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Source: (consider it) Thread: One Atonement
Martin60
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# 368

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People are attracted to PSA as it is so easy. It's from the childhood of humanity and appeals to our inner child. Our frightened, violent, superstitious, irrational, ignorant, weak inner child.

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Love wins

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Jolly Jape
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Jamat, this is all very well, it is a good description as to what the atonement does, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with PSA. It applies to any objective, ontologically explanation of the "Paschal event", or, indeed, any account of the incarnation. Nobody on here, maybe apart from Martin, is denying the need for an objective atonement that, in some concrete way, alters the, if you like,course of history. But you make no case that that may be brought about only by penal means, especially not from Romans. In fact, Paul goes out of his way to dismiss the "justice" argument in Romans 3 vvs 25-26.

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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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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
Jamat, this is all very well, it is a good description as to what the atonement does, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with PSA. It applies to any objective, ontologically explanation of the "Paschal event", or, indeed, any account of the incarnation. Nobody on here, maybe apart from Martin, is denying the need for an objective atonement that, in some concrete way, alters the, if you like,course of history. But you make no case that that may be brought about only by penal means, especially not from Romans. In fact, Paul goes out of his way to dismiss the "justice" argument in Romans 3 vvs 25-26.

Christ is the atonement. His conception, life, death and resurrection as a single entity themselves are the atonement. Not some gavel banging in heaven.

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Love wins

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Jolly Jape
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You're not going to find me arguing with you about that, Martin. But the Paschal event is where that all meets its focus.

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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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Gamaliel
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No, Jamat, it is only a non-negotiable because you have decided to elevate it to a non-negotiable.

Once again, you write as if there is simply one way to read and understand the scriptures ie yours.

People haven't always understood Paul's Epistle to the Romans that way. The Orthodox don't understand it that way to this very day - and Greek speakers I know say that if you read it in the original Greek it doesn't necessarily bear the same kind of import that many Western commentators - from Augustine onwards - have tended to place upon it.

Be that as it may, it seems to me that Paul's exposition of the atonement in Romans can be interpreted in a PSA kind of way but also in other ways too - it goes beyond any one, single interpretation favoured by any particular Christian tradition ...

At the same time, I would defend those who espouse PSA of being 'authoritarian personalities' or 'childish' or petulant ... These people espouse PSA because they sincerely believe it's there in the scriptures - not because they are miserable, judgemental bastards looking for a text to justify their bastardliness ...

In the same way as PSA-advocates shouldn't accuse those who differ from them of seeking to be justified by works or not taking sin or the scriptures seriously enough - then it ill-behoves those who don't espouse PSA to accuse those who do of being callous psychopaths ...

There is a more excellent way ...

This discussion/debate will flounder if all we do is demonise those who disagree with us on the issue.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
You're not going to find me arguing with you about that, Martin. But the Paschal event is where that all meets its focus.

Ah go on Jolly Jape. And agreed.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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I meant, of course that I would defend proponents of PSA 'against' accusations of having authoritarian personalities etc.

Of course, lots of people/groups who do espouse PSA do tend to be fairly authoritarian in the way they act. You've only got to look at some of the more rigid conservative evangelical churches to see that.

However, proponents of PSA don't have a monopoly on authoritarianism. That's a feature of fundamentalism across all religious traditions.

And yes, you can have atheists and liberals with fundamentalist tendencies too, of course.

The more moderate proponents of PSA do of course emphasise the love of God and don't take the kind of grotesque, caricatured view of the atonement that the Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ got some kind of sadistic cosmic kick out of thrashing and 'punishing' his own Son.

Rather - as with Stott - they see God the Son taking our sin 'into' and upon himself - effectively 'absorbing' it as it were and bearing our punishment in our stead - willingly and voluntarily. 'Bearing pains and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood ...'

It isn't as if God the Father was rubbing his hands with glee going 'mwa ha ha ... mwa ha ha ha ha ...'

Which is why proponents of PSA are genuinely offended by the Chalke plagiarised 'cosmic child abuse' jibe.

I understand that. I respect that.

However, I still feel that neat and clear-cut though PSA tends to be - at least when proclaimed in a 'populist' kind of way - it does create further problems that the staunch PSA proponents struggle to resolve.

Yes, it can tilt towards a form of Binitarianism or even Arianism - and it's interesting that the Jehovah's Witnesses use somewhat PSA sounding language at times ...

Yes, it can be overly juridical and portray God as some kind of mortified indignant potentate - in somewhat feudal terms ...

Yes, it does require some hermeneutical shoe-horning to make it fit the scriptural data at times ...

But it's a big step and jump from that to portray all its proponents as some kind of psychos or authoritarian personalities ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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I think we are straying into territory beyond the footprint of the OP - which was a discussion as to why particular groups believe PSA to be THE defining and non-negotiable aspect of the atonement.

Although, if we are going to bring personality types into it - Personality Type X is going to be naturally inclined towards PSA, Personality Type Y isn't ... then it's hard to see how we can avoid value judgements of some kind.

Favours PSA? = authoritarian.

Doesn't favour PSA? = non-authoritarian.

I don't think it plays out as neatly as that.

