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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Easter Message : Christ did not die for sin
Rosa Winkel

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

I believe that we deserve hell

Auschwitz-Birkenau was a place pretty close to hell. I take it you believe people deserve to be in such a place?

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The Disability and Jesus "Locked out for Lent" project

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Shadowhund
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quote:
Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
I am going to jump in here and quote from a very influential modern theologian. It's a bit long, but please do read it - it's quite helpful (at least, I found it so)


Quite good. Which leads me to wonder at all of the jerking knees over Canon John. I suspect that the uproar has everything to do with certain people's rage over Canon John's sexual proclivities and making money over selling papers. [Disappointed]

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"Had the Dean's daughter worn a bra that afternoon, Norman Shotover might never have found out about the Church of England; still less about how to fly"

A.N. Wilson

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humblebum
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I don't think that's entirely fair.

It might be a motivation for the sensationally minded newspaper editors; but a more realistic issue here seems to be whether doing a radio broadcast on why "Christ Did Not Die For Our Sins" during Holy Week is in poor taste or not.

It is of course possible that the tone of the broadcast has been completely exaggerated by the media hype. We'll have to wait and hear the broadcast to work that one out. (Unfortunately I can't do Real Audio here at work [Frown] ).

Thanks for the link Triple Tiara - it was indeed thoughtful.

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humblebum

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
quote:
originally posted by Komensky
Despite the claims of the OP, 1 Peter 2:24 claims that Christ died for our sins: "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed".

I don't think the Peter quote necessarily means that Christ was punished by God for our sins, that, if you like, He was the subject of the Father's wrath in our place, which is PSA as commonly understood. Rather it's a restatement of the Pauline doctrine of being crucified with Christ, of dying to sin, and being raised with Christ in His resurrection, in the context of unjust suffering. The thrust is rather more Abelardian Exemplar than PSA.

The Isaiah 53:5 verse is the one reference in the whole of Scripture (as far as I can make out) which refers (prophetically) to Jesus being punished, and if we include verse 6, punished by the Father, though it is possible to exegise the two verses separately. This seems a pretty shallow foundation upon which to build the definative theory of Atonement which those most committed to PSA seem to believe it to be. Of course, if the tenor of the whole of scripture were in favour of PSA, then the Isaiah verses would be valuable support, but, isolated as they, I believe, are, we should have a very cautious attitude towards them. We know that, from the earliest patristic era, from Philip onwards, these verses were favoured by evangelists. It seems strange that it should take so long for these "killer verses" to attain their current clinching role.

The overwhelming use of the word 'servant' in the Hebrew scriptures is to Israel as a nation - see Isaiah 41:8, 44:1, 44:21, 45:4, 49:3
Other references to "Israel as God's servant" include Jer. 30:10 (note that in Jer. 30:17, the servant Israel is regarded by the nations as an outcast, forsaken by God, as in Isa. 53:4); Jer. 46:27-28; Ps. 136:22. The "servant" is the nation of Israel and not one individual!
I think it is wrong to interpret Isa 53:4 as foretelling Jesus’ atoning death on the cross. The verse does not explicitly mention such a concept, which is completely foreign to the Torah. In Exodus 32:33 a man cannot make atonement for others.

In 53:5 - wounded "for our transgressions" isn’t quite faithful to the Hebrew, which has the sense of "because of our rebellious sins." i.e. one man can atone for another’s sins; "with his stripes we are healed." – many Jews interpret that as the healing is the end of the sickness of anti-Semitism that the nations will experience when they have this enormous revelation about the Jews at the End of Days.
53:5 "But he was wounded from (not “for”) our transgressions, he was crushed from (not “for”) our iniquities." Whereas the Gentile nations had thought the Servant (Israel) was undergoing Divine retribution for its sins (53:4), they now realise that the Servant's sufferings stemmed from their OWN actions and sinfulness against the nation. This theme is further developed throughout the Jewish Scriptures - see, e.g., Jer. 50:7; Jer. 10:25.

The Hebrew word (b’mosov), for the word "deaths" in Isaiah 53:9, is plural in tense and correctly translated means “deaths.” The KJV, NIV and other Christian translations of Isaiah again change it in order for it to read “death instead of 'deaths".

Read in context, Isaiah is not foretelling the future but addressing the present. Earlier, God had predicted exile and calamity for the nation and the Jewish people. Chapter 53 is Isaiah's "Message of Consolation", about the restoration of the nation of Israel to a position of prominence and a vindication of their status as God's chosen people. In chapter 52 the nation of Israel is described as "oppressed without cause" (v.4) and "taken away" (v.5), yet God promises a brighter future ahead, one in which the nation of Israel will again prosper and be redeemed in the sight of all the nations (v.1-3, 8-12).

Chapter 54 further elaborates upon the redemption which awaits the nation of Israel. Following immediately after chapter 53's promise of a reward for God's servant in return for all of its suffering (53:10-12), chapter 54 describes an unequivocally joyous fate for the Jewish people.

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Freddy
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Thank you, Leo, for those explanations. While I do think that Isaiah 53 is prophetic, I think that you give good examples of how the Hebrew can be read or misread in different ways to suit some particular pre-conceived notion about what it is about. I love what you say about Isaiah 54.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

All explanations start from the idea that Christ dies and so we receive eternal life.

Not at all. I would start from the fact that Christ lives, and so we share in his risen, divine and human, life.
I agree there are important explanations that take the incarnation or the resurrection as being the way in which God or Jesus do the requisite work. Indeed would say that I accept some version of them.
However, I think that even incarnation theories characterise Jesus' life as one in which he was willing to die or to give his life for others rather than run away or back down. If as Herbert McCabe says, if you're truly human then you will get crucified, then the incarnation involves becoming liable to being crucified.
(Resurrection theories such as Christus Victor obviously require that Jesus die at some point. I'm not sure that Christus Victor would be as powerful an explanation if Jesus had died quietly in his sleep at a ripe old age.)

Dafyd

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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The Revolutionist
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I think that PSA has often been stated in distorted ways both by those who believe it and those who don't. There's more to the Cross than can be summed up in a simple phrase like "penal substitutionary atonement". But I do think that it's a true description, even though it is only a partial description.

The first important point is that the Bible never talks about "God punishing Jesus". That's an oversimplification and distortion of what the Bible says. The Bible talks about God sacrificing his Son (e.g. Romans 3:25), and the Son sacrificing himself (e.g. Ephesians 5:2). The atonement isn't some innocent third party being unwillingly punished for something they didn't do, but the Father both willingly sacrificing his Son and Jesus willingly sacrificing himself.

This can still rightly be described as "penal substitution" since the form of the sacrifice was the same as the punishment we deserve - death and separation from God, both of which took place on the cross - and the sacrifice was a substitute for us having to be punished.

