Penal substitutionary atonement – Theopedia, an encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity


 Penal substitutionary atonement – Theopedia, an encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity

While I cannot say that much of this article will stick in my feeble memory, I learned a lot in principle. Though it only dealt with the teaching of Christ’s penal substitutionary atonement, it included criticisms from quite a few theologians, both those who agree with the teaching, and those who disagree. Those brief statements taught me that many schools of thought exist regarding the minute details of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, and without studying them in great detail, I suspect that they all contribute a grain of truth to the subject.

My issue lies with the theologians who paint with broad strokes in strictly human colors. The gospel of Christ is both far more simple, and infinitely more complex than anyone can grasp. All we can and should do is believe what the Bible says, and not a word more, but even that takes great discernment; while every word is true, they are just words that can be defined variously, depending on what the reader needs or wants to see. That’s why we require God’s Holy Spirit to illuminate the Word to our understanding, an understanding that is as personal as each one who reads and studies it. But even that is an inadequate statement of principle, as whatever understanding we take from God’s Word must conform to His Word as a whole.

As the guy said, “It’s … complicated.” But there is as much danger in oversimplifying God’s message as in overcomplicating it. If conceptualizing God’s Word seems complicated, it is we who cause the confusion.

Personally? I subscribe to Apostle Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

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2 thoughts on “Penal substitutionary atonement – Theopedia, an encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity

  1. I do not believe that God’s Word is all that simple and I certainly do not believe that it is complicated. It is, as you have said before, simply God’s Word and we must become passionate about it. If the first church was not passionate about the gospel we would not have it today. We are not passionate about it because we do not make it our priority. We do need your greater fascination with it.

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