Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of New Georgia Baptist Church.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Penal Substitutionary Atonement: Critique of a Critique (Part 6)


Green & Baker begin their fifth paragraph of their section assessing Charles Hodges' presentation of penal substitutionary atonement with the following accusation:

We could also mention that because of the singular focus on penal satisfaction, Jesus' resurrection is not really necessary according to this model.

After the sentence above, Green & Baker move on to other accusations. At this point Green & Baker fail to provide documentation by way of any kind of interaction with Hodges' writings (or the writings of any other person who has held to penal substitutionary atonement) that would serve to demonstrate a "singular focus on penal satisfaction" of such a nature that would exclude the necessity of the resurrection for atonement. I would like to counter their simple accusation with a simple denial. Charles Hodge (and others who take a similar view of the atonement) are not blinded to the necessity of the resurrection.

But unlike Green & Baker's accusation, the "simple denial" stated above can be supported by an argument from the relevant source material.

Hodge, in his Systematic Theology, includes fourteen chapters under the major heading "Soteriology;" these chapters cover a range of topics. Two chapters of "Soteriology" in Hodges' Systematic ("Intercession of Christ" and "The Exaltation of Christ") are specifically focused on Christ in His resurrection and post-resurrection existence. Several other chapters include consideration of the resurrection and Christ's work post-resurrection as well (for example, each of Hodges' three chapters on the offices of Christ include consideration of how these offices are still being performed by Christ in His exalted state- this post-resurrection work of Christ is presented as "really necessary" for atonement).

In 1 Corinthians 2:2 the Apostle Paul writes, "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (NASB). The Apostle refers to his gospel preaching as "the word of the cross." Because of statements like these, an opponent of Paul could easily charge, 'Because of his singular focus on the cross, the resurrection is not really necessary according to this model.' But such an accusation would ignore the rest of Paul's teaching. Green & Baker have made a similar mistake in their accusation against penal substitution.

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