Tag Archives: Penal Satisfaction theory of the Atonement

Untangling “Predestination” — Part 5

Those who have been following this blog site will already be aware of the fuller context concerning God’s premial justice and, in turn, the premial Atonement, into which this treatment of “predestination” is getting unceremoniously dropped. When I started this analysis back in 2008, I had not yet read the brief but trenchantly argued treatise from 1741, An Essay on Redemption: Being the Second Part of Divine Rectitude (104 pages), by John Balguy, who first coined the term “premial” (please see my “About” page at the top of this site, along with the first couple of blogs, where I quote at length the passage containing the only two instances of the new word). I first read the book in late January of 2011, so never used ‘premial’ in this exploration of predestination. Nevertheless, the contents were fully in accord with Balguy’s use of the word, so his label nicely covered the contents regardless.

Therefore, it will not be inappropriate to poise my results more precisely within the context of the premial Atonement perspective which I have already elaborated in this blog site. Readers will know that the apostolic take on the Atonement that I simply label “premial” is free of those several “penal” elements now so commonly assumed by conservative evangelical Protestants and gathered under the rubric “penal substitution” or “penal satisfaction.” This latter position was most fully developed within Calvinism, and is in fact its most characteristic doctrine, although other Protestant traditions share significant elements as well. However the so-called “Five Points of Calvinism” have amplified them at greatest length. And among these, “the doctrine of predestination” was simply embedded within “Unconditional Election.”

I have tried to show on this blog site that Penal Substitution logic is stretched entirely on an economic framework of logic that is qualified penally. This is decidedly not the framework of the New Testament explanation of the Atonement, nor, for that matter, of Justification or Reconciliation either, which do, however, likewise draw upon legal language, and thus are jeopardized no less by penal pretensions and impositions.

The fact that every one of the Five Points bears the marks of abuse by stretching on this punitive ‘rack’ will raise the presumptive expectation that what Calvinists do with “predestination” will bear the same marks of torture. Sure enough. “Predestination” is said to be necessary because a “sovereign” God’s plan to pay/satisfy for the debt of sins incurred by a limited number of chosen/elect—for to pay for the sins of all mankind would be uneconomical, hence unfitting for a prudent Sovereign—can only seem plausible on the premise that sins/debts must be paid for by someone, in any case, without fail, in other words: by a Penal Substitute. Such “prudential” logic may be worthy of a for-profit, self-aggrandizing, client-deceiving insurance behemoth; it is unworthy of a God who is Our Rock, who indemnified the whole population without exception, for the sake of His own grand reputation and Brand Name!

We have shown throughout this site that this particular construal of economic metaphors and concepts is not to be found in the Bible. Sin (even as “debt”) is never said to be “paid [for]at all. Indeed, it is exclusively the saints or believers that are said to be bought and paid for. However, their faith itself is their own willful contribution to salvation, turning as it does on their natural (and not “fallen” as such!) human response to the necessary but not sufficient testimony of Holy Writ, which requires getting “blended together with faith in those who hear” (Hebrews 4:2) in order to achieve its intended beneficial outcome. To be sure, this evidence does powerfully evoke or induce faith, but does not “guarantee” faith. This process happily accords with God’s graciousness (Romans 4:16), which, in fact, enhances and fosters human sovereignty, authority, judgment/decision-making, and choice, even if it should happen to result in a rebuff of His gentle advances. God is all about “inviting” folks to the Party of the Kingdom.

Nevertheless, as we know, comparatively few are chosen—only those who exert their own self-authorized faculty of faith—which even as Calvin so validly declared, is simply the outstretched hand (not the laboring hand, mind you!), ready to receive the Gift God is handing out.  That Gift is most emphatically not faith; that Gift is the Holy Spirit itself, which could not consequently show up early (“preveniently”) in order to create the very faith by which itself is thereupon received. The logical incoherence of such a contention should be perfectly clear. My refutation does not exclude, however (as was the burden of my above paper), that a Book inspired by the Holy Spirit may precede faith and perform the honors, without any incoherence or contradiction. (That, in particular, was the burden of my preceding “Appendix.”)

