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Featured Penal Substitution Theology and the faith of those without it

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, May 21, 2016.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Were those who did not believe in Penal Substitution Theory (or those, like Anabaptists, who flatly reject the theory) holding a weaker faith, or a faith that was not consistent with their own belief?
     
  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Well, somebody is wrong or somebody is right or everybody is wrong! Error never leads to edifciation and strengthening of ones faith but always to weakening ones faith to some degree at least. A little leaven eventually leavens the whole lump if given the time and right circumstances to come to its full development.
     
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  3. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    What belief was that if they deny that Christ took the penalty of their sins and suffered for them?

    Not sure of the focus of the question JonC.

    HankD
     
  4. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    It seems the question is: Is Penal Substitution true?
     
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  5. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    I think it's more like - whats the state (or fate) of those who reject Penal Substitution?

    I was raised in a faux Christian home and a pseudo church. When I encountered the gospel of Penal Substitution at the age of 27, I flatly rejected it.

    No way. It was not that easy. Couldn't be. And that went on for weeks

    The moment I became convinced of Penal Substitution, my hope was firmly fixed upon Christ and has been since. Though I didn't know what had just happened, I knew something was different. I later discovered that I had received the Holy Spirit when I believed upon Him and what He accomplished on my behalf

    While there is validity in other positions as accompanying, I'm 100% convinced that one who rejects Penal Substitution is simply not a believer.
     
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  6. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I have on occasion been accused (usually in an oblique manner and not to my face) of "easy believism" by my Catholic family and friends (and some "Protestants" as well) , however this flies in the face of the fact that "present participle" sin in my life was conquered the moment faith in my Lord was exercised and the sin that I had once loved and lived by I now hate and victory over the remnants of sin still within me is cause for joy.
     
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  7. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
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    Wow. There goes about fifty million faithful Christians who are guided from Heaven a few keystrokes.

    Since you've clearly studied atonement theory at the highest levels and reasoned through all the other perspectives in thorough conversations with other theologians, the Church is glad to have you here letting us know who is and is not saved.
     
  8. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
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    I hold that there are multiple ways of viewing the atonement that are equally legitimate. The penal substitutionary theology (PSA) is one of those, and are very narrow view of Christ's atonement. While I don't reject it, I am critical of extreme views of it. Other views of the atonement are more thorough and comprehensive, in my opinion. PSA does allow for some factors other views don't account for in understanding Christ's atonement, but places the object of wrath at the center of salvation which, in my reading of Scripture, is not the nature of salvation in the New Covenant. But more on that later I suppose.

    Good thread for a hearty conversation. Let's all make sure we keep the discussion edifying and not condemning. There has been no single view of the atonement in the history of Christianity. At the center of all the views should be the work of Jesus Christ, a work no other person could accomplish. On that we all may rejoice in in our agreement. :)
     
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  9. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    Hey, no biggie. I'm glad I could help
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I agree that there is more than one way of looking at the atonement. Christ certainly did 'rise victorious from the grave,' and the Scriptures do speak of a 'ransom' (though certainly not one paid to Satan!).

    But any theory that omits the necessity of Christ bearing the sins of His people (Isaiah 53:5-6) and satisfying the righteous anger of God (1 John 2:2) fails to do justice to the Biblical data. I think the key verses are Romans 3:21-26, especially v.26, '.....That [God] might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.'

    'Payment God will not twice demand;
    Once at my bleeding Surety's hand
    And then again from me.'
    [Augustus Toplady]
     
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  11. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I completely agree. I look at things through a PSA lens, but when I realize the difference in philosophies, worldviews, and circumstances throughout the history of the Church I find it reasonable that other positions should not be so quickly dismissed. In fact, I think it understandable why the early church leaned towards the Christus Victor with penal substitution but elements within their view , and why the Reformers grasped more readily those aspects and formulated a more complete position of PSA. I believe neither view false but neither fully encompass the Cross either.
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Are there any theories that omit the necessity of Christ bearing our sins and satisfying the anger of God?
     
  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    One cannot fully look at and understand the OT sacrifices and not understand and agree that the penal substitution was and is truth.
     
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  14. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I guess my objection would be - it depends on what you mean by "penal substitution". Using my definition, I agree. The Atonement itself implies substitution and punishment adverted. But I do not think that what Anabaptists have rejected of PSA (that it was our punishment itself that the Father inflicted on the Son) makes it impossible that they are saved. Like anything, I think that we are safer in what we affirm than in what we deny.

    I agree.
     
  15. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Saved people can be led astray. Hence, theoretical denial of penal substitution may not prove they are lost. However, there is no salvation apart from both the active and passive SUBSTITUTIONARY obedience of Christ in satisfying the Law's penalty and righteous standard. Anything that excludes either is another gospel and an abomination in God's sight.
     
  16. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    First, identify the problem. Sin is the problem. Death is the result of sin (Rom. 5:12; 6:23). To deny that death is not the result of sin is to live in a fairy world of make believe. Sin is the violation of God's law and death is the penalty of that violation (Rom. 6:23). Sin is the violation because the Law demands SINLESS PERFECTION. Death is an eternal penalty and those who deny that also live in a fairy land of make belief.

    So the solution to sin and death is very simple. The Law's standard must be satisfied which is NOT TO SIN and the Law's penalty must be satisified which is eternal death. Jesus is God's propitiation or satisfaction for the Law's dual demands apart from which no salvation exists.

    Sinful man cannot satisfy either demand , now or ever. Hence, the only possible solution is a SUBSTITUTIONARY solution where both the active and passive obedience of Christ RESOLVES the issue of sin and death or demands of the Law of God. That is the essence of the good news of the gospel - it is finished, paid in full NOT FOR HIMSELF as he did no sin, but "FOR" us. That is the simplicity of the gospel, so why complicate it?
     
  17. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    It seems that you thought so at one time. This is from you back before Christmas.
    I am delighted that you are now an adherent to Penal Substitution. My time here has perhaps not been wasted. :)
     
  18. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I have not deviated from my position on PSA .

    (There is a difference between arguing for your position and arguing a position. As I've stated before on this forum, I believe we often benefit most from arguing against our theological positions as I'm not in it to "win" but to develop and refine my own views).
     
  19. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Let's look at this issue from the other direction, that of Socinus.

    Socinus argued that penal substitution was "irrational, incoherent, immoral and impossible." His objections:

    Irrational objection. Penal Substitution is the basis of God's forgiveness and pardon. That is the whole point. It is the means by which God can forgive our sins and still remain perfectly Just.
    God cannot be accused of being unjust. He IS Justice. Therefore whatever He chooses to do is, by definition, Just.
    The finite man must spend an infinite time in hell to pay for infinite sin. The Infinite Man can spend a finite time in hell paying for infinite sin. This objection seem to me to be a denial of the Omnipotence of God.
    We all sin, even after being born again, but the spiritual man resists sin, and does not desire to remain in sin. If a person desires to remain in sin and has no desire to please God it seems to me that such a person should examine himself to see if he is in the faith.
     
  20. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Not when the innocent is a willing substitute.
     
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