Is the Penal Substitution Theory the most common theory throughout history?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by JonC, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I don't know where to put this, but since I believe Penal Substitution Atonement to be of Calvinistic origin and the topic is not only for Baptists I'm putting it here.

    I think @TCassidy has been looking forward to another Penal Substitution Theory thread, and @Yeshua1 has made the statement that arguing against the Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement is arguing against "the vast majority of Conservative Christians of History".

    So, without weighing the merits of each theory, how many believe that the Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement has been the most dominant theory throughout history and what is your evidence?
     
  2. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    My position:

    The Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement did not exist until articulated during the Reformation period. Elements that were used to articulate the theory are found not only in Scripture but throughout history. But elements do not a theory make. Penal Substitution Theory is a reformation of Aquinas' theory with punishment substituted for merit.
     
  3. thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Argumentum ad numeram.
     
  4. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    That is the position some have taken. I think this is why they re-write history. They believe if their view can be shown to be of antiquity it adds validity to their position. Typically this is an argument offered when no legitimate support can be had.

    For much of history the most popular theory was Origen's Ransom Theory. I doubt anyone today believes that the Cross was God paying a ransom to Satan, but that is how it was understood for a significant time.

    The fact that the Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement was not articulated until the 16th century has no bearing on its validity. I think of it this way, most of us believe the world will be here tomorrow whereas for most of history Christians doubted we'd make it this long. Yet here we are. :)
     
  5. Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The PST viewpoint is the one that gives the best explanation of just what transacted upon the Cross, and just How God used the death of Jesus as the very grounds to justify lost sinners.
     
  6. TCassidy Administrator
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    :D:D:D
     
  7. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Let me stop you right there, brother. Your statement is subjective (this one gives "the best explanation").

    But the topic is not which one you believe gives the best explanation. What I am saying is that you made a statement that is not accurate. Throughout history the Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement has not been the majority view.
     
  8. Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    This no doubt is why you argued it so assiduously on several other threads. :Rolleyes
    I really can't believe you want to go all through it again.
    This is both correct and incorrect.
    No, it has no bearing
    And no, it isn't a fact.
     
  9. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    There is a difference between wanting to go all through it again and wanting to go all through it again with you. :Laugh (kidding .... well, sorta :rolleyes:).
     
  10. Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    You won't be doing one without the other. :D
     
  11. BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    What's the problem.

    Christ is the "sin offering" of Isaiah 53.
    Christ is the "Atoning sacrifice" of 1 John 2:2

    Christ takes the stripes, the punishment due us "to whom it was due" Isaiah 53.

    Just as the animals were sacrificed for the specific sin of the individual in the "type".

    Is anyone even debating that point on this thread so far??
     
  12. thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Come now. Let us reason together.
     
  13. thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    And. . . the covenants, and. . . redemptive history. . . and. . . we all know it makes sense.
     
  14. BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    Satan did not get "paid" at the cross. In fact in Matthew 4 Satan tries every stunt he can think of to get Christ not to do it.

    The bulls and goats offered as payment for sin - were not being give to Satan.

    Mark 10:45
    For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

    Matthew 20:28
    just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

    Mark 10:45
    For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

    1 Timothy 2:6
    who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,


    ===================================================

    Satan never had power or authority to "demand" any payment at all. Rather Satan was and still is - himself under the sentence of condemnation and doom. Living on borrowed time according to Ezekiel 28:14-19

    You were the anointed cherub who covers;
    I established you;
    You were on the holy mountain of God;
    You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
    15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
    Till iniquity was found in you.


    16 “By the abundance of your trading
    You became filled with violence within,
    And you sinned;
    Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
    Out of the mountain of God;
    And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
    From the midst of the fiery stones.
    ....

    18 “You defiled your sanctuaries
    By the multitude of your iniquities,
    By the iniquity of your trading;
    Therefore I brought fire from your midst;
    It devoured you,
    And I turned you to ashes upon the earth

    In the sight of all who saw you.
    19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you;
    You have become a horror,
    And shall be no more forever.”’”
     
  15. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    The problem is not Christ as the sin offering. Scripture teaches that He bore our griefs and was wounded for our transgressions – the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.

    The problem is when we turn that around to teach that on the Cross God satisfying the demands of justice by punishing Jesus with the punishment due those who are saved. Another issue is that Old Testament sacrifices were not punishments (they represented appeasement, not punishment).

    The reason that it is a problem is twofold. First, Scripture does not present God as punishing Jesus (as another put it, God was not being wrathful towards Jesus when He experienced what would have been wrath towards us). Second, it is contrary to what Scripture does teach in regards to God’s faithfulness and His Righteous One.
    Exactly. I do not know of anyone who holds that Satan was paid a ransom. My point was that it was the theory at one time (long before Penal Substitution Theory) and spurred Anselm to develop another.
     
  16. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Hey brother. I don't mean that your argument is one offered when no legitimate support can be had (if that was how I came across). I mean when people cannot support or defend their theories they tend to look throughout history to appeal to the masses.

    Sorry if my comment came off wrong. I didn't realize at the time how it could have sounded.
     
  17. BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    The phrase "punishing Jesus" is wrong but the punishment due sinners was placed upon Christ. Jesus stood in our place 2 Cor 5. "He who knew no sin became sin for us " 2 Cor 5

    That would be the error of Calvinism because in the Arminian model of the Bible Christ is paying the debt, the punishment owed for not only the saved "not for our sins only... but for the sins of the whole world".

    However I get the sense that you are not saying the issue is the "just the saved"one - but rather paying the full debt of punishment owed.

    Why is that a problem??

    In the OT the punishment for certain sins was death. In Eden the punishment for disobeying God - was death in Genesis 2.

    In the OT the lamb that is getting killed - is "in the place of" the sinner. Substitutionary atoning sacrifice.

    The argument that saying that someone has to die and that "without the shedding of blood no remission of sins" - means that the "wages of sin is death"Rom 6:23 and "the soul that sins it shall die" Ezek 18:4


    From God the Father's POV He was not "punishing Jesus"

    But from Jesus POV at the cross "My God My God why hast thou forsaken Me" -- it was the same.

    God Himself takes on Himself the punishment due the sinner. That is the substitutionary atonement model of scripture.
     
  18. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Both Arminianism and Calvinism assume the same theory of atonement. Divine Justice is retributive in type (like a parking ticket that must be paid regardless of who pays the price).

    Before Calvin it was assumed this punishment was "satisfactory" punishment rather than simple punishment (a punishment satisfying justice, appeasing wrath rather than a punishment for sin).
     
  19. thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Would you agree that Christ bore the consequences of breaking the covenant of works?
     
  20. JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I would agree that Christ bore the consequences of sin.