The premial justice of God is directed upon the blameless Defendant to exonerate and then repay him due restitution for his painful labors of love on behalf of the whole blamed (!) world of sinful humanity. However, no quid pro quo equivalence of “pain for pay” characterized the transaction. It was purely gratuitous, which is not to say “wasted,” but simply rationally appropriate to the intended outcome, without overreach or shortfall. It hit its mark precisely: “Now if anyone is loving God, this one gets known by Him” (1 Corinthians 8:3).

This premial rationale relieves theology of any burden to “limit” the divine outlay of beneficence or graciousness to one that accords with alleged economic rationality, much less to economic penury! After all, what the Lord Jesus Christ procured was a prize, booty, spoils, winnings, judicial damages, just deserts, not an “equivalent payment” or “commercial exchange” of any sort, as I have been at great pains to establish in this blog site from the very beginning.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,

His power no boundary known unto men;

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.                   —Annie J. Flint

This was in full satisfaction, if you will, of “the righteousness/justice of God,” as Paul was at even greater pains to establish in his epistle to the Roman believers, but which the Protestant Reformation, at yet more (and needless) pains accidently—let’s be charitable here—sabotaged in favor of a convoluted pretzel of a doctrine: Paul meant rewarding (premial) justice dispensed directly to Christ (who deserved it), thence graciously distributed for free to us (who did not deserve it) by our faith and baptism (i.e., by inclusion in Christ); Luther, et al, meant punitive (penal) justice distributed to us (who deserved it) indirectly through Christ (who did not deserve it) by his substitution. The difference between these alternatives for Christian behavior and mental stability is immense.

Perhaps we need to ponder more deeply the fact that a reward can be distributed at the good pleasure if its legitimate recipient, irrespective of particular “merits” possessed by any subsequent recipients chosen. A penalty/punishment, however, cannot be thus “freely” distributed; that would be immoral and illegal. Yet penal substitution doctrine is based squarely on this latter indefensible premise, and usually even glories in it!

The premial position, we can see, comports with a faith that is exocentric (focused on an outside object) and authentically voluntary, not an “act/work” at all, but simply proper reliance on credible evidence and testimony (so not coerced), and which ultimately comports with an election that is conditional on such faith and, by reflex, with a destiny that is potentially alienable. However, the divine ambience suffusing this perspective is as different from the effluvium of penal substitution as a loaf of bread is from a stone, or a fish is from a serpent, or an egg is from a scorpion, or a REWARD is from a PUNISHMENT.  That is, as opposite as might well be imagined.

The premial framework allows the weaving of a startlingly contrasting systematic pattern of salvation across the board. This, naturally, affects all the familiar “points” of Calvinism: all alike collapse in the absence of the mortar of penal economic necessity. The premial universe is one in which an inheritance in the Kingdom of God is free…but must be claimed with steady expectation as a right of believing children of God answering to God’s promises in His own Words, contracted by Covenant—the Bible.

The premial world is one in which sin is not passed along generationally (needing to be washed away in baptism, even from infants), nor so pervasive or perverse as to make faith impossible without the prosthetic of adventitious “regeneration” to trigger it.

The premial universe is one in which Atonement is universal and plenty powerful for its appointed objective of nurturing lovers of God, but without arm-twisting others. Élégance!

In a premial cosmos, graciousness, appealing and fetching as it may be, does not act so unseemly as to make its drawing influence irresistible as a magic spell. No spellbinding here, only the spell of unforced love. “Prevenient grace” is an encumbering artifice that ought to be perceived as an insult to the grace of Christ’s resurrection, the plain bold Report of which turned that ancient civilization upside down within decades!

A premial reality is one in which believers press on toward God’s impending Kingdom impelled by the covenantal promises and warnings of God’s living Explanation, producing rich fruits of Christ’s personality to encourage others in faith and, reflexively, secure one’s own confidence and delight in the faith once for all drop-shipped to the saints of planet earth.

In a premial creation, the dark oppressive clouds of graphically visualized punishment, wrath, and condemnation poured out on a perfectly innocent, though willing (as if he “needed” to be!) victim so as to satisfy the demanding justice of God (thereby impugning justice wholesale as exclusively penally retributive), is lifted and dispelled, permitting the cheering rays of divine benignity to burst forth and bless earth’s shores.

