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Penal Substitution

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Oct 23, 2017.

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  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I guess that our brother does not hold to the concept of God appointing Adam/Jesus as representative heads over lost/saved humanity!
     
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  2. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I am not claiming that certain things are not the issue when it comes to theories of atonement. There are more issues than I have been addressing here. I also have not provided an explanation of my view of the atonement or even many arguments against PSA.

    We are all different, and we think through things differently. PSA depends on a specific framework of justice (I believe you would agree here). My first step is to look at this framework and see if it is valid. Thus far, I have seen no evidence that it is. Historically it has not been the way Christians viewed the atonement, so I think it is a valid request that you provide a reason divine justice is retributive justice (why justice demands a payment for sins committed that can be separated or transferred to another who willingly bears the sin).

    After this is proven through Scripture we can look at the many other issues.
     
  3. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Thank you! :)
     
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  4. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    You have not yet explained why you think that that Genesis 38:7 was restorative justice. Perhaps if you explain that we can move forward.
     
  5. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Restorative justice looks at the person, the originator of the act. God is holy. Er was wicked and God slew him. The church is to remove the wicked man. God would be just had He chosen to destroy all humanity rather than save a people.

    Retributive justice looks at the offense and penalty. Er does something wicked so someone must be punished for that wicked act. David commits murder but God forgives him and punishes Jesus for that sin. Or Er repents and does good in the sight of God but God slays him because justice demanded his wicked act be punished regardless of Er's state.

    I believe you are misunderstanding restorative justice to have man rather than God in view (probably because PSA has man and man's sin rather than God in view). But in Genesis the family of Judah is restored in accord with God's will. NOT because someone committed an act that demanded God kill Er but because Er was wicked. It is restorative justice.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Ad hominem aside, you are right that @Martin Marprelate has done an outstanding job presenting PSA. I am sure we all appreciate the time he took to lay out the theory and his summary would serve well in explaining the theory to others.

    I know what I am asking for, that the framework for PSA be proved via Scripture, is impossible because it is introduced into Scripture (which in and of itself doesn't make it wrong), so I don't want it to appear that I think Martin's summary deficient. I believe the theory flawed on several levels, but the summary here is excellent.
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Are you serious? I ask you to show me where you get your definition of divine justice and you say something like this? More smoke, huh? And still no answer to the simple question I asked.
     
  8. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I don't know where you are getting those ideas, but you obviously do not understand what I believe. What I believe isn't the topic. I asked you a question and rather than answering this is your reply.
     
  9. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    This is no form of 'restorative' justice that I understand. Everyone who has read the Bible knows that God's ultimate end is restorative. but there is no sense in which Genesis 38:7 is restorative. Likewise Jeremiah 14:15-16 came up in my devotions this morning. There was no restoration for the false prophets nor those who listened to them-- 'for I will pour out their wickedness upon them.' There is a bucket-load of similar texts; just let me know if you want some more.

    I don't know if you want to discuss the morality of retributive justice; I am quite happy to do so if you wish. But to say that God's judgement is never retributive is a nonsense.
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    This is such an appalling caricature of retributive justice as revealed in the word of God that I think you might wish to amend it.
     
  11. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I meant it as an illustration and I also find it unsatisfactory - hence my request that you prove divine justice is of that type. Scripture simply does not provide the context of a divine justice that would consider just the act of punishing a righteous substitute in place of the guilty. Scripture is replete with passages stating such is indeed not only appalling but an abomination to God.

