Monday, February 01, 2010

Eastern Orthodoxy boiled down

ME: Ah, so God annihilates His holy law. Yes, that makes your position a lot less blasphemous.

DAVIDW: And what am I supposed to say to this? Yes, God is merciful beyond measure -- whether you like it or not. (source)

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JOHN: Is it really forgiveness when God took his pound of flesh?

ME: Yes, b/c the offender is forgiven, and Jesus out of love took the punishment. God's law and justice are preserved in integrity and truth, His holiness is unimpeded, the elect get the benefit, and Jesus pays the cost out of His generosity.
Contrast that with the EO system in which the law turns out to be no big deal at all.

JOHN: I don't know where you get this idea. Christ died to abolish the law. How does that make it no big deal? (source)


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Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE".(source)
"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished." (source)
"But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail." (source)

125 comments:

Lucian said...

God's holy Law consists in forgiving our trespassers. (Sermon on the Mount; Parable of the Prodigal Son; the Lord's Prayer / Our Father; Parable of the man who owed 10,000 talants; etc).

bossmanham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bossmanham said...

I would ask David how the righteousness of God is shown in the gospel (Romans 1:17) if in it His justice is not satisfied. How does God remain righteous if He lets sin go unpunished? What did Jesus do on the cross if He was not paying for our sins?

John said...

bossmanham: What makes you think your question makes sense?

As Lucian pointed out in the referenced article, quoting Matthew 5:43-48, the perfection of God entails doing good to those who hate you. That's perfection, not your wish for justice.

Where did you get this idea that God needed someone to die because of his justice? I don't remember seeing any verse enunciate that. What verse says that Jesus is being punished for sin?

Rhology said...

Look how the blasphemers come so quickly to defend their evil speech!


John,

Are you perfect? Have you any chance to be perfect, ever?

Obviously not. So now the question becomes how you, an imperfect sinner, can be with God since you can't get there yourself.
1 Peter 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.
2 Cor 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sina for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Hebrews 9:15For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
Hebrews 9:27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people
Hebrews 10:17Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

Child's play, really. Makes a guy wonder whether EOdox have even read Hebrews.

bossmanham said...

As Lucian pointed out in the referenced article, quoting Matthew 5:43-48, the perfection of God entails doing good to those who hate you. That's perfection, not your wish for justice.

So how would Christ's sacrifice not be doing good for others? Are you going to attempt to answer my question? What did Jesus do on the cross?

Where did you get this idea that God needed someone to die because of his justice?

I would add to Rho's list that God commanded His people not to pervert justice or show partiality (Deut. 16:19). One of God's attributes is being completely just. This is why Christ became sin for us. Sin demands punishment. Christ lovingly took that punishment for us.

Lucian said...

Don't mean to be mean, but the first verse Rho quoted, taken from 1 Peter 2:24, directly contradicts his own comment.


Regarding God's justice, or any other divine attributes, for that matter, it is said in the book of Isaiah (55:8-9) that "my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -- Think about that for a minute the next time, before engaging in other kind of anthroponmorphic speculations.


Again, it *cannot* be asked often enough: how do you make amends, or atone, for the fact that your view or mental image or depiction of the Father conflicts directly with Christ's own words, as they stand recorded in the Gospel: in the Sermon on the Mount, and in various Parables. Who gave you permission to preach another Gospel than that which was once and for all delivered by the Lord Himself, through His own Word and Son?


There are other things wrong with your thinking, but this will have to suffice for now.

Lucian said...

So now the question becomes how you, an imperfect sinner, can be with God since you can't get there yourself.


It is said in the Gospel that that what unto men is impossible, is possible with God. (Matthew 19:25-26; Mark 10:26-27; Luke 18:26-27).

It is also added that, although without Christ we cannot do anything (John 15:4-5), if we do abide in Him, we will bring forth much fruit (John 15:7-8).

Although we are warned that in the world we shall endure much hardsip and tribulation, we are also encouraged to be of good cheer, because Christ has already conquered the world (John 16:33).

Christ and His holy angels constantly urge us not to be afraid.

Saint Paul himself says in his Epistle that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).


In other words, although unaided by divine grace we become helpless in front of all worldly & demonic temptations, with the help of God we gain power to overcome them. -- It is precisely this element that is forgotten by Protestantism in its philosophical system of human weekness: God is with us (Isaiah 8:10; Matthew 1:23), and His power on our side: we are NOT alone (Matthew 28:20).

John said...

Rhol: none of these verses mention a necessity to satisfy God's justice, none of them mention God's wrath or penalty coming onto Christ. Don't you think its a bit odd that you can't cough up a single verse that states the Sine qua non of Protestant distinctives?

I know its hard to break out this one mindset once you are locked into it, but do try and make the effort.

bossmanham: "So how would Christ's sacrifice not be doing good for others? Are you going to attempt to answer my question? What did Jesus do on the cross?"

He died for sins, but not necessarily in the manner of taking God's wrath on himself, as if God required a fall guy. As neat as this theory sounds to Protestants, its not really in the bible. The Passover lamb, which is the prototype of Christ wasn't there to take God's punishment for the Israelites' sin.

"I would add to Rho's list that God commanded His people not to pervert justice or show partiality (Deut. 16:19). "

There's a big difference between perverting justice and being merciful. Wouldn't you agree? Do you feel like you've sinned when you forgive someone without being paid off?

Rhology said...

Lucian,

how do you make amends, or atone, for the fact that your view or mental image or depiction of the Father conflicts directly with Christ's own words, as they stand recorded in the Gospel

Cutting to the chase, I can't atone for ANY sin. You really are a fool, especially since you think you can.


Who gave you permission to preach another Gospel than that which was once and for all delivered by the Lord Himself, through His own Word and Son?

...said the guy who doesn't make Scripture his final authority and who thinks it contains errors. Bravo.


It is said in the Gospel that that what unto men is impossible, is possible with God. (Matthew 19:25-26; Mark 10:26-27; Luke 18:26-27).

Yes, b/c of the sacrifice of Christ.
Or maybe you mean that God can do mutually contradictory things. That God can make a square circle. That He could make it so He had never existed, or that He was a Quaternity. Or that He could erase the Holy Spirit from existence.
Keep talking, keep digging.


John,

I'm sorry you feel that way, but I don't see any exegesis. See ya.

David said...

Rhology:

I've got to be honest. You are right on the money with this one. "Eastern Orthodoxy boiled down" indeed. Yes, it's true -- for the Orthodox God is our all-merciful, loving Father, just as Scripture portrays him. In Orthodoxy, God truly forgives a man's sins, no matter how great those sins may be; in Calvinism, he only appears to do so. In Orthodoxy, God is merciful beyond measure; in Calvinism, he only claims to be but really isn't. In Orthodoxy, God's love for mankind -- all mankind -- is limitless; in Calvinism, God limits his "love" (pitiful as it is) to those he arbitrarily chose before all time to give it to. In Orthodoxy, God has created all with the desire that all be saved and come to a knowledge of him; in Calvinism, God has created all simply in order to send the vast majority into everlasting torture without their ever having had the slightest hope of anything else, though God still mysteriously claims (lies) and says he desires the salvation of all.

Orthodoxy boiled down: God, because he loves mankind and is merciful beyond measure, forgives men their trespasses freely when asked.

Calvinism boiled down: "God," because he doesn't love mankind and is less merciful than most serial killers, doesn't forgive anyone their trespasses and delights in eternally torturing the vast majority of mankind (who never had the slightest possibility of not having such a fate) for something which wasn't their choice to begin with, all while calling himself loving and merciful and lying by saying he desires the salvation of all.

Boy, what a choice!

Rhology said...

Cool, but I don't ever want to see you talking about the holy Law of God again.
Apparently, there's no reason to continue to walk in holiness either. EOC STILL loses out. Man, this just gets screwier and screwier the deeper I dig.

Darlene said...

I've lived as a Christian under both systems, first, the hyper-Arminian one, then later, the Calvinist one. Both systems had their weaknesses, such that discouragement set it. Under both systems I became subject to scrupulosity for very different reasons. Include within that mix my propensity towards depression and anxiety. The result: a very introspective, judgmental (toward myself and others) person.

Under hyper-Arminianism (hyper because our faithfulness was judged by how many we brought to Christ) I could never measure up. I went marathon witnessing, pounding the streets to persuade others to conversion to Christ. Oh, the anxiety that ensued, to the point where the "pastor" of this sect told us to just "get them to say the prayer with you." Thus, the inflated numbers of supposed converts. One week I was in God's graces, the next out. An awful place to be.

Such an experience can lead one to think Reformed Calvinism is the answer. Our friends coaxed us to investigate Calvinism in which there would be no such concerns that we had under hyper-Arminianism. The bait was irresistible.

to be con't

Viisaus said...

Comments like those of David show why it has been so easy for many EO "church fathers" to toy with the heresy of Universal Salvation (at the very least, they did not reject it firmly enough):

http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/6_6_10

Gregory of Nyssa thought Satan himself would be saved. Nay, Maximus the Confessor himself has been suspected of holding the notion covertly, not daring to preach it fully out in open:


"Eschatology and final restoration (apokatastasis) in Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and Maximos the Confessor"

http://www.theandros.com/restoration.html

"The restoration of all however, a valid possibility according to the Church, although not a doctrine, has a special place in the hopes of saints who pray for the redemption of their enemies, and it expresses our hope for the charity of God. Possibly the honorable silence expresses this hope, which in spite of the danger of determinism, BECOMES ALMOST A CERTAINTY in this light: If even one human being is able to forgive and pray for the salvation of the entire cosmos, wouldn't God's providence find a way to make it happen?"

Rhology said...

"If even one human being is able to forgive and pray for the salvation of the entire cosmos, wouldn't God's providence find a way to make it happen?"


Precisely. And yet by EOC's own admission (well, sometimes, as Viisaus pointed out), God DIDN'T make it so. Either He could've done it and didn't, or He is limited by human power and isn't really worthy of much worship, now is He? Such a god is not God at all.

Viisaus said...

This EO source actually does strongly suggest the distasteful idea that Maximus the Confessor (who was a very important player in the development of Eastern theology, comparable to Augustine's impact in the West) believed in Apokatastasis privately, but did not clearly spell it out in fear that ordinary people would take it as a license to sin as much they'd like - in knowledge that in the end, "all will be saved no matter what."

http://www.theandros.com/restoration.html

"Modern commentators of Maximos, such as Brian Daley and Polycarp Sherwood, have located, in addition to the passage where Maximos writes directly on the apokatastasis, three other passages from the Questiones ad Thalassium, which most likely imply Maximos' belief in the final restoration and forgiveness of all. Two of those comments refer to the two trees in the Garden of Eden, a theme connected to the apokatastasis since Origen, and the third to the victory of Christ over evil through his crucifixion. In these passages Maximos states that there is a "better and more secret explanation, which is kept in the minds of the mystics, but we, as well, will honor by silence".

Modern commentators see this honorable silence as an implicit support of the idea of apokatastasis, that remained silent MOSTLY FOR PASTORAL REASONS."

Darlene said...

Whereas within the ranks of hyper-Arminianism people were quite focused on street evangelism, such was not the case within Reformed Calvinism. Please note, this was MY experience.

Straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel with regard to doctrine was common. Argue over this, argue over that. Zealous contention over what the gospel was and what it wasn't. Arguing (I daresay obsessing to a fault)over doctrine while ignoring faithfulness, kindness, charity, goodness, self-control, those fruits of the Spirit which draw others to Christ, is a fruitless proposition. Both Reformed Churches in my area had church aplits frequently. Having been part of one, I can tell you that it is nothing short of ugly.

As I learned of the TULIP, the doubts I had struggled with under hyper-Arminianism set in, yet for different reasons. Whereas I prayed ardently for backslidden brethren under the former system, such was not the case with Ref. Calvinism. If they were damned by God, then what could prayer accomplish? Yet, a part within me screamed agaist such a prospect. Of course, when such things hit closer to home, this a paradigm falls to pieces. I speak here of my son who has deconverted from the faith and has become an atheist. Now, I call upon the mercy of God for the salvation of his soul with all my heart!

Two very troubling aspects of Calvinism prevented me from being able to remain witnin that system. The one being the "L" of the TULIP, and the other being the teaching on "false" faith.

to be con't

Viisaus said...

It is probably no co-incidence that modern liberal RC universalists like Hans Urs von Balthasar are big fans of Maximus:

http://www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Liturgy-Universe-According-Confessor/dp/0898707587

Darlene said...

Many are familiar with John Edward's sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." This sermon was praised under Reformed Calvinism. Those who heard that sermon prayed fervently that they would not be among the damned. Where was the assurance of God's love and mercy toward them? Where was the cry of the prophet, "This I call to mind and therefore I have hope, that the STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD NEVER CEASES, HIS MERCIES NEVER COME TO AN END."

Then there were those who left the flock and backslid into ungodly living. One particular person who my husband and I knew personally and for many yrs., fell away into such a state. Alas, when we heard of his death our hearts grieved. Well, he was never really one of God's elect. Or was he? Perhaps he had been given "false" faith. But we had prayed with him many times, we were available for him in his intense stuggles to overcome aloholism. We witnessed his pain. We saw God's grace poured out in his life many times.

So, does God give the damned "false" faith so that it only seems both to them and others that they are of the elect? I pondered over this proposition MANY times. Did our friend not have a chance from the beginning? Were the cards stacked against him from the get go? If so, then under Calvinism (as I understood it) glory be to God! One such Calvinist who attended this man's funeral had zero compassion on our friend. "He wasn't saved," said he.

Now, how could I witness of the love of Jesus Christ to a dying world? For God so loved the elect only, that he only gave his Son for some, that only the elect who God causes to believe in him, will not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent his Son to the elect only, not to condemn the elect, but to condemn the world which consists of the non-elect, so that only the elect (whether they want it or not) can be saved by him.

I did not want to witness to people and tell them of the Calvinist system. I could not approach anyone and say, "Jesus loves you and He died for you." Please understand, I could not do this. As to whether other Calvinists can, they must speak for themselves.

So it was, that as I gathered on Sunday morning among the Reformed Calvinists, I wondered. Who really among us is saved? Which ones here have been given "false" faith but in the end, have been chosen by God to be among the damned? What if I have been chosen to be among the damned? Is my faith a "false" faith? Oh, I must plead upon the mercy of God, I thought. But what good would that do if I am one of the damned? No good whatsoever.

Where was all this assurance that I was promised would deliver me from the bonds of hyper-Arminianism if even my pleading with God to be saved was in vain? All my pleadings for my soul were for naught.

Then I understood why many Calvinists struggled with internal distress. Yes, there were those who were complacent, but they whole-heartedly believed they were chosen to be among the elect.

I could write volumes of what it was like to live for nearly a decade under such a system of belief. Suffice it to say that for me, the TULIP had been weighed in the balances and found wanting.

Please understand, I say none of this with glee or triumphalism. My closest and dearest friends are Calvinists and I love them deeply.

Rhology said...

Where was the assurance of God's love and mercy toward them? Where was the cry of the prophet, "This I call to mind and therefore I have hope, that the STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD NEVER CEASES, HIS MERCIES NEVER COME TO AN END."

In Jesus.
That sermon is a sermon of law, to break you down so that you will stop depending on yourself and your own goodness (like in EOC soteriology), and so you will shut your mouth before God, repent, and put full trust in Jesus.


Oh, I must plead upon the mercy of God, I thought. But what good would that do if I am one of the damned? No good whatsoever.

This is an expression of HyperCalvinism. It grieves me that you have rejected the biblical Gospel b/c you thought it HyperCalvinism. You can still come back. Jesus and His full forgiveness still beckons, but there is no room for your own pitiful works at the foot of the Cross.

Lucian said...

I can't atone for ANY sin. You really are a fool, especially since you think you can.

You still don't seem to understand: God forgives me because He has the will and the power to.

said the guy who doesn't make Scripture his final authority and who thinks it contains errors

I do make Scripture interpreted in the light of Tradition by those who are direct descendants of the Apostles my final authority; and as far as doctrine is concerned (such as the teaching on the atonement that we're discussing here) I believe it to be free from all error. [I personally don't see minor discrepancies in the Bible (such as how many men died in some OT battle or another) as touching upon the Gospel].

"It is said in the Gospel that that what unto men is impossible, is possible with God"

Yes, b/c of the sacrifice of Christ.


Which part of "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" did You not understand? (It's from St. Paul: You like St. Paul, don't you?)

------------------------------

If even one human being is able to forgive and pray for the salvation of the entire cosmos, wouldn't God's providence find a way to make it happen?

Hell is locked from the inside, not from the outside. It is an internally-achieved state, not an externally-imposed one. It's not God's forgiveness that's causing the problem, it's our lack of synergy with it that's at fault.