The third elements that's important in understanding why PSA is fair is the idea of our union with Christ. It's fair that we are forgiven because Christ was punished because we are one with Christ.

quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
Mudfrog, so let's be absolutely clear: you believe that every human being 'deserves' Hell? Does the use of the word 'deserve' here have any continuity with its everyday use, and the related everyday ethical notions of desert?

If I say that I believe that those who drive over the speed limit deserve life imprisonment, most people would think that I am an authoritarian maniac. Yet, we are supposed to believe, God makes me look like a liberal by comparison.

I think if we understand the high standard which we ought to live up to, the glory of God who we have rebelled against and the nature of hell understood Biblically rather than through popular imagination of fire and brimstone, then I think it's possible to see that we are indeed guilty, and that hell is indeed a deserving punishment.

We are made to show what God is like - in his image, for his glory. As such, we are supposed to love, heart and soul and mind, first of all God and then those around us. We are meant to give thanks to God and delight in him as the true and greatest source of all joy and satisfaction.

Instead, we've exchanged God's glory for idols (in our current age, often money or career or pleasure or family). We've exchanged the truth of God for a lie, suppressed the truth by our wickedness. We fail to love with our whole beings. We judge others, and in doing so condemn ourselves. We have rejected the glorious one, the perfect supreme being in whom beauty, goodness and truth find their unity, the being who is deserving of all honour and praise, God almighty himself.

That deserves death, and even if we are still in many ways decent people on the surface, we are all guilty of that. So with the greatest fear and trembling, and knowing that I myself am so deeply guilty, I believe that the Bible does indeed say we are all deserving of hell, of separation from God. Since we choose to reject him, we fail to love him completely, that's hardly unfair.

So praise be to God that in his mercy he offers forgiveness through the Cross!

quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw Dwarf:
quote:
Originally posted by doulos12:


God is love, yes, but He's also just.

What is the source of this 'justice' which, apparently, binds God? Is it something outside of God (in which case god seems not to be God, so to speak)? Or is it God himself? In which case how is God the source? Does his 'justice' issue from his decrees? In which case why is he not just an arbitrary despot suffering from bloodlust? Or is there some sort of eternal conflict between his love and his mercy - in which case he doesn't seem worthy of worship, but rather in need of psychiatric treatment? Then, of course, there is the doctrine of divine simplicity.
This comes back to the glory of God, to his very nature. God's goodness isn't something external to him, nor an arbitrary whim, but finds its definition in him. God is the transcendent standard of justice, of beauty, of love, of truth. He isn't just beautiful, he is Beauty. He isn't simply just, he is Justice. And so on - this is his very nature.

I did a very interesting interview with Russell T Davies, producer of Doctor Who recently. It's not online yet, unfortunately. I discussed with him the Doctor Who episode Boom Town, in which the Doctor catches up with Margaret Slitheen, who he defeated in an earlier episode. She is a mass murderer; she almost wiped out the Earth, and has killed more people in her attempt to escape the planet. She deserves to be brought to justice, and there's a real feeling in the story that it would be utterly wrong to just let her go. But to take her back to her home planet would mean taking her back to her death - on Raxacoricofallapatorius, they practice the death penalty, and she claims that she can change, but the Doctor knows she is still a killer. The dilemma the Doctor faces is between justice and mercy, and it's a decision he is saved from making by the mystical powers of the TARDIS which rejuvenate Margaret back into an egg, giving her a fresh start that would be otherwise impossible, and the Doctor is able to forgive her.

The solution to the problem is one that comes out of nowhere - it's a mystical leap in the dark, rather than anything rooted in reality. According to Russell T Davies, there is no way of reconciling the dilemma between justice and mercy; they have been in tension all through human history, and it is only in science fiction where the sky can split open and the impossible can happen that you can have that resolution.

But for the Christian, that apocalyptic moment of resolution isn't a fiction, but a reality. Just as justice and love are one in the nature of God, so he made them one on the Cross. No compromise of love, no compromise of justice. Sin is dealt with, forgiveness is offered. That's the miracle of Jesus sacrificing himself for our sins, and that's why PSA rings true for me, because justice and mercy are made one, rather than being compromised. The idea that God could "just forgive" seems to me to lessen the glorious unity of justice and love in his nature and on the Cross.

Sorry, I've probably gone rather too off-topic onto the whole PSA business. Grace and peace to you.

[ 04. April 2007, 17:44: Message edited by: The Revolutionist ]

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El Greco
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
Shema oh Yisroel adonai elohenyu adonai yachad.

One God. Not 'just' the Father. One triune God.

One God because one Father. "I believe in one God the Father".

In Orthodoxy, one triune God means one triune divinity, i.e. one divinity in three divine persons. There is one God and He gives birth to one Son and breathes one Spirit.

Um, perhaps I shouldn't have made this post... I guess it might sound pretty confusing to many people... Anyway. Always in good will. God help what is lacking.

[ 04. April 2007, 18:05: Message edited by: andreas1984 ]

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by andreas1984:
Um, perhaps I shouldn't have made this post... I guess it might sound pretty confusing to many people... Anyway. Always in good will. God help what is lacking.

Yes, andreas, once again it sounds as if you are saying that the Father is God and Jesus isn't. Just as earlier in the thread it seemed that you were saying that the Orthodox do not believe that the Bible is divine revelation. [Disappointed]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
originally posted by The Revolutionist
But for the Christian, that apocalyptic moment of resolution isn't a fiction, but a reality. Just as justice and love are one in the nature of God, so he made them one on the Cross. No compromise of love, no compromise of justice. Sin is dealt with, forgiveness is offered. That's the miracle of Jesus sacrificing himself for our sins, and that's why PSA rings true for me, because justice and mercy are made one, rather than being compromised. The idea that God could "just forgive" seems to me to lessen the glorious unity of justice and love in his nature and on the Cross.

But "just forgiving" is, surely, morally superior to exacting (retributive) justice. Why else would we hold up as examples people like Gee Walker or Donald Wilson. The very essence of forgiveness is that it is the complete antithesis of (retributive) justice. There is a gloriouys unity of justice and forgiveness on the cross, but it is because God sees justice in restorative terms.

WRT the rest of your post, I accept that much criticism of PSA comes from a crass oversimplification of the doctrine. However it is the core element, that we deserve death and that therefore God is obliged to deliver that death, in the absense of some escape mechanism that I find repulsive. Who says that God must behave in a way which, in our best moments, we would be ashamed of. Who says He can't "just forgive". We might well all deserve death. What is at issue is whether God would give us what we deserve or give us what we do not deserve. I think that Jesus demonstrates that it is the latter.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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El Greco
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Dear Freddy

Our dialogue has to begin with something. If I don't speak in fear of not being understood, then no two-way communication, no sharing of each other's faiths will be possible. If I only speak within the framework many non-Orthodox Christians use, then no intra-Christian dialogue is possible!

