A local pastor preached a series concerning the “Monster God.”
His thesis? If the verses from the Getty’s “In Christ Alone” – “til on the cross, where Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied” are correct…then the God of the Bible is a monster similar to a child molester.
What is called “Penal Substitutionary Atonement” has apparently embarrassed many a professing Christian. The song referenced in the above paragraph has been covered by many artists…and many of them have dropped the verses cited. An entire denomination wanted to put the song in their hymnal without the “offensive” words…they were denied (thankfully).
Here’s the take of J. I. Packer (from “The Heart of the Gospel” in Knowing God):
“Has the word propitiation any place in your Christianity?
“In the faith of the New Testament it is central. The love of God [1 John 4:8-10], the taking of human form by the Son [Heb. 2:17], the meaning of the cross [Rom. 3:21-26], Christ’s heavenly intercession [1 John 2:1-2], the way of salvation–all are to be explained in terms of it, as the passages quoted show, and any explanation from which the thought of propitiation is missing will be incomplete, and indeed actually misleading, by New Testament standards.
“In saying this, we swim against the stream of much modern teaching and condemn at a stroke the views of a great number of distinguished church leaders today, but we cannot help that. Paul wrote, “Even if we or an angel from heaven”–let alone a minister, a bishop, college lecturer, university professor, or noted author–“should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (“accursed” KJV and RSV; “outcast” NEB; “damned” Phillips–Gal. 1:8). And a gospel without propitiation at is heart is another gospel than that which Paul preached. The implications of this must not be evaded.”
“There is nothing more important in Christian theology than our theology of the cross. We must speak clearly that the heart of the gospel is the good news of divine self-satisfaction through self-substitution. Never compromise on the cross. Never dilute the message of the cross.
And never stop glorying in the cross where Christ accepted the penalties that should belong to us so that we can claim the blessings that would otherwise belong only to Him.”
Gotta get the basics right…and if we are “growing deep in the things of God” and forget the basics, we are deceived and deceiving:
“Redeeming love and retributive justice joined hands, so to speak, at Calvary, for there God showed Himself to be ‘just, and the justifer of him who hath faith in Jesus’.
Do you understand this? If you do, you are now seeing to the very heart of the Christian gospel. No version of that message goes deeper than that which declares man’s root problem before God to be his sin, which evokes wrath, and God’s basic provision for man to be propitiation, which out of wrath brings peace.”
– J.I. Packerhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1433502003&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
>“When the Bible speaks of ransom, it speaks of that ransom being paid not to a criminal but to the One Who is owed the price of redemption, the One Who is the offended party in the whole complex of sin — the Father. Jesus didn’t negotiate with Satan for our salvation. Instead, He offered Himself in payment to the Father for us. By so offering Himself, He made redemption for His people, redeeming them from captivity.”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1567690874&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
– R. C. Sproul
“The Truth of the Cross”
“Were I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be adoption through propitiation, and I do not expect ever to meet a richer or more pregnant summary of the gospel than that.”
“The gospel is saying that, what man cannot do in order to be accepted with God, this God Himself has done for us in the person of Jesus Christ. To be acceptable to God we must present to God a life of perfect and unceasing obedience to his will. The gospel declares that Jesus has done this for us.
For God to be righteous he must deal with our sin. This also he has done for us in Jesus.
The holy law of God was lived out perfectly for us by Christ, and its penalty was paid perfectly for us by Christ.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1842270362&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThe living and dying of Christ for us, and this alone is the basis of our acceptance with God”
Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom, p. 86
>“It is the supreme art of the devil that he can make the law out of the gospel. If I can hold on to the distinction between law and gospel, I can say to him any and every time that he should kiss my backside. Even if I sinned I would say, ‘Should I deny the gospeI on this account?’ . . . Once I debate about what I have done and left undone, I am finished. But if I reply on the basis of the gospel, ‘The forgiveness of sins covers it all,’ I have won.”
Martin Luther, quoted in Reinhard Slenczka, “Luther’s Care of Souls for Our Times,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 67 (2003): 42