FWIW, my main difficulty with PSA is that it appears to lock God into some kind of moral obligation that is bigger than He is ... were such a thing possible.

God can't possibly forgive unconditionally. He has to receive satisfaction ... he has to have blood ...

One could argue that the atonement turns that kind of Bronze Age concept on its head, that by suffering an undignified and bloody death, Christ was showing that such sacrifices were defunct and unnecessary ... but again, that's a pretty convoluted argument.

But then, so are any arguments about this, that or the other aspect of the atonement ...

It's rather like my issue with Calvinism - as it is popularly portrayed. Because it effectively paints God into a corner where he becomes trapped and subject by his own sovereignty ...

'Look guys, I would really, really like to predestine you to eternal bliss too, just like those others - but I'm afraid I can't ... it's nothing personal ... but you see, my hands are tied ... I've got this sovereignty thing to contend with ...'

Sure, I know that's a hideous caricature of the Reformed position but no more hideous and no more grotesque than some of the stuff the hyper-Calvinists come out with.

Not that there's a competition to see which Christian tradition can up with the most grotesque 'takes' on things ... we'd all get prizes for that somewhere or other along the line ...

I suppose where I'm at now is that whilst I respect the PSA position and those who hold tightly to it, I can see that it doesn't tick all the boxes - no one atonement model does - and raises additional questions and difficulties to those it apparently resolves.

Which is why I'm inclined, rather like C S Lewis, not to fillet the atonement up into bite-size chunks but to regard it as part of a continuum of the entire 'Christ event' - alongside and in conjunction with all elements - the Incarnation, Christ's exemplary life, his moral teachings, his miracles, parables, his atoning death and resurrection, his ascension and his continuing intercession for us, his second advent and coming again in glory ...

The whole kaboosh.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
You're not going to find me arguing with you about that, Martin. But the Paschal event is where that all meets its focus.

Ah go on Jolly Jape.
Do you think we're here to enjoy ourselves or summat? 😂

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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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Some of us! The trouble is I'm a 'reflector'!

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Love wins

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Jamat
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quote:
Gamaliel: Whilst I respect the PSA position and those who hold tightly to it, I can see that it doesn't tick all the boxes
But this just shows that you don't have a clue what is at stake. You simply CANNOT have regeneration and all its benefits UNLESS Jesus was a penal substitute. It is NOT about preferences, or hermeneutics and as for the Orthodox they are as irrelevant as ever the Catholics were. It is about what scripture objectively states about what the Christ must do, not only in the NT but also in Is 53 and elsewhere. Jesus' Emmaus Rd conversation was all bout the total necessity of the crucifixion to effect salvation. PSA is not a foible of theologians, amongst competing models. It is the grand design of Biblical strategy. The sort of total tripe voiced about it as one of many ideas created by the clever clogs theologians is like a spectator's view of the skills of a loose head prop in a rugby scrum. It is uninformed because the real understanding is so far from the spectator's experience of the pressures involved.

[ 26. April 2017, 13:39: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Jamat, your heaven is going to be as small as your God.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Gamaliel: Whilst I respect the PSA position and those who hold tightly to it, I can see that it doesn't tick all the boxes
But this just shows that you don't have a clue what is at stake. You simply CANNOT have regeneration and all its benefits UNLESS Jesus was a penal substitute. It is NOT about preferences, or hermeneutics and as for the Orthodox they are as irrelevant as ever the Catholics were. It is about what scripture objectively states about what the Christ must do, not only in the NT but also in Is 53 and elsewhere. Jesus' Emmaus Rd conversation was all bout the total necessity of the crucifixion to effect salvation. PSA is not a foible of theologians, amongst competing models. It is the grand design of Biblical strategy. The sort of total tripe voiced about it as one of many ideas created by the clever clogs theologians is like a spectator's view of the skills of a loose head prop in a rugby scrum. It is uninformed because the real understanding is so far from the spectator's experience of the pressures involved.
Who is this 'scripture' who makes objective statements? What are they?

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Love wins

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Jolly Jape
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Jamat, you're just not listening. Everyone on these boards prettying agrees that the crucifiction was necessary for salvation. Certainly I would affirm that as strongly as you do. But crucifiction does not equal PSA. Christus Victor depends on crucifiction, so does Ransom theory. Neither of those have a penal element. The whole rationale for PSA depends on the proposition that forgiveness can only be realised if someone is punished for the sin. But God has mercy on whom he will have mercy. Our "problem", if you like, is not guilt but mortality. It is that issue of mortality, our being subject to the law of sin and death, with which the atonement deals.

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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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Gamaliel
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Excuse me, Jamat ... I've been an evangelical, I'd still class myself as an evangelical of some kind ... even if I have some post-evangelical leanings.

That doesn't make me an 'ex-evangelical' - it simply means that I've broadened out somewhat in my thinking. But it isn't all about me ...

Neither is this about 'clever clogs theologians'.

And yes, both the RCs and the Orthodox ARE relevant because they predate Protestantism and we share a common ancestry. Who canonised the scriptures in the first place? It wasn't the evangelical Protestants, we didn't exist back then ...

I don't claim to be a theologian. I don't claim to be a clever-clogs. I simply claim to be a Christian who is interested in theology - however imperfect my attempts to get to grips with things are inevitably going to be.

