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Archive for the ‘atonement’ Category

Purpose: In this lesson shall explore five points that would help us better understand the atonement that Christ made to save us from our sins so that we would worship Him and love Him more.

  1. What is the meaning of atonement?
  2. Christ saves us by his death
  3. Christ died as our substitute
  4. What motivated God to plan the Atonement?
  5. Seven fruits of Christ’s Atonement

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the-heart-of-the-gospel-spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon. Heart of the Gospel.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, March 28th 2014. 22 pp.

This is another message by Spurgeon that I read in 2016 in light of my hunger to read things by the Prince of Preacher.  This booklet focuses on 2 Corinthians 5:20-21.  What I appreciate about Spurgeon is that he is essentially timeless because he preaches the Gospel and definitely 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 is a Gospel text.  Although this was originally a sermon by Spurgeon delivered in 1886 it is still relevant for people to read and hear it today.  As I read this booklet I wished there would be more contemporary preachers who embodied the spirit of Spurgeon’s preaching.

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Witty Ditty Christ Atonement

Earlier this month I wrote a post titled “.”  I’m thinking of making more of these kinds of posts in the future.

Two truths that Christian must hold is the severity of our sins and also the depth of God’s grace.  Soften either and you have an imbalanced theology.  So to remind myself of my guilt and also of God’s grace I thought this is ditty worth committing to our memory:

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This work is a classic!

The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross

Leon Morris. The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross.  Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, September, 1965. 318 pp.

Many years ago I remember hearing Don Carson mentioned this book in passing during a conference with a local chapter of The Gospel Coalition.  The sermon by Carson really blessed me and I couldn’t forget the book he mentioned since I wondered what treasure I would find if I were to read it myself.  It took me nearly a decade to finally purchased this book but I finally did it: I bought it, read it and was exceptionally blessed by it.

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pananian lamb sacrifice

Here’s a tragic news story: –

A relative performed a lamb sacrifice to protect a 20-year-old man from harm and evil just days before his body landed on a 5 Freeway sign after being ejected in a fatal car crash in Glendale, according to a fundraising page set up for him.

Richard Pananian died on Friday morning. He was allegedly driving his 2004 Ford Fiesta at a high rate of speed and passing vehicles on the freeway’s right shoulder when his car hit the rear of a truck and veered out of control, the California Highway Patrol said at the time.

The Fiesta then overturned and rolled over multiple times.

As the car went up an embankment, Pananian was ejected about 20 feet into the air. His body landed on the Colorado Street exit ramp sign overhead

The tragedy is no laughing matter.  That’s a person that died, a person made in the image of God.

The news that days before his family sacrificed a lamb for his protection was also tragic for me to hear:

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The Death of Death in the Death of Christ eBook MonergismI’m very grateful for all the free resources Monergism.com has provided.  If you ever need to purchase books you should consider visiting their bookstore as a way of supporting them and the good work they do.

They have made available for free the classic work by John Owen titled “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.”  I have yet to read this book (hopefully this Summer).

It is AVAILABLE IN EPUB, .MOBI AND .PDF FORMATS.

Monergism has also made available the outline of the book if you were interested:

Table of Contents

Introductory Essay by J. I. Packer

BOOK I

Chapter 1. In general of the end of the death of Christ, as it is in the Scripture proposed

Chapter 2. Of the nature of an end in general, and some distinctions about it

Chapter 3. Of the agent or chief author of the work of our redemption, and of the first thing distinctly ascribed to the person of the Father

Chapter 4. Of those things which in the work of redemption are peculiarly ascribed to the person of the Son

Chapter 5. The peculiar actions of the Holy Spirit in this business

Chapter 6. The means used by the fore-recounted agents in this work

Chapter 7. Containing reasons to prove the oblation and intercession of Christ to be one entire means respecting the accomplishment of the same proposed end, and to have the same personal object

Chapter 8. Objections against the former proposal answered

 

BOOK II

Chapter 9. Some previous considerations to a more particular inquiry after the proper end and effect of the death of Christ

Chapter 10. Containing a removal of some mistakes and false assignations of the end of the death of Christ

Chapter 11. More particularly of the immediate end of the death of Christ, with the several ways whereby it is designed

Chapter 12. Of the distinction of impetration and application — The use and abuse thereof; with the opinion of the adversaries upon the whole matter in controversy unfolded; and the question on both sides stated

Chapter 13. Of application and impetration

 

BOOK III

Chapter 14. Arguments against the universality of redemption-The two first; from the nature of the new covenant, and the dispensation thereof

Chapter 15. Containing three other arguments

Chapter 16. Containing, two other arguments from the person Christ sustained in this business

Chapter 17. Of sanctification, and of the cause of faith, and the procurement thereof by the death of Christ

Chapter 18. Being a continuance of arguments from the nature and description of the thing in hand; and first, of redemption

Chapter 19. Of the nature of reconciliation, and the argument taken from thence

Chapter 20. Of the nature of the satisfaction of Christ, with arguments from thence

Chapter 21. A digression, containing the substance of an occasional conference concerning the satisfaction of Christ

Chapter 22. Being a second part of the former digression–Arguments to prove the satisfaction of Christ

Chapter 23. Of the merit of Christ, with arguments from thence

Chapter 24. The last general argument

 

BOOK IV

Chapter 1. Things previously to be considered, to the solution of objections

Chapter 2. An entrance to the answer unto particular arguments

Chapter 3. An unfolding of the remaining texts of Scripture produced for the confirmation of the first general argument for universal redemption

Chapter 4. Answer to the second general argument for the universality of redemption

