There are some that hate the idea of substitution. Any reference to penal substitution, wrath, meets resistance. The question is not why the unbelievers hate it so, it is why some that call themselves Christians hate it so.
Antipathy is sometimes showed so clearly against substitution that you cannot miss it.
Atonement, Objective, Subjective
Objective: Centered in the fact that God’s disposition towards sinners must change
Subjective: The key issue is the sinners disposition to God. Something inside the sinner must change toward God.
If we hold to the objective we will see the subjective. The subjective is always determined by the objective.
The dividing line is clear, That a holy God who must demand a penalty for sin and provides a penalty through His Son who meets the full righteous demands of the Father and satisfied the wrath of God. If not we change the atonement.
This truth is reaffirmed in the reformation and growing Protestantism.
There is a growing rejection of a need for an objective atonement
Theories of the atonement: (J I Packer)
1. The cross has it effect on humanity
2. On hostile spiritual forces
3. For God’s hostility towards sin.
Number three contains one and two.
Refer to three different problems
1. Humans problem is that they are trapped by hostile spiritual forces
2. Humans need to know that God loves us.
3. God’s righteous wrath against sin.
Penal substitution is a belief for all evangelicals.
A denial of a penal understanding is never alone. It has a system of ramifications in all fields of theology.
This controversy is across the Christian world. But it is more focused in those that want to change the whole of theology.
Four lager groups of objections to substitution,
We have misunderstood the scripture in whole or part. We have the whole bible story line wrong:
(1) It is a misconstrue of sin. It is a self induced pain Wrath.
(2)Where ever wrath is mentioned it is the natural out working of sin. It comes with its own consequences.
(3)Sacrifice. The animal was not being punished. It is a model but was not a objective. The Bible did not require sacrifice. Disobedience brings about alienation.
(4)Is. 53. The language has to been properly understood. Suffering alongside us, not for use.
Prophetic expectation. Isaiah was not looking for one that would pay for sin but one that would free.
(5)NT, OT. Reading categories in the OT text from the NT.
(6)Words of Jesus. In the NT we have no direct access because he never wrote anything. (denial is always connected to other doctrine)
(7)We miss the message of Jesus which is non-violence.
Some say, the Bible does teach it, but we are not going to believe it.
The central objection is the view of God. His holiness defines his love.
Walter Wink: "The soul message of the cross is the victory is non-violence over violence."
1. Sounds like God wanted Jesus to die.
2. We needed to be changed towards God not God towards us.
3. At the cross we meet, not wrath, love and educational experience.
4. God is not a God who punishes sinners, but a God who is merciful.
We can forgive wrongs against us, but we cannot atone for them.
1. Divine Child abuse.
2. The OT is wrong in the sacrificial system and Christ died to end it.
3. Marital abuse is from penal substitution.
1. Not compelling to today’s people. People don’t view themselves as sinners.
2. To individualistic.
With the denial rejection of penal you open the gospel up in inclusivism. Under cuts eschatology, no hell. Undercuts the church.
1. The cross is central to Christian preaching
2. There is always more to the cross than one concept can bare.
3. There is no way to modify the gospel with out repudiating the gospel
4. Gospel deals with sin.
5. A therapeutic age demands the therapeutic answer.
6. Penal is the only adequate explanation for God being loving and merciful
7. We have been to individualistic.
8. Sinners need to here the truth and be saved from the wrath to come.
- The Reformed Pastor
- My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!