In a premial civilization, the repugnant spectacle of Christians playing in the dung heap of sordid pleasures, toying with the profane, venal options our culture places on the bottom shelf of easy accessibility with the click of a wayward mouse—all these pleasures of Egypt would lose their glamor under their deceptive marketing as “harmless diversions for the unconditionally elect” and be discerned for the mortal perils they are.

In a premial galaxy, the affecting sight of many a seasoned churchgoer manifesting pathological anxiety concerning their destiny as a child of God, presenting the watching world with an oddly ambiguous, if not highly unsettling testimony to the comforting certitudes of the Gospel as advertised, should be as rare as jellyfish fossils.

In short, the premial justice of God manifested supremely in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from among the mouldering dead to proliferating immortality, agrees to perfection with the heralding of an endless sparkling destiny as children of God, privileged to inherit a whole New Creation, starting with Christ’s resurrected body and proceeding to incorporate all others who believe and get immersed in him by his Holy Spirit. The fundamental heart of the New Testament Proclamation is not, therefore, “penal substitution” but “premial inclusion,” in an inconceivably marvelous destiny as “priests and kings” on the New Earth a comin’! Having announced such a future with abundant corroboration, God leaves the choice up to us whether we wish to join the Party or keep our unsafe distance and sadly perish.

June 2, 6, 8-9, 2017

Leave a comment

Filed under Calvinism, predestination, The Atonement

A Premial Soteriology for Neo-Calvinism?

Against the relative inner consistency of Calvinism stands, like a Gibralter, the rugged, if seemingly rough-hewn, inner consistency of Scripture—to be sure, one very difficult to embrace with tiny arms and brains, but that remains our touchstone nonetheless. Let us remain in that Explanation so that we come to know the Truth, solid as a Matterhorn, for then we shall be free from all the little short-sighted “consistencies” of lesser apostles hailing from a mundane Geneva. [8/19/09]

THE PENAL CORE MOTIVE

The weighty mass of Calvin’s soteriology hangs together and coheres due to the GRAVITY OF PENAL SATISFACTION. This is the “electromagnetic” force that keeps it all together. Dispel this gravitational force and it will fly apart and disperse into out darkness. Only the nuclear power of a premial justice holds the promise of a coherent and rationally compelling soteriology. [8/19/09]

D-DAY JUBILEE

If this 500th Anniversary of Calvin’s birth and 400th Anniversary of Arminius’s death is to be the calling of a liberating Jubilee from the Babylonian bondage of Reformed Christians, then it is but a D-Day victory and the toughest battles are yet ahead. Calvinistic theology (I don’t speak here of the excellent philosophical movements that it has fostered for various curious reasons) lies near the heart of a vast ecclesiastical enterprise and a fifth column of other non-church institutions. We are not calling for revolution but for Reformation…down to the core this time! This is gonna hurt. This has gotta hurt or it’s not radical enough. But the result will be RADICAL HEALING, so it’s worth all the pain.

We can expect a whole new glory to suffuse the magnificent array of Christian organizations that Kuyperian Neo-Calvinism has spawned. Post-Calvinism holds the promise of giving them a Second Wind of the Holy Spirit—a New Wave of Power and Redemptive Vision and Fruitful Prospects. Let us press on without fear or dread, fully expecting that God is with us in this SANCTIFYING VENTURE. But unless Neo-Calvinism transitions to Post-Calvinism in soteriology, that renewal must be throttled and stall. [8/19/09]

Anyone who holds the penal satisfaction position will suffer the natural tendency to slip into conformity with several of the points of Calvinism, to varying degrees. Sound exegesis on one or more of those topics will always inveigh against full consistency and will work a moderating influence. But this moderating factor is not equally dispersed among denominations or individuals. Only a visibly more just alternative to penal satisfaction is capable of totally vanquishing all five (and more) errors of the Augustinian/Calvinian line of development.