Either He could've done it and didn't, or He is limited by human power and isn't really worthy of much worship

He could do it, by destroying our personhood, and making us love Him either by force, or robotically. But it's not in His character to do either. (1 John 4:8, 16). He takes no delight in discrediting His own principles, nor in doing something contrary to His own nature. Nor do the sinners and evil-doers take any delight in Him, or in His ways, or in His character, so it's a win-win situation.

Viisaus said...

I have no much sympathy for such purist Calvinists who like to accuse all indiscriminately non-Calvinists for "free-will worship", but some EOs do seem to deserve that label. Worshipping free will for its own sake.

Rhology said...

God forgives me because He has the will and the power to.

So Jesus died for nothing.



Which part of "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" did You not understand?

Now you've lost yourself.


Hell is locked from the inside, not from the outside.

And now you're just making naked assertions.


He takes no delight in discrediting His own principles

You are a fool. You say this right after saying that He ignores His own law? Do you even know what you believe? When are you going to be consistent?

Darlene said...

Rho,

You said, "It grieves me that you have rejected the biblical Gospel b/c you thought it HyperCalvinism."

Has Dr. Michael Brown rejected the biblical gospel as well? Is he not saved either? Has he not truly repented? You are aware of his recent debate with James White, right?


You said, "You can still come back."

I have! I trust in the mercy and compassion of a loving Father God. Hallelujah!

Do not assume something Rho unless you can know for sure. Even then, you nor I can judge hearts. I trust that my Calvinist friends are in the hands of a loving and merciful Father as I trust that you are as well.

You said, "Jesus and His full forgiveness still beckons"

Hallelujah, it does. And I experience it everyday. I trust in it everyday, for not to do so would be my undoing. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner! And He does. Thank you for this reminder.

You said, "but there is no room for your own pitiful works at the foot of the cross."

Rhology, I contemplate and trust in His Passion everyday, sinner that I am! I know he hears my pleadings now. "Forgive them, for they know not what they do," our blessed Savior Jesus Christ said from the depths of His suffering. While I was yet a sinner, He died for me.

I am no longer under that hyper-Arminian system either. But I think that at the present time you have difficulty in believing that anyone could have truly understood Calvinism and left it, and still be a Christian. But they can, Rhology, they can and do!

Rhology said...

Has Dr. Michael Brown rejected the biblical gospel as well? Is he not saved either? Has he not truly repented? You are aware of his recent debate with James White, right?

I refer to the false gospel of EOC. Dr MB believes in justification by grace alone thru faith alone, as White and I do.
The thing is, when you go to a false gospel, you incur the anathema of Galatians 1:8-10. There is a reason for that - only the Gospel can save a sinner, not a false gospel of works + faith + false hope of theosis. Your soul is in terrible peril, whether or not you hold Calvinist friends in good will and think they're going to heaven.


I think that at the present time you have difficulty in believing that anyone could have truly understood Calvinism and left it, and still be a Christian

No, not at all.
If they become more Arminian but still hold to the Gospel, I care not but rejoice at the brother or sister with whom I will worship Jesus for all eternity.
If they leave the Gospel altogether, I grieve for her or him who tasted of the heavenly gift but was among those who shrink back, who trust in themselves rather than Christ, who went out from among us but were never of us. It's extremely easy to believe.

Lucian said...

His Law is about forgiving even one's own enemies. His character is Love. -- Wherein exactly do you see an inconsistency here?


Now you've lost yourself.

I was answering in my comment Your obsession (not only your own, but that of your entire religious system) with human weekness, by countering it with the quote from Saint Paul, who clearly states in his Epistle to the Philipians that we CAN do ALL things through Christ, Who stregthens us, following Jesus' own teaching, as recorded in the Gospel of Saint John, ch. 15, vs. 4 to 8.


Jesus lived to make us able to live as he lived, unto holiness and righteousness; and died to make us able to die as He died, unto sin; and to love even those who might one day crucify us; and to nail our hands to the cross when we're tempted to defile them by sin; and to nail our feet to the cross when tempted to go down crooked paths; and to crown ourselves with thorns when feeling our forehead swell up with pride; and to sting our mind with the thorns of conscience when assailed by evil and wicked thoughts; and to pierce our hearts by the love of God and neighbour, when tested by hatred; and to thrust our heart with purity, when attacked by lust.

In other words, He died to embody the love and holiness He Himself preached, and make the human nature that He bore through the Incarnation able to actually attain that righteouness, and then spoon-feed us that redeemed human nature, His own flesh and blood, (by which he conquered all first all temptations, and then finally even death and the devil), under the form of bread and wine, in the Eucharist, so that we might have eternal life (John, ch. 6). -- You quoted the verse from 1 Peter 2:24 yourself earlier: He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

Viisaus said...

"Jesus lived to make us able to live as he lived, unto holiness and righteousness; and died to make us able to die as He died, unto sin; and to love even those who might one day crucify us; and to nail our hands to the cross when we're tempted to defile them by sin; and to nail our feet to the cross when tempted to go down crooked paths; and to crown ourselves with thorns when feeling our forehead swell up with pride; and to sting our mind with the thorns of conscience when assailed by evil and wicked thoughts; and to pierce our hearts by the love of God and neighbour, when tested by hatred; and to thrust our heart with purity, when attacked by lust."


Is this really ALL you think Christ died for? To "make us better people"? (Or to make us "little gods"?)

Rhology said...

feeling our forehead swell up with pride

How cruelly ironic that you yet make your final salvation dependent on you.

Darlene said...

Rhology,

You must understand that an Arminian such as Dr. Michael Brown does not hold to the TULIP at all. And his views of freewill are completely different than the Reformed Calvinist view. Arminians are synergists, not monergists. He also believes that a Christian can fall away and thus lose his salvation. So saying such thgs. as he believes in justification alone through faith alone sose their veracity and reliability when the whole of his beliefs are nearly antithetical to Calvinism.

As for me, I stand on the precipice of Christianity, so to speak. I worship with various Christians under different labels.

I understand your zeal, I really do. But, your zeal tends toward judgmentalism. And I do not speak here of the same judgment to which our Lord referred in saying, "Do not judge by appearances but judge with right judgment." Forgive me if I speak wrongly.

You remind me of that expression, "he can't see the forest for the leaves." You are so focused on Reformed theology and defending it that you cannot fully appreciate the grace of God at work outside these perimeters. I have no doubt that you know it does, but this is a different matter.

Rhology, I now am persuaded more than ever to tell others of Christ's love, of His Passion, of His self-emptying on the cross, of His incarnation, and of the hope of our bodies being raised in the glorious resurrection. Calvinism has never motivated me in such a way.

But I find myself feeling as though I am knocking on a door plastered shut. Perhaps if I tell you that it was because of my propensity toward depression and anxiety, a disorder inherited from many previous generations, that Calvinism did no good for me. It only exacerbated matters further, to where God's love and mercy was obscured.

In speaking thus, I recognize my own failings. For are we not prone to false dilemmas, imperfect and impious thoughts, and disordered thinking? Nonetheless, I found that to be able to survive as a Christian, and I do mean SURVIVE, I could not hold to the tenets of Calvinism. It seems that you can. Who am I to say that you cannot?

For the most part, the God spoken of and preached in Calvinist circles does not draw me to cast myself upon His love and mercy. There is no way at this time, it seems, that I can help you to understand this.

The new creation within me longs for the salvation of others. Christ in me longs to reach out to the destitute, the poor, the hopeless, the grieving, the proud, the mockers of God, the insolent and ungodly. But such desire I cannot possess were I to submitting to Calvinism. Perhaps some day you will understand.

Christ be with you!

Rhology said...

Darlene,

And yet he holds to the Gospel. I'm sorry to have to repeat this, but you apparently don't understand what the Gospel is, and since you don't, you fulfill 1 John 2 - you were never among us.
Seriously, repent. Come to the God Who died for you and ALL your sin, Who welcomes you with forgiveness of ALL your sin, Who understands your weakness and Who despises your pathetic works "which are as used menstrual cloths before Him" - Isaiah. If you don't think of your pitiful works in that way, I'm afraid you are not poor in spirit and the kingdom of Heaven is far from you.

Darlene said...

Btw, I meant to say, "So saying such things as he believes in justification by faith alone through grace alone LOSE their veracity and reliability when the whole of his beliefs are nearly antithetical to Calvinism."

Darlene said...

Rhology,

I think you need to improve upon your listening skills. I said nothing of my works, and yet you keep pounding a dead horse over and over again. I have spoken only of God's mercy and love in this conversation.

Do you not understand when I say I have called upon the mercy of God? Do you not understand when I say I trust in His mercy more than anything else? Do you not understand that I trust in a Father Who loves me more than I could ever love Him?

You act like one who is close-minded toward reasoning with me in any realistic way. Please listen to what I have been telling you. Stop long enough to listen before leaping to judge. Please just try it once.

One can once have been among Calvinists, leave them and that system, and still be a genuine, forgiven Christian who loves Christ, even though he/she still acknowledges being a sinner.

Rhology said...

I said nothing of my works

EOC does. I'm looking at a slightly bigger picture, and the church you choose to belong to says most everything.

Let me ask it this way. Does
1) whether you end up in the presence of God in joy and elation, or
2) whether you spend eternity in unpleasantness

depend in any way upon your behavior?

If so, I rest my case.
If not, why be part of a church that says it does?

Darlene said...

Lucian,

There are times when Christians can come to their wits end. They have no other recourse than to call upon the mercy of God and trust in His mercy, love, and compassion.

Iow, my point is that we can find ourselves in such a position that we question anything we might "do" to the extent that we even question our very hearts. One can be so deep in despair and sorrow that even to lift one's hand to do anything is too much. The only thing one can depend upon at such a time is God's mercy, compassion, and love. Do you understand my point?

I can look back upon my life as a Christian and see that there were times when I was filled with such energy and passion to live for God. I was like St. Peter who said to our Lord, "I will die for you." But when the time came, he did not have the strength to be counted with Christ.

There are many times when we fall short, we sin, we fail to do what we should have or do that which we hate. It is in the midst of such frustration that we can call upon the mercy, compassion, and love of Christ. For, "a broken and contrite heart He will not despise."

If we lose sight of this truth, that His mercy, love, and compassion are always present, even when we do not recognize it, then our faith becomes void, empty, and meaningless. This is what has happened with my son, and such a sight is distressing to behold.

Darlene said...

Rhology,

"Let me ask it this way."

You would not even have to ask anything if you had read and injested my second paragraph.

Lucian said...

It's beyond me how some people can consider that there's any pride in grabbing on to a buoy... or in following a doctor's prescription and diet... but whatever...

I also don't understand what MORE can there be added to humanity, other than restoring our original godlikeness, that we've lost at the fall... If not even becoming like God again can satisfy you, then what on earth ever will? If not even that is enough, what is?

And yes, Darlene, I completely understand.

bossmanham said...

No one has answered me. Why did Jesus die on the cross? Why did it please the Father to crush Him (Is. 53:10)? Why does the word of God say He will bear our iniquities (Is. 53:11)? Why does it say He became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21)?

What was the purpose of the cross?

Darlene said...

Rhology,

You said, "Dr MB believes in justification by grace alone thru faith alone, as White and I do."

"If someone does not know Him it's because of their choice, not God's choice." - Dr. Michael Brown from Line of Fire broadcast on November 10, 2009, titled "Why I'm Not a Calvinist."

Same as you and White? Listen to the entire broadcast, and for that matter, other things he says, such as Christians being able to fall away from the grace of God and lose their salvation. Same gospel as you and White?

John said...

R: "Cool, but I don't ever want to see you talking about the holy Law of God again. Apparently, there's no reason to continue to walk in holiness either."

You haven't started to make sense yet. If you're a parent, can you forgive your kids without making your authority house rules to be nothing? I hope so, or you fail as a parent.

"That sermon is a sermon of law, to break you down so that you will stop depending on yourself and your own goodness"

How did you put it... ah yes "And now you're just making naked assertions."

"So Jesus died for nothing."

You're supposed to be an intelligent human being. You know EO do not say Jesus died for nothing. But you know we don't subscribe to your views of what he died for. So are you being wilfully annoying, or are you just wanting to score points?

bossmanham:
Contemplate this:

Rom. 4:25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

Why was he raised for our justification in the substitution model? He didn't have to be raised to pay the penalty.

You need to read the church fathers and orthodox works.

Jesus takes our sins upon him in his death, so that he can sanctify the sinful human condition in death, so that it may be raised up again in new life. The ancient hymn goes "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life."

Think about the Passover lamb, it takes on death so that the Israelites don't have to. Not because God is angry with either the Lamb or the Israelites, but the sacrifice sanctified the Jewish household by its blood, so that death should not come. In the case of Jesus, he sanctifies the sinful human person through transforming us into new creatures. That's why he has to take sin upon himself. And its also his resurrection which participates in this. By taking on the sin, and then rising to new life, he sanctifies us as sinful humans, raising us to a new holiness of life. And that new holiness is justification or righteousness.

Viisaus said...

"Jesus takes our sins upon him in his death, so that he can sanctify the sinful human condition in death, so that it may be raised up again in new life. The ancient hymn goes "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.""


This all may be INCLUDED in the work of Christ, but it's not yet ENOUGH. God's perfect righteousness must be satisfied as well.

It is you who must insist that penal substitution and "sanctifying the sinful human condition" must be mutually exclusive.

To me, Penal Substitution is a wonderfully spiritual truth - If Eastern Orthodoxy really wants to rejects it, all the worse for it.

P.S. is also my opinion much more authentically Hebrew position, and reeks less of pagan-magical notions than "theosis". Those Greek church fathers of yours were too much influenced by pagan Neoplatonist ideas (which emphasize the return of all sparks of light to original unity).

Your theologians actually indirectly inhaled the ideas of militant pagan philosopher Proclus via the forgeries of Pseudo-Dionysius.

Rhology said...

Darlene,

"If someone does not know Him it's because of their choice, not God's choice." - Dr. Michael Brown from Line of Fire broadcast on November 10, 2009, titled "Why I'm Not a Calvinist."

"Choice" in his context is not a work. He means one must repent and have faith. The biblical command is to repent and have faith, and is sharply distinguished from works, which EOC says are necessary to attain theosis. That's why EOC is antibiblical and does not have the Gospel, and Dr MB does.



John,

If you're a parent, can you forgive your kids without making your authority house rules to be nothing? I hope so, or you fail as a parent.

Ah, now we're judging and figuring out God according to human terms of parents. I've always said EOC is man-centered, and you only continue to confirm that.


"So Jesus died for nothing."

You're supposed to be an intelligent human being. You know EO do not say Jesus died for nothing.


So show why He didn't, if the law is no more, He didn't atone for any lawbreaking, and we weren't guilty, and God can just blow past His holy law and forgive anyone.

Lucian said...

It is you who must insist that penal substitution and sanctifying the sinful human condition must be mutually exclusive.


They're not. But the legal or penal substitution model of the atonement is at odds with the Gospel. It contradicts the Sermon on the Mount, the Parable of the Prodigal, and the parable of the man who owed 10,000 talants. It is these things that are mutually exclusive with that particular model.

Rhology said...

Lucian,

Please state the Gospel in 100 words or less.

Lucian said...

I meant the four Gospels here: particularly the passages mentioned

Rhology said...

Given that you can't be perfect nor forgive perfectly, it would appear that your conduct is exclusive with it as well.

Lucian said...

But at least my religion isn't.

james said...

Ah, now we're judging and figuring out God according to human terms of parents. I've always said EOC is man-centered, and you only continue to confirm that.

Um, you know who else also used "human terms of parents" to figure out God? You really want to criticise the Orthodox for following that guy's example?

(Seriously this is a very, very silly argument. If you're going to disqualify "human terms" from being used in a discussion of things Divine, where do you stop? Or do you just disqualify the entirety of human language?)

(I am not Orthodox, by the way, tho am considering Catholicism. We had a drawn-out argument in Mr. Shea's comboxes, altho that was a while back. I respected your willingness to dive in and argue against the entire combox at once...)

james / godescalc

John said...

"Ah, now we're judging and figuring out God according to human terms of parents."

Actually, I'm blowing away an argument you made with a typical everyday scenario. If you would like to show your argument to be a biblical one, instead of just putting it out there and assuming it, be my guest. You made a claim that either substitutionary atonement is true, or else God's law is nothing. Clearly that was nonsense.


"So show why He didn't, if the law is no more, He didn't atone for any lawbreaking, and we weren't guilty"

Of course he atoned for lawbreaking, and of course we are guilty. Don't you think you should swat up on our position before presenting yourself as expert?

Viisaus: There is nothing magical about theosis. In fact, it doesn't really say anything that Protestants can't affirm: We are being made like Jesus. All the Protestants wearing WWJD bangles affirm that is a Christian objective. Protestants don't see the same significance that we do, but they hardly deny it.

Should I quote a protestant like CS Lewis?

(God) said that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him-for we can prevent Him if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for.
—C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

As for your other claims about the wonders of Penal substitution, the trouble is nobody here can come up with a verse that teaches its distinctives - namely that Jesus had to die to satisfy the wrath of the angry God's justice. Since you claim your position is the "Hebrew" one, show us where the Passover lamb is the satisfaction for the justice of a wrathful God.