Sure, I get that you reacted against your RC upbringing and underwent an evangelical conversion. Fine.

But that doesn't mean that everything can be reduced down to a simplistic set of fundamentalist Protestant sound-bites.

I'm not the one who 'hasn't got a clue' here ... you are the one who can't seem to see past the 16th century as diffused through early 20th century Protestant fundamentalism.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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Jolly Jape - that's a rather unfortunate typo - 'crucifiction' rather than 'crucifixion'.

At any rate - coming back to Jamat - yes, the cross is central. Yes, the atonement is central.

How it works in 'mechanical' terms is a moot point. What we have to go on are scriptural references, metaphors, tropes and explanations that we are to make sense of.

That involves theology.

These ideas don't drop out of the pages of the Bible in kit-form as per my earlier analogy of the plastic free-gift in old-time cornflake packets.

We have to make sense of them. We do that in community - and in dialogue with other Christians. That's how it's always been.

It was like that with the Jews as the OT Church (as it were) and it is like that with the Christian churches today ...

Yes, I believe that the Bible transmits objective truth - that it is THE Truth - I have no problem with calling it 'the word of God' as long as we recognise Christ as the Word (capital W) of God ...

But it doesn't 'work' in some simplistic 'join-the-dots' fashion. Sure, it's message is simple and direct and the simplest among us can understand it - that's not the issue - but the Bible itself is a highly complex and nuanced document.

It's not a straightforward textbook.

It doesn't work like that.

These things never worked like that.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
You simply CANNOT have regeneration and all its benefits UNLESS Jesus was a penal substitute.

Utter rubbish.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Kwesi
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Gamaliel
quote:
If we are going to bring personality types into it - Personality Type X is going to be naturally inclined towards PSA, Personality Type Y isn't ... then it's hard to see how we can avoid value judgements of some kind.
Favours PSA? = authoritarian.
Doesn't favour PSA? = non-authoritarian.
I don't think it plays out as neatly as that.

I disagree and offer as evidence the following post:


Jamat
quote:
This just shows that you [Gamaliel] don't have a clue what is at stake. You simply CANNOT have regeneration and all its benefits UNLESS Jesus was a penal substitute. It is NOT about preferences, or hermeneutics and as for the Orthodox they are as irrelevant as ever the Catholics were. It is about what scripture objectively states about what the Christ must do, not only in the NT but also in Is 53 and elsewhere. Jesus' Emmaus Rd conversation was all bout the total necessity of the crucifixion to effect salvation. PSA is not a foible of theologians, amongst competing models. It is the grand design of Biblical strategy. The sort of total tripe voiced about it as one of many ideas created by the clever clogs theologians is like a spectator's view of the skills of a loose head prop in a rugby scrum. It is uninformed because the real understanding is so far from the spectator's experience of the pressures involved.
Although it might be argued that Jamat's posts are more markedly dogmatic in content and tone than that of other PSA advocates, it does not seem to me the notion that attitudes towards PSA are related to the possession of an authoritarian or non-authoritarian personality is wide of the mark. Clearly, for PSAists the concept of penalty and the satisfaction of justice through extreme punishment is crucial, but for liberally-minded critics is a major reason why it is objectionable. If that does not relate to the distinction between authoritarian and non-authoritarian personalities I don't know what does.
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
You simply CANNOT have regeneration and all its benefits UNLESS Jesus was a penal substitute.

Why not? Accepting for the sake of argument that it is necessary that Jesus was a substitute, why is it necessary that he was a penal substitute?

quote:
Jesus' Emmaus Rd conversation was all bout the total necessity of the crucifixion to effect salvation.
As others have said, affirming—as fwiw I do, and most others in the conversation seem to as well—that the crucifixion was necessary to effect salvation is not at all the same as saying that the reason is that divine justice made it necessary for someone to be punished for our sins. That need for punishment to satisfy divine justice is the sine qua non element of PSA, and Jesus says nothing at all about that on the road to Emmaus. He says that the prophets were clear that the Messiah "should suffer these things."

There are indeed NT passages that talk of Jesus's death in terms of him bearing our punishment for us, but there are other passages that speak of the significance of Jesus's death in other terms. You have already noted the words of Jesus himself talking about it terms of a ransom, which, while not necessarily inconsistent with a penal understanding, isn't the same as a penal understanding either. If one were to make a Venn diagram of the various ways the sacrificial death of Jesus is described in Scripture, one would see significant overlap among those ways, but there would also be plenty of places they don't overlap.

So, we're left with two options: One is to approach the atonement as a mystery, and then to understand the various ways it is described in Scripture as attempts to put into human language that which we cannot fully understand, and to accept that no one description is complete in itself, but that together they give us a more complete picture.

The other is to assume that one way of describing the atonement is the correct or best way, and then to read all of Scripture through the lens of that one description, making everything fit it. With all respect, this seems to be exactly what you're doing, with the Emmaus road reference serving as a good example. You've used it to show why PSA is the correct and necessary understanding of the atonement, when Jesus in that passage says nothing at all about the punishment. You're reading that into the text.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Gamaliel
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Kwesi, I will accept that PSA-type views do attract authoritarian personalities.