Leave a comment

Filed under Calvinism, The Atonement

A “Grace” Extracted by “Penal Satisfaction” is not the True Grace of God

In Calvinism, the limited size of the Atonement is only the beginning of tangles consequent upon its teaching of penal satisfaction.  To be sure, the size limitation amounts to a power limitation, so that the Gospel as such is not conceived as having any effect (read: power) toward the so-called “reprobate” (a term never used in Scripture to label mere sinners or unbelievers, much less Gentiles or mankind at large).  Yet on the other hand it is represented as having an absolutely irresistible power or effect upon the “elect.”  This absolutism concerning its effect on the “elect” (Calvinists call it “effectual”), coupled with its ineffectuality concerning the “reprobate” are the most that can be expected from A “GRACE” EXTRACTED BY “PENAL SATISFACTION” METHODS.  THIS PRIMITIVE “EXTRACTION PROCESS” LEAVES THE VAST BULK OF THE PULP AND ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS — THE VITAL SAP OF GRACIOUSNESS — BEHIND, LEAVING ONLY A THIN, CLOUDY “SOLUTION” THAT SOLVES FEW OF THE NEEDS OF THE HUMAN HEART OR NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPIRIT.

In stark contrast, THE TRUE, PURE GRACIOUSNESS IN WHICH WE ARE TO STAND IS A FREE-FLOWING, PREMIUM, WHOLE EXTRACT OF CLEAN HIGH-ENERGY NUTRIMENT DERIVED ENTIRELY WITHOUT USE OF TRADITIONAL SOURCES OF HIGH HEAT FROM DIVINE WRATH, BUT BY A SPECIAL AND PREVIOUSLY SECRET PROCESS OF CALM, COOL EXTRACTION BY THE CATALYTIC USE OF PREMIAL JUSTICE ACTING UPON THE PUREST, MOST WHOLESOME MATERIAL TREATED BY THE REPEATED IMPACT OF BUFFETING, WHIPPING, AND PIERCING, FOLLOWED BY NECROSIS AND A BRIEF INTERVAL OF RECUMBENCY.  THE RESULTING REACTION YIELDS A GREATLY AUGMENTED AND ENHANCED VOLUME OF GRACIOUSNESS WITH NO BITTER AFTERTASTE OR SOUR UNDERTONES.  [8/16/09]

The logical tangles and psychological snags of the Calvinistic system of soteriology lead directly to BEHAVIORAL SNARLS of ferocious character.  Sadly, this might be documented by cartloads of historic testimony from many a nation over nearly five centuries.  Isn’t it about time we examine the whole grim imbroglio to trace how, exactly, Calvin’s teaching of a penal satisfaction could possibly have led so consistently to punitive personalities among especially its most consistent and loyal?  [8/16/09]

Whenever the Canons of Dort or the Westminster Confession of Faith (or any other Calvinistic creed, confession, or catechism) speak of God’s “justice” (“to the praise of His glorious, & etc.”), they invariable mean His penal, punitive justice, casting always a blind eye to God’s premial justice by which He rescued and rewarded and raised the Savior himself, and through which we ourselves have been saved.  Such neglect cannot but have a distorting effect on our whole conception of God’s mission and appointed ministries to the world and the saints.  [8/16/09]

It is purely (even “sovereignly”) by God’s own wonderfully gracious desire (-θελ-) and intention (-βουλ-) that when we merely believe His chosen, if “foolish,” heralding of the Explanation of Truth (James 1:18, Ephesians 1:13) about the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:17-31), namely, that Jesus Christ was justly raised from the dead because of its injustice in killing him, due to his Father’s ultimate strategy to draw the whole world back to Himself through this exalting His sinless son in a stupendous historic exhibit of love—I repeat, that when we simply have faith in this Message, we thereby are teemed forth “to be some firstfruit of His own creatures (James 1:18), are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (which is an earnest of the inheritance of our share)” (Ephesians 1:14), to “become children of God” by His bestowed “right (John 1:12).  And why?  Simply because such a great salvation, entailing such a marvelous adoption of us as sons and hence heirs by mere faith, is “in accord with the delight of His desire, for the praise of the credit of His graciousness, which is gracious to us in the Loved One (Ephesians 1:5-6), in whom we thereby have “gotten chosen (Ephesians 1:4) “according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father” (1 Peter 1:1-2) Who is “the knower-of-hearts (Acts 15:8) and hence can see our faith and testify accordingly by giving the Holy Spirit to us to cleanse our hearts (Acts 15:7-9).