    I will not amend the illustration because it is correct for its purpose in demonstrating that God's action against Er was indeed restorative (with God in view) rather than retributive (with Er's sins and punishment in view). But I will offer another example:

    Retributive Justice would require that God punish sin - not necessarily the sinner if there is another who can and will take that punishment. PSA assumes such is just and declares that Christ atoned for the sins of the elect by suffering their punishment. Restorative Justice is quite different. It takes Scripture literally - Christ bore our sins, it was God's will to crush Him, but God was never wrathful towards Christ as He laid upon Him all that would be wrath towards us. There is a huge difference here and I am asking that you justify assuming retributive justice to be the context in which God operates.
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    If you do not understand that type of "restorative justice", then perhaps I can help a bit. This type of justice (in secular practice) does not necessarily have in focus what is best for the criminal. It does not eliminate punishment. In society it has in mind society itself. In terms of divine justice it has in mind the holiness, sovereignty, will and plan of God. God is not bound by the Law to inflict certain punishments, but rather to act justly given the circumstance. Under restorative justice when one truly repents God is faithful to forgive. Retributive Justice demands a punishment for a crime itself - an "eye for an eye". A man may truly repent but God will not forgive except that punishment be rendered (directed at the sin, not the sinner who committed the sin, if a substitute takes that punishment).

    And yes, the goal is restorative. I think we agree on this. Scripture teaches that on the Cross God was reconciling the world to Himself, that it is by Christ's blood we are freed from the bondage of sin, etc. What Scripture itself seems not to teach, however, is that divine justice is also of the type PSA assumes.

    I do not want to discuss the morality of retributive justice here (but it would be a good discussion). And I would love to discuss other aspects you have brought out regarding PSA, like the nature of forgiveness itself, but unfortunately these things go back to assuming a contextual framework that has yet been proven. I want you to provide via Scripture proof that divine justice in salvation is within it's framework so that we can move on and discuss PSA.
     
  13. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Perhaps you don't understand the point I am making? You asked to prove that the Just can be condemned for the unjust did you not? Inherent in the first and Second Adam concept is the idea of "many" persons receiving the consequences of one person's action. We have a negative example of this in Adam and a positive example in Christ. For example the very words "condemnation of many" is used by Paul to describe the penalty inflicted upon "many" for one man's act of disobedience. Paul did not say this was a result of the plural "actions of many" or of the plural "sins of many" but the singular act, or singular sin by one man. Hence, by one UNJUST man's action MANY were condemned to death. I ask you now, according to the conclusion of your own argument which is, it is not just for the just to suffer for the unjust can you accept the reverse, is it just for many to suffer penalties inflicted upon them due to the act of one UNJUST man because that is precisely what Paul is claiming? Is God unjust for condemning the whole human race due actions by one UNJUST man? If God be just in doing so, then in reverse God would be equally just to cause one JUST man to sufffer in behalf of many unjust persons. If God be not just in doing so, then Paul is wrong in saying that by one man, one act "many be condemned" "many be dead." Your demand for proof is found right here in the representative acts of the first Adam and Second Adam analogies.
     
  14. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    However, let us return to basics because I believe your position is due to denying basic truths.

    1. Do you believe the Law of God as administered under Moses has retributive penalties for violation of its precepts such as in the phrase "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth"? Yes or no?

    2. Are those retributive penalties inclusive of capital punishment (e.g. for rape, murder, blaspheming, etc.) and if so, then how can that kind of penalty be restorative or restorative justice since it terminates the human life?

    3. Since death and all that it entails is retributive justice under the Mosaic Law and the Mosaic Law is called "the Law OF GOD" does not therefore the "law of God" include retributive penalties and thus include retributive justice?

    4. Since Jesus demands that the essence of "the whole law and the prophets" is summarized in the principle of love, and since God "is love" did Adam violate the very essence of God's Law in the Garden? Did not he fail to love God?

    5. Is not therefore "death" in Genesis 2:17 a retributive penalty for violation of God's Law? If not, then how do you explain the death of the non-elect as restorative?

    6. If death is a retributive condemnation for violation of God's Law and if Christ "died for us" how can you deny that the Just (Christ) "suffered" the retributive condemnation of death "for the Unjust"? You do deny the Just can justly suffer for the unjust do you not?
     