As for the bible, the way Orthodoxy approached it can be summed in what the Apostle said. The writers spoke in human terms, because of the limits of the people they spoke to. It's a guide, not Revelation. If you want revelation, look at what happened in Pentecost. That's the only revelation there is. One can only repeat what happened in Pentecost in his personal life.

"I believe in one God the Father.... and in one Lord Jesus Christ... true God from true God... and in one Holy Spirit... in one holy catholic and apostolic church... I confess one baptism... I expect the resurrection of the dead and life of the age to come."

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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Triple Tiara

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andreas, are you sure you are representing Orthodoxy fairly here? I cannot find any Orthodox writers who back up your assertion that the Holy Scriptures are "a guide, not Revelation".

Secondly, are you absolutely sure that Orthodoxy proclaims the Creed in the way you are doing, namely "I believe in one God - the Father" rather than "I believe in one God: the Father..... Jesus Christ .... the Holy Spirit"? I am intrigued by this interpretation of the Creed you are presenting and want to know if this is the general Orthodox view, or simply your particular understanding.

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I'm a Roman. You may call me Caligula.

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El Greco
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Dear father

I have written in the past that even when I say "God exists" I mean "in my opinion and according to my personal experience God exists". I do not speak for anyone but myself.

Your questions are valid. I can point you to other people who express those views as well, but to me this does not make much sense, because even if I point you to one or two priests, to one or two Saints, to one or two councils, this can still be the private opinion of a few people.

As far as revelation is concerned, and because you are a man of knowledge, I will ask you: is analogia fidei and analogia entis Orthodox approaches? If they are not Orthodox, then what does the term revelation mean to Orthodoxy?

As far as God is concerned, I will ask you how you understand monarchy. What is monarchy?

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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Triple Tiara

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These are really matters for another thread (no, please do NOT start one [Biased] ).

I understand where you are coming from concerning monarchy, and the questions you are asking concerning analogia entis and analogia fidei. But the more substantive part of my question has to do with whether this is a general Orthodox perspective you are espousing, or just your own. That's because your statements were in the context of saying something like "these things everyone is discussing only make sense within the framework of the non-Orthodox", suggesting that what you go on to say is from within the framework of Orthodoxy.

[ 04. April 2007, 19:58: Message edited by: Triple Tiara ]

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I'm a Roman. You may call me Caligula.

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El Greco
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Since father Triple Tiara asked for backup, I will quote Athanasius as far as the Creed is concerned, because he is a man respected by almost all Christians on these boards.

In his work Contra Sabellianos (I am using Migne's Patrology), he begins that work saying:

quote:
??????????? ??????????? ???? ???????????, ??? ?????????? ????????, ????' ?????????? ???? ????????? ??????.
This means: Judaism is opposing Hellenism, and none of the two is pious, but both are outside truth.

A few sentences below, he writes:

quote:
?????????? ?? ??? ???? ????????????? ??? ??? ????????????? ??? ???????????? ??????????????· ???, ??? ??? ???? ????? ???? ???????????, ???? ???? ??????????? ?????????? ????????· ???? ???? ????? ??????????· ??? ????? ???? ????????, ??? ?????? ????????? ?????? ??????? ????? ????· ????' ??? ??????? ?????? ??? ???????? ??????? ????? ??? ?????? ??????????.
This means:

"We are also separated from those who are like the Jews and those who spoiled Christianity in Judaism, who, by denying the God from God, they confess one God like the Jews; not because He is the only one that is unbegotten, and the only one that is the source of divinity, they dod not say for that reason that He alone is God, but [they confess one God] so as to show Him [to be] without giving birth to a Son and [to be] without giving the fruit of a living Word and true wisdom."

In that passage, Saint Athanasius the Great explains how the Orthodox Christians, on behalf of whom he speaks, are to be distinguished from the heretical Arians and those who are like the Jews.

As far as Revelation is concerned, I will quote father Romanides. I choose him, to pay tribute to his great work. I could point you to other directions if father Triple Tiara so wishes.

He writes:

quote:
3) That "it is impossible to express God and even more impossible to conceive Him."[ 14 ] In other words there is no similarity whatsoever "between the created and the uncreated." Anyone who thinks that Biblical expressions convey concepts about God is sadly mistaken. When used correctly Biblical words and concepts lead one to purification and illumination of the heart which lead to glorification but are not themselves glorification. An integral and essential part of knowing these foregoing three keys is the fourth key:
http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.02.en.the_cure_of_the_neurobiological_sickness_of_rel.01.htm#s4

I think that the above passages show that I am not alone. But as to how representative they are of the whole Orthodox Church, I guess we can discuss that...

It seems that while I was translating Saint Athanasius, fr TT you made a new post...

Well... You pose a difficult question... When I implied of an Orthodox framework, I was talking primarily about the purification-enlightenment-glorification way of living in Christ and about the absence of analogia entis and analogia fidei. See the "five keys to the bible" by father Romanides in the above link.

[ETA] Hey, why isn't the ancient Greek text shown properly? [Confused]

[ 04. April 2007, 20:15: Message edited by: andreas1984 ]

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Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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welsh dragon

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We just listened to the talk. A droll anecdote about the dour Welsh Calvinism of his childhood. An emphasis on the love shown by Jesus rather than a punitive idea of a vengeful God. Nothing very controversial, it seemed to us - I rather liked it. What do you think?
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Triple Tiara

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I think it's excellent - one could swear he was one of Ratzinger's students!

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I'm a Roman. You may call me Caligula.

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Doc Tor
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It is the Easter message - orthodox, congruent with the gospel accounts and set in a wider Biblical context. Tying it in with Christmas, too. Good work, I say.

Is this the right time to air such a message? Yes, of course. Sunday's coming...

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Forward the New Republic

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doulos12
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by doulos12:
I've studied the anti-PSA theories and just can't see how they can be accepted without tossing out major sections of the Bible.

Doulos, I don't think that Christus Victor tosses anything out of the Bible. In my opinion, the passages typically used to support PSA have better explanations. What are you thinking that these anti-PSA theories toss out?

By contrast, I think that PSA ignores much of what the Bible says about the purpose of the Incarnation. For example:
  • 1. According to PSA why would Jesus have said that the purpose of His coming is to "bear witness to the truth"? Why would He have said that He came to "judge" the world and "cast out" the "ruler of this world"?
I consider Christus Victor compatible with PSA.
quote:
  • 2. According to PSA what is the "work" that Jesus says that He came to accomplish?
  • His death for our sins.
    quote:
  • 3. How does the PSA understanding of "redemption" fit with the typical biblical usage of that term?
  • I suppose that depends on your definition. I define it as "stepped in for another and made payment." Fits perfectly.
    quote:
  • 4. How does PSA fit with the prophecies that Jesus would "put down the mighty from their seats"?
  • He certainly knocked the religious leaders down a notch by verbally putting them in their place. Ditto Satan.
    quote:
  • 5. PSA teaches that salvation happens only by the imputation of Christ's righteousness. How is this reconciled with Christ's words about salvation? How is "imputation" a biblical concept?
  • Ro 5:19
    quote:
  • 6. How can PSA be reconciled with the idea of a loving God?
  • Ro 5:8
    quote:
  • 7. PSA employs a concept of "justice" that is drawn directly from the Old Testament. How is this consistent with what Jesus taught about justice, as in Jolly Jape's post above?