Yes, amazingly, it is GOD’S GRACIOUS WILL THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED TO SUCH LARGESSE BY OUR THROWING OUR OWN FAITH INTO THE MIX SO AS TO REAP BENEFITS FROM THE WORD HE HAS FOLDED INTO THE RECIPE OF HUMAN SALVATION (Hebrews 4:1-3).  This having-gotten-saved-to-God’s-graciousness-through-faith is God’s prodigious present to us (Ephesians 2:8) simply because mere human faith accords with divine graciousness (Romans 4:16) hand in glove, bypassing our own actions, both good and evil!  This boon is purely “from God” (John 1:13, 1 Corinthians 1:30), and specifically His undeserved (on our part!) graciousness that we get to become His children in Christ, His chosen, only-born Son.  God figured out this whole gracious scheme!  To Him be all the credit!

The above phraseology, “from God” or “from Him” is to emphasize that what is being given by God “on faith(Romans 3:29, Galatians 3:22, Philippians 3:9, Romans 1:17) is a present (δωρον) and not a token of His indebtedness to us (Romans 3:4-5) owing to our work.  This is precisely why God selected faith as the means for triggering His gratuitous bestowal and donation of salvation, sonhood, and the Holy Spirit on us—it does not “obligate” Him as “owing” us those benefits, but leaves Him free to express His loving generosity in a manner that entails fairness and equity to all sinners alike in an impartial, non-discriminatory gesture.  [8/16/09]

Leave a comment

Filed under The Atonement

Looking CROSS-eyed at the RESURRECTION of Christ

The blood of the Levitical sacrifices always and only depicted prophetically the multifarious powers of the Resurrection from the dead of the Lord Jesus Christ, available in the coming Holy Spirit. [8/09/09]

At and by the Resurrection, God “DEFLECTED” JUSTICE AWAY FROM MURDERERS AND ONTO THEIR VICTIM INSTEAD! And that’s why God could “entreat” through Paul and the other apostles, “For Christ’s sake be conciliated to God! (2 Corinthians 5:20) God had been fair…much more than fair to those few vicious murderers! That was God’s historic sampler to prove His conciliatory heart intention! [8/09/09]

LOOKING CROSS-EYED AT THE RESURRECTION

The penal satisfaction theory of the Atonement has induced within orthodox evangelical Christians the hermeneutical malady of looking cross-eyed at the Resurrection! The focus of atoning activation has gotten switched from the Resurrection to the Cross! An extreme case of this disorder is on exhibit for all to see (if viewers are not too stricken with the condition themselves) in the oft-referenced booklet by A. M. Stibbs, “The Meaning of the Word ‘Blood’ in Scripture” (London: The Tyndale Press, 1948). [8/09/09]

The Protestant Reformed Church (PRC) is actually quite correct in their doctrinal distinctive that there is no grace for any but the elect. However, they overlook that there is no grace for the elect either, until they believe the Gospel about God’s grace to Jesus Christ! For this is how we get elected “in the Beloved”—by faith in that Message, by virtue of its own drawing power. [8/09/09]

Leave a comment

Filed under The Atonement

A Copernican shift of orbital center in the Protestant system from penal to premial?

One of the great lessons of the Proclamation of the ‘Crossurrection’ is that simply because we willingly and amenably put up with getting put down (!) by our enemies (and worse) doesn’t make their viciousness right in any sense!  Indeed, our non-resistance and non-violence invokes God’s own perfectly right avenging on our behalf, if we wait for it and continue proclaiming repentance and forgiveness to our foes.  [8/02/09]

Even as Copernicus dissolved the perplexities of medieval astronomy with a single assault on the presumed orbital center of the system, so it is possible to solve the perennial problems of Calvinist soteriology by a single move of re-centering the Atonement from the penal side to the premial face of God’s justice.  Hereby we may anticipate a Copernican revolution in the science of theology, provided the understandably deep emotional attachments to a penal paradigm of atonement can be efficaciously surmounted to allow for a switch to the premial paradigm that more adequately comprehends the Biblical facts and dissolves the distressing anomalies.