Viisaus said...

C.S. Lewis is way too liberal-ecumenical for my taste. He denied the Biblical inerrancy in a quite cavalier manner.

bossmanham said...

John,

The whole reason the sacrificial system was instituted was because God was angry that we sinned. That's why creation was cursed and why Jesus was needed to redeem said creation. I don't see what you're disagreeing with me on. Jesus took our sins on Himself and paid the penalty for those sins. If you don't think God is angry with the sinner, then why is God angry with them every day (Psalm 7:11)? And you haven't dealt with Romans 1:17. God's perfect righteousness is on display in the Gospel. It wouldn't be if God were simply winking at His broken law.

Justification itself is a legal term. You are declared not guilty precisely because He was killed, and in raising Him God shows us the power that that act had in justifying us, making us alive in Christ.

Why would I need to read the church fathers when I have the apostle's explanation right in front of me?

Darlene,

I am an Arminian, yet Rho and I agree completely on this. We differ on 4 points primarily that don't amount to essential doctrine. If you have questions about what classical / reformed Arminians think, you can ask me.

bossmanham said...

Plus, we're running into the if-a-church-father-said-it-it-must-be-true fallacy. There was a lot of disagreement among church fathers on some things.

Lucian said...

Why would I need to read the church fathers when I have the apostle's explanation right in front of me?

Plus, we're running into the if-a-church-father-said-it-it-must-be-true fallacy. There was a lot of disagreement among church fathers on some things.



I didn't tell You to read the Church Fathers (although that surely wouldn't hurt either), I told You to read the Gospel. Christ's words in describing God's character, and His forgiveness not clear enough there?

John said...

"The whole reason the sacrificial system was instituted was because God was angry that we sinned. "

First of all, it is not the "whole reason" for the sacrificial system because of sin. To quote the Anchor bible dictionary: " The sacrificial cult within Judaism and elsewhere was very varied and included provision for many different kinds of sacrifice (see Young 1979: 35–70). Some (but not all) sacrifices were to do with sins."

Secondly, for those sacrifices that were to do with sins, it doesn't mean that the paradigm is that an angry God requires the sacrifice to satisfy his sense of justice. To quote Anchor bible dictionary "Judaism provided no explicit rationale for sacrifice: it was simply the God-given way of dealing with sin"

"If you don't think God is angry with the sinner, then why is God angry with them every day "

Nobody said God isn't angry with sin. Have you been reading this thread? Orthodox people here are talking extensively about God forgiving sins. Obviously there would be nothing to forgive if God were not offended and angry.

The point is that nowhere does the bible present sacrifices as the necessary payment to God to satisfy his sense of justice. Nowhere does the bible present the scenario that certain punishments are due us, that Christ steps into our place and accepts those punishments onto himself, thus satisfying God's sense of justice. Nowhere does the bible present that paradigm.

"It wouldn't be if God were simply winking at His broken law."

How is it winking when God sent his son to die for our sins? Doesn't sound like winking to me to go to those those lengths.

All your objections are just straw men.

bossmanham said...

I didn't tell You to read the Church Fathers (although that surely wouldn't hurt either)

I never said I haven't read any of the church fathers. I don't base my conclusions off of them. I'm not even saying they shouldn't have an influence. I'm with Wesley on his quadrilateral, and tradition does play a part. But the Bible is the first and final authority.

I told You to read the Gospel. Christ's words in describing God's character, and His forgiveness not clear enough there?

God's forgiveness is based on Him taking our sins onto Himself. He can forgive our sins because someone else paid for them. Jesus makes clear that this forgiveness is based in Him (John 14:6). Paul articulates God's character as well, and if we remember, Paul was hand picked by Jesus Himself. Paul was confident that God's wrath will be fulfilled by Himself (Romans 12:19).

If God winked at His law, He wouldn't be a just judge (Psalm 7:11). You know that a judge that would let a criminal off the hook without payment would be corrupt. Why should we libel God with that accusation?

for those sacrifices that were to do with sins, it doesn't mean that the paradigm is that an angry God requires the sacrifice to satisfy his sense of justice. To quote Anchor bible dictionary

First off, the Bible says God is angry with sin and with sinners. Second off, why are you quoting the Anchor Bible Dictionary? It's not scripture.

Orthodox people here are talking extensively about God forgiving sins.

If He willy nilly passes off sins and just says "you're ok because I forgive you" that is shirking His justice. He is a "just judge." He does no hold the guilty guiltless (Exodus 20:7). To make it to heaven, we must be perfect (Matthew 5:48). However, He can say "you're ok because your sin has been paid for."

The point is that nowhere does the bible present sacrifices as the necessary payment to God to satisfy his sense of justice

I'd quote the verses again for you, but you seem to enjoy ignoring them.

How is it winking when God sent his son to die for our sins? Doesn't sound like winking to me to go to those those lengths.

Are you having fun contradicting yourself? How is it that Jesus is paying for our sins if our sins hadn't incurred a debt? Why would He need to die if God could just have forgiven the sins and wasn't owed justice? I have yet to see one of you explain this.

bossmanham said...

Oh, and if your formulation is correct, then God is an abomination to Himself (Proverbs 17:15).

Lucian said...

He can forgive our sins because someone else paid for them.

Then we should do the same, and only forgive someone's sins when someone else pays for them, otherwise we wouldn't be perfect AS our heavenly Father is.


He can forgive our sins because someone else paid for them.

Where do You see this in the Parable of the Prodigal Son? Do You see the father taking out his revenge on the righteous son, who didn't desert the father's house?


He can forgive our sins because someone else paid for them.

Where do You see this in the parable of the man who owed 10,000 talants, and was absolved of his debt? Which (inexistent) character in that parable pays the 10,000 talants?


tradition does play a part. But the Bible is the first and final authority.

The Bible interpreted traditionally is the first and final authority. -- Why do You diabolise between the two?


If God winked at His law, He wouldn't be a just judge (Psalm 7:11).

Since You seem to like the Psalms so much, try Psalm 103:10-12. (And BTW, there's a reason the words "with the wicked" are in italics there, in the passage You referenced).


You know that a judge that would let a criminal off the hook without payment would be corrupt

Not according to Christ. Not according to the four canonical Gospels. Not according to Isaiah either (1:18).


You know that a judge that would let a criminal off the hook without payment would be corrupt

Stop putting your opinions above the words of Scripture, especially since "my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD: for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (again from Isaiah, 55:8-9).

Your thoughts on justice are NOT the same as God's; and Your way of doing justice is NOT the same as God's either: Christ Himself contradicts Your opinions in the Gospel with His own words. Stop contradicting Christ, Who is God's own Word.

Lucian said...

Regarding Proverbs 17:15: it is none other than God Himself that justifieth the wicked (per St. Paul, whom you and all Protestants love to quote): but not in the sense of excusing or justifying their evil deeds, as the sense of Proverbs 17:15 implies (same word, different meanings: pay attention to the context!)

The way to God is through repentance, not punishment; Christ and John the Baptist did NOT say "punish yourselves, for the kingdom of God is drawing near"... if you want to whip yourself, go ahead and join the Catholic Church. (And whipping by proxy isn't the Gospel-message either: the message is repentance).

Lucian said...

You know that a judge that would let a criminal off the hook without payment would be corrupt

The "payment" that God expects from us, if You want me to put it this way, is repentance. Not punishment. (Of course, for the sinner repentance may seem as some sort of a punishment at first... but when he make progress in it, he begins to rip off its sweet fruit).


You know that a judge that would let a criminal off the hook without payment would be corrupt

"God wants the sinner to repent (turn around) and not to die". -- it even says so in the Bible.

Lucian said...

AGAIN regarding Proverbs 17:15: but isn't that EXACTLY what the penal substitution theory teaches? (justifying the wicked sinners by punishing the Righteous Servant?)

John said...

bossmanham: "Are you having fun contradicting yourself?"

I get that you are locked into this protestant paradigm, and its hard to even think outside the square, but stick with it.

"How is it that Jesus is paying for our sins if our sins hadn't incurred a debt?"

Did I say paid for? No. I said died for. If you want to comprehend the historical position you need to move away from the debt paradigm. There is only one place the NT uses a debt analogy in the Mt 18 parable, but there is nobody there to jump in and pay the debt, it is just forgiven.

"Why would He need to die if God could just have forgiven the sins and wasn't owed justice?"

I fully understand that the Protestant paradigm of substitution, debt and justice provides a simple framework for Protestants to stay ensconced in. However it suffers from the problem that it is never found in the bible. Whether I can or can't provide another reason does not alter that. And I keep asking you the question of why God instructed the Israelites to have a Passover lamb to turn away the Destroyer. Never is sin mentioned, never is substitution mentioned, never is debt mentioned, never is justice mentioned. If you can't answer that from the text of Exodus then you need to realise that God does things his own way.

God requires there to be a sacrifice, its as simple as that. Some parents require their children to apologise when they've done something wrong. Others require an act of penance. God so happens to require a sacrifice. In the case of the sacrifices of the OT, the implication is that the act of making a sacrifice has a beneficial effect on the person making the sacrifice. In the case of the perfect sacrifice of Christ, we benefit from partaking of that sacrifice in the eucharist, with the full knowledge that God's son had die to provide it.

Irenaeus’ summed up the reason for Christ's death as “he became what we are so that we might become what he is.” This has been described as the representation view. He took on the sin that has caused the death of humanity since Adam, and overcame that death and sin through the resurrection, and in doing so, we too may overcome sin, and overcome death.

This exposition of the earliest church in Irenaeus has its roots in Paul: "And if we are children we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory." The idea is that being joined to Christ's body, sharing in his sufferings, we also share in his overcoming sin, and ultimately share in his overcoming death. Then much later than Irenaeus, Athanasius said it like this: "For the Son of God became man, that we might become God (or divine)".

John said...

Essentially, by taking our sins into his body, and yet overcoming the death by which those sins normally cause man's death, he allows all those in Him to also overcome sin and death. This theme is found in many places. Ro 6:4 As Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

This is analogous to the effect of Adam on humanity. One might ask why am I subject to the effects of Adam’s sin? We participate in the lasting effects of Adam’s succumbing to sin. In the same way, by faith in Christ we are subject to Christ’s overcoming sin and death. We participate in Christ’s victory in the same way as we used to participate in Adam’s loss. This is why Christ had to die. Rom. 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

"why are you quoting the Anchor Bible Dictionary? "

Its quicker than spending 3 months taking a tour of the old testament to quote some Protestant scholars. Whether you agree with them or not, they are smart, they are well informed, and they have no commitment to Eastern Orthodoxy. In other words, there is a lot more to what we are saying than just our tradition or authority speaking.

Concerning Mt 5:48 it does not say only the perfect get to heaven. It just extolls you to be perfect.

"However, He can say "you're ok because your sin has been paid for.""

To comprehend our position, you have to move away from the paradigm that God's concern is always to sit around wondering if you're "ok", with the binary outcome, yay or nay. God's desire is for everyone to be saved, and salvation is the process of taking on Christ's holiness. As Paul said 2Th 2:13 "God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification". Salvation through sanctification is what the bible teaches, and sanctification is through Christ. Christ died so that we could share in his glory.

I don't know what verses you hope us to respond to, because none of them teach the substitutionary distinctives. That God is angry with sin we agree with, and it is unnecessary to prove.

Proverbs 17:15 is the death knell for substitutionary atonement, because that doctrine teaches that God justifies the wicked!! Can't you see that? Orthodoxy teaches that we are saved because God is sanctifying us - he stops us being wicked and makes us actually righteous. Protestantism says that God justifies the wicked, WHILE they are wicked and stay wicked. This is precisely what Pr 17:15 condemns.

bossmanham said...

Then we should do the same, and only forgive someone's sins when someone else pays for them

What part of "someone else already has" don't you understand?

Where do You see this in the Parable of the Prodigal Son?

A parable is not an exhaustive doctrinal formulation. Three problems with bringing up these parables to support your position. 1) Christ is not mentioned in these parables. Does that mean Christ shouldn't have been given? Because these parables say so? Parables aren't allegories, and as such we shouldn't expext a point by point correlation between the story and its message. 2) These parables only contain two actors who are directly contrasted with one another. They are shown to tell us what we must do, not directly what God has done for our forgiveness. 3) The cross can be seen in all three parables. The self sacrificial nature of God is seen.

Stott observes, "in his book The Cross and the Prodigal Dr. [Kenneth E.] Bailey...takes a fresh look at Luke 15 'through the eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants.' He explains that the whole village would know that the returning prodigal was in disgrace, and that punishment of some kind was inevitable, if only to preserve the father's honor. But the father bears the punishment instead of inflicting it. Although, 'a man of his age and position always walks in a slow, dignified fasion,' and although 'he has not run anywhere for any purpose for 40 years,' he yet 'races' down the road like a teenager to welcome his home-coming son. Thus risking the ridicule of the street urchins, 'he takes upon himself the shame and humiliation due to the prodigal.' 'In this parable,' Dr Bailey continues, 'we have a father who leaves the comfort and security of his home and exposes himself in a humiliating fashion in the village street. The coming down and going out to his boy hints at the incarnation. The humiliating spectacle in the village street hints at the cross.' Thus 'the cross and the incarnation are implicitly yet dramatically present in the story,' for 'the suffering of the cross was not primarily the physical torture but rather the agony of rejected love.' What was essential for the prodigal's reconciliation was a 'physical demonstration of self-emptying love in suffering...Is this not the way of God with man on Golgotha?'" (John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ p. 218-219)

bossmanham said...

Lucian,

Since You seem to like the Psalms so much, try Psalm 103:10-12.

And we know, since it was revealed in Christ, why He has not dealt with us in our sins. It's because He has dealt with it Himself. Do you have a problem with progressive revelation?

And BTW, there's a reason the words "with the wicked" are in italics there, in the passage You referenced

Because the NKJV translators interpreted from the context that He was angry with someone. What, is God just angry all the time for no reason?

Not according to Christ. Not according to the four canonical Gospels. Not according to Isaiah either (1:18).

Are you serious? Do you not see that He was anticipating the suffering servant revealed 52 chapters later? It is Christ who "has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4). He was "Smitten by God, and afflicted". "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed" (v. 5). We are made white as snow because of Him (note the parallelism with the transfigured Christ [Matthew 28:3; Mark 9:3] and the glorified Christ in Revelation 1:14).

Stop putting your opinions above the words of Scripture,

Okay, as emoting goes this is pretty weak. But I could say the same about the people who think God's mean if He punishes Jesus. C'mon. Jesus died on the cross at the will of the Father, period. The question is did it accomplish anything of substance. What could your formulation not have accomplished without Christ's death? And stop yanking verses out of their context. I could throw the "God's was are not our ways" verse right back at you in support of my position, since justice obviously isn't normative in humanity.

Regarding Proverbs 17:15: it is none other than God Himself that justifieth the wicked

Hmmmm...Jesus....is.....God.....so.......how is this a problem for me?

per St. Paul, whom you and all Protestants love to quote

Don't you?

Christ and John the Baptist did NOT say "punish yourselves, for the kingdom of God is drawing near"

Wow. Really dude. You should recuse yourself from the covo. The reason they didn't say to punish ourselves is because Jesus is the one who had to be punished. I am not a spotless lamb. Jesus is.

bossmanham said...

I get that you are locked into this protestant paradigm, and its hard to even think outside the square, but stick with it.

Editorializing can go both ways.

Did I say paid for? No. I said died for.

Why die for sins? What's the point? What could Christ not have accomplished by living?

However it suffers from the problem that it is never found in the bible

Bu-hull hockey. Deal with the verses already given. Paul spoke in legal terms, because he thought of the atonement in that way as well. Justification is a legal term. Propitiation (though I'm sure you reject it) refers to asuaging wrath.

Whether I can or can't provide another reason does not alter that.

Then why should I change my mind. It seems pretty useless for Jesus to die if there wasn't anything acomplished.

And I keep asking you the question of why God instructed the Israelites to have a Passover lamb to turn away the Destroyer

Primarily, it was a type of Christ. The lamb was killed instead of people to display the seriousness of sins and the coming sacrifice in Jesus Christ.

Never is sin mentioned, never is substitution mentioned

Sin is transferred to the scapegoat.

If you can't answer that from the text of Exodus then you need to realise that God does things his own way.

Well I certainly wouldn't have come up with God becoming man and taking the punishment we deserve on Himself. That's 100% unique among any other worldview. Yours more resembles Islam.

God requires there to be a sacrifice, its as simple as that.

Yes, the sacrifice transfers the punishment from the one who deserves it to another.

Some parents require their children to apologise when they've done something wrong.

This doesn't seem to correlate to anything we're talking about.

In the case of the sacrifices of the OT, the implication is that the act of making a sacrifice has a beneficial effect on the person making the sacrifice.

Ya, his sin is being transferred to something else. That's pretty beneficial.