  • I consider the Old Testament to be typological and the Word of God. I'm not a Marcionite, or am I misunderstanding you?
    quote:


    Not that I haven't heard, or that we haven't discussed, answers to these questions. I just don't think that the answers are satisfactory.

    PSA seems to me to subvert huge portions of the Bible for the sake of giving an easy answer to why Jesus died that fits with the Old Testament idea of sacrifice and a few New Testament references to it.

    One New Testament (or Old) is enough for me. But much of the Book of Romans seems to discuss it, especially Ro 3 & 5.

    --------------------
    Bought with a price,
    Dale

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    Seeker963
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    quote:
    Originally posted by welsh dragon:
    We just listened to the talk. A droll anecdote about the dour Welsh Calvinism of his childhood. An emphasis on the love shown by Jesus rather than a punitive idea of a vengeful God. Nothing very controversial, it seemed to us - I rather liked it. What do you think?

    Personally, I think that The Telegraph spun the story so badly that I presume that there was a small tornado somewhere in the vicinity of their editorial offices.

    --------------------
    "People waste so much of their lives on hate and fear." My friend JW-N: Chaplain and three-time cancer survivor. (Went to be with her Lord March 21, 2010. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.)

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    Shadowhund
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    I thought it was quite good myself. The only slightly heterodox things he suggested was the notion that God doesn't punish people for sin, and pushing the contrast between the wrathful God in the Old Testament and the loving God of the New Testament too far. It's the same God and the portraits require harmonization. But the press clearly mispresented his position on the atonement. The knee-jerk evangelicals who denounced and slandered him with barely-disguised glee also owe him an apology. Fat chance, that.

    --------------------
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    John Holding

    Coffee and Cognac
    # 158

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    quote:
    Originally posted by welsh dragon:
    We just listened to the talk. A droll anecdote about the dour Welsh Calvinism of his childhood. An emphasis on the love shown by Jesus rather than a punitive idea of a vengeful God. Nothing very controversial, it seemed to us - I rather liked it. What do you think?

    Interesting, then, that according to Thinking Anglicans, a couple of well-known "junior bishops of the Church of England" of an evangelical bent criticized it soundly. And then admitted they'd neither read it or heard it before they uttered. I gather the identities of the two bishops in question are easy to discern.

    John

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    The Revolutionist
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    # 4578

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    From Jeffry John's Lent Talk:
    quote:
    It just doesn't make sense to talk about a nice Jesus down here, placating the wrath of a nasty, angry Father God in heaven. Christians believe Jesus is God incarnate. As he said, 'Whoever sees me has seen the Father'. Jesus is what God is: he is the one who shows us God's nature. And the most basic truth about God's nature is that He is Love, not wrath and punishment.
    I agree that the Cross is a demonstration of God's love, and think that the first part of this quote is not a fair description of PSA. Where I disagree with what's said is the implication that God's nature being love is incompatible with wrath and punishment. As I understand it, God's wrath and punishment is an expression of love, not something contrary to it.

    quote:
    As Julian wrote,

    wrath and friendship are two contraries… For I saw that there is no manner of wrath in God, neither for short time nor for long;-for in sooth, if God be wroth for an instant, we should never have life nor place nor being.

    The cross, then, is not about Jesus reconciling an angry God to us; it's almost the opposite. It's about a totally loving God, incarnate in Christ, reconciling us to him. On the cross Jesus dies for our sins; the price of our sin is paid; but it is not paid to God but by God. As St Paul says, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Because he is Love, God does what Love does: He unites himself with the beloved. He enters his own creation and goes to the bottom line for us. Not sending a substitute to vent his punishment on, but going himself to the bitter end, sharing in the worst of suffering and grief that life can throw at us, and finally sharing our death, so that he can bring us through death to life in him.

    Again, much of this is very fine stuff which I agree with. But again it's making things opposite that aren't opposite: the Cross is both Jesus reconciling us to God and God reconciling us to himself, because Jesus is God and the two are working together in harmony to their mutual glory, to the mutual display of the holy love and loving holiness of God.

    I can understand why people react against the idea of God being angry at sin. It is not something pleasant to have to face up to; as sinners, it challenges us at a very deep level of our being. In the face of the ways in which the nature of God has often been distorted into something hateful and unloving, it's unsurprising that people should react strongly against it.

    But I think it's a fundamental mistake to see justice as inherently unloving, and to leave no place for righteous anger. What kind of love would God for all those who suffered and died in, say, the Holocaust if he just patted the perpetrators of such inhumanities on the head and told them it didn't matter? In what sense would God be loving to those around me if he wasn't angry at me at all the times I've hurt them, by deliberate intent or careless neglect? And what kind of love would God have within himself within the trinity if he did not care that we reject him, ignore him and slander him? What kind of love would he have if he did not love fairness, justice and people treating one another with love? God's anger is a right anger, a justified anger, an anger welling out of his deep love. God satisfying his justice was God satisfying his love for the wronged, for the broken, for the downtrodden. God's judgement, as well as his mercy, is an expression of his love and glory.

    Most things Christianity are not a matter of compromise. You can't have just a little bit of love and just a little bit of justice and balance them out in that way. You need to go to both extremes at once; you can't reach either extreme on its own. That's the wonder of the Cross - utter love and utter justice at the same time. It applies to other apparent dualisms in the faith: grace and discipleship, for example, or truth and love. If you leave out one, your compromise the other.

    That's my concern - in throwing out the baby of God's righteous, loving anger with the bathwater of the false idea of a vindictive God, you diminish the very thing you sought to protect, God's love.

    [ 04. April 2007, 21:54: Message edited by: The Revolutionist ]

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    El Greco
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    quote:
    Originally posted by The Revolutionist:
    What kind of love would God for all those who suffered and died in, say, the Holocaust if he just patted the perpetrators of such inhumanities on the head and told them it didn't matter?

    Like the fathers and mothers who love all their children. Even when a child does injustice to his brother or sister, the father and the mother does not stop loving him/her. Neither does the parent demand for justice.

    I am more concerned about us people. We bear a particular mark, a harm to our selfishness. How can God love the one that hurts me? How? I am His child. How can he not ask for the injustice that was done to me to be somehow "repaired"?

