Logic and the Literal Payment Theory

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    The words, phrase, and ideas we project have clear logical implications. To make a statement and then to deny its logical implications is to practice self deception. Let me illustrate.

    The notion of the literal payment theory has over and over been affirmed by many on this list as a valid explanation of what was accomplished on the cross. It basically is saying that all sins have been literally paid for on the cross. Many claim that every sin they have or ever will commit was literally paid for on the cross and their only obligation is to simply have faith and believe that such is true to receive eternal life that cannot be taken away. Why? Again, due to the fact that the forgiveness received is eternal in nature. Let us examine the logic implications of such a belief.

    First, if all sins are literally and eteranlly paid for at the cross, the debt of sin would have been eternally set aside. If one insists that the debt of all their sins has been eternally set aside at the cross, AND that Christ died for the sins of the entire world, tell me how logically or otherwise why one is not forced to believe in universalism? Can something be set aside eternally for every man, and yet not be set aside in the case of some, at the same time in the same sense? Can something (sin in this case) exist and not exist, be set aside and not set aside, at the same time in the same sense? Am I making the problem of the logical implications thus far clear? Can anyone on the list show how the logical implications I am presenting concerning the literal payment theory are in any way faulty or in error?
     
    #1 Heavenly Pilgrim, Apr 6, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2008
  2. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Let me ask my question in a slightly different way. Is the forgiveness those that hold to the literal payment theory espouse, eternal forgiveness? When Christ forgave the sins of the elect, OR the sins of the entire world on the cross, did He forgive them eternally or not? I would like to see both 5 point Calvinists, and those with differing beliefs such as DHK or those believing close to that which DHK believes, to answer this question. I believe any fair minded individual can see the merits in such a question. It is a fair question that must be answered if one is honestly in the pursuit of the truth.
     
  3. TCGreek

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    I'm a 10 point calvinist, so I'm excluded. :wavey:
     
  4. TCGreek

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    HP, are you willing to go with what Scripture says, or just content on logical propositions?
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: We are looking to examine all evidence, regardless if it is found in reason, Scripture or experience. God has granted to man reason and an analytical mind to discern the truth by. There is truth outside of Scripture we must need look carefully into it, but Scripture can NEVER be ignored or simply set aside.

    Give it a shot. Be the first one on your block to respond!:laugh:
     
  6. TCGreek

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    Here's reason:

    If Christ actually died for all, then all should be saved. This is universalism.

    Now, if all are not saved, then Christ didn't die for all.

    But if we say Christ died only for some but not for all, then only those Christ died for will be saved. This is calvinism.

    If we say Christ died for all but only potentially, then all can be saved but not all are saved. This is arminianism.

    But what is the difference between those who are saved are those who are not saved in a potential plan?

    The difference then must be with those who have somehow appropriated the potential plan of the cross.
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: That is not using reason to me and I do not think it is for you either. It can only be assumed first from a position of a literal payment, and then by rejecting Scripture and experience.



    HP: Ah yes. That is indeed Calvinism, and I believe it to be at antipodes with not only Scripture but reason as well. Just the same, coming from a perspective of the literal payment theory as Calvinist’s do, it is the only logical response for them to give. The one that says, I believe in the literal payment theory, yet rejects a limited and irresistible atonement is highly inconsistent and makes havoc of logic and reason, again coming from the theory of a literal payment.




    HP: Not being an Arminian myself, I might word it slightly different, but none the less I believe the position you outlined here as being far closer to the truth that either the Calvinist or the one that starts from the Calvinist position of a literal payment theory, such as DHK, but does not accept the logical conclusions of that theory, choosing rather to at least on the surface claim to hold to some idea of a free will being involved. I hope as we go along to have DHK or others that believe like him join in so as to clarify their position.



    HP: I see you as having a good grasp on the Arminian position, which is very close to what I believe concerning the Atonement.:thumbs: If one desires to call me an Arminian because I associate closely with them on this issue, I might disagree but I will consider it an honor to be closely aligned to them on this issue at least. We are indeed held accountable and responsible by God to form certain intents ‘without which’ the plan of salvation will not be appropriated to our hearts and lives.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    So, I take it that you reject literal payment for sins, correct?

     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Yes, you are correct.

     
  10. TCGreek

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    I guess that is where we differ.

    Neither am I.

    Well, HP, I believe we have a resident teacher in the Holy Spirit aid us in the understanding of biblical truths:

    "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments" (1 Cor 2:12-15, TNIV, emphasis mine).

    Human reasoning is defective because of sin. We cannot rely on it alone to bring us to God. That's Pelagian like.

    On that we agree.

    You're right about that. That is why we have all these theologies written in church history.

     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: It is not that His death and sufferings were not 'literal.' That is a given. What the literal payment theory expresses is the notion that a literal transaction took place where specific amount of sins were paid for by a specific price. The method in which the literal payment theory approaches the atonement could be likened to a forensic proceeding where a specific penalty is meted out for a specific crime. That is what the atonement was not nor could it have been. (I will get into what I believe Scripture represents the atonement as consisting of later) As I have stated repeatedly, the penalty for sin is eternal separation from God. That Christ did not ‘literally pay’ even once or He would still be separated from God, let alone millions of times over for every sinner that has sinned. To believe otherwise is to entertain one of those absurdities I spoke about that we need to avoid at all costs.