That does not interfere that everyone who espouses PSA has an authoritarian personality. I used to be a big stickler for PSA. Does that mean I had a more authoritarian back then than I do now?

Or does it simply mean that I was exposed to traditions that strongly espoused PSA and imbibed that particular world-view?

It isn't for me to say whether Jamat has an authoritarian personality or not, but yes, he does come across as highly dogmatic and he does espouse a very fundamentalist 'take' on things - as witnessed by his very literal interpretation of Revelation and the Pentateuch - which is something I've discussed with him - and with similar results ie. accusations that I don't know what I'm talking about ...

As with anything else, there are shades and nuances. Not all PSA proponents are as inflexible - but as a general rule PSA-ers do what Nick Tamen suggests - they use it as the key-stone for their whole theological edifice and elevate it almost to the same status as the Trinity and Deity of Christ or the Deity of the Holy Spirit.

I've even heard some suggest that the reason the Council of Nicea didn't issue any definitive statements on the atonement was because PSA was universally accepted at the time ... So there was no need to codify it.

Which just goes to show the level and quality of reasoning among some - but no means all - of these people.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mr cheesy
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Steve Chalke said what he said because he was using language to highlight an absurdity. It is very close to the way that he (and, let it be said, Tony Campolo before him) said "30,000 people died today of preventable disease - and you people don't give a shit. And the worst part is that some of you are more concerned about the fact that I just said shit than that 30,000 people died of preventable diseases."

There is something of an absurdity in the way that at least some people who hold to the centrality of PSA continue to describe themselves as orthodox (when it is clearly anything but an orthodox idea) and yet see no contradiction in saying all kind of hurtful things about people who say anything different.

In effect Steve Chalke said "the way that some of you talk about the atonement make it sound like cosmic child abuse. And some of you are more concerned about the phrase "cosmic child abuse" than the way you describe the atonement and how that's an incredible turn-off for some people."

And, fwiw, I think Steve Chalke has been very wrong about a lot of things over the years. But nobody can accuse him of dodging issues, of refusing to wrestle with theological things that other churches tend to fudge about or for not living the things he says he believes in - including running schools for kids nobody else wants to run.

But it is absolutely wrong to suggest that Steve Chalke is the only person from an evangelical background who has a serious problem with PSA. One can rubbish Rob Bell, Greg Boyd, Steve Chalke and others, but one can hardly deny their evangelical credentials. It would have been far easier for them to stick with the acceptable theology than to speak out, and yet they've all followed their conscience on this issue despite the obvious impact on them.

You might not like their conclusions, but it is cowardly to suggest that because they are coming up with conclusions you don't like, Jamat, that they're somehow refuting orthodox Christianity.

In many different ways, that's bollocks.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Robert Armin

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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Leprechaun - I've tried to send you a Private Message about the tangent of women being able to lead UCCF CUs, but your box is full. I would be grateful if you could give me more information about this, either here, or through private messages. Many thanks, RA

I have tried to reply to your PM, but your box os now full.
My apologies! PM box now cleared.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Gamaliel
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I'd like to know why Jamat believes that the RCs and the Orthodox are 'irrelevant' to a discussion about elements of Christian doctrine - as if nothing of any significance happened between about 150AD and 1517 AD - and as if the Reformers believed in the Trinity, say, not because they inherited this belief from the RCs - who shared it with the Orthodox in pre-Schism days, but happened to open their Bibles one day and lo and behold, there it was ...

As though Calvin didn't inherit a strand of Western Christian theology on the atonement stretching back through Aquinas to Anselm to Augustine (who weren't Catholics but Protestants, presumably) ... But happened to open his Bible one day and there it was, fully formed and ready to hatch ...

I'd very much also like to know what planet Jamat is living on, but that is beyond the purlieu of this thread ...

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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I think that's taking things too far, mr cheesy.

I'd suggest that PSA is certainly orthodox within the context of small-o orthodox Western Christianity. It's one of several complementary models within that context as Mudfrog maintains. Historically, he's right as reformed (small r) and Reformed Christianity allows scope for development and variety in doctrinal understandings.

Ok, so do Rome and the Orthodox, but the process there takes a lot, lot longer in each case ...

So, from within a Western Christian and specifically Protestant evangelical perspective, PSA is certainly orthodox.

On what grounds and on what criteria are you suggesting it isn't?

Who decides?

I can understand the Orthodox considering it a heterodox - or even heretical - position as it neither accords with their understanding of the scriptures or Tradition.

But I can't understand why a Protestant might regard PSA as beyond the pale of what is doctrinally orthodox or not. The strongest thing they might say is, 'I don't like PSA and prefer to see the atonement in terms of X, Y or Z model ...'

Or else give a nod to all available models but not plump for any one of them in particular - which is what C S Lewis seems to have done.

He expressed distaste for PSA but he didn't say its proponents were heterodox or heretics.

This begs the question to me of what constitutes a lack of small o orthodoxy in a Western Christian context - specifically a Protestant one?

Is it the Creeds? Is it 'The plain-meaning of scripture' (if such a thing were possible)? Is it my personal preference or opinion?

What is it? Who decides?