Chapter 5. The last argument from Scripture answered

Chapter 6. An answer to the twentieth chapter of the book entitled, “The Universality of God’s Free Grace,” etc., being a collection of all the arguments used by the author throughout the whole book to prove the universality of redemption

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procrastination-walter-henegar-paperback-cover-art

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover–and also it’s size.  This little booklet is useful for biblical counseling as a booklet for the counselee to go through and underline/highlight.  It is practical, addresses the heart of the issue and is Gospel based and Gospel driven–all major plus as to why one should have this book handy.  I just used it with someone in my church and realized that I can definitely use this booklet with others as well.  As with all good counseling resources, it’s not only useful for others–it was also convicting for me as the Pastor reading this.  Walter Henegar’s booklet has challenged me to think about procrastination biblically–typically I think of it as being lazy or something I’m not doing.  The author notes that it’s not just an issue of something absent, but also what is it that is present and a substitute of what one ought to be doing.  The booklet is also able to give gospel hope for why believers can change.  Highly Recommended.

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Purchase: Amazon

Though I am not particularly fond of most “three views”, “four views” or “counterpoint” kinds of books from my reading of them in the past, I would have to say that this particular work was pretty good. I thought the authors were all clear and stayed focused on the issue. It is a great survey on the atonement debate.  Each contributor was quite cable of presenting their perspective. The introductory chapters by the two editors James Beilby and Paul R. Eddy excellently summarizes the historical positions on the atonement in church history. I believed the lay person will be able to be caught up to speed with this introduction for what follows in the work. With the exception of Joel B. Green’s kaleidoscopic view, the other three positions (Christus Victor, healing and Penal substitutionary view) hold that there might be other motifs to the atonement besides the one they are advocating, but believed each of their respective theme is more “important” than the others. That is, their respective view best explains the other motifs. The Kaleidoscopic view instead see no need for other motifs to fit into one arch-perspective. After reading the work, I realized that further discussion of what each view means by their perspective is “important” might be fruitful in the discussion/debate, for it seems the Penal Substitutionary view understood his to be important in the sense of a logical priority of penal substitution to be a prerequisite to the other effects and outcomes of Christ work on the cross, while the Christus Victor and the healing view (which should really be called ‘wholistic shalom’ view in my opinion) understand importance to mean which motif best allow other motifs of Christ death on the cross to fit in. After the reading I also thought about how any future discussion between the various views might enjoy further progress by being conscious of theological methods used, and a biblical evaluation of the anthropology assumed in each perspective, since the atonement is shaped by it in how the atonement is supposed to be the solution that addresses the problem of man. I show my bias by saying that Thomas Schreiner’s presentation for penal substitutionary atonement is a great chapter, his exegetical background was helpful.

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In The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views, Thomas Schreiner presented the Penal Substitutionary Atonement view.  After Schreiner’s essay, the other views wrote their respective responses including Gregory Boyd representing the Christus Victor perspective (specifically, his view was that Christ death was a part of the larger spiritual warfare against Satan which Jesus had victory over).

Boyd believes there is “a host of insurmountable difficulties that plague the penal substitutionary view”, which Boyd “frankly found nothing in Tom Schreiner’s essay that assuaged or even seriously addressed these problems.” (The Nature of the Atonement, 104).  Two shall be looked at here.

  1. “How are we to reconcile the idea that the Father needs to exact payment from or on behalf of his enemies with Jesus’ teachings (and example) that we are to love unconditionally and forgive without demanding payment” (104)?

Response:

  • One is obligated to hold that the Father will demand payment from or on behalf of sinners’ sin, since this is taught in the Bible.  Hebrews 9:22b teaches concerning blood payment for forgiveness of sins: “And without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
  • If a tension exists with this question, it perhaps is a result of failing to take into account the Creator-Creature distinction.  That is, there is a real difference between God (“Father”) and His creatures (“we”).  There is a discontinuity between the two, with how ethics that applies to creatures does not apply to God and vice versa. One can think of the example of God being the source of moral norms while creatures are not, as an example of the Creator-creature distinction.  Therefore, one should be cautious in applying morals for humans unto God.

 

  1. “Along these same lines, how are we to reconcile the idea that God cannot be reconciled with sinners without his wrath being satisfied with blood with the pervasive scriptural depiction of God forgiving people without needing his wrath appeased (e.g., Luke 15:11-32)?” (104)

Response:

  • Again, one must assumes that the Father will demand payment from or on behalf of sinners.  This is according to Hebrews 9:22b, which teaches concerning blood payment for forgiveness of sins: “And without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
  • Luke 15:11-32 is the parable of the two sons.  There are limits in parable illustrating every truth in the Bible, as every illustrations break down or are limited to illustrating the main point at hand.  The main point of the parable of the two sons can be gleamed from the rest of the context in chapter 15 in which Jesus was talking about the joy of sinners repenting (cf. vv. 7, 10, 22-24).
  • Since the main point of the parable was to illustrate the joy one should have at sinners repenting, the issue of God’s wrath need appeasing is not the main subject and therefore it’s absence as a subject here should not be taken as an evidence of absence from the rest of the Bible’s teaching.  Rather, one should focus on Biblical passages which main point is about the nature of the atonement instead.
  • One can also turn the same argument from Luke 15:11-32 that Boyd uses against Penal Substitution, and apply it against his Christus Victor position:  How are we to reconcile the idea that Jesus death was about spiritual warfare victory over Satan with with the pervasive scriptural depiction of God forgiving people without warfare against Satan in Luke 15:11-32?  It is self-refuting against his own view.

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