    Love -and this is the Christian scandal- God's love has nothing to do with what ordinary people call love. It is love for free. Love without waiting for something back. Love without restrictions and presuppositions.

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    Doc Tor
    Deepest Red
    # 9748

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    quote:
    Originally posted by John Holding:
    Interesting, then, that according to Thinking Anglicans, a couple of well-known "junior bishops of the Church of England" of an evangelical bent criticized it soundly. And then admitted they'd neither read it or heard it before they uttered. I gather the identities of the two bishops in question are easy to discern.

    Especially as it gives their names. One is a well-known and well-respected shipmate: perhaps he'll be along in minute to explain what was hopefully a momentary lapse of reason.

    (edited for speeling)

    [ 04. April 2007, 22:19: Message edited by: Doc Tor ]

    --------------------
    Forward the New Republic

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    Dobbo
    Shipmate
    # 5850

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    quote:
    Originally posted by leo:

    In 53:5 - wounded "for our transgressions" isn’t quite faithful to the Hebrew, which has the sense of "because of our rebellious sins." i.e. one man can atone for another’s sins; "with his stripes we are healed." – many Jews interpret that as the healing is the end of the sickness of anti-Semitism that the nations will experience when they have this enormous revelation about the Jews at the End of Days.
    53:5 "But he was wounded from (not “for”) our transgressions, he was crushed from (not “for”) our iniquities." Whereas the Gentile nations had thought the Servant (Israel) was undergoing Divine retribution for its sins (53:4), they now realise that the Servant's sufferings stemmed from their OWN actions and sinfulness against the nation. This theme is further developed throughout the Jewish Scriptures - see, e.g., Jer. 50:7; Jer. 10:25.

    We have to assume there has been a conspiracy theory with all the translators of Isaiah 53 given that all the versions seem to record the idea of for not from

    How the various translations translate Isaiah 53 v 5

    We also do not see this verse in isolation either according to 1 Corinthians 15 v 3

    quote:
    Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures
    I also think that you cannot write off this passage as only relating to current times - is Isaiah 53 v7 not the text that Philip used to preach Jesus in Acts 8 v 32?

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    I'm holding out for Grace......, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity
    Bono

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    El Greco
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    # 9313

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Doc Tor:
    Especially as it gives their names. One is a well-known and well-respected shipmate: perhaps he'll be along in minute to explain what was hopefully a momentary lapse of reason.

    (edited for speeling)

    Out of love for His Excellency and our Shipmate, I would like to bring to memory a verse from an epistle I love.

    In his letter, James, the Brother of our Lord, says:

    quote:
    let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger


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    El Greco
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    What I find of concern is this works/sins framework... I don't view sin as a particular act. If sins are acts then we enter into a judicial relationship with God. I am afraid of this act or that act because then my place in that relationship would become problematic and then guilt comes.... But when we feel that guilt, then how are we in a two-way relationship with God on equal terms? It doesn't work.

    Why do some people / some faiths see sins that way? Why do we have to get even, why are works seen as "points" scored in an imaginative book? Why are works supposed to deal with sins?

    I do not understand. I am reading the statement issued by bishop Pete... "we need our sins to be paid for"... Need? For a need the Son of God became man? What is this all-governing need? Why has none of the ancient fathers spoken about that need? Why?

    And how on earth do we say that these things are "Apostolic"? What place did these things have in the ancient church?

    Your Excellency, how is your opinion that "this is what the Creeds say" compatible with the fact that none of the fathers who composed the Creeds spoke of "the truth that Jesus died as our sin-bearing substitute carrying the punishment for our sins on the cross is the glorious heart of the Gospel"?

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    Freddy
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    # 365

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    Doulos, Thanks for the responses!

    I will only comment on one:
    quote:
    Originally posted by doulos12:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Freddy:
    3. How does the PSA understanding of "redemption" fit with the typical biblical usage of that term?

    I suppose that depends on your definition. I define it as "stepped in for another and made payment." Fits perfectly.
    That's what people seem to think. But look at how many references to redemption seem to treat it differently than that:
    quote:
    Deuteronomy 7:8 The LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

    Deuteronomy 9:26 Your people and Your inheritance whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.

    Deuteronomy 24:18 But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you from there;

    1 Kings 1:29 “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress,

    Nehemiah 1:10 Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.

    Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God,Out of all their troubles!

    Psalm 55:18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me.

    Psalm 69:18 Draw near to my soul, and redeem it; Deliver me because of my enemies.

    Psalm 72:14 He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; And precious shall be their blood in His sight.

    Psalm 106:10 He saved them from the hand of him who hated them, And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.

    Isaiah 1:27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice, And her penitents with righteousness.

    Isaiah 50:2 Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness;

    Jeremiah 15:21 “ I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”

    Micah 4:10 There you shall be delivered; There the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies.

    Micah 6:4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage;

    To redeem does not usually mean to "buy back" but to deliver by force, or to save. So what Christ accomplished was more like bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt than paying a ransom, although the imagery of a ransom is sometimes used.

    Cleopas was evidently thinking in terms of the above quotes when he said:
    quote:
    Luke 24:21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.
    He didn't realize that Christ did redeem Israel.

    --------------------
    "Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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    Triple Tiara

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    # 9556

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    quote:
    Originally posted by The Revolutionist:
    I can understand why people react against the idea of God being angry at sin. It is not something pleasant to have to face up to; as sinners, it challenges us at a very deep level of our being. In the face of the ways in which the nature of God has often been distorted into something hateful and unloving, it's unsurprising that people should react strongly against it.

    I'm not sure that many people object to that at all. Neither do I think that Jeffrey John was suggesting that. Where objections arise is the idea of a kind of "bloodlust" in God - he needs blood, blood, blood in order to be calmed down. It's not his anger with sin, it's his inability to be placated other than by shedding human blood that is the problematic bit.

    As Ratzinger pointed out in the bit I cited above, this is a common religious view, and one which Christianity in fact turns on its head. It is also a very late development in Christian soteriology, based upon a coarse overstatement of St Anselm's theology of atonement.

    Jeffrey John, and those of us who cannot buy into PSA, have not denied the centrality of the Cross, nor our need to be saved from sin. What we find objectionable is the suggestion that the God of Love is actually a bloodthirsty tyrant. No-one can point to any scriptural reference which paints this picture of God. If anything, the Cross is God's way of saying "stop trying to give me blood! I do not want any more! Here - I'll shed my own to show you!"

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    mousethief

    Ship's Thieving Rodent
    # 953

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Triple Tiara:
    If anything, the Cross is God's way of saying "stop trying to give me blood! I do not want any more! Here - I'll shed my own to show you!"