In the case of the perfect sacrifice of Christ, we benefit from partaking of that sacrifice in the eucharist

Oi. I have no inherent problem with the idea that Chris is actually in the bread and wine (or is the bread and wine). But to say that is the fullness of the gospel is ridiculous. And you're saying my position lacks scriptural support, but there's nothing in the Bible about this being the center. Christ's atoning death and resurrection is the center; of the Gospels, of Paul, of Peter, of John.

bossmanham said...

with the full knowledge that God's son had die to provide it

Jesus is now alive and at the right hand of the Father. How is He in a bazillion churches at once?

Irenaeus’ summed up the reason for Christ's death as “he became what we are so that we might become what he is.” This has been described as the representation view. He took on the sin that has caused the death of humanity since Adam, and overcame that death and sin through the resurrection, and in doing so, we too may overcome sin, and overcome death.

I agree to a point, but why would He need to do this? What's the point? Why would He need to die for this?

Essentially, by taking our sins into his body, and yet overcoming the death by which those sins normally cause man's death, he allows all those in Him to also overcome sin and death.

What is it about sin that causes us to die, that causes men to go to hell?

Concerning Mt 5:48 it does not say only the perfect get to heaven. It just extolls you to be perfect.

In the context of speaking of His fulfillment of the law...hmm...

yay or nay

Justification is a word that entails a binary oucome. Guilty or not guilty. Jesus said, "He who is not with Me is against Me" (Matthew 12:30).

God's desire is for everyone to be saved, and salvation is the process of taking on Christ's holiness.

In part. But the starting point of salvation is justification, which is binary. You're in or out. Once you're in, He begins sanctifying you.

Salvation through sanctification is what the bible teaches

In the context of apostasy, continuation in the faith will save you as contrasted with the apostasy of many. We are saved when we grow in holiness, but we have been saved at a point in time as well when we were declared not guilty.

That God is angry with sin we agree with, and it is unnecessary to prove

And this anger brings.....what? It brings PUNSIHMENT.

Protestantism says that God justifies the wicked, WHILE they are wicked and stay wicked.

No it doesn't. I thought you understood protestant distinctives. What happened? At one point we not righteous, then we are declared righteous, and then we actually are righteous before God. Christ's righteousness becomes our own. God doesn't just say we are righteous, we actually are righteous because we have Christ's righteousness.

God Himself elected to take the punishment Himself so that He would remain righteous, just, and holy while redeeming us of our sins and making us righteous and allowing us to enter His kingdom.

bossmanham said...

24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Roman 3:24-26

Rhology said...

james/godescalc,

True, I guess I should've put a finer point on it.
What I was reacting against was an obviously unattached analogy from the EO commenter's own imagination, whereas Jesus was appealing to His listeners to believe what He was telling them and was using a human example to explain it. From the lesser holiness to the greater holiness, and that's not at all what I was responding to.

And thanks for hanging out! I admire your patience to read thru such a thread as this one.

John said...

"What was essential for the prodigal's reconciliation was a 'physical demonstration of self-emptying love in suffering...Is this not the way of God with man on Golgotha?'" (John R. W. Stott)"

Well good on you Mr Stott, for admitting there is more to this cross thing than substitutionary atonement. Got anybody else to quote who agrees with us?

" (Isaiah 53:4). He was "Smitten by God, and afflicted". "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed" "

Only our side believes that "by His stripes we are healed". That's as good a definition of theosis as one could hope for. Your side doesn't think we are healed by his stripes, rather his stripes appease an angry hanging judge, while we remain sinners.

"We are made white as snow because of Him "

Only we believe that. You believe that we are made to appear white as snow, while in truth remaining rotten in the core.

"What could your formulation not have accomplished without Christ's death?"

Hey you just quoted Stott who said some things it accomplishes with no reference to the angry judge needing appeasement.

"Bu-hull hockey. Deal with the verses already given. "

Unsurprisingly we see nothing to deal with in the verses, since they don't support your position. And since the Church Fathers didn't see it either, we have a prima facie case that we know what we are talking about. But if you want to actually make a case, instead of listing a bunch of verses that don't help you, maybe there'd be something to respond to.


"Justification is a legal term."

It's not a legal term. It can be used in a legal context, but then so can most words. Its a word that is used in the old testament from Genesis since before anybody invented anything resembling a legal system, and before and laws were introduced. If its legal, its certainly not in any way that resembles Protestant thinking.

"Propitiation (though I'm sure you reject it) refers to asuaging wrath."

No it doesn't, it refers to something that brings mercy and forgiveness. Thus in the OT we have the ἱλαστήριον ἐπίθεμα (mercy seat, Heb 9:5, and all through the LXX). The mercy seat was the place where the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled. When Paul refers to Christ as the ἱλαστήριον, he is referring to the Jewish sacrificial system and the practice with regards to the blood of the sacrifice. It doesn't prove anything with regards to the mechanism of atonement, unless you think the mercy seat itself somehow assuaged God's wrath.

" The lamb was killed instead of people to display the seriousness of sins and the coming sacrifice in Jesus Christ."

The bible never says that. In fact, nothing says that the passover lamb is a sin sacrifice. What the passover did is save people from death. Which is exactly the emphasis that Orthodox put on it - Christ's sacrifice overcomes death. It's more than that I'll grant, but the point is our emphasis is the historical emphasis.

"Sin is transferred to the scapegoat."

No verse says Jesus is our scape goat. Rather Jesus is our passover. And the scapegoat wasn't sacrificed, it was released!

"Yours more resembles Islam."

If it does, and I have no idea why you say that, it wouldn't be surprising since Islam arose from the same cultural context as Eastern Orthodoxy. If they copied something from us, it wouldn't be the first time.

"Yes, the sacrifice transfers the punishment from the one who deserves it to another."

Still waiting for the verse on that one. You do realise that right? Not a single verse has been advanced in favor of this notion, but you don't seem to be able to see that.

John said...

"Christ's atoning death and resurrection is the center; of the Gospels,"

You can't separate Christ's death from the Eucharist. It's one of the few things referred to in all four gospels and the epistles.

"I agree to a point, but why would He need to do this? What's the point?"

Because he is the second Adam. We by natural birth acquire the sinful nature of Adam and die. Christ gives us new birth by which he takes on our sins whilst overcoming them through the resurrection ("he was raised for our justification"). Adam's unnatural death is the prototype for our death. Christ's resurrection is the prototype for our resurrection. To overcome our death in Adam, he had to experience it and overcome it, to be the new federal head of mankind.

"What is it about sin that causes us to die, that causes men to go to hell?"

Its a corruption of God's perfection. We cannot live in God's presence while in corruption, thus they need to be somewhere else - hell.

"In the context of speaking of His fulfillment of the law."

His fulfilment of the Law isn't dying on the cross to appease the angry God. It is bringing his Gospel of love to substitute for the covenant of Law. "treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Mt 7). That's perfection, that's fulfillment of the law, that's the context of Mt 5:48, and frankly that's the historic Christian message.

"Justification is a word that entails a binary oucome. Guilty or not guilty. "

Only if you're beholden to this new fangled Protestant legal theory. Justification is a word that refers to being in right relationship. Quoting the Anchor dictionary, Righteousness, which in Greek is the noun form of the word according to Jepsen (1965: 79, 81), maintains that righteousness in the OT means right order; it is concerned "with a situation that in fact is as it ought or must be" Schmid (1968: 67, 179) follows Jepsen in saying it concerns "proper order, willed by Yahweh, appropriate, proper". (Fahlgren 1932); mentions order, fitting into order. (Crsemann 1976); "proper order in the community".

Justification is being considered to be in right, fitting and proper relationship to God and other people. That's what God is concerned about, proper relationship. Not with his finger on the guillotine if you get the wrong binary outcome.

"At one point we not righteous, then we are declared righteous, and then we actually are righteous before God. "

Righteous before God is Protestant code words for "We are stinking sinners, but God pretends like we aren't".

"God doesn't just say we are righteous, we actually are righteous because we have Christ's righteousness."

Actually? If you are actually righteous, then you would have no need to confess your sins to God. But you're not willing to to take your claims to the logical conclusions.

"because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

Well hang on now, this says that God "passing over" sins demonstrates God's righteousness. But your claim is God can't be righteous if he simply "passes over" sins, rather he needs payment. And you said we actually are righteous because we actually have Christ's righteousness. Then why does God need to "pass over" anything? If you _Actually_ have Christ's righteousness, then there would be nothing to pass over.

Viisaus said...

"Righteous before God is Protestant code words for "We are stinking sinners, but God pretends like we aren't"."

Your hatred for the Gospel of Grace shines through - you feel compelled to trash it in order to defend the semi-Pelagian self-righteousness that your church promotes.


Another big hero of your "tradition", John Cassian, was pretty much a confirmed semi-Pelagian:

"Since Semipelagianism has never been condemned by Eastern synods or the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the doctrine of St. John Cassian is regarded by many Orthodox theologians as the right descernment of "ancestral sin" in the Orthodox Church.[5]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cassian#Doctrinal_controversy


Same with Vincent of Lerins, the guy whom YOU people love to quote instead of Paul:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_of_L%C3%A9rins

"But it is extremely probable that at least his sympathies were with those who held it. For not only does he omit the name of St. Augustine of Hippo, who was especially obnoxious to them, when making honorable mention at any time of the champions of the faith, but he denounces his doctrine, though under a misrepresentation of it, as one of the forms of that novel error which he reprobates."

Darlene said...

Wow, my head is spinning! I've been left in the dust with all this back and forth.

One thing I know (and this isn't defending EO or Calvinism), is that Jesus died for me on the cross of Calvary. His blood was shed for the forgiveness of my sins. This blood was of a pure and spotless Lamb, who lived a sinless life. In shedding His blood and dying for the sins of the world, He makes a free offer to everyone. "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." "The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let him who hears say, "Come." And let him who is thirsty take the water of life without price."

It is to the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Who takes away the sins of the world, that I owe my very life - both my physical life, for "all things were created through Him," and my spiritual life. "For your life is hid with Christ in God." "You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

My sins separated me from God. Jesus Christ, my advocate, bridged the separation in His Passion, death, and resurrection. He suffered, bled and died for me. "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us." He is my advocate even now, this very day. When I call out to Him, and petition Him, He hears and intercedes on my behalf. He intercedes even while I sleep for "He does not slumber or sleep."

I am reconciled to God because Christ has made "peace by the blood of his cross." "And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death."

Even in times of discouragement, when the path appears obscured and questions rage within me, I can say with the prophets and patriarchs of old: This I call to mind and therefore I have hope, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. God is love, beyond mere human comprehension of love. Where our love ends, His goes on for infinity.

All this back and forth about God's law v.s. God's forgiveness can be lost in the midst of deep pain and anxiety. It can be lost to the one who is seeking for refuge and hope. Read the Psalms, and there you will see the repetitive theme over and over of God's STEADFAST LOVE.

Psalms 6:4, 13:5, 25:6 & 7, 26:3, 31:16, 31:21, 33:18, 33:22, 36:5 & 7, 40:10 & 11, 42:8, 44:26, 48:9, 51:1, 57:10, 59:16 & 17, 61:7, 62:12, 63:3, 86:5, 86:15, 100:5, 103:8, 106:1, 107:1 & 8, 108:4, 109:21, 117:2, 118:1 & 29, 119:76, 119:124, 119:149, all of Ps. 136, 145:8 & 147:11.

If a person's faith does not lead him or her to depend upon God's steadfast love and mercy at all times and places, if it disregards the compassion of Christ our God, then such faith has little sustaining power. It is because I can say with David, the Patriarchs and Prophets of old, the Apostles, and the Martyrs throughout the centuries till now, that I trust in His love and mercy and thus have hope in my God.

Rhology said...

"Righteous before God is Protestant code words for "We are stinking sinners, but God pretends like we aren't"."

That's far better than your being in actuality a stinking sinner and your pretending you're not.

bossmanham said...

John,

Well good on you Mr Stott, for admitting there is more to this cross thing than substitutionary atonement

Funny, cause nobody said that there was only one aspect to the cross. I thought you understood protestant distinctions?

Only our side believes that "by His stripes we are healed".

No, it doesn't seem you do. What's with all this binary language?

That's as good a definition of theosis as one could hope for

When did I ever bring up theosis? If by theosis you mean a process of becoming holy and Christlike, then I have no beef with it.

Your side doesn't think we are healed by his stripes, rather his stripes appease an angry hanging judge, while we remain sinners.

Actually, the penal aspect include propitiation, redemption, justification, and reconciliation. I thought you knew the protestant distinctives? What's with all the straw men?

Only we believe that. You believe that we are made to appear white as snow, while in truth remaining rotten in the core.

Funny, I remember saying we are actually righteous because we are given Christ's righteousness. You think Christ was righteous, don't you?

Hey you just quoted Stott who said some things it accomplishes with no reference to the angry judge needing appeasement.

Stott cleary said, "But the father bears the punishment instead of inflicting it." Why are you twisting words out of context? Does your position require it?

Unsurprisingly we see nothing to deal with in the verses, since they don't support your position

Funny, because Paul seems awful caught up on the law and Christ's fulfillment of it and the wrath sin incurs from God in Romans 6-8. Here are some highlights:

5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (wha!?!?! I thought you said God wasn't angry with us??? WHy would we need to be saved from His wrath!?!?!)

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (oop look at that. We're firs reconciled and then the sanctification begins)

11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (now reconciled)

20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (the Law came and transgression increased!?)

bossmanham said...

And since the Church Fathers didn't see it either,

The church fathers didn't clearly see the homoousian formulation of the trinity or the hypostatic union of Christ either. Some (Origen) thought we existed in heaven prior to coming to earth. At one time, the majority were Arians. This is why the Bible, not the fathers, is our foundation.

It's not a legal term. It can be used in a legal context, but then so can most words.

Really? Which ones? Just or unjust, that is the question.

Its a word that is used in the old testament from Genesis since before anybody invented anything resembling a legal system

So the Mosaic law didn't set down a legal system? Deuteronomy 25 wasn't setting up a legal system? You sure you're willing to stick with that?

it refers to something that brings mercy and forgiveness.

Mercy and forgiveness because God has paid for our sins Himself. That's pretty merciful.

blady bla mercy seat not propitiation

The reason propitiation is necessary is because of the context, which is clearly including the wrath of God (1:18; 2:5; 3:5) and the need to avert it. The righteousness of God brings deliverance from sin to which we were imprisoned(3:24; cf. 6:1-23, esp. 6:7). Expiation, therefore, is contingent on propitiation. Propitiation effects expiation. And if it's only expiation, then we only know what has been done with sin and not with God's wrath, which is clearly on lawbreakers (John 3:36; Romans 5:9, 9:22, 12:19, 13:4; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation a bunch). Something must be done about the wrath of God, and something was.

The bible never says that. In fact, nothing says that the passover lamb is a sin sacrifice

No verse says Jesus is our scape goat.


Both the passover lamb and the scapegoat are typological of Christ. The lamb because of the imputation of Christ's righteousness. The blood of Christ is spread on our doorpost and God's judgement passes over us. The scapegoat because our sins were placed on Him and He was sent away. I can't believe you'd give up one of the types of Christ to hold to your deficient view of the atonement.

it was released!

And Christ was released from death. WHA!?!?!

If it does, and I have no idea why you say that, it wouldn't be surprising since Islam arose from the same cultural context as Eastern Orthodoxy.

Yeah, makes you wonder, eh? It's similar because what God rquires in Islam is saying sorry and doing a bunch of stuff. No payment for sin required.

Still waiting for the verse on that one. You do realise that right?

See above. Also, Romans 3:26 says God shows His righteousness now, in remaining just and also being the justifier. Why punish sin? What is God doing in punishing sin? God is proving He is just. So when Paul says God is doing this to remain just, he means it. God does indeed uphold what is good and right.

Lucian said...

Yes, a parable is actiually pretty much exhaustive when treating (or dealing with) a given subject... and what's *rheally* interesting to notice is that Your ideas are conspicuously absent from not just one, but ALL of them that deal with the issue under discussion (namely atonement)...


Secondly, the Father did not become incarnate for us... I'm sorry that you haven't found that out until now... :-\


Thirdly, yes, Christ is present there in the parable, under the form of the calf that the Father slaughters to feed the hungry son. But it nowhere says, however, that he did it out of anger, needing a punching-bag/substitute to unleash his savage furry upon, instead of his returning and repenting son...


And no, actually you can't "return the favour" by quoting Isaiah 55:8-9 right back at me, for the obvious reason that, unlike you, I began my thread of thoughts with Christ's own words: His preaching [Sermon on the Mount] and parables [of the Prodigal & of the forgiven debtor]. -- I did NOT begin them with my own opinions of the idea of justice...


Christ obviously did suffer, and was smitten, and was bruised, etc and He did it obviously for us, not for Himself... but where does it say that the reason behind it was God's [unexistent] passions, like anger, wrath, rage etc.? Where does Isaiah say He was God's punching-bag, which the Almighty needed to unleash His furry upon?

bossmanham said...

