Pages

Blog Archive

Labels

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tony Jones received quite the response to his denial of penal substitution (which he then backed off from in subsequent posts). In response, he made a few subsequent posts to defend himself and clarify his position on the matter. More accurately, he either changed his mind since Friday or, like a good postmodern, isn't willing to deny something even though he doesn't find it true or biblically accurate.

Yesterday, on Doug Pagitt's radio program, Pagitt and he further discussed this issue and specifically "cul-de-sac Calvinistas" (to use their term) who are on a dead end street of Christianity or something along those lines. Pagitt is actually the more intellectually honest or informed of the two. While Jones claims that the "New Calvinists" are just a small sect of Calvinism and that the larger, "true" movement of Calvinism wouldn't agree with the new guys on the block (like Piper, Driscoll, etc.), Pagitt disagreed and acknowledged that all Calvinists would affirm penal substitution atonement (PSA). That said, Pagitt is even more resolute in his dislike of PSA than Jones, even calling it something worth teaching against because it is "dangerous" to Christianity. So basically, Pagitt believes it's a false teaching. That in itself is quite the revelation: an Emergent claims that there is at least some truth and some lies. In that respect, Jones seems much more postmodern than Pagitt, not wanting to have any certainty about anything. It's an informative (if ultimately saddening) discussion...

Listen here.

10 comments:

Nick said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Penal Substitution is false because it lacks Scriptural warrant.


I had a debate on this issue with a Reformed apologist:

http://catholicdefense.googlepages.com/psdebate

Darius said...

Wow, and an impressively long and well-researched debate it was. That said, your opponent showed that PSA DOES have Biblical warrant. That you ignored or twisted those texts to fit your view doesn't change the fact that they exist.

I didn't notice if either of you debated it, but Romans 3:25-26 is pretty impossible to ignore or twist. "God presented him as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away sin, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

Nick said...

Darius,

Thank you for taking interests, and I respect your claim you think I'm twisting texts. All I would request is some specific situations where I have twisted a text, otherwise I'm not looking into the best evidence PSA has to offer. The last thing I want is to make a bad argument, that's not Christian and that's not searching for truth.

Romans 3:25f was not mentioned, but the key is that it uses the Greek term for "propitiation," which means turn away wrath and not re-direct it upon oneself. Turning away wrath is well grounded in the OT (eg Num 25:1-13; Deut 9:16-21).

Darius said...

If we look at the rest of that verse, we get a better sense of what it meant to propitiate God's wrath:

"He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished"

This implies that until sins were punished, He would not be just. So Christ didn't just turn aside God's wrath and leave it floating out there in spirital space, but actually took it on Himself. Otherwise, God would not be just. The rest of that Romans text would read differently; He would be merely "the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." That Jesus took on our sin (was "made to be sin" it says in 2 Cor. 5) was primarily an act of saving face for God, so to speak. He claims throughout Scripture to be Just, Holy, and True, so if He wants to remain faithful to His Word, He has to punish sin.

Also, regarding the "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" issue. Yes, it's a quote from Psalms. But Jesus did NOT say the rest of that Psalm, just the forsaken part. If we look at the Greek word for forsaken (egkataleipo), it also means to totally abandon. And more importantly, if we look at context, several times it is used in the NT in reference to damnation ("abandoned to/left in Hades"). In effect, God was (temporarily) damning Jesus and turning His face away from His Son, beginning in the Garden til completion on the Cross.

Nick said...

Darius: "He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished"
This implies that until sins were punished, He would not be just.

Nick: The term "unpunished" is not actually there in Greek, as far as I can see, and other major translations dont use that term either. So based on this I don't believe the Bible is saying what you're claiming.


Darius: So Christ didn't just turn aside God's wrath and leave it floating out there in spirital space, but actually took it on Himself. Otherwise, God would not be just.

Nick: I don't see where justice involves taking out a punishment on oneself. It doesn't make sense to me. If the wrath is turned away, which is what propitiation means (and used in 3:25), then that should be it.


Darius: The rest of that Romans text would read differently; He would be merely "the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

Nick: But I do believe Atonement was made, I just dont believe it was Penal-Sub.

Darius: That Jesus took on our sin (was "made to be sin" it says in 2 Cor. 5) was primarily an act of saving face for God, so to speak. He claims throughout Scripture to be Just, Holy, and True, so if He wants to remain faithful to His Word, He has to punish sin.