You? me? Jamat?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I think that's taking things too far, mr cheesy.

I'd suggest that PSA is certainly orthodox within the context of small-o orthodox Western Christianity. It's one of several complementary models within that context as Mudfrog maintains. Historically, he's right as reformed (small r) and Reformed Christianity allows scope for development and variety in doctrinal understandings.

Kinda depends what you mean - if you measure orthodoxy by the length of time that the church universal believed the theology or the number of believers that subscribe to it, then it isn't orthodox.

I take what you mean though, it isn't necessarily unorthodox either, it clearly fits within various other orthodox ideas of theology without tipping over into outright heresy.

My main beef is with those who claim that the only "orthodox" believers are those who believe in PSA. It seems fairly obvious to almost everyone that there are and were a large number of orthodox believers who do not and have not ever had a strong belief in PSA.

quote:
Ok, so do Rome and the Orthodox, but the process there takes a lot, lot longer in each case ...

So, from within a Western Christian and specifically Protestant evangelical perspective, PSA is certainly orthodox.

On what grounds and on what criteria are you suggesting it isn't?

See above

quote:
Who decides?

I can understand the Orthodox considering it a heterodox - or even heretical - position as it neither accords with their understanding of the scriptures or Tradition.

But I can't understand why a Protestant might regard PSA as beyond the pale of what is doctrinally orthodox or not. The strongest thing they might say is, 'I don't like PSA and prefer to see the atonement in terms of X, Y or Z model ...'

Again, I don't really think it fits on the axis of orthodox vs heresy (I consider it to be an orthodox-yet-wrong idea).

quote:
Or else give a nod to all available models but not plump for any one of them in particular - which is what C S Lewis seems to have done.
I'm not very interested in CS Lewis and have no idea why so many Evangelicals look to him as an authority.


quote:
This begs the question to me of what constitutes a lack of small o orthodoxy in a Western Christian context - specifically a Protestant one?

Is it the Creeds? Is it 'The plain-meaning of scripture' (if such a thing were possible)? Is it my personal preference or opinion?

What is it? Who decides?

You? me? Jamat?

Quite. Not saying you are wrong on this, I'm just saying you're riffing on a theme that I'm not pushing.

[ 26. April 2017, 18:58: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Jamat
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quote:
Jolly Jape: The whole rationale for PSA depends on the proposition that forgiveness can only be realised if someone is punished for the sin
No, the rationale is that GOD found a solution to the justice vs mercy problem. Without justice, God's character is compromised. Without mercy, his love is. The punishment was taken by God himself in order that he can show mercy. IOW it is not that 'someone' needed to be punished, it was that we all did and God, in Christ, took the punishment in our place. The issue hardly anyone here gets, is that the wages of sin are and remain DEATH. Without what Christ did on the cross we are LOST. My main point which you virtually all reject is that scripture, teaches this from the start so I am done with the discussion. Anyone remotely interested might like to google: 'Pierced for Our Transgressions' by Steve Jeffrey, Mike Ovey, Andrew Sach.
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mr cheesy
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I believe in Jesus Christ: his life, death and resurrection.

That's what makes me a Christian. Not a belief in some half-baked theology cooked up in the last few hundred years.

[ 26. April 2017, 19:41: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Jolly Jape: The whole rationale for PSA depends on the proposition that forgiveness can only be realised if someone is punished for the sin
No, the rationale is that GOD found a solution to the justice vs mercy problem. Without justice, God's character is compromised. Without mercy, his love is. The punishment was taken by God himself in order that he can show mercy. IOW it is not that 'someone' needed to be punished, it was that we all did and God, in Christ, took the punishment in our place. The issue hardly anyone here gets, is that the wages of sin are and remain DEATH. Without what Christ did on the cross we are LOST. My main point which you virtually all reject is that scripture, teaches this from the start so I am done with the discussion. Anyone remotely interested might like to google: 'Pierced for Our Transgressions' by Steve Jeffrey, Mike Ovey, Andrew Sach.
No, we 'get' that, Jamat, it's just that you persist in battening everything down within that particular basket.

I'm quite conscious that without Christ I am lost. I am quite convinced that the wages of sin is death.

I haven't said otherwise and can't imagine why you insist that I - and others here - might not do so.

There are a range of views here. We're not all on the same page. The only thing some of us here have in common is that we are willing to examine some of our sacred cows and to re-evaluate them if necessary.

You clearly think that these things are not open to discussion or debate. Shame you're missing what might continue to be an interesting discussion.

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mr cheesy
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I suppose this seems to sadly underline the point that there are bits of Christianity which are drifting apart to the extent that they are fast becoming different religions.

I suppose it was ever thus; first a sect, then some kind of heterodox cult, then a completely separate religion.

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Sure, mr cheesy, I was riffing on a theme you weren't pushing, but I responded to some notes you'd struck ... some chords that twanged in my own mind ...

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
The issue hardly anyone here gets, is that the wages of sin are and remain DEATH.

Nope. Almost everyone who has weighed in here gets that and agrees.
quote:
Without what Christ did on the cross we are LOST.
Wrong again; pretty much everyone here agrees on that, too.
quote:
My main point which you virtually all reject is that scripture, teaches this from the start. . .