    HP: Absolutely. Then would it be safe to assume that you reject the notion that Christ, on the cross, apart from any appropriation on our part via repentance and faith, was eternally forgiven? That is the question at stake here.



    HP: Set that issue aside for a moment. Try and stay focused not on OSAS or not, but rather the atonement and the ramification of it. Certainly OSAS will invariably be addressed at some point in time, but for now, with as much as lieth within you, try to shelve that idea and concentrate if possible on the ramifications of the atonement. Fair enough?

    Focus once again on the eternal aspect I am addresing. Were the sins that were forgiven on the cross eternally forgiven? You gave a response last time that I believe speaks to this direct question, but I would like to see, if possible, a direct answer to the question so there is no confusion as to what you believe.
     
  12. TCGreek

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    HP, literal is shorthand for literal payment theory. I thought that was obvious. :laugh:

    HP, it seems like you're depending more on Reason than Revelation.

    If I were to go with mere reason, then maybe I might sound like you.

    But if I go with revelation, then I must believe the atonement literally paid for the sins of sinners.

    I believe Christ death on the cross actually took paid for the sins of sinners and they are eternally forgiven.

    Well, when you mentioned "eternal forgiveness of sins" I can help but infer eternal security, for they are interconnected.

    Sins on the cross were eternally forgiven.

    But even your question assume literal payment for sins, or it would be pointless.
     
  13. trustitl

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  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Can any sin that has been eternally forgiven be brought up again? Can any sin that has been eternally forgiven be held against one ever again? Can anyone suffer a penalty for any sin that has already had the penalty paid? If any of these are true, forgiveness for individual sin could not have been eternal in scope, now could they have been?

    Here is another line of argumentation I have heard on this list. Does God remember any sins that have been eternally forgiven two thousand years ago? If not, how can I be expected to know something that even God does not know about? Is it not absurd to preach that one needs to repent or that he is a sinner if in fact all his sins have been eternally forgiven before they were ever born? Are we thinking straight about the truth of Scripture and the realities of sin and forgiveness?
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: It is not that I pit reason against revelation, nor do I rely more on reason than revelation. I believe God desires us to use the reasoning powers He instills within us to examine and enlighten what we see as our finite understanding of revelation. To do any less would be to think despite the abilities God grants to us to understand truth and revelation. The Holy Spirit utilizes truth to reveal truth no matter where it is found. He enlightens our understanding so we can understand revelation and interpret it in line with the intents of His written Word.
     
  16. BobRyan

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    In keeping with this suggestion I propose a "change" to the wording "Literal payment" wording in OP since "literal payment" is not a term we find in the Bible.

    I propose ... (and you knew this was coming)... ATONEMENT.

    Although HP as framed the discussion for "reason and logic" in fact by holding to the Bible terms -- it becomes exegesis vs eisegesis on the subject of Atonement.

    When we speak of Christ making a "substitutionary atoning sacrifice for our sin" we are using terms and concepts that God defines in Lev 16.

    There we see that "Atonement" has BOTH a "Sacrifice" element (the Lord's goat slain -- the "Atoning Sacrifice" 1John 2:2 made on the Cross) AND also the Unique work of the High Priest (as we see in Lev 16) -- CHRIST our HIGH Priest as we see in Heb 8 and 9.

    When HP speaks of "Literal payment... all sins forgiven" he is referencing the Bible concept of "completed Atonement" at the end of the year in Lev 16 -- a case in which there are NO MORE sins forgiven, no more sacrifices, no more "decisions" left.. The deal "is done ALL payment is made" no "accepting" no "changing" no "new sins to forgive" ... the story is over, all accounts are settled nor more fidgeting/deciding/payment applied etc.

    The Calvinist model (and frankly the one that many Arminians use here as well) is one that fails to distinguish between the "Atoning Sacrifice" and the work of the High Priest in the entire process of "Atonement" -- therefore all accounts are settled at the cross such that even the lost sinner need not accept for his account is not "Changable" in any way.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. TCGreek

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  18. TCGreek

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    HP, ala Luther, 'Here I stand."

    1. Yes, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross has paid for the sins of sinners forgiven, sins past, present, and future.

    2. As a Heaven Judge, God has judged believers already in his Son. That's a done deal (2 Cor 5:21).

    3. Bu now God is deal with believers as a Heaven Father. There's a BIG difference (Heb 12:4-11).

    4. As a Judge in salvation but as a Father in sanctification. That is what I see in Scripture and that is what I will accept.

    5. Does Revelation always accord with Human Reason? No! But I must go with Revelation.
     
  19. TCGreek

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    We have an accord on this one.
     
  20. TCGreek

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    Isn't that what we see in the BRIGHT LIGHTS of the NT Scriptures?

    You'll have to make your statements much clearer, for I'm somewhat confused.
     

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