John,

You can't separate Christ's death from the Eucharist. It's one of the few things referred to in all four gospels and the epistles.

So is hell and Satan. Are they at the center? I have no problem with the Lord's supper being important. I think protestants have relegated it to a point of obscurity, which is wrong, and why I attend a church that serves it weekly. But to say it is the whole reason Christ came; so we can eat His body and blood; is to miss the point of the gospel.

We by natural birth acquire the sinful nature of Adam and die.

And why would it make us die? C'mon, it's not that hard. It starts with a "p" and ends with "unishment".

Christ gives us new birth by which he takes on our sins whilst overcoming them through the resurrection

Fine fine, but as I've established, that still leaves God's wrath undealt with.

Its a corruption of God's perfection.

Sure, but what is it about that corruption that brings about death. Why would God need to curse the creation and send us to hell for it? Puh-uhn-esh-ment.

Only if you're beholden to this new fangled Protestant legal theory.

No, because Jesus said we're either with Him or we're not. Jesus sounded pretty binary there.

Justification is a word that refers to being in right relationship.

Wow, that sounds a bit binary. You're either in a right relationship or you aren't. Hmm....

ustification is being considered to be in right, fitting and proper relationship to God and other people. That's what God is concerned about, proper relationship. Not with his finger on the guillotine if you get the wrong binary outcome.

I find it amusing that you contradict yourself within the same sentence. Right and wrong is binary.

Righteous before God is Protestant code words for "We are stinking sinners, but God pretends like we aren't".

Romans 5:10 "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

We were enemies, then we were reconciled, and at that time we are given the righteousness we can't obtain ourselves, which is Christ's.

If you are actually righteous, then you would have no need to confess your sins to God

We are righteous because we have Christ's righteousness. That doesn't abdigate the need to confess sins commited in the flesh to God.

Well hang on now, this says that God "passing over" sins demonstrates God's righteousness

Yeah, and Paul tells us how Christ is able to do this and still remain just. He takes our sins on Himself.

John said...

"Actually, the penal aspect include propitiation, redemption, justification, and reconciliation"

None of those things indicate healing of the human being.

"Funny, I remember saying we are actually righteous because we are given Christ's righteousness."

OK, what verse says we have somebody else's righteousness? There is a distinct lack of scripture backing up everything you say.

"Stott cleary said, "But the father bears the punishment instead of inflicting it.""

Which is the opposite of your position where the father takes it out on the scapegoat.

"Funny, because Paul seems awful caught up on the law and Christ's fulfillment of it and the wrath sin incurs from God"

And your point would be? Nobody has denied any of those things. Nobody has denied God's wrath. Nobody has denied this wrath is because of sin. Nobody has denied that Christ saves us from that. You don't seem to yet understand the points of dispute.

"I thought you said God wasn't angry with us?"

Nobody said that God isn't angry with us. You still don't get it. The point of dispute is whether God takes his anger out on Jesus as the solution to the problem. We agree there is wrath. We agree Christ solves that problem. We don't agree the mechanism is God taking it out on Christ as the fall guy. When you are angry with someone, there are more ways a 3rd party can usefully intervene than allowing you to punch them out, right?

No need to comment comment further on 6, because there is nothing there to support you.

"So the Mosaic law didn't set down a legal system? "

Umm, the Mosaic law didn't come in Genesis. There is a whole lot of references to righteousness before any legal system comes onto the scene.

"Mercy and forgiveness because God has paid for our sins Himself. That's pretty merciful."

Which misses the point that ἱλαστήριον doesn't imply any particular mechanism for that mercy.

"The reason propitiation is necessary is because of the context, which is clearly including the wrath of God"

That's all right as far as it goes, but it doesn't imply that the solution to God's wrath is for him to beat up someone else instead. No verses here to be refuted, because none of them mention the distinctives of your position.

"The scapegoat because our sins were placed on Him and He was sent away. "

Nobody's denying our sins were placed on Jesus. To quote from one of my posts above: "Jesus takes our sins upon him". The point is, there is never an implication that the scape goat is punished in our place. Yes, the scapegoat wanders off with our sins. But it doesn't take any punishment due to us. That's not the paradigm.

"It's similar because what God rquires in Islam is saying sorry and doing a bunch of stuff. No payment for sin required."

You know, its not necessarily a good thing that Protestantism has created religious beliefs that were unknown in the middle east.

"See above. Also, Romans 3:26 says God shows His righteousness now, in remaining just and also being the justifier."

Nothing here for you.

John said...

"Why punish sin? What is God doing in punishing sin? God is proving He is just."

What you have yet to prove is punishing the wrong guy is justice. Most people consider punishing the wrong guy as a kind of epitome of injustice. But if you want to cough up the verse saying God punished the wrong guy to prove he is just,... well we await that.

"But to say it is the whole reason Christ came; so we can eat His body and blood; is to miss the point of the gospel."

Nobody said it is the whole reason. That's a straw man.

"And why would it make us die? C'mon, it's not that hard. It starts with a "p" and ends with "unishment"."

So why do you die since you have Christ's righteousness?

Why does Paul say that "to die is gain" (Phil 1:21).

Why do babies die who've done nothing wrong?

It's not right to say it is simply punishment. I would say that by sin, Adam, as well as us, have corrupted the entire natural order. That we die is indicative of the corruption of that order. That's why the whole creation groans (Ro 8:22), and we need Christ to "reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."

Things have been thrown out of right relationship with God, that's why there is death. You could call it punishment I suppose, but that would be a very unnuanced understanding.

"Why would God need to curse the creation and send us to hell for it? Puh-uhn-esh-ment."

You can't punish a creation. You are correct in observing the entire creation is corrupted, but it is non-sensical to talk about punishing a non-sentient thing. As for hell, I agree with the previous commenter that hell is locked from the inside.

"Wow, that sounds a bit binary. You're either in a right relationship or you aren't. Hmm.."

Saying its binary is ok as far as it goes, the trouble is it is the wrong emphasis. If I asked someone how things were going with their wife, and they always answers "well, we're not divorced, we're together", it might be true enough as far as it goes. Yes, technically there is a binary aspect to relationships. However we would also think by such an answer that their relationship must be a mess. When you think about being in right relationship, its not really indicative of healthy relationship to be thinking in terms of, "my wife didn't divorce me today, all is well". It's ok as far as it goes I guess, and technically binary, but its also the wrong way of thinking about the problem. Its a problem of unhealthy emphasis.

"We are righteous because we have Christ's righteousness. That doesn't abdigate the need to confess sins commited in the flesh to God."

What for? You are "actually righteous", that's the end of the story, no?

Darlene said...

Rhology,

WRT to Dr. Michael Brown's comment, that "If someone does not know Him it's because of their choice, not God's choice,"

You said:

"Choice" in his context is not a work. He means one must repent and have faith."

While I am thankful for the irenic discourse between Dr. M. Brown and James White, their understanding of the gospel is quite different. As to why they are willing to lay that aside, only they can say.

The debate between Brown and White and Brown's follow-up comments the next day were very telling. Were White and Brown to go witnessing together, they would not present the gospel in the same manner. This was evident from Brown's comments regarding his position and White's position.

Brown does not believe in total depravity. Rather, he believes in prevenient grace. He holds the same view as Norman Geisler that the grace of God makes men "saveable." IOW, man is not so fallen that he cannot make a choice to repent of his sins and follow Christ.

Brown does not subscribe to "regeneration precedes faith." He rejects that one must first be born-again in order to have faith. Rather, he believes that it is by receiving the gift of faith, (something that one can reject as well), that one then repents of their sins and is then filled with the Holy Spirit. Nothing like Calvinism.

He said exactly as I have that under Calvinism one cannot say to the unregenerate, "Jesus died for you," or "Jesus loves you." White and other Calvinists do not deny this.

Brown has also stated that Calvinism makes God duplicitous, for God offers something but not really come through with it, because it is not a free offer at all. And God commands people to repent, but then punishes those who do not repent, when they weren't able to repent in the first place because He made them unable to do so. So, God is unjust under Calvinist distinctives.

In fact, Dr. Michael Brown does not believe in any of the TULIP. He denies unconditional election, for he believes that election is conditioned on man's repentance which he does of his own free will.

He denies limited atonement and believes that Christ died for the sins of the whole world and not just the elect. And that God desires ALL men to be saved, but He honors the free will He gave human beings.

Brown denies irresistable grace and believes that people both believers and unbelievers, can resist the grace of God. Thus, because they can resist the grace of God with their freewill, they are justly answerable to God for their actions.

Brown denies perseverance of the saints, for he teaches that a person can be genuinely saved, that is, have received the Spirit of Christ and have truly known Him, and turn away, thus falling away from the grace of God and being cut off. He would not say as Calvinists do, that a person who does not persevere to the end was never saved to begin with. Rather, that person chose to turn away from Christ and will suffer the punishment of separation from Him in eternity

These two men could not join together and witness the same Jesus to the world. This is so obvious I don't see how anyone cannot see it. Having done street evangelism for many yrs., I can tell you that I never could witness with a 5 point Reformed Calvinist. And while among the Calvinists, I was unable to preach the Calvinist view of God to anyone.

bossmanham said...

Umm, the Mosaic law didn't come in Genesis. There is a whole lot of references to righteousness before any legal system comes onto the scene.

Yet this came long before Paul's epistles. Sorry, the argument that the justice system wasn't around to use judicial language fails.

John said...

I don't understand the comment. Paul says Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. This is long before any legal system was in place, yet Paul uses it as the model for NT righteousness.

bossmanham said...

I don't understand the comment. Paul says Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. This is long before any legal system was in place, yet Paul uses it as the model for NT righteousness.

First off, you have given me no reason to think there wasn't a legal system in Abraham's time. Second, it isn't necessary that there should be, because Paul had a conception of a legal system and was applying it to the case of Arbaham, whether one existed in Abraham's time or not.

Third:
"Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith" Philippians 3:8-9. That is imputation of Christ's righteousness.

1 Corinthians 1:30 "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." Imputation.

I could go on.

bossmanham said...

To deal with some of your other points,

Which is the opposite of your position where the father takes it out on the scapegoat.

The father in the parable, not the Father; the member of the Trinity. Keep up. God took our punishment on Himself.

Nobody has denied God's wrath. Nobody has denied this wrath is because of sin

Yet you're dismissing out of hand that it needs to be asuaged. So basically, the wrath goes undealt with.

The point of dispute is whether God takes his anger out on Jesus as the solution to the problem

If Christ is a propitiation, then I'd say the point is made.

We agree there is wrath. We agree Christ solves that problem

If God's wrath is poured out on the ungodly in punishment, then how else would Christ take care of said wrath?

When you are angry with someone, there are more ways a 3rd party can usefully intervene than allowing you to punch them out, right?

1) God's ways are not ours ;P 2) If you told that to the family of a girl who'd been raped and murdered as a judge in a courtroom, there would be heck to pay. Remember, God's righteousness is shown in the gospel in that He remains just and the justifier.

No need to comment comment further on 6, because there is nothing there to support you.

Hand waving often shows an inability to deal with the argument.

That's all right as far as it goes, but it doesn't imply that the solution to God's wrath is for him to beat up someone else instead.

you keep talking of Jesus as if He's not God and as if He Himself isn't laying His own life down (and then taking it back again). Have you disregarded Trinitarian theology?

The point is, there is never an implication that the scape goat is punished in our place. Yes, the scapegoat wanders off with our sins. But it doesn't take any punishment due to us. That's not the paradigm.

Goat and lamb both types of Christ. Plus, is not banishment a punishment? Keep up here.

bossmanham said...

You know, its not necessarily a good thing that Protestantism has created religious beliefs that were unknown in the middle east.

You know, that Christianity practically died in the middle east. It flourished in the west.

Nothing here for you.

God doesn't remain just if He ignores His wrath.

What you have yet to prove is punishing the wrong guy is justice.

God Himself chose to bear our punishment for us. He's not the wrong guy, He's the only guy.

Most people consider punishing the wrong guy as a kind of epitome of injustice

Most people aren't God. If a man willingly enters the courtroom to pay your fine, then that is Him choosing a punishment for you.

Nobody said it is the whole reason. That's a straw man.

It's not even the main reason.

So why do you die since you have Christ's righteousness?

I die because of the curse on creation (part of the punishment for sin). I don't die eternally because I am righteous in Christ and can enter the presence of God.

Why does Paul say that "to die is gain" (Phil 1:21).

Death itself is an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26) and is to be avoided. What comes after death is what Paul is alluding to.

Why do babies die who've done nothing wrong?

They are under the same curse. They don't die eternally (although some of your church fathers taught that they did).

It's not right to say it is simply punishment.

I didn't but hell is.

I would say that by sin, Adam, as well as us, have corrupted the entire natural order

God was the one who cursed the creation as punishment for Adam's sin.

You can't punish a creation.

The curse was punishment of man. Of course you can't punish an innanimate object. Try and keep up and away from the straw men.

As for hell, I agree with the previous commenter that hell is locked from the inside.

Show me that verse. God is the One who tosses the wicked into the lake of fire.

John said...

"First off, you have given me no reason to think there wasn't a legal system in Abraham's time. "

Abraham led a nomadic style of the pastoralist with no permanent home, living in tents. He wasn't under any legal system.

" Paul had a conception of a legal system and was applying it to the case of Arbaham"

Hardly, you're turning Paul on his head. His fundamental reason for mentioning Abraham is that he wasn't under law. That's why he goes out of his way to say he was righteous by faith before circumcision, and not after, to establish irrefutably that righeousness by faith is a principle that transcends the existence of legal systems.

""Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith" Philippians 3:8-9. That is imputation of Christ's righteousness."

There is no imputation here. If you are thinking righteousness "from God" is some kind of imputation, that's not the case. The context is that Paul has been discussing what he had been doing as a Pharisee to establish righteousness of the law, persecuting the Church and so forth. This is Paul's righteousness because it was Paul's plan and not God's. This is in contrast to the righteousness from God, which is God's plan for righteousness which is by faith.

This is how Augustine explained it: "That I may be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ the righteousness which is of God by faith. Although the law is undoubtedly "of God", yet the righteousness which is “of the law” is not “of God,” but the righteousness which is consummated by grace is “of God.”

See how he understands the term "of God", to be a description of whose plan for righteousness it is. The law is of God, but righteousness by law is not of God. Righteousness by faith is of God. Righteousness by law is "of Paul". It was his Pharisaic plan in his former life, not God's.

There is no imputation here.

"1 Corinthians 1:30 "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." Imputation."

No imputation here either. Have you now invented a doctrine of imputed wisdom as well as imputed righteousness? God will leave you a fool but pretend you aren't? What about imputed redemption? Got won't really resurrect you, but he'll pretend as if you were. Myself I want to be actually redeemed, not imputed to be redeemed while in the grave.

No imputation here.

"Yet you're dismissing out of hand that it needs to be asuaged. So basically, the wrath goes undealt with."

You keep characterising it this way, but you would never take this approach in real life. You would never criticise a real person for forgiving someone without giving them a flogging, and the bible specifically parallels our approach to forgiveness with God's.

"If Christ is a propitiation, then I'd say the point is made."

You can't take your personal understanding of an English word, and read that back into the bible and its historical context. The historical context is the mercy seat.

John said...

"If God's wrath is poured out on the ungodly in punishment, then how else would Christ take care of said wrath?"

He takes care of it by removing the cause of wrath - our disobedience to law, and gives God a cause for considering us righteous - faith, then saving us through continuing sanctification. There is no more wrath because righteousness is by faith, not law.

Remember the definitions of righteousness given above: appropriate, fitting and proper relationships. Since God has decreed that the proper response to him is faith, then faith by definition is righteousness. We can figure this out by both directions, by observing that faith fits the lexical definition of righteousness, as fitting behavior and response to God, or we can figure it out from scripture explicitly saying that righteousness is by faith.

There is no need whatsoever to insert an extraneous concept like imputation into the text.

"2) If you told that to the family of a girl who'd been raped and murdered as a judge in a courtroom, there would be heck to pay."

If you want to play the sentimental card, I can point out that if you told the family of the girl that the perpetrator was set free and they hung the wrong guy, I don't think that would go down well. If you're willing to accept that "God's ways are not ours" we've already quoted the scriptures that say God's perfection is in forgiveness, and not after being paid off, or else Jesus taught us only to forgive when we've been paid off, which is absurd.

"Hand waving often shows an inability to deal with the argument."

You've got to learn that in a debate you can't quote large swaths of scripture and assume other people see what you see. Everybody thinks scripture supports them, so merely quoting it is pointless. You've got to explain your interpretation and explain why your interpretation is correct.

"you keep talking of Jesus as if He's not God and as if He Himself isn't laying His own life down"

I only do that to give you as much leeway as I can. I could point out that paying off yourself or punishing yourself to assauge your own wrath is even more absurd when put in those terms.

