The Atonement

Does a “Cruciform Hermeneutic” Help Us Make Sense of Scripture?

I’ve had several discussions online with some who dismiss the wrath of God as having any part in either the atonement, or indeed, as part of who God is. Someone has recommended Greg Boyd’s Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence as a good presentation of an alternative way to view the topic. As I make my way through this book, I am recording thoughts and reactions. Boyd begins…

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The Extent of the Atonement

The Atonement and the “Well-Meant” Gospel Offer

It isn’t uncommon in discussions on the atonement to find those who hold to definite atonement appeal to an internal consistency of Scripture; to consider the logical implications of the evidence. This appeal comes with a kind of tacit acknowledgment that many verses of Scripture that speak of atonement do, on the face of it, seem to support an unlimited atonement. The editors of From Heaven He Came and Sought Her, state it this way.…

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Bible

Yes, You Can Learn New Testament Greek

Until the Reformation, it was not standard practice for clergy to learn the original languages of the Scriptures. This was in part due to the long reign of Jerome’s Vulgate translation into Latin that was the officially endorsed version of the Roman Catholic Church. Among Protestant pastors, learning Hebrew and Greek is common and often required, but this regard for the importance of the biblical text in its original languages has not filtered through to…

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The Decalogue The Law of Moses

Antinomianism Is A Word Not Found In Scripture

Freedom from the law is not something to look at warily. The words “antinomian” and “antinomianism” are polemical terms, and as is often the case, they carry connotations. But does a look at what’s claimed with these words stand up to scrutiny? A dictionary definition says an antinomian is “one who holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation.”[i]…

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The Atonement

God’s Wrath Satisified: What Propitiation Accomplished

In my last post I looked at the fact of God’s wrath at sin, and showed that in both testaments, the teaching of Scripture is clear that God is justly angry at sin and evil. That he expresses his wrath against sin and sinners is also the consistent teaching of the Bible. What, then, does Scripture mean when it speaks of propitiation? It may be that the determining factor in one’s view of the topic…

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The Atonement

Why Is Propitiation Needed? The Wrath of God For Sin

In some of the various theories of the atonement, wrath as a concept has fallen away as having any part in what God is doing. It doesn’t seem to be only a question of viewing the atonement under a Christus Victor model, or a satisfaction model.  Rather, it is that wrath and judgement upon sin are seen as odious ideas—that for God, who is love, to express wrath would be inconsistent with his nature and…

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Justification

On What is Christian Righteousness Based?

My last post looked at the question of whether righteousness requires the law for a properly biblical understanding of it. I concluded that Scripture shows examples of righteousness before the law’s arrival, and outside the ethnic boundaries of its recipients (Israel.) Given this, what then is the basis for God to declare believers in Jesus as righteous? Must there be some foundation that is real, that ties back to the accomplishment of Jesus in his…

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Justification

Is Law Needed for a Definition of Righteousness?

In recent discussions, I interacted with several other believers around the question of whether the righteousness we have as believers is based on law, specifically a vicarious law-keeping on the part of Jesus. My statement was as follows: I find no place in Scripture where the believer’s righteousness before God is because of Christ’s law-keeping in our stead. The way in which anything related to the law is imputed to the believer is not his…

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The Extent of the Atonement

Discussing the Atonement As Co-Heirs of Life

In discussions of the atonement, it is far too easy to lapse into lines of reasoning that have an appeal to emotion, or to what seems logical, but for which Scriptural warrant may be lacking. Some of this can be seen even in the terms used through the centuries. In this debate, there has been an evolution of terms: “limited atonement”, “particular redemption” and “definite atonement.” At various points in history throughout the discussions of…

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The Extent of the Atonement

Does the Passover Demonstrate Definite Atonement?

At various point through the years, I have investigated the idea of “definite atonement.” As I’m now reading through From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective a few reactions have come to mind. I recognize the topic is broad, and takes in many different aspects of theology, so I don’t want to diminish the complexity of it by coming to some summary conclusions in this post.…

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