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Archive for the ‘thomas schreiner’ Category

Dr. Thomas Schreiner is a New Testament professor at Southern Seminary.  My favorite work by Schreiner thus far has been his “Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification.”

Earlier this month Schreiner has lectured a series of lectures surveying the books of the Bible.  The Master’s Seminary has made them available online on Youtube.  I’m halfway through them myself.  Here are the lectures below:

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Today is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany which is the beginning of the trajectory that led to the Reformation.

One of the important thing that came out of the Reformation is the recovery of the Gospel.  From the Reformation we also get the five Solas.  During the Fall 2015 Theology Conference at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary the five Solas was the topic that was discussed from some of evangelicalism’s finest scholars as they unpack for us the meaning and significance of each of these themes.  From these lectures they have also partnered with the publishers Zondervan to released “The 5 Solas Series.”  You might want to check out my review of one of the volume, Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification by Thomas Schreiner.

Here are the videos:

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Faith Alone The Doctrine of Justification by Thomas Schreiner

Thomas Schreiner.  Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, September 15th 2015. 288 pp.

This is the first book in “The 5 Solas Series” that is being published by Zondervan.   The book articulates and defend the classic Reformed doctrine of justification: that justification is forensic (as opposed to transformative) and accessed by faith alone (as opposed to works of the law).  If the rest of the series is just as promising as this one I am definitely going to purchase them.

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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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