And wrong again. Hardly anyone has rejected the idea that Scripture teaches that without the cross we are lost. (Though many of us would say "without the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection, we are lost.")

What has been questioned is the idea that PSA—not just any theory of substitutionary atonement, but specifically penal substitutionary atonement—definitively and completely explains how what Jesus did on the cross saves us from being lost.

quote:
. . . so I am done with the discussion.
Simply saying "Scripture says so and anyone who disagrees just doesn't understand it" over and over isn't really discussion.

[ 26. April 2017, 20:27: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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Gamaliel
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It's what constitutes discussion on Planet Jamat, Nick.

But he's gone. Our attempts to engage are in vain. Perhaps they always wete. Right from the outset. As in scripture ...

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
FWIW, my main difficulty with PSA is that it appears to lock God into some kind of moral obligation that is bigger than He is ... were such a thing possible.

God can't possibly forgive unconditionally. He has to receive satisfaction ... he has to have blood ...

One could argue that the atonement turns that kind of Bronze Age concept on its head, that by suffering an undignified and bloody death, Christ was showing that such sacrifices were defunct and unnecessary ... but again, that's a pretty convoluted argument.

But then, so are any arguments about this, that or the other aspect of the atonement ...

It's rather like my issue with Calvinism - as it is popularly portrayed. Because it effectively paints God into a corner where he becomes trapped and subject by his own sovereignty ...

'Look guys, I would really, really like to predestine you to eternal bliss too, just like those others - but I'm afraid I can't ... it's nothing personal ... but you see, my hands are tied ... I've got this sovereignty thing to contend with ...'

Sure, I know that's a hideous caricature of the Reformed position but no more hideous and no more grotesque than some of the stuff the hyper-Calvinists come out with.

Not that there's a competition to see which Christian tradition can up with the most grotesque 'takes' on things ... we'd all get prizes for that somewhere or other along the line ...

I suppose where I'm at now is that whilst I respect the PSA position and those who hold tightly to it, I can see that it doesn't tick all the boxes - no one atonement model does - and raises additional questions and difficulties to those it apparently resolves.

Which is why I'm inclined, rather like C S Lewis, not to fillet the atonement up into bite-size chunks but to regard it as part of a continuum of the entire 'Christ event' - alongside and in conjunction with all elements - the Incarnation, Christ's exemplary life, his moral teachings, his miracles, parables, his atoning death and resurrection, his ascension and his continuing intercession for us, his second advent and coming again in glory ...

I'm liking this quite well.

Kurt Vonnegut, beloved author of my youth wrote this in "A Man Without a Country":

quote:
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon?

which seems to me to be a pretty good summation of the mindset to which I find my soul disliking to the depths of whatever a soul has at its deepest soulness. I find something rather mean, nasty and cruel about the atonement. I know we're supposed accept that God is fearsome and does real cool things like destroy Sodom and "he's not a tame lion" etc. But shouldn't we go out of our way and de-emphasize God's assholery, when there are plenty of humans prepared to be assholes on their ownsomes, and so much of the stories we have is about that part of the trinity we know as Jesus being the most humane and kind of human beings?
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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I believe in Jesus Christ: his life, death and resurrection.

That's what makes me a Christian. Not a belief in some half-baked theology cooked up in the last few hundred years.

No, what makes you a Christian is what makes you an adopted son of God. What does that is the blood atonement.

The devil believes in Jesus Christ, the life, death and resurrection.

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
It's what constitutes discussion on Planet Jamat, Nick.

But he's gone. Our attempts to engage are in vain. Perhaps they always wete. Right from the outset. As in scripture ...

No I am gone only in the sense that I'm not willing to break my head.
You do not want to engage on this issue. You only want to find justification for what you have prejudged.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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quote:
Nick Tamen: What has been questioned is the idea that PSA—not just any theory of substitutionary atonement, but specifically penal substitutionary atonement—definitively and completely explains how what Jesus did on the cross saves us from being lost
You have none of the benefits that you say you agree about if it does not. If you think you have them without it then you are deluded.

It is not me, Mr Cheesy, who has left orthodox evangelicalism.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jolly Jape
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Jamat, not wanting to rerun the CV thread, but if your whole soteriology is based on a single verse from Isaiah 53, a verse that is not backed up anywhere else in scripture, and your authority is the theological bollocks (to use Mr Cheesy's eloquent phrase) pedalled by Messrs Ovey and co, forgive us for being underwhelmed. Yes, we inherit the benefits of eternal life because we are adopted by the Father. No, that has nothing whatsoever to do with Penal Substitutionary Atonement, and you have not presented any evidence to even suggest that it has. The reason for this is that the evidence does not exist, at least, not in the Bible. If you think it does, then present it. Make your case. I challenge you! The fact that you continue to assert something is not, by the way, evidence as it is normally understood.