  15. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    This is false as it denies the very concept of love. How did Christ define love? Did he define it merely vertical or did he define it both vertical AND horizontal? Divine justices has in mind not merely the holiness, sovereignty, will and plan of God but the ultimate good of His people and the whole of creation. Moreover, divine justice is non-existent apart from retributive justice as the ultimate good is the NON-RESTORATIVE justice administered in death of the wicked. In addition, divine justice is non-existent apart from retributive justice as it is the holiness of God, His own Person that has been assaulted by sin and nothing less than the retributive penalty of death must be exacted to satisfy the holiness of God against sin.

    Again, you must resort to one of your escape hatches, or what you claim is non-essential or what you claim is not relevant to the question in order to make your argument stand. God is bound to love and His Law is in essence love by Christ's own definition.The law of God is the revelation of His holy and Just nature (Rom.3:20-22) as the Law of God is described in the very same terms as the nature of God - "holy, just, and good." You simply do not understand the true nature of God's law and therefore do not understand the true nature of God.



    This is an absolutely false dichotomy! If God is not bound to His Law as the STANDARD OF JUSTICE then he can arbitrarily forgive fallen men and Satan without Christ, without the cross. However, the cross satisfies the JUSTICE demanded by Law and it is retributive Justice that is being satisfied as death is the retributive penalty for violation of God's Law.
     
    #95 The Biblicist, Oct 27, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  16. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    This is not the just being condemned for the unjust. In Scripture the one affects the many (for example, under the Law the sin of one High Priest is attributed to the nation as a whole. The sin of Achan was the sin of Achan's family as he represented the family unit, and until Israel dealt with the issue it as the sin of Israel - even though they were at first unaware he had taken the idols. BUT Israel was not judged for Egypt's sin. An Israelite outside of Achan's family was not judged individually for his sin.

    Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. If you want to discuss Jesus suffering as the representative of mankind - the "last Adam" - then we can, I suppose. But I agree on this point as it is inherent in the words "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Most (if not all) theories of Atonement hold Christ as our representative. Perhaps the exception is with PSA as a quick reading shows its advocates clarify "representative" to mean "substitute" being punished with our punishment in our place.

    PSA, however, is not the teaching that Christ is the representative of mankind, taking upon himself the judgment of mankind and being the last Adam. It insists that divine justice must be satisfied by the punishment of sin apart from the sinner receiving that punishment. This is my request, that you prove that point via Scripture.
     
  17. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    The whole issue rests upon what is the definition of Biblical love and is death a retributive penalty for violation against the love of God. As far as the question, is it just for the righteous to suffer for the unrighteous I simply give Peter's opinion:

    1Pe 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

    Note that "for sins" and "for the unjust" includes both the penalty (sins) and the sinners. Note the text also includes both retributive justice (for sins) and restorative justice (that he might brings us to God). There is no either/or as Jon demands but BOTH!
     
  18. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Again, I don't care if it is a false dichotomy or if it is exactly what Scripture states. I am not arguing what I believe here but instead asking you to prove what you have assumed. That is the topic of this thread.

    You say I do not understand the true nature of God's law (and I, of course, believe the same of you). So what? Are you going to continue insisting that I believe your commentary or are you going to provide a passage that states salvation is worked out within the contextual framework you presuppose upon Scripture?
     
  19. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    You are mixing apples with oranges! You are attempting to compare fallen men with fallen men but Adam was an unfallen man and so were his descendants as long as he performed correctly. Fallen men already were justly condemned, but the posterity in Adam was not already condemned until one man sinned and it is by that one man and one man's sin that brought death upon "many" who were previous to that act without sin. So your response simply fails! If "many" existing "in Adam" prior to the fall were without sin but were "made sinners" due to one man's action than I ask you is God just for condemning "many" for one man's action?
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Yes, Jesus suffered once for our sins - the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

    For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.... For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

    Jesus is the "Last Adam", and as I have stated over and over again, the atonement is substitutionary - the just for the unjust. Just as Adam represented mankind, so now Christ is the "last Adam". But this is not a righteousness under the Law but one apart from it. You still have not proved, via Scripture, your point.
     
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