Occam’s razor should long hence have been set upon the ungainly overgrowth of assumptions necessary to provide the ‘TULIP’ with life support.  It would have collapsed like the Wizard of Oz, though perhaps not quite so affably, under an exposé by premial justice.

The economy of effort to be saved after the wilting or deflating of ‘TULIP’ compares very favorably with the ruthlessly severe economy of penal payment that has needlessly locked multitudes out of God’s Kingdom by taking away the key of knowledge at the hand of the Synod of Dordt in 1618-19.

Jacob Arminius had showed himself far the more noble of the contenders at that time, for he refused to permit a penal mentality to gain a secure foothold in his exegesis.  He would not tolerate (such intolerance!) the bulldozing of Scripture by the non-discriminating (such discrimination!) shovel of merely human confessions and catechisms.  Such sinfully tainted documents certainly could, and the Canons of Dordt certainly did, make of Scripture a wax nose to be twisted their own erroneous behest.  Then when captious ecclesiastical functionaries foist such a dead letter upon all future generations by law, Scripture must step down from pre-eminence to do yeoman service to a churlish and upstart master.  Thus once again Truth gets trampled…and in the house of her “friends” no less!  [8/02/09]

THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK

The presumed “inescapable” rationality of penal satisfaction has been wielded traditionally by Calvinists to trump every other rationale for the Atonement, with the generous imputation of “rationalist!” to many an overly thoughtful objector, yet the self-flattering ascription of “holy mysteries” to their own proliferated anomalies.  [8/02/09]

The sad career of Calvinism demonstrates how far Christianity is capable of declining under the compulsion of an unworthy idea of God’s character.  Other doctrines fall like dominoes, while the declension can last for centuries, casting a pall over worship, causing alienation to the younger generation, compromising consciences of those paid to propagate the errors, and generally hollowing out the integrity and note of authenticity needed to win worthy adherents.  Calvinism has indeed been a slippery slope.  Of course other traditions have their own slippery slopes, but the collective sins of others can hardly justify our own by way of unflattering comparison.  [8/04/09]

 

Leave a comment

Filed under The Atonement

Penal Justice Cannot Substitute for Premial Justice

Sin per se is not nearly as aggravated and intractable and total as Calvinistic theologians have imagined, yet their own sins of misrepresenting its nature and endorsing inhumanly severe, unearthly, even ungodly penalties and brutal, savage vindictiveness are much worse than they imagine or would ever admit.  Jesus reserved his most unrestrained denunciations not for the average sinner—the adulteress, the prodigal, even the persecutor and murderer Saul of Tarsus, but for theologians!  [7/29/09]

Post-Reformation supralapsarian Calvinists, having cross-wired the respective wills of God, of humans, and of Satan, became disqualified from being able to speak with apostolic authority about the Cross and Resurrection.  They in fact muffed the catch, dropped the ball, and muffled the liberating peal of GOSPEL JUBILEE.  There resulted an “indistinct sound” regarding WHO WILLED WHAT AT THE ‘CROSSURRECTION’ EVENTS.  [7/29/09]

The expression “penal substitution” is an evasive euphemism for “penal satisfaction”; the hard core of this theory is the demand for punitive measures, however inflicted, as an absolute, non-relaxable requirement of justice.  Its deflection onto an innocent victim therefore only heightens the presumed “necessity” and stringency of its “rightful” exaltation EVEN THOUGH WE NEVER ACTUALLY, EMPIRICALLY BEHOLD THE CONSISTENT, REMORSELESS EXHIBITION OF SUCH “JUSTICE” (AT LEAST NOT BY GOD) IN OUR DAILY EXPERIENCE UNDER THE SUN!  No matter; it is “justifiable” for human civil, domestic, and ecclesiastical governments to employ it “whenever needful” on the imagined grounds that “this is what divine justice looks like” and even though it doesn’t really look like Jesus Christ suffered “quite that much” on the Cross, yet we are didactically informed that “those are the facts,” and after all Jesus was divine, so his sufferings were of infinite measure.  We may also suspect the veiled threat that if we don’t believe it, we ourselves may need to come in for a touch of that corrective discipline in order that we mend our way of thinking.

