemn you…

154   nc    
March 28th, 2009 at 9:54 pm

I’d love to see Chris R actually come back here and walk through how his schlockey research actually demonstrates his assertions.

Oh, that’s right…he can’t.

155   Bo Diaz    
March 28th, 2009 at 10:25 pm

I’d love to see Chris R actually come back here and walk through how his schlockey research actually demonstrates his assertions.

Oh, that’s right…he can’t.

Its what makes his internet radio show so perfect for him…. no challenges at all. Just perfect silence on which to put unsupported assertions. Kind of like his own website in which he censors commenters.

156   nc    
March 28th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

can you say “echo chamber”?

157   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2009 at 7:02 am

Actually, nc, those goats have NO shot, according to some. This is the same philosophy that says don’t feed hungry goats either. The “never come back” quip is the unspoken, and now openly expressed, attitude of believers who are in love with doctrine and no friend of sinners. This latest offering from PB lifted the veil and let everyone see the heartlessness of reformed theology and most discernment “ministries”.

Peruse the intertnet and read the losts, especially on the Calvinist/reformed blogs and it is mostly about their doctrine and themselves. Very little, is any, posts about compassion toward sinners because since God has shown an extremely limited amount of compassion so they are comfortable in emulating their divine caricature.

PB did not say that Sunday mornings should be for believers and if unbelievers come hopefully they will hear and respond to the gospel, that would have been acceptable. But he gave the “one and done” method of evangelism which is a direct result of a distorted theology.

We are supposed to be salt and light, not people who repel lost sinners. Sinners loved CHrist and He loved them. I remain more and more convinced, and if you assess it in these terms, that reformed theology is the enemy of the gospel.

158   nc    
March 29th, 2009 at 8:59 am

You nailed it, Rick.

And these people go around pointing fingers about “making God in our own image”…

159   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2009 at 9:09 am

And of course, nc, with our comments here, we continue to reveal that we are most definitely a piece of crap, provable by Calvin’s Institutes which are to Calvinists as Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is to Christian Scientists or the Book of Mormon is to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The concept of Sola Scriptura remains a hollow straw man when in practice “There is only one God and Calvin is His prophet”.

160   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 29th, 2009 at 10:13 am

Or, another variant….. “There is only one God and Luther is His prophet”.

161   nc    
March 29th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

159:

I’ve always said that the ODM construal of God sounds more Islamic than Christian at times.

162   nc    
March 29th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

There is only one God and MacArthur is his prophet.

163   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 29th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

So we are weed growers?

What gardner focuses on the weeds to grow them and nurture them?

No, I live in a farming community. Millions of dollars are spent each year, countless research is done all to strengthen the crops and destroy the weeds.

An imperfect analogy, but one none the less. We certainly should spend much more time growing the fruit, building it up, and protecting it from the weeds than we should be concerned about the needs of the weeds and how we can best serve them.

The same with the Goats. Rick, I can do a full exegesis on that passage for you, but suffice it to say it is about preaching the Word of God in this day; to prophesy means to preach the truth of God. I have seen it happen and I know you have also. When the Word of God is preached without apology, people are saved, they are born again, they are brought under conviction, they are sanctified, built up, all to the glory of God.

And those not in the body of Christ will either be brought under conviction by the preaching of the word, and fall down and realize that the Lord is in this place, or they will come under the conviction of the word and may never return again, because of the hardness of the heart.

But of course, there are plenty of seeker friendly churches out there where they have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof, where the preaching tickles the ears, and where there is no conviction, only approval couched in terms like ‘love’ and ‘grace’

My friends, God’s grace is transformational. It changes us, makes us different. God’s love is free to all, but has the cost of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist came to make the way straight for the Lord, for the kingdom of God was at hand. His message was repent. This is how we make the path strait; through the preaching of the Word which brings about repentance.

You people have it flipped; You fear man more than you fear God. Your concern is about man’s sensibilities more than God’s. Abanes, your words hold no credence. Neither do Bo’s. I respect Rick, for the most part he can see more than one side of an issue. You guys, however, care more about man’s sensitivities than God’s decrees.

The purpose driven and seeker sensitive model, to go back to the garden, weakens the plants to the benefit of the weeds. They prefer the goat and the goat’s opinion over the needs of the sheep to the detriment of the sheep. And the sheep will be eaten by wolves, for they have not the under-shepherds concern. The preaching of the Word destroys the pretenses set up by mankind and loved by the itching ears.

#157

Rick, perhaps you didn’t understand, but we are not in the business as a church to cater to the goats or grow the weeds.
The weeds will show up, as will the goats. We sometimes will not be able to tell them apart. We should preach the word uncompromisingly. We should pray that they will be converted as we prophesy. But we should not under any circumstances make our services for the unregenerate. They are to be to proclaim and declare the glory of God. They are to build up and equip the saints as a by product. And they are to make the unregenerate say “God is here” and hopefully bring them to Christ.

