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Featured The just and the justifier

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Mar 19, 2018.

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  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Your viewpoint on the theory of the Atonement is virtually a carbob copy of that held by NT Wright!
     
  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    How so?

    If I recall, in our previous discussion we spoke about how Wright viewed the events of the Cross as focusing more on the historical event and how it related to Israel and Rome. I also recall saying this is one of other issues I have with what I know of Wright's position but that I did not know enough of his view to be very critical.

    My view of the Atonement was quite simple - Jesus bore our sins, freed us from the bondage of sin and death, and through Him God was reconciling mankind to Himself.

    So just off hand, we know that my view point of the theory of the Atonement differs from N.T. Wrights because I do not view the historical context (the relationship of Rome to Israel) as key to understanding the Cross.

    But I can't help but notice that your view, that God was punishing Jesus, is virtually a carbon copy of the view Kenneth Copeland holds about the punishment of the Cross. Do you see how silly things can get when you rely on false assumptions and ignore what was said in the past?

    Are you aware that people held to an understanding within the Christus Victor motif for over two thousand years before N.T. Wright was born?
     
  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Wright holds that it would be God molesting jesus to have His wrath poured out against sin placed upon Jesus, and that Jesus death was not per say the definite thing to get us saved, but that he lived a sinless life!
    And Copeland held that Jesus actually became a sinner, and died, and had to get born again, I doubt those holding to PST agree with that!
     
  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Then my view is obviously different from N.T. Wright's view. Again, why do you constantly introduce Wright's position on this topic when no one here claims to hold his view?

    If it helps, I also don't hold Denny Weaver's position. Please be careful how you treat other's beliefs (especially when I have taken the time to discuss this very thing with you last year).


    Thanks
     
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  5. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Yes, but many of them held to the fact that Christ conquered by satisfying God's justice and taking upon Himself God's wrath and curse against sin and sinners. Christus Victor is meaningless unless it is defined. Everyone believes it.
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The way that you express what you believe though regarding jesus death, as in Vindicating the holiness/righteousness of God, is right out of NT Wright vocab!
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I am not aware of any Christus Victor Theory that has God pouring His wrath, due to us, on Christ instead of us to satisfy the sin debt. That sounds like Penal Substitution Theory to me.

    And yes, each theory needs to be defined in order to have meaning. I agree completely. I think we ran into this issue in distingushind "penal substitution" (which everyone believes) from the Theory of Penal Substitution (which is a newer theory).
     
  8. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Good - because the way I expressed it was by offering 3 bible verses. I'm surprised you object.

    But why not say "your idea looks identical to classic Anabaptist ideas of the Atonement"....or, "that's identical to what Paul wrote"? What is your fascination with N.T. Wright?

    AND, knowing I disagree with Wright on this topic, why do you repeatedly force him into these threads?

    Insofar as the Resurrection being the vindication of the Father towards the Son, I think this a common Christian belief.
     
  9. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    The expression 'God pouring out His wrath....on Christ' is not an expression that I have ever used. I have always been very careful to maintain that the Lord Jesus never ceased to be the 'beloved Son.' I suppose that the expression comes from Revelation 16. The bowls of wrath in that chapter symbolise God's righteous judgements and punishments upon mankind. In becoming sin for us, Christ received the punishment due to us. 'The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.' God's wrath was never against Christ, but against sin and sinners. Christ willingly stood in our stead, and whatever was due to guilty sinners, Christ received the equivalent. In that respect, the bowls of God's wrath were certainly poured out upon Christ on the cross. But the time of His humiliation was actually the prelude to His greatest glory (Luke 24:26; John 13:31; 17:1; 1 Peter 1:11 etc.). So the doctrine of Penal Substitution certainly teaches that Christ rose as Victor. But again, whoever believes that He rose a loser? Christus Victor is no more than a platitude unless it is defined.
    I am not under the impression that Gustav Aulen believed in any form of penal substitution and I could not see that the lady theologian in your link was any better. But it is you who are endeavouring to eviscerate the doctrine and put a spin on it that I do not believe the ECFs would have recognized, and which most of the Reformers and Puritans would have rejected out of hand.
     