    YES! [Overused] [Overused] [Overused] [Overused]

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    El Greco
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    # 9313

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    I was listening to a series of discussions on Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christian theology, when the speaker mentioned the way Thomas Aquinas dealt with the issue... He said that on the one hand, Anselm was Thomas' teacher, so he couldn't just disregard what he said, so, he came up with a cute answer "Yes, God could have done differently, God could have just forgiven us without the Cross, but it was more fitting that Jesus got crucified".

    I did a bit research today, and I found that on the Summa:

    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4046.htm#2

    (articles 2 and 3)

    Quoting from him:

    "Therefore, speaking simply and absolutely, it was possible for God to deliver mankind otherwise than by the Passion of Christ"

    quote:
    Even this justice depends on the Divine will, requiring satisfaction for sin from the human race. But if He had willed to free man from sin without any satisfaction, He would not have acted against justice. For a judge, while preserving justice, cannot pardon fault without penalty, if he must visit fault committed against another--for instance, against another man, or against the State, or any Prince in higher authority. But God has no one higher than Himself, for He is the sovereign and common good of the whole universe. Consequently, if He forgive sin, which has the formality of fault in that it is committed against Himself, He wrongs no one: just as anyone else, overlooking a personal trespass, without satisfaction, acts mercifully and not unjustly. And so David exclaimed when he sought mercy: "To Thee only have I sinned" (Psalm 50:6), as if to say: "Thou canst pardon me without injustice."
    And

    quote:
    I answer that, Among means to an end that one is the more suitable whereby the various concurring means employed are themselves helpful to such end. But in this that man was delivered by Christ's Passion, many other things besides deliverance from sin concurred for man's salvation. In the first place, man knows thereby how much God loves him, and is thereby stirred to love Him in return, and herein lies the perfection of human salvation; hence the Apostle says (Romans 5:8): "God commendeth His charity towards us; for when as yet we were sinners . . . Christ died for us." Secondly, because thereby He set us an example of obedience, humility, constancy, justice, and the other virtues displayed in the Passion, which are requisite for man's salvation. Hence it is written (1 Peter 2:21): "Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps." Thirdly, because Christ by His Passion not only delivered man from sin, but also merited justifying grace for him and the glory of bliss, as shall be shown later (48, 1; 49, 1, 5). Fourthly, because by this man is all the more bound to refrain from sin, according to 1 Cor. 6:20: "You are bought with a great price: glorify and bear God in your body." Fifthly, because it redounded to man's greater dignity, that as man was overcome and deceived by the devil, so also it should be a man that should overthrow the devil; and as man deserved death, so a man by dying should vanquish death. Hence it is written (1 Corinthians 15:57): "Thanks be to God who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." It was accordingly more fitting that we should be delivered by Christ's Passion than simply by God's good-will.
    The speaker also said that Roman Catholic theology today is more fluid. I guess that's a good thing, if Anselm's view was both culturally bound and dominant in the past.

    So, what did Anselm really said on the issue? And how dominant have those views been in Western Christianity?

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    Barnabas62
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    # 9110

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    andreas

    It was undoubtedly possible for God to do it differently, but He chose not to. Maybe the real issue is how human beings recognise it, and Him? I remember quoting it on another thread, but there is this marvellous passage in Luke 24 (Emmaeus Road) which incorporates both of these ideas. Here are a couple of extracts.

    quote:
    25. He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26. Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27. And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

    28. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29. But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.

    30. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32. They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

    The Son of God was recognised in the brokenness, the tearing of the bread. Others have speculated that in the offering of the bread, the wounded hands would be exposed to sight. But it is not the theories of atonement which explain atonement, it is the encounter with atonement which illuminates and changes what we see in ourselves, in others, and in the world. It is, for me, a place where grace and peace are met together, justice and mercy kiss.

    [ 05. April 2007, 06:40: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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    Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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    El Greco
    Shipmate
    # 9313

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    I hear you... But the kind bishop and Shipmate in his statement implied that it was not possible, that there was a need for Christ to suffer in order for man to be set free. So, it's not that simple. I recognize Aquinas' efforts and I applaud him for them, but I am very interested in what happened in the centuries before us because we bring our past with us.

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    Barnabas62
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    # 9110

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    andreas

    I have this feeling (the day before Good Friday in our calender) that our considerations of the meaning of the necessity for the death of Christ tend to fall away when we are confronted with the awfulness of what actually happened. And the awefulness.

    I liked Triple Tiara's latest post in this thread. Of course it raises further analytical questions, some of which I have thought about but few of which I can answer. Ever since my conversion, I have this experience of "my heart burning within me" when I survey the wondrous cross on which the King of Glory died. I cannot fully explain it, of course, but that applies to many things.

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    Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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    El Greco
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    I hear you.

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    Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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    Dafyd
    Shipmate
    # 5549

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    quote:
    Originally posted by andreas1984:
    But the kind bishop and Shipmate in his statement implied that it was not possible, that there was a need for Christ to suffer in order for man to be set free.

    There are two or three stages here.
    Firstly, we have Anselm. Anselm explains Christ's passion as the redress due to a feudal lord. The idea is that there is a contract between God on the one hand and humanity on the other. If one human breaks the contract, then all of humanity have broken it. Likewise, if one human meets the terms of the contract on their own, then the rest of humanity don't need to worry.

    Since Anselm lived in a society in which that made sense, it made sense to the people who lived in that society. It became the standard metaphor.
    It has its faults - as Aquinas says God can perfectly well pass up on what he is owed - but the same faults apply to 'ransom to the devil' theories. So long as we see it as one metaphor among others we're ok.

    Now feudal society starts to break down. We get an individual or personal concept of justice and responsibility. Instead of seeing sin as breaking a covenant between God and humanity, we begin to see sin as an individual's crime against God's moral law. But the old metaphorical language from the feudal area continues to apply. It doesn't make sense, since you can't punish one person for another's wrongdoing. Anyway, this is now penal substitution proper.

    I have seen conflicting accounts of Luther's theology here. On the one hand, he is one of the first people to use the new language of penal substitution. On the other, he uses it as one metaphor among others and Gustaf Aulen argued that when he wants to give a definitive statement, as in his catechisms, he uses the language of the church fathers.

    I suspect that John Calvin had a lot to do with making penal substitution the definitive account among the Reform tradition. As C.S.Lewis says of him, he took themes from earlier theologians, asked the dark questions and gave the dark answers.
    Anyway, many people in the Reformed tradition found that Calvin's interpretations matched their experience of sin and salvation, and so penal substitution became the standard language. Furthermore, within that tradition over the past two hundred years, there has grown up a tendency to draw lines in the sand to prevent the encroachment of godless liberal ideas, and even worse, Roman Catholicism. Penal substitution has become one of those lines in the sand.