164   nc    
March 29th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Talk about conflating things.

Sheep and Goats is about the eschaton. When the terms are used outside of God’s declaration of who is a sheep and a goat it’s arrogating to the user a determination that is God’s.

It’s not about if we’re preaching the Word. That isn’t what this comment thread is about.

I’s just so weird to hear you railing on and on when i don’t see anyone here denying that the Word should be preached.

Who are you talking to?

Baffling.

165   nc    
March 29th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

As far as “man’s sensitivities”…I couldn’t care less.

But God’s sensitivities…that’s another matter.

All I ever see is a call to be peaceable and kind and compassionate to the lost.

Advocating for that doesn’t mean people aren’t preaching the Word. It probably just means they’re preaching the Word without being a total dick.

166   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
March 29th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

NC
Part of the Word is that God abhors lying lips. There is a whole list of thing that will keep you out of the kingdom of heaven….

the wages/ penalty for sin is death.

The shadow of this in the OT was the animal sacrifice.

Animals paid the penalty temporarily for the sin of the person who made the sacrifice. The lamb of the passover was slain so that the angel of death would pass over those who would place the blood on the doorposts.

It is hideous, ugly. The cross is foolishness; The Jews held it in disdain, cursed is he who hangs on a tree…

Yet it pleased God to crush him….

To pay the penalty….

For SIN….sin so offended God…that His Son…paid the penalty.

he was a substitute…like the lamb

he was penalized….for the wages of sin is death. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness!

he made atonement for us…penal substitutionary atonement…

Foolishness for those who see not their own wretchedness before God…a God who so hates sin…and so loves us…that Jesus paid the penalty.

That is what it is all about, baybee. And goats hate it. And weeds hate it….

167   Bo Diaz    
March 29th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Once again, lets say it all together. Its shocking how much orthopraxy come from ADMs who claim sola scriptura that isn’t found anywhere in scripture.

For example, PB alludes to the parable of the weeds. What is the command given by the master of the field? Don’t pull up the weeds, wait until the harvest. Just as the parable of the sheep and the goats the goats aren’t separated until the end, and the only one who knows for sure who is who is Jesus.

Yet, somehow the sola scriptura ADMs come up with an evil, and (obviously) unbiblical theology of pulling up weeds and slaughtering goats.

168   nc    
March 29th, 2009 at 10:50 pm

ummm…

baffling.

But thanks for reciting what I already know and believe.

so strange…

I don’t know who you’re arguing with.

Goats “hate” it?

Go read Matt. 25 again.
The goats are going to be surprised. They think they’re ok.

There’s nothing in the bible that speaks to the “interior world” of weeds.

So strange, PB. So strange.

169   nc    
March 29th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Bo,

spot on.

Wait until harvest. If we understand that as the eschaton, it’s going to be God doing the sorting.

Any “sorting” before hand is playing God.

170   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 29th, 2009 at 11:15 pm

nc,

Shhh PB is preaching against his legalist ODM friends… and does not even know it!…. Shhhh or we will wake him from his slumber.

igs

171   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
March 30th, 2009 at 3:58 am

PB, the things you say are correct in one interpretation of the text, however where you are wrong is when you then sum it up with “penal substitutionary atonement” since that nor it’s direct interpretation are found in scripture. No where is it stated in the Bible all those points together in order saying that it is the meaning of Atonement.

172   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 6:43 am

We are supposed tp preach the Word, in season and out, and let the Spirit gowhere He can in the hearts of men. But Jesus Himself used object lessons and parables and stories and other literary devices to get truth to the hearts of men. He often used sensationalism as well.

Feeding the five thousand would seem to be a “seeker” device using sensationalism to draw attention to Himself, similar to some church using some sensational event to draw attention to Christ even if the event itself has nothing to do with Jesus.

Killing a fig tree seemed a sensless act of destruction and yet Jesus used that as an object lesson for prophetic truth. Turning water into wine seemed to encourage a continuation of a party and I did not see a sermon from Jesus even after that theatrical exhibition of power.

Money in the mouth of a fish? Spit and dirt in the eyes? Walking on water? Why would Jesus leave preaching the Word in order to perform some of these useless exhibitions of theatrical power? Attention, pure and simple. So as long as some church preaches Christ, the parameters are fairly wide for some form of attention getting theatrics.

But never forget that the most incredible and seeker friendly theatrical act that Jesus ever did was that He came in the likeness of a goat. So the next time you see a man with tattoos and blue hair preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to others that look like him, do not criticize, he learned that from the Master.

We should not anticipate chasing goats away, we should deeply desire to see them come and follow the One who changed us. It is true that there are two extremes. One type of church contours its gatherings completely for the lost, while another type of church has no concern for the lost.

Both are wrong.