"Plus, is not banishment a punishment?"

It's the scapegoat because it escapes! That's a good thing! Did you see what happens to the other goat in Lev 16? Believe me, you do not want to be a Jewish goat, your days are numbered.

"You know, that Christianity practically died in the middle east. It flourished in the west."

What, after the fall of Constantinople in 1453? That's pretty late in the day isn't it? It's not like either Islam or Orthodoxy is different in this respect to 1453.

"God doesn't remain just if He ignores His wrath."

It'd be nice if you quoted some justification for your claims.

"As for hell, I agree with the previous commenter that hell is locked from the inside.

Show me that verse. "

It starts from Adam. Adam sinned, but the separation from God started with Adam, because he hid himself from God. Adam started it, God only continued what was already begun. In the same way, those who don't come to Christ are already separated from God. Hell is separation from God, but it is only a continuation of what people already chose.

Rhology said...

Darlene,

Brown does not believe in total depravity. Rather, he believes in prevenient grace.

The two are not mutually exclusive, just FYI.
This is like saying "Joe does not believe in the Real Presence of Christ. Rather, he believes in a Post-Tribulation Rapture."


He said exactly as I have that under Calvinism one cannot say to the unregenerate, "Jesus died for you," or "Jesus loves you."

Fine, but that's not really all that relevant. For one thing, that's much closer to HYPERCalvinism.
In biblical theology, God uses means. One means is the preaching of the Gospel.


White and other Calvinists do not deny this.

Not really relevant. The Gospel proclamation is not "Jesus loves you and died for you"; it starts with "you are a lawbreaker - repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."
See the next point -


These two men could not join together and witness the same Jesus to the world.

You don't understand the situation very well, so your conclusion fails to be relevant. Of course they could, like this:
God created you and put you under His law, but you have broken His law and deserve eternal punishment for that rebellion. But He sent His Son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life and die in your place so that you could receive eternal life as a 100% free gift, if you will but repent and put all of your faith and reliance in Jesus to give you eternal life and the forgiveness of your sins/lawbreaking.

Simple as that. That's the Gospel.

John said...

" The Gospel proclamation is not "Jesus loves you and died for you"; it starts with "you are a lawbreaker - repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.""

That's the opening line in your "Good News"? Darlene's Gospel sounds more like Good News to me.

Rhology said...

Yup, you need the bad news before the good news will make any sense.
You know, kinda like Jesus did it. What was the first message He proclaimed in His ministry?
Google "Law and Gospel".

Lucian said...

The bad news consists in the rheality of our own sinfulness, which has very immediate & palpable consequences even in this life: addictions as well as a guilty conscience lead directly into mental depression; uncontrolled rage, anger, and furry to other sorts of mental diseases; etc. The bad news does NOT consist in ascribing fallen passions to the One Who is without any sin or passion, and as Lord is not enslaved by them, or subject to any of them: otherwise, how could He ever help us get rid of them, were He Himself ruled over or controlled by them? There's no point preaching a different and even contrary Gospel to the one contained in the four canonical Gospels... seriously! :-\

bossmanham said...

Abraham led a nomadic style of the pastoralist with no permanent home, living in tents. He wasn't under any legal system.

Are you saying nomads had no sense of justice and never encountered governmental justice systems (which is not necessary to conceive of a primative justice system)? You'd be hard pressed to show this.

Hardly, you're turning Paul on his head. His fundamental reason for mentioning Abraham is that he wasn't under law. That's why he goes out of his way to say he was righteous by faith before circumcision, and not after, to establish irrefutably that righeousness by faith is a principle that transcends the existence of legal systems.

Faith itself does not become righteousness for us. Paul uses the term "faith credited/imputed as righteousness" as shorthand, as shown in Romans 10:10 where one "believes to righteousness" (literal Greek). The belief is not the righteousness, the belief brings the righteousness.

This is also shown in the passage from Philippians, despite your flawed exegesis. The righteousness is from God and is actually Christ's righteousness. This is becoming a stronger case in light of translators recognizing "that πίστις Χριστοῦ (pisti" Cristou) and similar phrases in Paul (here and in Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 20; 3:22; Eph 3:12) involve a subjective genitive and mean “Christ’s faith” or “Christ’s faithfulness” (cf., e.g., G. Howard, “The ‘Faith of Christ’,” ExpTim 85 [1974]: 212-15; R. B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ [SBLDS]; Morna D. Hooker, “Πίστις Χριστοῦ,” NTS 35 [1989]: 321-42)" (from net.bible.org). Thus, this rightepusness is Christ's and it comes through faith.

This is how Augustine explained it...

Dude, Augustine explained predestination as unconditional on an individual basis. I don't determine my reading of the text on Augustine's interpretation, first quoting and then interpreting.

Furthermore, you are having to interpret Augustine's statement, which could just as well be interpreted as speaking of imputed righteousness. Turretin interpreted Augustine in this way in his Institutes of Elenctic Theology, p. 652. Another problem with relying on the fathers for interpretation is that they themselves are subject to interpretation.

Have you now invented a doctrine of imputed wisdom as well as imputed righteousness?

I don't mind at all saying that Christ imputes His wisdom to us through the Holy Spirit, but, as we are righteous in Christ yet at the same time sinners, we may be wise in Christ and yet still unwise in our flesh.

What about imputed redemption? Got won't really resurrect you, but he'll pretend as if you were. Myself I want to be actually redeemed, not imputed to be redeemed while in the grave.

You're creating a straw man and tearing it down, congrats. Furthermore, redemption and resurrection are two different things.

You would never criticise a real person for forgiving someone without giving them a flogging, and the bible specifically parallels our approach to forgiveness with God's.

Because God has already paid the debt.

You can't take your personal understanding of an English word, and read that back into the bible and its historical context. The historical context is the mercy seat.

I have no problem with translating it as mercy seat, since the mercy seat was the place of propitiation (The mercy seat was sprinkled with atoning blood on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:14), representing that the righteous sentence of the Law had been executed, changing a judgment seat into a mercy seat).

bossmanham said...

He takes care of it by removing the cause of wrath

You can remove the cause of wrath, that's fine. But the cause happened already. The wrath that arose from the sin already committed is still there. God's wrath must still be asuaged. God is just and must punish sin, and that was done in Christ.

Remember the definitions of righteousness given above: appropriate, fitting and proper relationships

This is a completely arbitrary definition concoted to support your view. Righteousness is right action, or acting in accordance with the law. Since only the righteous enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 25:46) yet there are none righteous (Romans 3:10) Christ had to live the righteous life for us so that we may become righteous (2 Cor 5:21).

I could point out that paying off yourself or punishing yourself to assauge your own wrath is even more absurd when put in those terms.

You seem to have issues with Trinitarian theology. What's up with that? You know, the threeness yet the oneness of God? Distinct persons yet one essence? C'mon.

Hell is separation from God, but it is only a continuation of what people already chose.

I agree to a point, but Christ made it clear that it is God who is punishuing us by sending us to hell (Luke 12:5).

John said...

"Are you saying nomads had no sense of justice and never encountered governmental justice systems "

(a) Sense of justice is not the same thing. Protestant penal substitution doesn't work very well as a theory outside of a formalised legal system, in opposition to things like natural justice. (b) It kinda doesn't matter, because whatever legal systems Abraham may have been aware of, they had nothing to do with when Abraham was declared righteous by faith. (c) I wouldn't want to be the one who turns Paul on his head by claiming Abraham was under law when pronounced righteous.

"Faith itself does not become righteousness for us. Paul uses the term "faith credited/imputed as righteousness""

The word doesn't mean imputed. There is zero reason to believe this has anything to do with imputation. The word is λογίζομαι, (very closely related to the word logic), and it has to do with calculated to be (as in maths), determined to be, evaluated to be etc.

"as shown in Romans 10:10 where one "believes to righteousness" (literal Greek). The belief is not the righteousness, the belief brings the righteousness."

1Jn 3:7 "the one who practices righteousness is righteous". Practicing righteousness makes the person righteous. Absolutely no need to insert a foreign concept into Ro 10:10 when we have my position stated so clearly.

"This is also shown in the passage from Philipians, despite your flawed exegesis."

You say its flawed, but people not familiar with Protestantism found no need to add an extraneous concept into the text here. Ockham's razor and all that, if we don't need this extra concept to understand the text, and nowhere does the text state the concept explicitly, then we are better off without it.

"This is becoming a stronger case in light of translators recognizing "that πίστις Χριστοῦ (pisti" Cristou) and similar phrases in Paul"

Well, the Fathers never understood it this way, and in fact they never even stopped to consider this possible interpretation, which is telling since, say what you may about them, they did understand the Greek language, a lot better than anyone else. Chrysostom, for example, paraphrases the thought of Galatians 2:15-16 by saying, ‘we have fled for refuge to the faith which is in Christ’ (κατεφὐγομεν εἰς πίστιν τὴν εἰς Χριστόν). Chrysostom and other writers, in their exposition of the passage as a whole, make repeated references to the Christian’s act of believing in Christ, while never once unambiguously speaking of the πίστις that Christ himself has or exercises.

When you continually make arguments along the lines of "well maybe this or that verse agrees with me", but nobody in the history of the early church understood it that way, you continue to show the weakness of your position and in effect admit that there is at best nothing in scripture that certainly teaches what you have functionally made dogmatic to Christianity.

"Dude, Augustine explained predestination as unconditional on an individual basis. "

Nothing to do with Phil. 3:9. Shall we make some attempt to stay on topic?

"I don't determine my reading of the text on Augustine's interpretation"

Irrelevant again. The point is that those people living outside of the influence of Protestantism found no need to insert imputation here. And that leaves you without a proof text.

John said...

"Furthermore, you are having to interpret Augustine's statement, which could just as well be interpreted as speaking of imputed righteousness. Turretin interpreted Augustine in this way in his Institutes of Elenctic Theology, p. 652."

Unless Turretin is commenting Augustine IN RELATION TO Phil 3:9 in the excerpt I provided, this is again irrelevant since I don't believe what I quoted can be interpreted that way. And since I didn't provide reference from Augustine, I highly doubt this is what you are saying. Again, what Turretin interpreted Augustine to mean is irrelevant if you are left without a proof text in Phil 3:9. What Turretin thinks Augustine teaches is irrelevant if Augustine shows Phil 3:9 is not a proof text for imputation.

"I don't mind at all saying that Christ imputes His wisdom to us through the Holy Spirit"

You realise you are saying you are a fool but God only looks at you as wise right? So why should I listen to your ramblings since you only have imputed wisdom and not real wisdom?

"I have no problem with translating it as mercy seat, since the mercy seat was the place of propitiation"

Not in the sense of substitutionary atonement. Remember when I pointed this out your best response was the scape-goat, which has nothing to do with the mercy seat. You've already conceded in the scapegoat exchange that the OT doesn't teach substitution in regard to blood sacrifices, because if it did, you would have quoted it to me already. Since you haven't, referring to Christ as the mercy seat doesn't help your substitution claims. Referring to the ἱλαστήριον is only as good as your ability to prove substitution in blood sacrifices from the OT.

" The wrath that arose from the sin already committed is still there."

No, because the biblical paradigm is purification. The analogy is more like a bath than like a court room. Because you are so hung up on the court room drama you can't stop to consider other paradigms. In the NT the analogy is baptism. This sins are washed away (Acts 22:16), not "paid away". That's how the atonement works, and that's why I referred to removing the cause of wrath. Nobody would ask someone who just took a bath "yeah but what about the dirt you got before". That's the exact dirt that is washed away by the atonement. Your question only makes sense in the judicial mindset, but that's not the biblical paradigm.

Go and do a word study on purification in the old testament. It's never the payment paradigm, it is always the washing paradigm. There are too many verses to quote, I wouldn't know where to start.

"God's wrath must still be asuaged."

More assertions, but never a verse. You've got an entire old testament of sacrifices to choose from, but not a one can you cough up.

John said...

"This is a completely arbitrary definition concoted to support your view."

It's the best that the best of the best scholars can come up with. How else are you going to define words but look to the research of scholars?

You know, when you start arguing with the scholars about the definition of words, it starts to look a bit desperate.

"Righteousness is right action, or acting in accordance with the law."

I agree it is right action, not necessarily in regards to the Law.

" Since only the righteous enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 25:46)"

Look how you butcher Mt 25. The context is " I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink". The logical conclusion of your interpretation is that we don't have to give the poor food and drink because we can acquire Christ's righteousness! All to insert a concept into the text that isn't there! Christ's conclusion is that those who didn't help their neighbour are damned to hell, NOT that they can't do the right thing and need an imputed righteousness. That idea is so foreign to the text of Mt 25, its hard to even know where to start. You jump and hop between books of the bible in a way that would make a Mormon proud. You've got to take one bit from Matthew out of context, then hook it up to another bit from Paul out of context, and then you come up with doctrines nowhere taught.

" yet there are none righteous (Romans 3:10) "

Look how arbitrary Protestantism is. You've decided that Ro 3:10 is referring to righteousness outside of Christ's imputed righteousness. But is there anything in the context about that qualification? No!

The actual context of Ro 3:10 is found at the end of that OT quote in v19, which is righteousness under the law. I agree that there is nobody righteous under the law. I don't agree that you should insert a completely extraneous concern of imputation into the text of Ro 3. That's what's known as eisegesis.

"You seem to have issues with Trinitarian theology. What's up with that? You know, the threeness yet the oneness of God?"

Yes, but they are three and one in different respects. You seem to want to jump between the one and the three whenever it helps your argument without realising that you're engaging in category confusion. When I point out that you advocate God beating up the wrong person, you want to talk of them being one God. When I point out that punishing oneself is absurd you want to talk of the distinction of persons. But it wasn't the divine essence that was punished, it was a person. The trinity does not give you carte blanch to confuse the essence and persons.

bossmanham said...

Sense of justice is not the same thing. Protestant penal substitution doesn't work very well as a theory outside of a formalised (sic) legal system

Bare assertion, first off. Second off, trying to make scripture dependent completely on the understanding of the authors is not a refutation of penal substitution. Even if you are correct, which you have not argued convincingly for at all (other than throwing around bare assertions) it would still not show that penal substitution was not the intended meaning of God in His inspiration of scripture.

they had nothing to do with when Abraham was declared righteous by faith.

You're the one who made it an issue.

The word doesn't mean imputed. There is zero reason to believe this has anything to do with imputation.

Not according to the scholars I am reading. You have anything beyond bare assertion? From Strong's:
1) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over
a) to take into account, to make an account of
1) metaph. to pass to one's account, to impute
2) a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight
b) to number among, reckon with
c) to reckon or account
2) to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate
3) by reckoning up all the reasons, to gather or infer
a) to consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on
b) to suppose, deem, judge
c) to determine, purpose, decide

You take it up with him.

1Jn 3:7 "the one who practices righteousness is righteous". Practicing righteousness makes the person righteous

This is called proof-texting. Paul clearly says that it is the one who does not work that is accounted as righteous. John is clearly speaking in terms of works within the Christian life (as does James). He says immediately preceding your reference "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." It is clear we are not like Him, but we shall be like Him when we see Him as He is. John then follows by countering the notion that we can live in a perpetual state of sin and be righteous. Otherwise we must 1) read Paul and John as at odds with one another and/or 2) that one sin un-regenerates us.

bossmanham said...

Well, the Fathers never understood it this way

Au contraire. After doing some reading, it was fairly easy to find early Christians, including Augustine, who clearly held to an imputed righteousness.

"He was called sin, that He might be sacrificed to wash away sin. For, under the Old Covenant. sacrifices for sin were called sins. And He, of whom all these sacrifices were types and shadows, was Himself truly made sin. Hence the apostle, after saying, "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God," forthwith adds: "for He hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him...that is, [God] hath made Him a sacrifice for our sins, by which we might be reconciled to God. He, then, being made sin, just as we are made righteousness (our righteousness being not our own, but God's, not in ourselves, but in Him); He being made sin, not His own, but ours, not in Himself, but in us, showed, by the likeness of sinful flesh in which He was crucified, that though sin was not in Him, yet that in a certain sense He died to sin, by dying in the flesh which was the likeness of sin; and that although He Himself had never lived the old life of sin, yet by His resurrection He typified our new life springing up out of the old death in sin." (Augustine's ENCHIRIDRON Ch. 41)

Also evidenced in the 9th chapter of the second century Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus: "O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! That the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!"

Imputation was no more invented by the reformers than substitutionary atonement was by Anselm. It was derived necessarily from scripture.

you continue to show the weakness of your position and in effect admit that there is at best nothing in scripture that certainly teaches what you have functionally made dogmatic to Christianity.

Says you. This is pure baloney. Much of what I wrote was off the cuff, but my weakness in explanation doesn't mean the argument itself is weak, just that I have not articulated it to its fullest extent, which I am rectifing now.

Unless Turretin is commenting Augustine IN RELATION TO Phil 3:9

It's in relation to the whole argument for Penal Substitution.