    Dafyd

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    Trudy Scrumptious

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    The Revolutionist:

    [Overused] for bringing in the Doctor Who comparison (and for getting to interview RTD). There should be a corollary to Godwin's Law which says that anyone who brings a Doctor Who analogy into a discussion or debate should get an automatic [Overused]

    I have mixed feelings about a lot of things in this debate but I lean towards the side of "PSA is not the only explanation of Jesus' death but it is one valid one that should not be forgotten." The anti-PSA argument seems to me to be informed by a couple of beliefs I don't share:

    1) the belief that Biblical references to "Hell" refer to a place of unending conscious tormet; if you believe that is what Hell is (rather than just death, which is our lot as mortals) then I can see how it would skew your concept of the justice of God, and

    2) the tendency to look at "forgiveness of sins" only from the perspective of the sinner rather than of the sinner's victims. I don't see why it's so magnanimous of God to automatically forgive rapists, mass murderers, child abusers, etc., without expecting some form of justice or payment. (Of course you could still argue that God's saying, "Yes, this sin is heinous! It deserves to be punished, and I took the punishment myself!" is unjust, but I think it's a lot more powerful than saying, "No reparation is needed for this" which implies the sin was never that big a deal). I think the Doctor Who analogy was quite a good one in pointing out that justice and mercy are two very powerful forces -- not that they are necessarily in opposition, but that they may demand different responses, and that the cross can be seen as bringing both together.

    [ 05. April 2007, 09:56: Message edited by: Trudy Scrumptious ]

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    Books and things.

    I lied. There are no things. Just books.

    Posts: 7428 | From: Closer to Paris than I am to Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
    Mystery of Faith
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    It strikes me - having flicked through a number of the posts here though not having read them all - that some of the negative reaction seems to be based simply on the Telegraph headline which, perhaps unsurprisingly was slightly sensationalist "Easter message: Christ did not die for sin" and I think misrepresents what Jeffrey John actually said: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/lent_talks/scripts/jeffreyjohn.html.

    There is also the possibility that there is bias creeping in simply because of Jeffrey John's name, reputation and known liberal stance, but I hope most would reflect on this properly before simply writing it off.

    Equally, this is hardly exactly a revolutionary new way of understanding Christ's purpose and death on the Cross, so what's the deal about being up in arms about it being an insenstive time to say such things? It strikes me - at a time of year when perhaps non-Christians are more conscious of the faith than at other times - that to push forward an alternative way of understanding the Cross than penal substitution(a theory which for so long kept me away from faith and I'm sure does many others) now is a good thing.

    Christianity is a broad camp - or at least should be - and personally I think it is disappointing to see someone such as Tom Wright(assuming he hasn't also been misrepresented) - and others on here - wading in as though penal substitution was the central doctine of Christianity and always had been. Clearly, it's not. It's one way of understanding things which works for many.

    In my view it doesn't work for many more and we need more people like Jeffrey John speaking up.

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    El Greco
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
    "No reparation is needed for this" which implies the sin was never that big a deal).

    2 things:

    a) No reparation is needed when MY BROTHER sins against me. While we cannot see it clearly that our enemies are our brothers, that our enemies are us, this does not mean that this is not true.

    b) Sin is not to be seen as an act. You see it as particular acts. Sin is more of a state of being. Not acts. How can you demand reparation for the state of being another person has? "Against you, you alone, have I sinned."

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    Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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    GreyFace
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
    the tendency to look at "forgiveness of sins" only from the perspective of the sinner rather than of the sinner's victims. I don't see why it's so magnanimous of God to automatically forgive rapists, mass murderers, child abusers, etc., without expecting some form of justice or payment.

    I don't understand this. Maybe it's a character fault, but I've never really understood how revenge puts things right.

    I think far more highly of someone who freely forgives an injury out of love for the perpetrator, than someone who says "Of course I'll forgive you, just as soon as I've seen you suffer as much as I did, you bastard." That's not to say there isn't a place for punishment as a deterrent or as a tool for rehabilitation.

    [ 05. April 2007, 13:08: Message edited by: GreyFace ]

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    Freddy
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    quote:
    Originally posted by GreyFace:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
    the tendency to look at "forgiveness of sins" only from the perspective of the sinner rather than of the sinner's victims. I don't see why it's so magnanimous of God to automatically forgive rapists, mass murderers, child abusers, etc., without expecting some form of justice or payment.

    I don't understand this. Maybe it's a character fault, but I've never really understood how revenge puts things right.
    It's not a matter of revenge but of finding a way to make it stop happening. This is the essential idea of forgiveness - to make the evil cease so that love can return. Or to respond with love, which makes the evil cease. Either way, hatred is replaced by love.

    The question is how things actually work and how best to make that happen. God does not wave a wand and grant forgiveness. Rather He acts in a way that is consistent with human freedom to change the way that people think, feel and act. He doesn't simply grant forgiveness, instead He works to change things for the purpose of reducing, and eventually eliminating, the things that cause grief and pain.

    The imagery and the reality of war, punishment, and other forms of conflict are the most tangible and easily understood ways to impose change - and they have their uses. You can't simply allow criminals to do as they wish. But the subtler and more gradual solutions are the ones that have to do with the spread of knowledge, education and culture change. They are also the most permanent solutions.

    I think that this is what the Incarnation and Jesus' sacrifice are actually about. While the imagery is related to punishment and violent conflict, the inner reality was about truth defeating ignorance and darkness, love defeating hatred, and the loves of heaven taking priority over the loves of this world.

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    "Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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    Jolly Jape
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    quote:
    originally posted by the Revolutionist
    I can understand why people react against the idea of God being angry at sin. It is not something pleasant to have to face up to; as sinners, it challenges us at a very deep level of our being. In the face of the ways in which the nature of God has often been distorted into something hateful and unloving, it's unsurprising that people should react strongly against it.

    Wellt his is an oft-repeated argument; I've heard it from various pulpits, I should think, a hundred or so times. But to be quite honest, I don't buy it. I just don't think that whether or not God is angry at us as sinners (which, I suspect, is the concept which you were seeking to convey, rather than the impersonal anger at sin itself) has any effect on whether or not we confront sin in our own lives. A far more potent motivation is personal devotion to God, and it seems to me that the biblical principle of repentance as a fruit of, rather than a precusor of, forgiveness is not lessened one whit by the rejection of the notion of the "angry God"™ paradigm. And of course, overarching all these pragmatic arguments is the question, "Is it true". My perspective is that God sees sin rather as a surgeon sees cancer. Sure, He's angry about it, but that anger is expressed by a determination to do something about it, and compassion, not anger, towards its victims.

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    To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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    Martin60
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    KLS-DOD this is the ... crux guys. I have the SAME issue with God as unfair psychopath as you when He can only be bothered to save an elite of humanity. What's unfair about Him condemning us ALL to death? In His holy, perfect, righteous wrath? The wrath of the LAW? Which is GOOD? Inadequate - in that it can save no one and kills every one - and perfect and good?