173   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 7:24 am

John – In your current post you make some good points about misunderstanding the gospel and using grace as an excuse for licentious behavior. My problem is not with that perspective, it’s the exclusivity with which you portray your perspective and with which you dismiss other sincere attempts at evangelism.

While it is true that millions of sinners have prayed a “sinner’s prayer” and not been saved, it is also true that millions of people are now serving Christ that were saved by praying a simple prayer by faith. Only the Spirit can discern who is who, and it must be without argument that the free will crowd, regardless of the sometimes general message, has had a far greater scope in its evangelism.

I was saved watching Billy Graham on televison, who would I have seen on television that would espouse the reformed doctrine and the discernment philosophy that God could have used to reach me? And just the fact that God used Billy Graham in my life assures me that God did not completely dismiss his ministry as do some discernment folks.

God uses many imperfect and flawed people to accomplish His will, the problem is that some never see themselves and their ministries as imperfect and flawed.

174   Chris Rosebrough    http://www.extremetheology.com
March 30th, 2009 at 8:33 am

Shake, Shake, Shake.

Matthew 10:14

175   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 8:46 am

The problem with the idea of “cheap grace” is that it ignores what and where grace comes from. We are saved by Grace through faith not by works.

Meaning, the issue is not cheap grace, but false faith… God’s grace was, is and never will be cheap… it cost Jesus His life.

The term is unbiblical and anti- Jesus… and false teaching.

Cheap faith is when someone either missuses his gift of faith and abuses it or is deceived into believing a false teaching that one can live THEIR life instead of the Life of Christ.

They never died to themselves to live for Christ at conversion… they never received the life of Christ that makes them a slave to righteousness.

iggy

176   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 8:49 am

Everone needs to bookmark this thread so you can identify an obvious hubristic misuse of Scripture in comment #174.

The concept of Sola Scriptura obviously doesn’t mean a careful, measured, and humble approach. In some quarters it is a carte blanche to methodology and attitude.

177   Joe    
March 30th, 2009 at 9:01 am

#174.
Haha!!! We disagree with you. Actually, that’s not true, I agree with PSA but I disagree with your belief that it has been around since early church history.

Romans 12:18

178   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 9:06 am

Gal.8:16

and

Romans 23:17

Game – Set – Match :cool:

179   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 9:08 am

Chris R.

The issue is not that we do not listen to you… but that you are so far off the reservation that when confronted with the truth of YOUR error, you ignore sound doctrine and teachings.

Instead you cling to aberrant views on things and fight with those that are not fighting…

So it is we here who should shake, shake, shake over you…

Matt 22:29
iggy

180   nc    
March 30th, 2009 at 9:58 am

Am I the only one that doesn’t bother to look up passive-aggressively posted prooftext scripture references?

Chris R, is that all you’ve got?

Instead of answering the rejoinder to your schlockey “research”, you just run away to piss and moan on your “show” and then just do drive-by’s that mean nothing?

Just wondering…

181   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
March 30th, 2009 at 10:01 am

Shake, Shake, Shake

Shake your booty!

(I don’t approve of proof-texting pop songs, either…)

182   Bo Diaz    
March 30th, 2009 at 10:13 am

Sheesh. Shouldn’t be surprising coming from someone who can’t read scripture without inserting themselves into it.

183   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 10:30 am

Have I ever made my feelings known about Calvinism/reformed/Lutheranism?

Oh, I think I have. I honestly believe that theology is not only unbiblical and Scripturally indefensible, it leads to attitudes, tones, and approaches that are completely at odds with the Christ model.

But let’s not bring Jesus into any discussion, that might be considered emergent and a red letter heresy. In a real and practical sense, when you view your systematic theology as your god, it becomes anti-christ – even when it is somewhat orthodox.

184   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
March 30th, 2009 at 10:34 am

“In a real and practical sense, when you view your systematic theology as your god, it becomes anti-christ – even when it is somewhat orthodox.”

Rick Frueh circa A.D. 2009

185   Bo Diaz    
March 30th, 2009 at 10:38 am

But let’s not bring Jesus into any discussion, that might be considered emergent and a red letter heresy. In a real and practical sense, when you view your systematic theology as your god, it becomes anti-christ – even when it is somewhat orthodox.

You only say that because you hate scripture.

Just getting the standard ADM response out of the way.

186   richard abanes    http://abanes.com
March 30th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

UPDATE/CORRECTION:

Guys, in quoting Louis Berkhof, I incorrectly identified him as a Lutheran. He was a Calvinist. Apologies all around. FYI, his quotes that I cited remain forceful and relevant.

RAbanes

187   Joe    
April 4th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Wondering if anyone has read “The Nature of the Atonement: 4 views.” It has Boyd, Green, Reichenbach and Schreiner all contributing. It’s nice because it gives each view and then the others respond. Nice read and you get the sense that these guys would all do this in a room together. BTW, the 4 basic views in this book are: 1. PSA, 2. CV, 3. Healing, and 4. Kaleidoscope.