  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Hey Martin,

    Don't take this wrong, but who cares what Gustav Aulen believed? His view is as relevant to Christus Victor today as is the understanding that Christ literally descended into Hell where He was tortured for three days defines Penal Substitution Theory. Just as other authors contributed to Penal Substitution Theory, so also did Aulen contribute to the Christus Victor dialogue. But just as you are not dependent on John Calvin, so also am I not dependent on Aulen. I know of many scholars who hold to Christus Victor, but I do not know of any who hold to it as Aulen theorized.

    I don't know of any Christian who denies Christ bore our sins, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, He took the penalty we deserved, and by His stripes we are healed. But that is not Penal Substitution Theory (otherwise it has no distinction at all).

    But I will try to explain the difference between Christus Victor and Satisfaction Theory (to include it's derivatives). First, we have to understand that we are looking at things from a very different perspective. You can't evaluate Christus Victor from the perspective of Penal Substitution Theory (i.e., how does this satisfy what God's justice demands) any more than you can evaluate the Theory of Penal Substitution from a Christus Victor perspective.

    Consider Blumenthal's words:

    “The theologian must…accept the position of speaking from within a tradition or some part of it, garnering whatever authority, epistemic reasoning and evidence is possible whilst acknowledging inevitable and necessary limitations and listening to the inner resonances of the tradition in order to measure their own music against the inner tones of the tradition to the best of their ability, recognizing the scale of the task and its endemic dangers and pitfalls.” (David Blumenthal, Facing the Abusing God)

    You simply have to set aside the presuppositions that are inherent in the Theory of Penal Substitution to argue the issue. But here's the difference:

    Christus Victor articulates the Atonement within a “ransom” context – that is, Christ purchased us by His blood. Think of the word “redeem” which indicates a “buying back”. Christ bore our sins, our chastisement fell upon Him, and through this work God was reconciling mankind to Himself. Although it took many forms (many theories), this idea or context was the main view for the first millennia of Church history.

    Christus Victor is different from the Satisfaction Theory, Substitution Theory, and the Theory of Penal Substitution in that it does not regard the idea of “ransom” in the sense of a business transaction. It differs from Origen’s Ransom Theory in the same way. It views this ransom as a liberation or freeing of humanity from the slavery of sin and death.

    Unlike the Satisfaction, Substitution, or Penal-Substitution Theories, Christus Victor is not rooted in the idea of Christ paying the penalty of sin to satisfy the demands of divine justice. Instead this motif is rooted in the incarnation and how Christ entered into humanity, thus redeeming it from bondage.

    I hope this helps.

    John
     
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  11. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I will just point out that Aulen's name appears in the O.P., and that he is just a little bit more recent than Calvin. Aulen's book revived Christus Victor from the neglect to which it had been so rightly condemned for many years.
    Well I think you should get out more! Objections to P.S. started with Faustus Socinios. Spurgeon fulminated against those who taught against the doctrine of any sort of substitutionary sacrifice (Quotation on request), and since his day we have had men like C.H. Dodd and Aulen, and more recently, books like J. Denny Weaver's The Non-violent Atonement and Steve Chalke and Alan Mann's The Lost Message of Jesus. Not to mention your link from Fuller and Loyola (!) University. They don't answer the question of God's justice.

    BTW, I deny the existence of your 'Penal Substitution Theory.' I am talking about the Doctrine of Penal Substitution as it was taught by the ECFs, Reformers and Puritans.
    P.S. is not a derivative of Satisfaction Theory. It was about long becore Anselm.
    On the contrary, Christ's victory is precisely because He has satisfied God's justice. Over whom has He triumphed? Over Satan and his minions. "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of our Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them day and night before our God has been cast down' (Revelation 12:10). As I pointed out in post #3, salvation is a matter of justice. Satan can no longer accuse Christians before God because Christ has paid the penalty for their sins (Romans 3:25-26 again!).
    I am really not very interested in traditions. 'To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them' (Isaiah 8:20).
    Yep! Penal Substitution! :Tongue You just need to add the bit about God being just and the justifier of the one who believes in Jesus. But the great question is, how are we reconciled to a holy God? Pink's The Doctrine of Reconciliation is a wonderful book that explains it very well indeed..
    Who could possibly regard it as that???
    But it doesn't (or you don't) tell me HOW. Why is humanity in bondage? How does Christ entering into humanity release them from bondage? How does Christ dying on the cross ipso facto free us from bondage? What is this ransom? To whom is it paid and why? P.S. answers all these questions; without it we're back with my autistic teenager shouting out, "I love you so much I'm going to jump off a bridge for you!" And we say, "That's impressive, but why would it show how much you love us?"
    It shows me what a philosophical mess you're in. :Rolleyes
     
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  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I don't object to the penal substitution part as taught by the ECF's, and I have less an issue with some Reformers than I have with others.