Hereby God’s PREMIAL JUSTICE throughout Scripture, BUT ESPECIALLY AT THE RESURRECTION AND ENTHRONEMENT is all but expunged from our consciousness and exchanged for a substitute “justicethat horrendously reinforces the very worst of fallen, sinful, “reprobate” impulses toward taking vengeance against our enemies rather than leaving it in God’s hands.

One of the most horrifying consequences of this penal undercurrent induced by Penal Satisfaction is its exaggeration (again, with thinly veiled threats to dissenters!) OF SIN ITSELF.  This exaggeration is not a side-effect that is comfortable to talk about.  It risks the reproach-by-reflex that the dissenter is “soft on sin,” which trait, naturally, might be taken as a sure sign that they might (oh dread!) be “SOFT ON PUNISHMENT”!  Next thing you know, they’ll be “SOFT ON WAR”!  They’d let our enemies walk all over us!  You can bet your shotgun they’re “SOFT ON CRIME,”  and will vote to take away our guns and empty our prisons!  Yeah!  It’s a slippery slope once you start letting up on good ol’ penal substitution!  If it was good enough for Luther and Zwingli and Calvin and Knox and Beza and Cromwell and Winthrop, and Paisley….  You get the point.  For on those grounds crusades and inquisitions and witch hunts and pogroms and blood feuds and “holy” wars and jihads shall never cease—bloodshed without end, amen.  “If God wills,” of course…which He most certainly does not!  God save us!  [8/01/09]

 

Leave a comment

Filed under The Atonement

God’s Gracious Redemption of US Is the Model for OUR Gracious Ethic toward Others

The ransoming procedure by which God saved a stricken and captive humanity is an absolute marvel to behold—a wonder of inter-divine troth and graciousness. Jesus, the Son of God, gave/paid himself in surrender to the ‘tender mercies’ of Satan, in obedience to the suicide mission in God’s redemptive strategy. Satan cheerfully obliged by paying his strangely compliant Victim with a diabolical range of unjust torments and finally, death itself. God, not to be outdone reciprocated by repaying his devout Son by means of His own ransoming payment that rescued His ransoming Son! YES! GOD RANSOMED THE SAVIOR OUT OF DEATH’S FATAL GRIP…AFTER THE FACT! And with what? BY GOD, WITH NOTHING OTHER THAN HOLY SPIRIT RAISING HIM TO FRESH, GREATLY ENLARGED LIFE!

Speak of “role switching”! Every member of Deity got in on the Act and functioned from the IDENTICAL MOTIVE AS REVEALED FORTHWITH BY PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION ON THE ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE STAGE OF HISTORY. Accordingly, a remarkable amplifying circuit of graciousness and troth was closed and a MAGNIFIED POWER WAS GENERATED AND TRANSMITTED FROM HEAVEN FOR THE UTTERLY FREE SALVATION OF ALL HUMANITY.

The sequence is elemental (and wouldn’t be difficult to diagram):

  1. The Son descends downward in weakness

  2. and rises upward in the justice of the Father

  3. in the power of the Holy Spirit that freely overflows downward to all the Son’s adopted siblings.

This revealed procedure of divine ransoming now is likewise our own model for imitating, in full assurance of God’s FULL BACKING! This is THE NEW “ETHIC” FOR THE NEW HUMANITY.

This means there is yet a further element to the sequence (diagram)—that’s where we come in:  to become the next wave redounding to the greater glory of God! A multitude of mature sons emulating Jesus—“a vast host that no one can number lift up praise and glory and blessing and honor and on and on and on…. [7/27/09]

I have learned over the past three years, sadly, that strict Calvinists won’t give my explanations the time of day. No matter, I know what time it is—it’s the ELEVENTH HOUR and repentance for propagating penal satisfaction is long overdue! I therefore exhort all who teach and proclaim that doctrine and all its subsidiary ramifications to please switch their attention to God’s AWARDING JUSTICE and experience the supposed “necessity” for God’s penal justice (as an element of the Atonement) melt away and evaporate in the sunshine of God’s “unseasonable” GRACIOUSNESS! [7/27/09]

Leave a comment

Filed under The Atonement