    That before the court of heaven, in the court of heaven, our accuser, The Accuser, doesn't have to lie about ANY of us? Can build a case against ALL of us.

    And the Judge passes the death sentence and has it executed upon Himself?

    Otherwise what is the blood sacrifice of the lamb of God for?

    If there is NO sacrifice for sin then YOU have no saviour. YOU are dead in your sins, are carrying a letal rotting corpse bound to your back. You're dead. Forever. Because the law is more powerful than life.

    But love, mercy, grace is more powerful than death. In Christ's blood.

    If you were the only person on Earth you would HAVE to scourge and crucify Christ to live forever.

    That's the LAW.

    [ 05. April 2007, 15:19: Message edited by: Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard ]

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    Love wins

    Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Seeker963
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    quote:
    Originally posted by GreyFace:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Trudy Scrumptious:
    the tendency to look at "forgiveness of sins" only from the perspective of the sinner rather than of the sinner's victims. I don't see why it's so magnanimous of God to automatically forgive rapists, mass murderers, child abusers, etc., without expecting some form of justice or payment.

    I don't understand this. Maybe it's a character fault, but I've never really understood how revenge puts things right.
    I think the point that "revenge doesn't get things right" is exactly why God doesn't deal in revenge. God IS concerned about the victim - about healing the victim. It's hard to expand on this idea in a short post but the idea of God's healing and his suffering with those who suffer is absolutely central to Christianity. This story of The Ragman by Walter Wangerin might get the point across about God's healing better than I can here.

    In a world of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, everyone ends up without sight and without teeth. The reason that I'm not going to scream out for a God of revenge is because I don't want to be on the receiving end of divine revenge. I assume that people who do want God to exact revenge must not think that they deserve to be punished.

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    "People waste so much of their lives on hate and fear." My friend JW-N: Chaplain and three-time cancer survivor. (Went to be with her Lord March 21, 2010. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.)

    Posts: 4152 | From: Northeast Ohio | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
    El Greco
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
    That's the LAW.

    No it isn't. This is what I have been trying to tell you.

    Don't you find it strange that it became "the Law" in feudal Western Europe after the Schism? Don't you find it strange that e.g. in the fourth century nobody have heard about that "Law"? Don't you find it strange that none of the Eastern Saints all these 2000 years preached or even knew that "Law"?

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    Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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    El Greco
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    quote:
    Anyway, many people in the Reformed tradition found that Calvin's interpretations matched their experience of sin and salvation, and so penal substitution became the standard language.
    Many thanks Dafyd!

    quote:
    It has its faults - as Aquinas says God can perfectly well pass up on what he is owed - but the same faults apply to 'ransom to the devil' theories. So long as we see it as one metaphor among others we're ok.
    'Ransom to the devil" and PSA are not the only options available! In the East we knew neither the one nor the other, yet we have been doing Christianity for two thousand years!

    quote:
    Originally posted by Dafyd:
    Since Anselm lived in a society in which that made sense, it made sense to the people who lived in that society. It became the standard metaphor.

    Can culture influence the gospel? Can culture influence the view we have of God? I come from a tradition that confesses the faith given to the Apostles once, the faith kept by the fathers and the people always. How can I accept that for centuries many Western Christians had a view of a God like that? I mean, how can I be in communion with them when our view of God is so opposing?

    This is one of my concerns. The second concern I have is this: Were those people able to have what we call in the East a "view of God"? Were these people beholding God? Some of these people I mean. Was that way leading to enlightenment and glorification?

    These questions are important to me as I am exploring what happened in Western Europe over the past centuries...

    In my opinion God is a gracious God and can reach the people in all situations... So, I can accept that all kinds of different people can have a view of God. Like Plotinus. Or Buddha. But I do think that the different protocols we use differ in both efficiency and clarity. So, I can accept the variety of cultures and religions and denominations, but I cannot agree that all protocols are egalitarian, as far as their efficiency and their clarity are concerned.

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    Ξέρω εγώ κάτι που μπορούσε, Καίσαρ, να σας σώσει.

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    Josephine

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
    If there is NO sacrifice for sin then YOU have no saviour. YOU are dead in your sins, are carrying a letal rotting corpse bound to your back. You're dead. Forever. Because the law is more powerful than life.



    I could be wrong, but I think that the Scriptures say that if Christ is not risen from the dead, we are still dead in our sins. Not if Christ was not sacrificed, but if he is not risen.

    Furthermore, the Law was a gift from God, to help us begin to learn how he wants us to live. But Life -- Our Lord and Savior said that he is the Life. He's not bound by the Law. He's not subject to the Law. The Law has no power over the Lawgiver.

    quote:
    But love, mercy, grace is more powerful than death.


    Exactly.

    quote:
    If you were the only person on Earth you would HAVE to scourge and crucify Christ to live forever.
    Nope. Not a chance.

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    I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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    rajm
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Mystery of Faith:
    It strikes me - having flicked through a number of the posts here though not having read them all - that some of the negative reaction seems to be based simply on the Telegraph headline which, perhaps unsurprisingly was slightly sensationalist "Easter message: Christ did not die for sin" and I think misrepresents what Jeffrey John actually said: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/lent_talks/scripts/jeffreyjohn.html.


    The ship has managed to bung in an extra '.' into the link, you actually want http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/lent_talks/scripts/jeffreyjohn.html.
    Posts: 131 | From: Cheshire | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
    Dobbo
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Josephine:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
    If there is NO sacrifice for sin then YOU have no saviour. YOU are dead in your sins, are carrying a letal rotting corpse bound to your back. You're dead. Forever. Because the law is more powerful than life.



    I could be wrong, but I think that the Scriptures say that if Christ is not risen from the dead, we are still dead in our sins. Not if Christ was not sacrificed, but if he is not risen.

    Furthermore, the Law was a gift from God, to help us begin to learn how he wants us to live. But Life -- Our Lord and Savior said that he is the Life. He's not bound by the Law. He's not subject to the Law. The Law has no power over the Lawgiver.

    quote:
    But love, mercy, grace is more powerful than death.


    Exactly.

    quote:
    If you were the only person on Earth you would HAVE to scourge and crucify Christ to live forever.
    Nope. Not a chance.

    In yet all Christians to this day remember His sacrafice to this day in the forms of Mass , Eucharist , Communion etc and there are two elements that we remember in particular His body broken and His blood shed. People are prepared to accept that Christ's blood is important in a ritual but do not wish to think on the implication / other ramifications of His blood? Or is His blood simply shed that we may have a ritual?

    Christ suggested to His disciples that His blood was important for the remission of sins - Matthew 26 v 28

    Please also quote the Bible verse/s that says we are still in our sins if Christ had not risen, so that I can study it further.

    I can give you many more verses showing that "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15 v 3)or that He died for us etc.

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    I'm holding out for Grace......, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity
    Bono

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