    What you are objecting to, however, is that Christus Victor does not deal with divine justice as Penal Substitution Theory deals with it. And you are right there (wrong that it isn't dealt with).
     
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  13. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Well suppose you explain how it is dealt with and then we can discuss it.
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Scripture teaches that God is faithful to forgive those who repent and turn to Him. This is a part of divine justice. Jesus was offered for us. It was God's will to crush Him. He bore our sins and became a curse for us - not to prevent us from dying under the curse but to redeem us out of it. This is why we read "death, where is your sting". We are not spared from dying but given life in Christ Jesus.

    Divine Justice satisfied in Christ, Scripture also tells us of the wrath to come, which is centered in Christ as the Father judges no one but all judgment is given to the Son. This judgment results in the "second death" for all who are not in Christ.

    Have you ever considered the understanding Irenaeus held (Recalitulation)? I think his view helpful in understanding the fundamental difference between the Theory of Penal Substitution and the traditional views.
     
  15. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    This is EXACTLY what is a problem in some posts.

    Some would think that refusal to embrace Penal Substitution Theory results in one turning away from the torture of and the crucifixion as not necessary, or diminished in some manner.

    The Lord Jesus Christ was forensically brutalized, but not by God. Peter stood and proclaimed that truth and is found in Acts 2:
    23this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24“But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
    I consider that impetuous Peter would be appalled at the presentation that God's wrath was poured out upon His own Son in retribution for what God had predetermined to happen.

    There was "NO divine justice" poured out upon the one who was already the "just and the justifier." Such is not logical.

    Rather, the redemption of those who were (are) to be redeemed by that eternal offering not made on this earth, but as Hebrews indicates, took place in the very presence of God as Hebrews 9 states:

    11But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    15For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.​

    When Christ was crucified, he was "without blemish." He entered the very tabernacle of the heavenly "without blemish" to obtain eternal (not that temporary pictured promise of redemption seen in the old covenant) redemption.

    At no time is the wrath of God vindictively poured out upon His Son because the Son had become blemished by Sin. Such teaching as found in the PSA theory is just not found in the ECF teaching.

    The forensic suffering of the Savior was predetermined by God, pleasing to God, and allowed by God that redemption by God would save those in whom God chose to redeem from the judgment wrath to come.
     
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  16. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
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    What do the Bowl Judgments have to do with Christ dying on the Cross? These are specific judgments poured out on the earth.

    Here is the first:


    Revelation 16
    King James Version (KJV)

    16 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

    2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.



    Just trying to understand how you tie these together. Surely you don't think this has to do with what Christ went through to and on the Cross?


    God bless.
     
  17. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    well apart from the fact that I would have quoted 1 John 1:9 properly ('faithful and just') , I could have written all that. What exactly is the difference you see in preventing us from dying under the curse and redeeming us out of it? How does He do one without the other? Do you think P.S. doesn't speak about redemption? :Roflmao
    No. Tell me about it.
     
  18. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    You don't understand the difference between preventing us from dying under the curse and redeeming us out of it?

    This is what I mean. You can't seem to see outside of the Theory of Penal Substitution.

    In one instance we do not die under the curse. In the other we die under the curse yet live in Christ with our hope in the present being His resurrection - that in dying we might live.
     
  19. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Well I am seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). So which one is that?
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Your answer is in Ephesians 2:4-8, not on one extracted verse in the middle of a statement. Read it as a whole.

    (Give a man a fish vs teaching him to fish)

    The difference is that I know how the Theory of Penal Substitution speaks of this redemption because I once held and taught that theory. You can't see, however, how Christus Victor teaches redemption as evidenced by your posts. I explain it, but you still ask "where?". You are not looking in the right places.
     
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