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

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

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  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I understand that you believe the word "propitiation" means "to bear wrath", but that does not change the fact it doesn't. Where are you getting these definitions?
     
  2. The Archangel

    The Archangel Well-Known Member

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    It is what it means—to bear the wrath of God. I don’t know why you reject the definition of the word.

    If you don’t have Jesus bearing the wrath of God in our place you don’t have penal substitution and you don’t have atonement.

    Paul’s understanding and use in Romans 3 is quite clear.

    The Archangel


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  3. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    RE: Penal substitution

    Some say its a young doctrine others an old, some say it matters,some say it doesn't

    Just to clear the air - here is a partial list of those who supported said doctrine with excerpts at the URL provided. :

    Clement of Rome [c. 30–100.]: 1st Epistle to the Corinthians
    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 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
    Gelasius of Cyzicus (fifth century), Church History
    Gregory the Great (540-604), Church History

    Penal Substitution In The Writings Of The Church Fathers

    To me the very FACT of the cruel and agonizing death of Roman Crucifixion along with the Roman method of scourging is undeniable proof of penal substitution. How much plainer can it be?

    Isaiah 53:10
    Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

    Bruise - Daka דָּכָא BDB Lexicon 02136 - To be crushed, broken in pieces

    Acts 2
    22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
    23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
    24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
    25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
     
  4. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Do you know what is missing in each of those examples when you look at the entire context (why they are viewed as supporting an element of punishment and an element of substitution rather than Penal Substitution Theory itself)?

    While we can see elements of penial consequences and substitution throughour Scripture and Church history, the fact remains that Penal Substitution Theory as articulated in the 16th century with God being punitive to Christ instead of us for our sins as individuals was never expressed until the Reformation.
     
  5. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Because your explanation is not the definition of the word. Look it up.
     
  6. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Seems clear enough to me.

    Christ certainly wasn't suffering for His own sins on the cross.
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I agree. Christ suffered for us. But the topic happens Substitution Theory.
     
  8. The Archangel

    The Archangel Well-Known Member

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    I have several resources which define the word exactly as I’ve described. It is the definition. I’m not quite sure where you’re getting your information from.

    The Archangel


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  9. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I am not doubting that you found several resources that state "propitiation" means bearing wrath because we are not at the point where I would call into question your integrity. But what resources?

    Here are a few that define propitiation as I've offered (Webster's Dictionary,A Concise Dictionary of the Holy Bible, Vocabulary.com, and Google Dictionary, Albert Barnes notes on the Bible).

    To appease, to atone, to turn away wrath

    win or regain the favor of (a god, spirit, or person) by doing something that pleases them.

    to gain or regain the favor or goodwill of

    Propitiation is an action meant to regain someone's favor or make up for something you did wrong. You might offer your mom a plate of chocolate chip cookies in propitiation for killing all her houseplants while she was away.

    The proper meaning of the word is that of reconciling, appeasing, turning away anger, rendering propitious or favorable.

    So again, what are the many resources you are citing that define "propitiation" as "bearing wrath"?
     
  10. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    He fulfilled our obligations, both in His life and His death.
     
  11. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    You will be shocked and pleased to know that I agree with you regarding the term, "Propitiation".

    Propitiation is appeasing. It does not necessarily mean bearing of responsibility or punishment; although, it could mean that.

    A glass of Bordeaux has appeased me, more than once. ;)
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    But that is not Penal Substitution Theory.

    What I am getting at is that there are elements throughout Scripture and history that are common with Penal Substitution Theory. But at the same time the theory itself did not exist until the 16th century.

    We can look at Origen's theory that God paid a Ransom to Satan (which we agree is wrong) but he believed that this meant Christ bore our sins, suffered in our place, and by his stripes we are healed. But this does not mean Origen taught Penal Substitution Theory.
     
  13. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I'm not shocked. I find you both intelligent and apt in conversing with those who hold positions other than your own.

    The key is not propitiation but how God's anger was appeased. That is where we would disagree.
     
  14. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I was on death row. I should have been executed. I should have born God's wrath. Jesus is no Savior if He did not bear the wrath of the Father, and the Father is not just if He did not pour out His wrath on Christ.

    I see no way around those problems for you.
     
  15. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Yes.
     
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  16. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I would argue that only a one-to-one payment (Christ in my place) would serve as an adequate propitiation. I don't mean to be irreverent here, but you are suggesting that God is appeased by something else, like a Twix Bar perhaps, which distracts Him and gets Him out of His grumpy mood.
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    It's actually fairly easy. I don't assume (as I once did) the theory of Penal Substitution. You are human, and all of humanity was bound up in the bondage of sin and death. But Christ became flesh and through his obedience became the "last Adam". He suffered the consequences of sin that we will suffer, shared in our infirmity, bore our sins. And the Father vindicated Him, and raised him to life. Therein is our hope.

    Your argument assumes that you will not die a physical death, but you will. This is the wages of sin. It is appointed to man once to die and then the Judgment, and this judgment is given to Christ.

    What your position does is spiritualize Scripture. But if you look, Scripture itself never states that God punished Christ in our place for our sins. Scripture tells us that the wages of sin is a physical death, but it does not say it is a spiritual death as well (which is the focus of Penal Substitution Theory). Scripture does not say that God out wrath on Jesus (instead Scripture teaches that God's wrath never abides on the Righteous). Scripture does not teach that God cannot forgive a person without exercising punishment for a sin (Penal Substitution assumes retributive justice is correct). Scripture does not teach that just wrath can be directed at sin itself, but instead that God's anger is kindled against those who do unrighteous.

    There are many assumptions that Penal Substitution Theory assumes. If you haven't identified these, then perhaps you have not worked through the theory enough. It took me a year of looking at each verse (I really did buy a dry erase board for the task). I suspect you'll be surprised when you try to match up verses with points in the theory.
     
  18. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I don't see you as being grumpy....Grumpy :p :Biggrin

    But you do bring up a good point. I believe that Penal Substitution Theory makes the error you are trying to attribute to my position as it assumes too high a view of men and too low a view of God.

    The Satisfaction Theory of Atonement considered Christ's death as sufficient to satisfy the demands against us because Christ is God. It was based on merit. God did not need to pour out his wrath on Christ because Christ's death (apart from being punished with our punishment in our place) outweighs anything against mankind. Penal Substitution Theory, on the other hand, views Christ's death as insufficient except the punishment men would have endured be inflicted upon Christ.

    That "something else"....like a Twix Bar (a right twix) .... was the death of Jesus Christ. And yes, my suggestion is that Christ - by His own merit - outweighed anything that could possibly be held against man because Jesus is God.
     
  19. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    OK - in our place then.
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    As our representative. What he suffered we deserve.
     
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