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
Jamat, not wanting to rerun the CV thread, but if your whole soteriology is based on a single verse from Isaiah 53, a verse that is not backed up anywhere else in scripture, and your authority is the theological bollocks (to use Mr Cheesy's eloquent phrase) pedalled by Messrs Ovey and co, forgive us for being underwhelmed. Yes, we inherit the benefits of eternal life because we are adopted by the Father. No, that has nothing whatsoever to do with Penal Substitutionary Atonement, and you have not presented any evidence to even suggest that it has. The reason for this is that the evidence does not exist, at least, not in the Bible. If you think it does, then present it. Make your case. I challenge you! The fact that you continue to assert something is not, by the way, evidence as it is normally understood.

Jolly Jape, the purpose of the thread was as you said not to rerun exhaustive arguments which is why I haven't. My position here though, is NOT the aberrant one. The burden of proof is on the deniers

Futhermore, how can you say that a scholarly work that fairly looks at both sides of the issue exceedingly graciously, is theological bollocks? I doubt you have read it or considered its arguments. It deals with and disposes of every objection commonly lobbed here.

Consider just one point for the sake of space.

Ten plagues occur in Exodus, nine of which afflicted the Egyptians solely but the tenth, also endangered the first born of Israel. Hence, the Passover lamb. The wrath of God needed appeasing. Ex 12:13.

Fast forward to the last supper. There is no lamb on the menu yet it is a Passover meal. Instead Jesus covenants with the apostles using bread and wine as a substitute for his blood,soon to be shed. Why? His blood will appease the wrath of God, he will pay the penalty for sin. He has become the lamb the substitutionary sacrifice.

The point is later reinforced by Paul, 1Cor5:7 and Peter, 1Peter 1:18,19. QED

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
The point is later reinforced by Paul, 1Cor5:7 and Peter, 1Peter 1:18,19. QED

Let's flip it a little okay? Get you out of the rigid cruel selective verse crap.

How about 1Cor 5:6, just for you" Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?"

Or 1Peter 1:15=16 "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy."

And to remind you: John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Does God practice only love with the threat of a gun to the soul in your world?

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Jamat, I am well aware of all those arguments, verses and interpretations. I am not prejudging anything. I am simply examining things and looking at them from various angles, something you don't seem prepared to do.

Unlike No Prophet,I don't think the atonement is 'cruel' for instance. But neither do I think it should be viewed in crudely penal or juridical terms.

I can certainly see/understand how and why it's understood that way and I have a lot of sympathy for that view - it's been part of my understanding for decades.

However, the fact that not everyone sees it that way suggests that there are other ways of understanding it.

Yes,I believe that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was raised to life for our justification.

I am not side-stepping the 'blood sacrifice' element. But equally I'm giving due weight and attention to the whole 'Christ event' insofar as I can given my limited human capacity.

I don't have an issue with the types and foreshadowings from Exodus and the OT sacrificial system that you cite. I believe that the atonement deals with all aspects - including the 'sin problem' as you put it ...

I may differ on how I think the atonement does that but I'm happy to accept that it does and that the Almighty has the whole thing covered whether it's in a CV way, a Ransom way or some kind of penal substitutionary way if indeed that's how it works ... I can live with a degree of mystery and ambiguity.

The classic Big E Evangelical position you cite is attractive in many ways - it's neat, elegant and cut-and-dried. But it also raises problems of its own. As do all the atonement models.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:


It is not me, Mr Cheesy, who has left orthodox evangelicalism.

It is really really hard to argue that there is such a thing as "orthodox evangelicalism", given that the movement includes such a wide range of views. Even if there is, then I'm not sure how it is possible for someone to assert from an extreme position that they alone are occupying it.

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Jolly Jape
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OK Jamat, lets deal with these one at a time.

Exodus 12:13. Who is being punished. The Egyptians, for sure. But that is hardly redemptive. God's wrath was not appeased, it was fully played out. The redemptive part is the blood painted around the lintels, which is a sign of covenant commitment; sealed in blood, certainly, but we don't regard the lambs as being punished. It's not a penal thing, if anything it is sacrifice. Sacrifice does not equal penal. Not all death is penal.

1 Cor 5:7. This is a reference back to the Exodus. Paul explicitly makes the point that Christ's death is a sacrifice, like that of the lambs. Again, sacrifice does not equal penal. Not all death is penal.

1 Peter 1:18-19. Again, sacrifice, with an added dollop of ransom. No indication that Christ was punished, indeed, as in your other quotations, no mention of punishment at all. Ransom/redemption does not equal penal. Not all death is penal.

For someone who purports to take the scriptures so seriously, you seem to have little interest in what they actually say, rather than what the authors of Pierced For Our Transgressions say they say. NOT ALL DEATH IS PENAL!!

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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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mr cheesy
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Also, y'know, the OT itself shows that God is not bound by judgment.

Arrrggghhhh you bloody Israelites! If you do that again, I'm going to completely lose my rag with you!

-- they do it again --

#facepalm

OK, look, let's start over shall we?

Does that sound like a deity who is forced to punish sin?

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
IOW it is not that 'someone' needed to be punished, it was that we all did and God, in Christ, took the punishment in our place. The issue hardly anyone here gets, is that the wages of sin are and remain DEATH.

I agree. However, if DEATH is the punishment for sin, and Christ took that punishment in our place - that is, instead of us - then why do we still die?

Surely the whole point of penal substitution is that the person who would originally have received the punishment no longer does? If we still receive the wages of sin - which we do - then Christ cannot have died instead of us.