What Turretin thinks Augustine teaches is irrelevant if Augustine shows Phil 3:9 is not a proof text for imputation.

And what Augustine thinks about Phil 3:9 is also not a refutation of imputed righteousness (even though he held to it).

You realise you are saying you are a fool but God only looks at you as wise right?

That's not parallel to what the protestant doctrine of imputation says at all. We are given an actual righteousness and are actually righteous. The debt no longer remains in any form. You can continue burning this straw man if you like, but your ignorant skirt is showing.

Not in the sense of substitutionary atonement. Remember when I pointed this out your best response was the scape-goat...

John McClintock and James Strong beg to differ:

"[T]he idea of sacrifice is a complex idea, involving the propitiatory, the dedication, and the eucharistic elements...The propitiatory would tend to the idea of atonement by sacrifice for sin..." (http://tinyurl.com/ygugagg)

bossmanham said...

No, because the biblical paradigm is purification. The analogy is more like a bath than like a court room. Because you are so hung up on the court room drama you can't stop to consider other paradigms

You haven't taken the time to figure out what I think. The atonement contains many elements, being cleansed of sin as one of them, but you are eradicating one of the most important aspects, the payment of the penalty of sin that was deserved.

In the NT the analogy is baptism. This sins are washed away (Acts 22:16), not "paid away".

You're picking and choosing, igoring the clear punishment deserved by sin and the wrath it incurs in God. Washing away the sin does not take care of that. Isaiah 53 takes care of your assertion completely. Verse 6 says "the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Iniquity in the Hebrew Awon is the specific Hebrew word for punishment. This follows the direct, categorical statements of penal substitution "He has borne our griefs" (v 4) "And carried our sorrows" (v 4) "He was wounded for our transgressions (our sins. He was directly punished for our sins)" (v. 5) "

Further, in 2 Cor. 5:14, 21; Gal 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18 it is clearly Jesus acting on behalf of us, in our place of punishment. The word "for" (Gk. huper) is literally "on behalf of."

This isn't just some random paradigm based on a modern court of law, it's the paradigm set up by the prophet Isaiah and assumed in Paul's theology. The faulty paradigm is reducing it all to bath water. I'm not going to fall into the reductionist fallacy, as the atonement ecompasses both paradigms, and more; which is what the penal substitution model claims.

It's the best that the best of the best scholars can come up with. How else are you going to define words but look to the research of scholars?

Which you didn't do. That was a completely arbitrary definition on your part.

I agree it is right action, not necessarily in regards to the Law.

It's right action in regards to the Law of God, as assumed by the Biblical writers.

Look how you butcher Mt 25. The context is " I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink"

No one was ignoring that context.

The logical conclusion of your interpretation is that we don't have to give the poor food and drink because we can acquire Christ's righteousness

Again with this silly straw man. No, the logical conclusion is we have to be perfectly righteous to enter the kingdom of heaven, including feeding the poor and hungry. In Christ we will do those things by instinct.

Christ's conclusion is that those who didn't help their neighbour are damned to hell,

As all were without Him. His lesson is that if we aren't perfect in every way, as He describes, we are not righteous and will not enter the kingdom. This is why He dies, to pay for our unrighteousness. James Coffman writes, "No thoughtful person can conclude that Jesus equated salvation with benevolence in the usual sense. It is not mere charity, but help of Christ's followers that is highlighted here. If this principle were more widely understood and accepted, it would revolutionize men's attitude toward the church. In the final essence, what men do to his church, they do to him. To neglect, flout, or dishonor the church is to do the same to Christ who is the head of the church. On the other hand, those who support and provide for the church and extend their concern and constant aid upon behalf of her poor and needy, do the same for Christ whose body is the church." This is in relation to how we treat those in Christ's church, not charity in general (though no one is saying not to help the poor).

bossmanham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bossmanham said...

Look how arbitrary Protestantism is. You've decided that Ro 3:10 is referring to righteousness outside of Christ's imputed righteousness. But is there anything in the context about that qualification? No!

Then what is it saying? Are you saying there is righteousness outside of Christ?

The actual context of Ro 3:10 is found at the end of that OT quote in v19, which is righteousness under the law.

No, it's righteousness in general. Paul had just given a list of the unrighteous acts commited by men who were not under the law (Romans 1:18-32). His wrath is revealed against all ungodliness. Anything contrary to God is unrighteousness and would therefore show that none are righteous. Either way, what is you beef, as you say "I agree that there is nobody righteous under the law". Whatever the case, God's wrath is aroused and propitiation is needed.

You seem to want to jump between the one and the three whenever it helps your argument without realising that you're engaging in category confusion

No, I am keeping it clear that Jesus, as a divine member of the Godhead, chose Himeself out of love to bear the punishment deserved by man. This was in accordance with the plan of the Father.

When I point out that you advocate God beating up the wrong person, you want to talk of them being one God.

Only God could be the advocate. The Father punishes the Son. There is a bit of mystery, but since when have EO's ever had an issue with mystery?

When I point out that punishing oneself is absurd you want to talk of the distinction of persons

No, you're just looking like a modalist. You're trying to discredit my argument by attacking a point of agreement, which is just stupid. Since God is thee and one, it is not odd to speak of Him in both manners. Get over it.

But it wasn't the divine essence that was punished, it was a person

Christ chose in respect to His human nature to die. But if it were only in respect to His human nature that He pay for sins, His payment would on;y be for one person. It is His divine nature that makes the payment efficacious for all of humanity. You seem to need to get this stuff straight yet. But your ignorance is not my fault.

John said...

" trying to make scripture dependent completely on the understanding of the authors is not a refutation of penal substitution"

You're saying scripture doesn't have to mean what the authors understood? There goes Protestant style exegesis out the window.

"It would still not show that penal substitution was not the intended meaning of God in His inspiration of scripture."

Right, let's turn Paul's argument on its head and have Abraham justified by law.

"Not according to the scholars I am reading. You have anything beyond bare assertion? From Strong's:"

You're joking right? Is this a joke? Strongs is just an index of how the KJV translated words. So you take a Protestant bible. You assume 400 year old English words mean what you want. And then you call this a scholarly discussion of Koine Greek? Please, give us a break.

"Paul clearly says that it is the one who does not work that is accounted as righteous."

Your point is what? Faith is not a work in the Pauline categorisations. So what? This doesn't help you.

"John is clearly speaking in terms of works within the Christian life (as does James). "

Point being?

"It is clear we are not like Him, but we shall be like Him when we see Him as He is. "

Point being what?

"John then follows by countering the notion that we can live in a perpetual state of sin and be righteous. "

And? Sounds like a sound refutation of Protestant theology to me. How do you get to be unrighteous just because you sin with Protestant imputation?

"Otherwise we must 1) read Paul and John as at odds with one another and/or "

What? I don't know what you're now reading into John.

John said...

"Well, the Fathers never understood it this way

Au contraire."

Hello? You're missing all the points. You made claims about "Πίστις Χριστοῦ", I said that interpretation is not in the fathers, and now you're making claims about whether the Fathers believed in imputed righteousness. Even if that were true, it doesn't refute that your "Πίστις Χριστοῦ" claims were unknown, and therefore the biblical basis for your belief is undercut. You're supposed to be sola scriptura right? I'm using the Fathers only as evidence of the meaning of Greek, but now you are appealing to their theology.

"we are made righteousness (our righteousness being not our own, but God's, not in ourselves, but in Him); "

This is not Protestant substitutionary imputation! Nothing here in Augustine is anything different than we would say. You see imputation in every place it is not. In fact, it is very Orthodox.

Where is the wrath of God punishing Jesus in our place? Where is God's wrath falling on Jesus? Where is the punishment due to us falling on him? Nowhere, that's where. His statement about righteousness being not our own, is just a paraphrase of what Paul said, which is interpreted by Augustine as I previously pointed out. And if he is not proposing that interpretation, there is still nothing here distinctively protestant. We believe Christ makes us righteous with God's righteousness. It's called theosis. Being made like God with his righteousness. Nothing here for you. It's not the fake imputed righteousness, but the real righteousness of God, I see no reason to believe Augustine is proposing Protestantism's fake righteousness.

And I don't see imputation in Mathetes either. I can't respond, because I don't know what I'm supposed to respond to. Is this the best you've got? Vague inferences, not a single explicit statement of your theology in all the bible or fathers?

"And what Augustine thinks about Phil 3:9 is also not a refutation of imputed righteousness"

Didn't say it was. Again, you're not following the argument. If someone quite naturally doesn't see imputation in Phil 3:9, then you've lost your proof text, and so far all your proof texts have fallen apart. All you can say is maybe, possibly some verse might perhaps mean what you want it to mean. Big deal.

"We are given an actual righteousness and are actually righteous."

But this so-called "actual" righteousness is not grounded in your behavior. So by parallel your imputed wisdom is not grounded in you thinking any wise thoughts.

"John McClintock and James Strong beg to differ:

"[T]he idea of sacrifice is a complex idea, involving the propitiatory, the dedication, and the eucharistic elements...The propitiatory would tend to the idea of atonement by sacrifice for sin..." "

And where is the imputation here? Where is the wrath of God punishing him in our place? And how come all you can do is post the opinions of others, but can't actually post a single scripture that unambiguously supports your position?

John said...

"but you are eradicating one of the most important aspects, the payment of the penalty of sin that was deserved."

If I'm eradicating something, prove it from scripture.

"igoring the clear punishment deserved by sin and the wrath it incurs in God"

It doesn't incur wrath if it is washed away. If the washing paradigm provides us a reason the sin is gone and therefore wrath is gone, we don't need to invent a non-biblical paradigm to explain it a second time.

"Washing away the sin does not take care of that."

Why? If its washed away, its gone, period.

"the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

The Lord lays the sin on him, but there is no mention of the punishment. That's the key notion that is absent from this and all your other quotes. Don't quote to me the bits we agree on, give me the quote for your side.

"Iniquity in the Hebrew Awon is the specific Hebrew word for punishment."

What? It is the word for iniquity, not for punishment. What is your source for saying it is punishment?

"This follows the direct, categorical statements of penal substitution "He has borne our griefs" (v 4) "And carried our sorrows" (v 4) "He was wounded for our transgressions (our sins. He was directly punished for our sins)""

Are you kidding me? So now we have substitutionary sorrows and griefs? We have griefs, but God pretends as if we don't? We have sorrows, but God imputes lack of sorrows to us? How does that help me to have griefs and sorrows but God pretends as if I don't? Sounds awful to me. The paradigm simply does not fit substitution inany shape or form. The language of "for our sins" again misses the protestant distinctive of punishment. We agree Jesus died for our sins. Do you really think we missed that obviousness? Died for our sins, wounded for our transgressions, its the same thing, but it doesn't imply punishment in our place.

"The word "for" (Gk. huper) is literally "on behalf of.""

No it doesn't mean that literally. What it means literally is "for the benefit of".

Does Matt. 5:44 mean “But I say to you, alove your enemies and pray on the behalf of those who persecute you"

Of course not, as if I could pray in the place of someone else.

"It's the paradigm set up by the prophet Isaiah and assumed in Paul's theology."

How come we can accept everything Isaiah and Paul say without adding to it Jesus being punished in our place? Ockham's razor.

"Which you didn't do. That was a completely arbitrary definition on your part."

Hello? I quoted the Anchor bible dictionary, and I listed various scholars and their definitions. You don't seem to be paying much attention.

"It's right action in regards to the Law of God, as assumed by the Biblical writers."

Its right action in regards to what God wants. Not necessarily the Law. Again, Abraham was pronounced righteous apart from the Law, and I don't need to read Protestant theology from 3000 years later back into that event to recognise that simple statement.

"No, the logical conclusion is we have to be perfectly righteous to enter the kingdom of heaven, including feeding the poor and hungry. In Christ we will do those things by instinct."

If you do these things by instinct, then you are righteous without need to insert the foreign imputation into the text! Yet again, your foundation is not in the text.

"His lesson is that if we aren't perfect in every way, as He describes, we are not righteous and will not enter the kingdom."

He doesn't say that. That is you adding to the word of God.

"James Coffman writes, "No thoughtful person can conclude that Jesus equated salvation with benevolence in the usual sense. It is not mere charity, but help of Christ's followers that is highlighted here."

And this helps you how?

John said...

"Then what is it saying? Are you saying there is righteousness outside of Christ?"

I just told you what it means, there is righteousness outside of the law by faith. Faith in Christ is hardly "outside Christ".

"No, it's righteousness in general. "

More assertions in contradiction to the text. I pointed out that the actual context in v19 is the law, and now you are trying to contradict the apostle. Sorry, if you're arguing against Paul, you lose.

"Paul had just given a list of the unrighteous acts commited by men who were not under the law"

Paul argues that there is natural law. "these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show athe work of the Law written in their hearts". Its still law, even if not the Torah.

"Anything contrary to God is unrighteousness and would therefore show that none are righteous. "

But some are righteous, because we read all of Paul, right? Abraham believed God and it was regarded as righteousness. So we've got one statement saying no-one is righteous, and one saying some are righteous. What is the distinction? According to the text the distinction is the law, and righteousness by law as opposed to faith. There is no need to insert concepts foreign to the text like substitution.

"But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, Rom. 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ"

That's Paul's explanation of the disparity. And there is no imputation to be seen.

"God's wrath is aroused and propitiation is needed."

But not necessarily the Protestant style thereof.

"There is a bit of mystery, but since when have EO's ever had an issue with mystery?"

You can't make up an argument that requires appealing to mystery and gain a point. If there is mystery, so be it, but you are the one who keeps appealing to your version of what God needs to do to be just purely on your own logic. But when the logic falls apart you say "mystery".

"But it wasn't the divine essence that was punished, it was a person

No one said so."

In that case, what I said about punishing the wrong guy stands as a valid argument. That prima facie is very unjust, in contradiction to your claim that it is just.

Lucian said...

I think the error here lies in the systematic interpretation of the word "for" to mean "instead of", as opposed to the word's basic and more usual meaning.

bossmanham said...

You're saying scripture doesn't have to mean what the authors understood?

The scripture means what God meant it to mean. The author had an original intent, but I leave open the door to a deeper meaning that God may reveal later on, as seen in typology. It's clear that the OT prophets didn't have a full understanding of who would come to redeem humanity.

But this is moot, since the author of Genesis was Moses, and Moses had the Law.

Right, let's turn Paul's argument on its head and have Abraham justified by law.

No one said that. Weak attempt here.

Please, give us a break.

I found other concordances with the same definitions. You take it up with the translators. I find it telling that you aren't providing any scholarly input. Please, give us a break.

Your point is what? Faith is not a work in the Pauline categorisations. So what? This doesn't help you.

You had just said we are righteous by what we do. Do you enjoy refuting yourself?

"John is clearly speaking in terms of works within the Christian life (as does James). "

Point being?

"It is clear we are not like Him, but we shall be like Him when we see Him as He is. "

Point being what?

"John then follows by countering the notion that we can live in a perpetual state of sin and be righteous. "

And? Sounds like a sound refutation of Protestant theology to me. How do you get to be unrighteous just because you sin with Protestant imputation?


You're like five years old, I swear. You say you understand protestantism, and then you display a complete ignorance of protestant theology. Try again, and give us a break.

Hello? You're missing all the points

No, the point you made was that the fathers never saw imputed righteousness anywhere. I showed they did. If Augustine were to point to verses supporting it, I'm sure he'd go to the same passages I did. You have not shown how any of the fathers translated anything. The problem you have is we have to translate the fathers as well, meaning the fathers didn't extrapolate on the english translations, so I will rely on the current and more developed enghlish translation scholarship, which is showing that Paul was referring to the righteousness of Christ. This shows your view to be deficient. Come up with a better argument or back off.

I'm using the Fathers only as evidence of the meaning of Greek, but now you are appealing to their theology.

I'll repeat, the fathers didn't translate anything into English. I quoted Augustine to dispel your silly notion that imputation was invented by protestants.

bossmanham said...

This is not Protestant substitutionary imputation! Nothing here in Augustine is anything different than we would say.

Bull hockey. You're flailing your hands in the air in vain. Augustine clearly says it's not our righteousness, but God's which we have in him. You're clearly desperate.

Where is the wrath of God punishing Jesus in our place? Where is God's wrath falling on Jesus?

Two different things. The wrath of God was borne by Christ in Christ bearing the curse of our sin, which includes wrath. Sin brings wrath, and our sins were imputed to Christ (2 Cor. 5:21) then God's wrath followed the sins. Since salvation is only found in Christ through faith, and God's wrath is the primary reason for the damnation of the unbeliever (John 3:36) it is necessary and unavoidable that Christ bore the wrath of God. But, to avoid this "mean God" that you have an issue with, you have to retranslate a word. Christ is the propitiation. He satisfied the works of the law and the wrath of God.

