Baptists, Penal Substitution, Original Sin

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rebel, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. Rebel

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    Is it necessary to believe in penal substitution and original sin in order to be a Baptist?

    Opinions, please.
     
  2. Rippon

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    No, of course not. One can be considered a Baptist and hold all manner of heretical doctrines.
    The term "Baptist" is very elastic. Some are very orthodox and some are quite heterodox. Baptists run the proverbial gamut.
     
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  3. Rebel

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    Our little 167-year-old church recently closed its doors. I'd like to go to some church, but I can't go where PSA is preached, and I don't know of any Baptist churches around here that don't teach it. I think I might fit in better with Mennonites, except that I don't agree with them on total pacifism, or rejection of judicial oaths. They don't have churches here anyway.

    Thanks for your reply.
     
  4. Van

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    There are lots of Baptist churches that are not Calvinistic. I expect all or nearly all teach substitutary atonement, Christ dying for all mankind. When you throw in "penal" the doctrine goes south, the idea being Jesus only died for the specific sins of those supposedly chosen individually before creation.

    You might try Googling either "Arminian leaning Baptist churches" in such and such an area, or "free will" baptist churches in such and such an area.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    If this is your idea of penal substitution then you need to go back a study it because this is completely wrong.
     
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  6. Van

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    Folks, note that someone who just says "taint so" and does not offer the supposed accurate version is wasting your time. Penal Substitution is simply a Trojan horse for Limited Atonement. Consider this, if Christ died for all mankind, under this bogus theory, then why are sinners punished in Hades/Gehenna? So only the sins of the elect are in view. Limited Atonement anyone? QED
     
  7. Darrell C

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    It might be better if you present your understanding of the doctrines.

    Wouldn't it be better to first understand Scripture, then seek a group that best matches your understanding? It almost presents an "I want to be a Baptist but I have a few problems with a few doctrinal positions" mentality.

    And I will agree with the previous member, Baptist is a diverse header. You need to be careful about that because you may find yourself in a charismatic fellowship, lol.

    What I have found is that the header doesn't always reflect the internal doctrine. Even in fellowships under one header, the true position of that fellowship is going to lie primarily in the leadership's doctrine. It might be you can find a fellowship that the leadership holds to a similar view as yours, though they have a header that might imply a particular view.

    So again, might be best for those who want to address your question to know how you understand them, and discuss the doctrines among them.


    God bless.
     
  8. Van

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    I would think it would be more difficult to find Baptist Churches that deny that through one man's disobedience, the many were made sinners. However I expect you can find Baptist churches that reject some of the bogus claims about the consequences of Adam's original sin held by Calvinists.
     
  9. Rebel

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    First, my reply to the bolded part of your post: That's what I have tried to do.

    As for my understanding of PSA, I understand it as it was originally taught by Calvin, Luther, and other Magisterial Reformers, and I totally reject it.

    I have not been able to find a Baptist church or leader within 75 miles who does not hold to PSA. I haven't tried all of them, of course, but I have visited and talked with a lot of them.
     
  10. Rebel

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    Van, thank you for your replies. Actually, the Free Will Baptists believe in PSA. I know their statement of faith just says substitutionary atonement, but what they mean is the penal variety, because that's what they affirm in their writings.
     
  11. Darrell C

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    And again, could you share your understanding of it? Often what was taught by former "fathers" is not understood as they taught it, but how it has filtered down through the centuries. Hence we have "Baptists" teaching entirely different understandings.

    And I wasn't trying to imply you do not understand Scripture, just asking the question in more of a statement form so to speak.


    God bless.
     
  12. Rebel

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    I understand. I didn't think you were implying that.

    Here is a good brief treatment of it:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_atone10.htm
     
    #12 Rebel, Feb 28, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  13. JonC

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    From my experience, most Free Will Baptists (and many Baptists outside of that denomination) hold to an atonement close Wesley's explanation. John Wesley described the work of the atonement as “the voluntary passion of our Lord appeased the Father’s wrath, obtained pardon and acceptance for us, and, consequently, dissolved the dominion and power which Satan had over us through our sins.” (Wesley, Explanatory Notes).