Nick: The term "made sin" doesn't mean Jesus got punished or had guilt imputed. It means He became a sin offering (which translations like the NASB state).


Darius: Also, regarding the "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" issue. Yes, it's a quote from Psalms. But Jesus did NOT say the rest of that Psalm, just the forsaken part.

Nick: It was intoning the whole Psalm, and if you read the Psalm many of the very things described happened to Him. In Ps 22:1b it says "why are you so far from helping me," that's how He was 'forsaken', it was that His Father didn't rescue Him, nothing about Divine Wrath.

Darius: If we look at the Greek word for forsaken (egkataleipo), it also means to totally abandon. And more importantly, if we look at context, several times it is used in the NT in reference to damnation ("abandoned to/left in Hades").

Nick: Yes, this was a abandonment of the Father's protection. I don't see "several times" it being used in reference to damnation, I don't even see one example. Most of the time it is someone leaving another person. The "abandoned to Hades" is not hellfire, but the place where ALL dead souls go (Lk 16:23).

Darius: In effect, God was (temporarily) damning Jesus and turning His face away from His Son, beginning in the Garden til completion on the Cross.

Nick: I don't know how else to say this but that is just disturbing. God the Father damning God the Son? That's too disturbing for me to accept.

msvoboda said...

Nick,

Just because you find it disturbing doesn't mean it is not true. I find God pouring out his wrath on Jesus as horrific and I find the eternal punishment of the lost as horrific, but Scripture teaches both.

A price had to be paid for your sin. It was either paid by Jesus on the cross, PSA, or you will pay for it in hell for eternity. It can only be one or the other.

When PSA is denied the gospel is stripped of its power.

Nick said...

But what this is saying is Jesus was damned. Jesus is God the Son, so it's saying God was damned. Such a thing cannot be true.

Darius said...

Nick, I guess we should define what it means to be damned. What is damnation? I'm not saying that Jesus went to Hell after He died... I'm just saying that He was spiritually "damned" during the last few hours of His life until His death, at which point He surrendered His Spirit to the Father and went to Paradise, which is obviously not Hell.

I'm thinking that damnation ultimately means both punishment and rejection, at least that's what it seems to be in the Scriptures. Satan was making spiritual war against Jesus' soul, and God was using this as the opportunity to pour out His wrath and turn His face from His Son. So, not only was the Son punished, He was also, for the first time in eternity, out of intimate relationship with God. Only God, an infinitely powerful and pure being, could take the wrath of God and live.

Darius said...

"The "abandoned to Hades" is not hellfire, but the place where ALL dead souls go."

You reference Luke 16:23, which actually contradicts your statement. The rich man is Hades, but Lazarus isn't. Just look at verse 26. Hades is most certainly hell, and only unsaved people go there.

Nick said...

Darius: Nick, I guess we should define what it means to be damned. What is damnation? I'm not saying that Jesus went to Hell after He died... I'm just saying that He was spiritually "damned" during the last few hours of His life until His death, at which point He surrendered His Spirit to the Father and went to Paradise, which is obviously not Hell.

Nick: I understand what your saying, He was "temporarily damned" while on the cross. But the same objection stands, God was still damned, regardless of whether it was eternal or not.

Darius: I'm thinking that damnation ultimately means both punishment and rejection, at least that's what it seems to be in the Scriptures. Satan was making spiritual war against Jesus' soul, and God was using this as the opportunity to pour out His wrath and turn His face from His Son. So, not only was the Son punished, He was also, for the first time in eternity, out of intimate relationship with God. Only God, an infinitely powerful and pure being, could take the wrath of God and live.

Nick: And you're not disturbed at this? That God the Son got damned by His Father? Also, I see nowhere in the NT (esp Gospels) state what you are describing here. It's impossible for Jesus to be out of intimate relationship with God without cutting Jesus off from the Godhead.



Darius: "The "abandoned to Hades" is not hellfire, but the place where ALL dead souls go."
You reference Luke 16:23, which actually contradicts your statement. The rich man is Hades, but Lazarus isn't. Just look at verse 26. Hades is most certainly hell, and only unsaved people go there.

Nick: They are both in Hades, but it is divided between a state of rest and state of damned. (Lazarus was not in Heaven.) Second of all, Acts 2 when it says "you did not leave my soul in hades" is talking about post-death separation of soul and body, not what took place on the cross. Acts 2:31 says this refers to the "resurrection."

Recent Comments

Widget_logo

Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables


Darius Teichroew's favorite books »