1 Timothy 4:10 – ‘…the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers.’
Obviously, Paul was no universalist. So what interpretative options are left?
1. All, potentially, and believers, actually? Some, including Fee, think that Paul means that salvation is available to all, but effective for those who believe. This would be consistent with 1 Tim 2:6. Understood in this way, the verse becomes a strong support for the doctrine of universal (as opposed to particular) atonement. …
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 6:5 tasted the good word of God and the miracles of the coming age, 6:6 and then have committed apostasy, to renew them again to repentance, since they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again and holding him up to contempt.
I have found much to disagree with in Steve Chalke’s book The Lost Message of Paul.
Is there anything I can applaud? Actually, yes, there is.
I can see that he often attempts to support his arguments from Scripture. I recognise that he gives a central place to Christ. I think he’s correct to say that evangelicals have sometimes emphasis neglected the resurrection of Jesus in their presentation of the gospel. He emphasises that the gospel has corporate, as well as individual, elements. …
The final state of the saved may be characterized by six adjectives.
Embodied. The believer’s ‘spiritual body’ (1 Cor. 15:44) is a body animated and guided by the perfected human spirit and revitalized by the divine Spirit, a body perfectly adapted to the ecology of heaven. It has a divine origin (1 Cor. 15:38), with God as its architect and builder (2 Cor. 5:1–2). It is ‘imperishable’, free from any form of decay; ‘glorious’, of radiant and unsurpassed beauty; ‘powerful’, with limitless energy and perfect health (1 Cor.
Colossians 1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son 1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross—through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Steve Chalke (The Lost Message of Paul, ch. 19) argues that, if Paul’s words in Colossians 1:19f mean anything, ‘all’ must mean ‘all’, and that the ‘reconciliation of all things’ must include all people, without exception.…
As a Licensed Reader within the Church of England, it is of some interest and importance to me to know whether the doctrine of penal substitution is an Anglican doctrine.
Well, the doctrine is not clearly espoused in the Prayer Book of 1662, to which all clergy must assent. The nearest it comes to it is this:
‘…who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.’
But in the Homilies (which are commended in the 39 Articles as containing ‘godly and wholesome doctrine’), penal substitution comes through loud and clear:
‘God sent his only son our Saviour Christ into this world … and by shedding of his most precious blood, to make a sacrifice and satisfaction, or (as it may be called) amends to his Father for our sins, to assuage his wrath and indignation conceived against us … ‘… whereas all the world was not able of themselves to pay any part towards their ransom, it pleased our heavenly Father of his infinite mercy, without any our desert or deserving, to prepare for us the most precious jewels of Christ’s body and blood, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied.…
I guess that most people who claim to be evangelicals would affirm the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement (PSA) – the belief that Christ died in our place, bearing the penalty for our sins.
What is less clear is how many of these would argue that PSA is just one of a number of equally important images of the atonement, and how many think that it is the central, dominant, or controlling image.
Of course, more important than such a head-count would be investigating the reasons why people do, or do not, consider PSA to be central. …
One of the frustrations of reading Recovering the Scandal of the Cross, by Joel Green and Mark Baker, is that although they claim to be criticising the doctrine of penal substitution in some of its more popular (and cruder) expressions, they actually tend to train their artillery on other targets.
So I appreciated the opportunity to read this post by Morgan Guyton, who discusses ‘four cringeworthy claims of popular penal substitutionary theology’. (Guyton says that he was motivate by listening to a sermon by Steven Furtick, but I have been unable to track down that particular sermon).…
‘Must we imagine the atonement in penal substitutionary terms?’
This is the question addressed by Joel Green in his contribution to The Atonement Debate. I summarise some of the main points before adding a few comments of my own at the end.
Green begins by quoting the Apostles’ Creed, noting that in it the early church testifies to both the historicity and the centrality of the crucifixion of Jesus, but does not address the question of how Christ’s death is salvific. …