    I think that we also have to consider developments within Penal Substitution Theory since it's conception. People today define these theories (as you rightly indicate concerning the Free Will Baptists) differently.
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    Folks, when someone simply makes a claim without any support or foundation and then requires anyone who responds to them to do what they were either unwilling to do or unable. That is called hypocrisy.
     
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  15. JonC

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    Depending on how it is presented and held, I could agree with you to an extent. I am not sure, however, that you are considering the difference between substitution theory (satisfaction) and Penal Substitution theory but rather how each is taken by specific people (including yourself). James Arminius did not challenge Penal Substitution Theory. Also, the issue of the scope of the Atonement developed over half a century after its formation.

    “all the world being wrapped in sin by breaking of the law, God sent his only Son our savior Christ into this world to fulfill the law for us, and by the shedding of his most precious blood, to make a sacrifice or amends to his Father for our sins, and assuage his wrath and indignation conceived against us for the same.” (Charles Wesley, The Sermons of Charles Wesley)

    I believe one difference between PST and Substitution/Satisfaction theory (and perhaps Christus Victor as well) is that PST focuses on individual sins where as all other theories seem to look towards the reconciliation of humanity (as if God was, through Christ, reconciling the world to himself) and the price paid to free mankind from the bondage of sin.

    So given that PST pre-existed the doctrine of Limited Atonement, I think that we can safely look at Free Will Baptists as holding to PST, but perhaps not with the same logical conclusions as their Calvinistic counterparts. I say this because of the way works (sins) contribute to the loss of salvation once gained in their theology.
     
  16. Rebel

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    Yes, I think you are right about Wesley's view. It was closer to Satisfaction than to PSA. But I don't hold to Satisfaction, either, which is a RC view, originating with Anselm. In the end, I reject all theories that are not compatible with early church views, and that covers all or almost all theories originating in the Latin West, from Anselm onward.
     
  17. JonC

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    That still leaves a lot of room. We have the idea that a ransom was paid to God to appease his wrath (Cyril of Jerusalem), that God paid through Jesus a ransom to Satan (Origen), that Jesus bore human sin to reconcile humanity and gain victory over death (Martyr...and I favor this view)....just to name a few.

    I do hold to substitution, but not so much beyond as it was held by the early church (they did recognize that Christ was a substitution at least as a representative for us, laying down his life for his sheep, and turning aside divine wrath directed at humanity). That said, there is much that is presupposed by centuries of development in my view.....we don't know completely what was held by the early church because we cannot know for certain exactly how it was held.

    If you are willing, will you provide a statement of your view of the Atonement?
     
  18. Martin Marprelate

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    That is a Roman Catholic position. If you are a Baptist you should be going with Sola Scriptura which, of course, means Penal Substitution.

    However, the good news is that Justin Martyr, Eusebius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers, Athanasius, Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom, Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria, Gelasius of Cyzicus, Gregory the Great and Thomas Aquinas all give support to Penal Substitution. I have given quotations from most of these on various threads, but I can cut and paste them again if people want to see them.
     
  19. JonC

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    Will you offer a concise statement of Penal Substitution so that we can consider the claim against their stated theologies of the Atonement?

    Using my definition, I can with no degree of uncertainty state that most (if not all) of those you have listed have also rejected through their works that which I believe to be Penal Substitution Theory. But I don't want to be so presumptions as to take for granted we are working off the same definition.

    Sent from my TARDIS
     
  20. Martin Marprelate

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    I seem to recall having done this before.
    'The doctrine of Penal Substitution states that God gave Himself in the person of His Son to suffer instead of us the death, punishment and curse due to fallen humanity as the penalty for sin' (Jeffrey, Ovey and Sach, Pierced for our Transgressions, IVP, 2007).

    I have given multiple quotes from Church Fathers on various threads in favour of Penal Substitution. It is by no means impossible that some of them may have contradicted themselves elsewhere. That is one reason why I don't find study of the Fathers to be particularly profitable. I only trot these quotes out because you and Rebel keep insisting that they don't exist. :rolleyes:
     

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