Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quibbling About Atonement!

Thom Rainer posted an article on Lifeway’s Web Site claiming that pastors who did not preach penal substitutionary atonement (he didn’t use the term, he described the doctrine in very strong terms) are guilty of pastoral malpractice. He used the word “treasonous.” --- quote on one of a myriad of blogs which are a part of what is known as Methoblog

I stumbled on to this by accident -- this flurry of comments about atonement which seemed to be sparked mainly by a fellow by the name of Rainer. Additional comments have been added and links provided if one chooses to further pursue the subject of atonement.

One interesting response was by a guy who said he would plead guilty to the charge as outlined by the guy named Rainer.

Very strange, is it not, that we get bogged (or is it blogged) down in what is a rather simple matter -- the issue of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, sacrificing His life for the members of the human race so they could be forgiven and restored to a right relationship with Almighty God!

It may well be that this thing of there being an almost endless parade of "theories" about the atonement has come about due to failure to meet one of the four demands set before us by Jesus Himself -- "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3).

Why is it that we have to be so "adult" and so "sophisticated," zealously pursuing the "theologians" and the "scholars" and trying to determine who has the final word on atonement? Is it smply that we want to impress the laity with our ability to quote Dr. So & So and what he has to say about anything that has to do with a mess called theology?

Just what part of "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." [2 Corinthians 5:21] OR "Christ has 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'), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." [Galatians 3:14, 15] OR "...who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed." [1 Peter 2:24] is it that you don't understand?

I guess I would have to plead guilty for the benefit of those who seem to be badly hung up on the subject of preaching about atonement -- I'm guilty of spreading information among my people that Jesus died for our sins and we are called to repent of our sins and receive Him as Savior and Lord. And you know what? We remember His sacrifice for us regularly by engaging in an activity called Holy Communion!

Is it correct to assume that those who have problems with the subject of atonement (especially what is referred to as PSA) consistently avoid observing a sacrament known as Holy Communion?

Just wondering!

For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. but of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God; and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD." --- 1 Corinthians 1:22-31

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