Imputation paralles the imputation of Adam's guilt to us. Christ as the second Adam would be the righteousness of God. We can therefore put on Christ, as seen in Galatians 3:19-29, where Paul discusses the purpose of the law in bringing us to faith in Christ, and once we are baptized into Christ, we put on Christ (v. 27) and are one in Christ. This is Christ's righteousness we put on, not our own. As the NET Bible translates Romans 3:22, "namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe."

Where is the punishment due to us falling on him? Nowhere, that's where

Then you're still under the wrath of God.

And I don't see imputation in Mathetes either. I can't respond, because I don't know what I'm supposed to respond to.

The exchange. Are you that thick? An exchange involves two things. Our punishment to Him, His righteousness to us. Deal with it.

If someone quite naturally doesn't see imputation in Phil 3:9, then you've lost your proof text

Sorry. Modern translators disagree. Your argument falls apart in light of that and the context.

bossmanham said...

But this so-called "actual" righteousness is not grounded in your behavior

What we are positionally we will become actually, in both senses.

Where is the wrath of God punishing him in our place?

That's what propitiation is. You are dense.

If I'm eradicating something, prove it from scripture.

I have.

It doesn't incur wrath if it is washed away

It has already incurred wrath. The wrath is asuaged, not washed away.

What? It is the word for iniquity, not for punishment. What is your source for saying it is punishment?

http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/heb/view.cgi?number=05771. Maybe you shouldn't determine your theology till you're clear on definitions? Deal with it.

So now we have substitutionary sorrows and griefs? We have griefs, but God pretends as if we don't?

You're an showing your utter ignorance of protestant soteriology, something of which you said you knew about. You know nothing. God imputes righteousness. He washes away sin. He heals sorrow and grief. You're beginning to look stupid. Redemption, propitiation, reconciliation, justification, imputation, etc. all parts of salvation. There is not one single aspect.

No it doesn't mean that literally. What it means literally is "for the benefit of".

It can mean either. It doesn't make a lot of difference in the interpretation, sicne He is bearing our iniquity, our guilt and punishment.

It is on behalf of in Romans 9:3, 1 Cor. 15:29, and 2 Cor. 5:14, as well as in other Greek writers like Euripides, Polybius, and Josephus.

How come we can accept everything Isaiah and Paul say without adding to it Jesus being punished in our place? Ockham's razor.

This statement makes no sense. Ockham's razor has no place here, as Isaiah is specifically talking about Christ's atonement, as is Paul in the verses I have cited. It's not adding things to it if the people who are laying out the doctrine are citing it. Learn where to apply Ockham's razor before making yourself look like a moron.

Hello? I quoted the Anchor bible dictionary, and I listed various scholars and their definitions. You don't seem to be paying much attention.

And I quoted another dictionary which completely contradicted that liberal bullcrap.

bossmanham said...

Its right action in regards to what God wants. Not necessarily the Law.

God set up the Law because He wanted it followed perfectly. Why else would it exist?

Again, Abraham was pronounced righteous apart from the Law, and I don't need to read Protestant theology from 3000 years later back into that event to recognise that simple statement.

Moses wrote Genesis. Moses knew the Law. Moses applied it to Abraham.

f you do these things by instinct, then you are righteous without need to insert the foreign imputation into the text!

So, doing what you have become isn't instinct? You are dense.

And this helps you how?

Because it's specifically speaking of how one treats the Church. If one is a member of the church, they will naturally treat their bretheren well. This ties into faith in Christ, since we cannot do the works of God absent that faith.

Paul argues that there is natural law. "these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show athe work of the Law written in their hearts". Its still law, even if not the Torah.

Yeah, natural law =/= Jewish Mosaic law. Thanks for helping me out there.

Abraham believed God and it was regarded as righteousness.

Only because of Christ.

So we've got one statement saying no-one is righteous, and one saying some are righteous. What is the distinction?

Christ being the righteous One (Romans 5:18, Rev. 16:5). Faith in God applies this righteousness to the sinner.

According to the text the distinction is the law, and righteousness by law as opposed to faith.

Because of Christ, unless you say without Christ faith is still righteousness. Then what the heck did Christ die for?

That's Paul's explanation of the disparity. And there is no imputation to be seen.

Bull. Back it up. You have nothing.

You can't make up an argument that requires appealing to mystery and gain a point

Then you need to throw out the real presence, and theosis, and the trinity, and creation, ad infinitum. If the text reveals it, then it's true, mystery or no.

John said...

"And I quoted another dictionary which completely contradicted that liberal bullcrap. "

"find it telling that you aren't providing any scholarly input."

Which contradictory story are you pushing today? That I didn't provide scholarly input, or that the input was liberal? At least Anchor is highly scholarly, which is more than can be said for Strongs, which simply is not scholarly at all. No scholar, protestant or not, liberal or not would ever deign to appeal to Strongs. Forget Strongs, it is a nothing.

"I found other concordances with the same definitions."

Only the "impute" definition is interesting, and that word hardly ever occurs in most English translations these days. Where it does occur, it has to be tempered with the knowledge that the English word has a number of meanings, and doesn't have to mean forensic Protestant imputation, but is just another word that means "found to be", or "considered as". There's nothing for you here.

"You had just said we are righteous by what we do. Do you enjoy refuting yourself?"

Not everything we do is works of law in Pauline categories. Nobody calls all their activities work, that would be ridiculous unless there is some Pauline reference that all human activity is "work". You continue to assume your own theology a-priori and read it back into Paul.

"No, the point you made was that the fathers never saw imputed righteousness anywhere. I showed they did. "

No you didn't. Quoting some Father and assuming we see what you see is not an argument.

"If Augustine were to point to verses supporting it, I'm sure he'd go to the same passages I did. "

In other words, Augustine didn't point to any verses for it. Thanks for at least the tacit admission that you didn't find that in the Fathers.

"I will rely on the current and more developed enghlish translation scholarship, which is showing that Paul was referring to the righteousness of Christ. "

What a bunch of rubbish. Some 20th century translators overturn the understanding of all the Greeks about what Greek means, and you think that's better? It's "developed", I'll grant you that, but when it comes to the original meaning of words, that is NOT a good thing.

"I'll repeat, the fathers didn't translate anything into English. I quoted Augustine to dispel your silly notion that imputation was invented by protestants. "
No you didn't, and again Augustine's overall theology doesn't help you one whit about the meaning of Πίστις Χριστοῦ.

Lucian said...

If "Christ's faith" is not imputed faith, why the insistence that "Christ's righteousness" is imputed righteousness? (Does God also impute faith on us, without us actually having it, as He does with righteousness, according to the Protestant model?)

John said...

"Augustine clearly says it's not our righteousness, but God's which we have in him. You're clearly desperate."

You haven't head of the debate between inputed, imparted and infused righteousness? Funny, because you are slap bang in the middle of that debate now, but you don't even know what the debate is about.

Yes, it is God's righteousness, but that doesn't prove the imputation model. Assuming your own theology and claiming victory is assuming what you wish to prove. Quoting Augustine quoting Paul and assuming your theological model is not a valid argument.

"then God's wrath followed the sins"

Where is the verse on that? Yet again, assuming what you wish to prove.

" it is necessary and unavoidable that Christ bore the wrath of God."

Is that your code words for admitting the bible doesn't teach it, but you happen to be of the opinion it is an unavoidable conclusion?

" But, to avoid this "mean God" that you have an issue with, you have to retranslate a word. Christ is the propitiation."

I don't have to retranslate any words. The best case you can make is that the word means appeasement, but there is nothing in that word that implies substitutionary punishment. When somebody does me wrong I am often appeased by an apology, appeasement doesn't necessitate belting someone up for it. I could also be appeased by a promise and a plan to improve in the future. There are all sorts of models of appeasement, not just Protestantism's idea that someone must take on the prescribed punishment.

And I'm happy to be bound by any good quality lexicon on that one. There is no implication of substitution or anything along those lines. Read a good lexicon like BDAG.

"Imputation paralles the imputation of Adam's guilt to us. "

There again we must differ, and I point out that nowhere does the bible teach that we inherit Adam's guilt. A flawed nature yes, but guilt no.

"once we are baptized into Christ, we put on Christ "

Since the Orthodox services have the hymn "he who is baptised into Christ has put on Christ", I hardly think we have missed this verse. Obviously you still don't understand what the argument is about.

"The exchange. Are you that thick? An exchange involves two things. Our punishment to Him, His righteousness to us. Deal with it."

Our sins on him, his righteousness to us. No mention of punishment here. Apparently you are just as skilful as eisegeting Mathetes as you are the scriptures. Don't you think its odd yet that you still can't find a single verse or church father who unambiguously mentions our punishment on Christ? This should be setting off warning bells for you but you are carrying on oblivious.

"Sorry. Modern translators disagree. Your argument falls apart in light of that and the context. "

(a) Its not a translational problem. Nobody here has argued that.

(b) I'm the only one who has made reference to the context of the verse. You are still languishing the bald assertion phase.

John said...

"What we are positionally we will become actually, in both senses."

So you admit to being actually a fool, albeit positionally wise, and one day maybe wise? No reason here to listen to you then.

"That's what propitiation is. You are dense."

Riiight. I'm dense, the hundreds of scholars of the Anchor bible dictionary are dense. The top BDAG lexicon is dense, and all the Greek speaking fathers are dense. Everyone is dense apart from you it seems. Do you actually enjoy having debates where your entire argument is simply bald assertion and ad-hominem?

"http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/heb/view.cgi?number=05771"

Ok, so you take a secondary meaning for a Hebrew word, one that no major translation uses in that context, and you build your whole theology around that going so far as to dogmatize the theology that assumes that particular meaning?

Riiight.

"God imputes righteousness. He washes away sin. He heals sorrow and grief"

Oh, so you get to insert imputation into the text for sins, but for griefs and sorrows you don't insert that into the text? How come you get to insert an imputation model when it suits you, but in the verse same context you don't insert it everywhere?

This whole conversation is special pleading from start to finish. And it also ignores that Isaiah 53 is completely in line with the Orthodox hospital model of the atonement where dealing with our sins, griefs and sorrows are all part of the same deal. No never mind how well it fits with Orthodox theology, just push on with your courtroom eisegesis.

"It can mean either. It doesn't make a lot of difference in the interpretation, sicne He is bearing our iniquity, our guilt and punishment."

Not as a substitution! So have you now admitted that these verses don't unambiguously prove your theology? You can't have much left at this point.

" as Isaiah is specifically talking about Christ's atonement, as is Paul in the verses I have cited. It's not adding things to it if the people who are laying out the doctrine are citing it. Learn where to apply Ockham's razor before making yourself look like a moron."

But they're not citing substitutionary atonement. Again you assume what you wish to prove, and then lower yourself to throw in some ad hominem.

John said...

"God set up the Law because He wanted it followed perfectly. Why else would it exist?"

Irrelevant. The point is the Greek word is one that exists in many different concepts of righteousness, not just the Jewish law. And the same with the Hebrew word in the Semitic languages. I quoted scholars as to what the word means, which trumps your bald assertions every time.

"Moses wrote Genesis. Moses knew the Law. Moses applied it to Abraham."

So Abraham was justified by law, according to how Moses wrote Genesis. I feel sorry for Paul that he got it so wrong.

"So, doing what you have become isn't instinct? You are dense."

Hey, that's fine with me that you do what you have become. I'm just pointing out that if you do what you've become then there is absolutely no need to insert imputation into Matthew. You do what you've become, and that is what God wants you to do, and that is the definition of righteousness. Everyone who practices righteousness is righteous, that's what the scripture says.

"Yeah, natural law =/= Jewish Mosaic law. Thanks for helping me out there."

Don't know how this helps you.

"Only because of Christ."

Sure, but it doesn't help you.

"Christ being the righteous One (Romans 5:18, Rev. 16:5). Faith in God applies this righteousness to the sinner."

So you've got to jump to Ro 5:18 which doesn't even mention imputation, and then jump all the way to Revelation (which also doesn't even mention it), whereas my explanation is found explicitly in Paul in the very same paragraph? Riiight.

"Because of Christ, unless you say without Christ faith is still righteousness. Then what the heck did Christ die for?"

Go back what I said about imparted versus imputed righteousness. You still don't know what the debate is about.

"Then you need to throw out the real presence,..."

I don't appeal to the mystery of the real presence as an argument in itself. Mystery is a conclusion not a valid argument.

Rhology said...

We interrupt bossmanham's demolition of the EO position to note a few things:

1) bossmanham is an Arminian, a pretty full one if I'm not mistaken. I am a (baby-eating) Calvinist. Yet we have the same Gospel, if this thread (which I just finished reading all the way thru) is any indication.

2) I just LOVE this exchange:
bmh: "you keep talking of Jesus as if He's not God and as if He Himself isn't laying His own life down"

John: I only do that to give you as much leeway as I can. I could point out that paying off yourself or punishing yourself to assauge your own wrath is even more absurd when put in those terms.


This is EXACTLY what Muslims, Jehovahs Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, Mormons, atheists, and liberals argue. I mean exactly. It's so funny how this makes 2 major veins in which the EOdox share major soteriological points with Islam! And John doesn't even deny it, which I find even funnier.


3) As I've noticed and mentioned many times in recent memory, this breed of EOdox clogging up my blog claim to be converts from Calvinism and/or know Calvinist theology, but they almost never get it right. Note the zillions of strawmen they've constructed, especially John. My friends - just b/c I write a blogpost extolling one important and powerful aspect of the Cross of Christ doesn't mean that's all there is to the Cross of Christ. Fail, fail, and yet more sparkly fail.

Peace,
Rhology

John said...

Yah... we share with Islam the fact that we are not Protestants. You must be wide awake today. And Islam can see the same things wrong with the arguments as us. Everybody can see the problem you've got but you. Funny that.

Now if bossmanham could quote an actual scripture instead of relying on logic like "it must be", and "it necessarily follows", then we could overlook it. But once he decided human logic was his rule of faith, he had to take the knocks of logical flaws that everyone else notices.

bossmanham said...

John has no further argument here after all of the textual evidence given, both in translation, context, and general exegesis. His desperate hand-waving and constant denials are getting tiring. He's produced nothing of substance, but keeps making the same unbacked assertions, while deceptievly acting as if I haven't backed any of my claims up. He also can't see where deductive logic takes an argument (ie If sin is the object of God's wrath and that sin is transferred to another then wrath is also transferred to another). He's desperately grasping onto an incomplete view of the atonement, for whatever reason (I expect it's because he thinks God's a big meanie). He constantly accuses me of assuming my own theology, all the wile denying denying denying and insisting that he's correct, while not saying why. He doesn't seem to understand just because someone doesn't use an explicit word, an understanding of a doctrine can be reached implicitly (the Trinity is a wonderful example).

Furthermore, John has shown a profound ignorance of protestant soteriology, although he claims to have a good grasp on it. He has also shown an inability to follow simple arguments. I've said really all there is to say, and John has exausted his arguments as is shown in the devolution of his statements to "nuh uh! It does not say that!"

He has also failed to explain how God's righteousness would be shown in the gospel if all that was happening was an expiation of sin. You can expiate sin, but there's nothing in that act that would show righteousness. Righteousness is shown when you act justly. God's righteousness is shown, and God remains just, because He does not forget His law which was broken. In Christ, the iniquity (guilt / punishment) of man was paid for. Thus, God remains just and the justifier.

I'm done.

Automaton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

"He has also failed to explain how God's righteousness would be shown in the gospel if all that was happening was an expiation of sin."

How sad that you accuse us of not explaining something that was proven from scripture by Lucian in the first post here, and expanded upon by myself in my first post. We explain it all up front, and 50 posts later you pretend as if nothing is explained to you. Maybe if you'd responded to the first post before making a whole lot of other unsubstantiated excursions, you wouldn't have got yourself into such a muddle.

"He also can't see where deductive logic takes an argument".

Thankyou. I'll take that as admission your doctrine is nowhere taught in scripture, but your derived it from your supposed logic. Of course we have no reason to believe your logic is superior to anyone elses or your model is better than anyone elses.

Rhology said...

Of course we have no reason to believe your logic is superior to anyone elses or your model is better than anyone elses.

Yet ANOTHER argument that libs, JWs, LDS, and atheists like to make. At least John's getting warmer - it's not an argument Muslims typically make.
Haha, "your" logic. Yes, folks, John thinks that there's such a thing as logic possessed by this or that person. Kinda like a pet. My logic can beat up your logic. My logic is furrier than yours.

John said...

Deductive logic is objective, but inductive logic is not, and bossmanham's logical argument is inductive. It is therefore only one logic among many. And yes, my logic is certainly furrier than his.

Rhology said...

It's not commendable to repeat and defend a stupid claim, John. This shows obstinacy and misplaced pride. Thanks for playing!

John said...

Go do a logic course and get back to me with a rational comment.

Rhology said...

My logic says the answer to your comment is 45,004 less cold rodentia.

zilch said...

Snake, by D.H. Lawrence (somehow, I find this apposite here)

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before
me.

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of
the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
Silently.

Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.

And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

And I thought of the albatross
And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords
Of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

Taormina, 1923