If, on the other hand, Christ's death and resurrection defeated the very power of death itself, then our salvation has been achieved not through our punishment being meted out to someone else but through our punishment being made toothless and weak. We still receive death as the wages of our sin, but where is death's sting? Where is the grave's victory? Christ has conquered them, and in doing so has enabled us to join Him in triumph.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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mr cheesy
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Ah, c'mon Marvin - ever ful kno that it is talking about spiritual death.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Martin60
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First class MtM, first class. Why have I never heard that obvious point before? Therein is true genius. Here from the wee-wee end perspective.

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Love wins

Posts: 16145 | From: More Corieltauvi than Dobunni now. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I believe in Jesus Christ: his life, death and resurrection.

That's what makes me a Christian. Not a belief in some half-baked theology cooked up in the last few hundred years.

No, what makes you a Christian is what makes you an adopted son of God. What does that is the blood atonement.

The devil believes in Jesus Christ, the life, death and resurrection.

What did Jesus say makes one a follower of Him? I.e. a Christian?

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Love wins

Posts: 16145 | From: More Corieltauvi than Dobunni now. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
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# 812

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To be fair to Jamat, mr cheesy, your view does not represent 'orthodox evangelicalism' as traditionally understood within evangelical circles overall.

Sure, evangelicalism is messy and difficult to pin-down and define, but the kind of 'Crucicentrism' identified by Bebbington as one of its 'Quadrilaterals' does tend to be seen in PSA terms - by and large.

Sure, there are some from within the evangelical fold who have challenged or modified that 'received' understanding - and you've named a few of them.

However, many evangelicals wouldn't regard those characters as being 'true' evangelicals at all - certainly not Chalke - and Rob Bell is certainly seen as beyond the pale by many full-on Big E Evangelicals ...

But I'm probably not telling you something you don't know already.

What some Big E Evangelicals don't appear to be aware of, however, is that their position is in itself a 'tradition' ... just as all the other Christian traditions are.

Of course, those who are more 'ecumenical' in outlook are fully aware of that but in my experience, in practice, many evangelicals and Evangelicals seem to think that everyone else is part of a 'tradition' but that they themselves miraculously elide such a thing and are only going by 'the plain meaning of scripture' ...

Which, as we all know, is so incontrovertibly obvious that there must be something wrong with you if you don't see things the same way ...

[Roll Eyes]

So, something like 'He Was Pierced For Our Transgressions' isn't informed or shaped by its particular context or tradition but simply an exposition of Holy Writ.

It wouldn't occur to some of these people that their views have been shaped by a particular interpretative framework, just as everyone else's has been.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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I'm just a little baffled by something in this whole discussion. I understand that it focuses on one particular explanation of what atonement is about.

However, it's not as if atonement is exactly a new concept. For all the time and energy spent in the OT discussing the various sacrifices for sin, almost all of them were for inadvertent, minor occasions of sin. The big stuff had to wait for the annual Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). If you want to know what the OT foreshadowing of the atonement achieved by Jesus means, then how can you avoid discussion of what went on there?

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
To be fair to Jamat, mr cheesy, your view does not represent 'orthodox evangelicalism' as traditionally understood within evangelical circles overall.

Sure, evangelicalism is messy and difficult to pin-down and define, but the kind of 'Crucicentrism' identified by Bebbington as one of its 'Quadrilaterals' does tend to be seen in PSA terms - by and large.

These things are hard to pin down, of course, but PSA developed as an idea out of Evangelicalism - or possibly alongside it - so I think it is very hard to argue that the one thing completely overlaps the other.

As to Bebbington, I don't think he specifically uses PSA in one of his quadrilaterals, but I could be wrong.

quote:
Sure, there are some from within the evangelical fold who have challenged or modified that 'received' understanding - and you've named a few of them.

However, many evangelicals wouldn't regard those characters as being 'true' evangelicals at all - certainly not Chalke - and Rob Bell is certainly seen as beyond the pale by many full-on Big E Evangelicals ...

But again, you're taking those who self-identify as "orthodox Evangelicals" and taking people they don't agree with and saying "look, they're not true evangelicals!"

Yes they're seen as beyond the pale by some. Meh. There have been Evangelicals who see other Evangelicals as beyond the pale for almost as long as there has been an identifiable movement - that's not really saying anything at all.

You might be onto something if you could show that there was consistency throughout history where all Evangelicals - until very recently - taught PSA as we understand it now. I don't think that can possibly be true. But then that all depends on how one is defining "orthodox", PSA and "Evangelicals".

quote:
Again, that's no great surprise.

But I'm probably not telling you something you don't know already.

What some Big E Evangelicals don't appear to be aware of, however, is that their position is in itself a 'tradition' ... just as all the other Christian traditions are.

Of course, those who are more 'ecumenical' in outlook are fully aware of that but in my experience, in practice, many evangelicals and Evangelicals seem to think that everyone else is part of a 'tradition' but that they themselves miraculously elide such a thing and are only going by 'the plain meaning of scripture' ...

Right. I think there are many who think Evangelicalism is a plain reading of scripture and are unaware of exactly how forced some of the pillars of the idea are.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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