God’s Glory – a poem

Based on Exodus 33:18-19, Proverbs 19:11, John 17:1

"Please show me your glory” old Moses did cry
God said “hide your face while my goodness pass by”

“The right to show mercy is what I proclaim;
compassion and love are the heart of my name”

“And what is man’s glory?” we asked of the King
The wisdom of Solomon said this is that thing -

“To not count offence but to cover the sin
of one who does harm you is where you begin”

“And where is your glory?” we asked of the Son
“May we see your Might and your Power be done?”

“My glory is Calvary, surrendered to die,
Declaring the Father as servant on high"

True glory is faithful forgiveness and love,
The merciful heart of our Father above.

And so, as a child of your Father in Heaven,
Forgive not just 7 times but 70 times 7.



© W A Fletcher-Cooke, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

A definitive work on the Atonement.

This has been simmering on the back-boiler for a while, and now is the time for sharing. It is a (hopefully!) comprehensive rebuttal of Penal Substitution from a purely Scriptural point of view, rather than examining the logical inconsistencies*.

It is primarily aimed at encouraging those who have been taught Penal Substitution to openly examine the Gospel narratives for themselves. It has a flow: providing logical follow-on questions and a response to each.

It may also encourage those who are uncomfortable with Penal Substitution to realise they are on far more solid ground Scripturally!

Feel free to share with others if you find it helpful.

* For a good logical argument, I recommend this post: https://vaporsinthewind.com/2018/04/03/10-reasons-why-i-have-rejected-penal-substitution/

Mad at Mercy

It is revealing to observe just how much God’s mercy narks us.

Early in the Bible, and thus in God’s revelation about himself, God supplies his name to Moses. He calls himself “I Am” or “I Am that I Am” (Ex 3: 14). What we miss, however, is that in Hebrew the name is not limited to the present tense. It could just as easily (or perhaps more accurately) be translated “I will be who I will be”. It should be taken as a statement of absolute intent. God will be himself, period. We are being given a heads-up: man does not get to define God, nor contain him.

Continue reading “Mad at Mercy”

Even death on a cross?

Could God’s Anointed be hung on a tree to die?

Paul writes: “… he (Jesus) humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8)

Why was death on a cross such a big deal? Because of Deuteronomy 21:23:

“…his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall bury it in that day; for every one that is hanged on a tree is cursed of God”.

The Jews believed that if anyone was hung on a tree to die then they were under God’s curse. It was a slam dunk.

Continue reading “Even death on a cross?”

Is the Bible without error?

Examining (honestly) the problem with multiple texts

Firstly, before we can answer the question, we must distinguish between the Bible as written in its original language and its translation into another tongue.

Firstly, is there a perfect English translation?

Given the plethora of English translations over the years, with constant revisions and updates, no single particular version (not even the King James’ Bible) can be declared to be the “authentic, error-free” translation. In many ways this is because Hebrew and Greek thought is so different to the Anglo-Saxon world of English. Extensive judgement calls have to be made by the translators, and these tend to be made within an existing theological framework. Where no direct English equivalent exists, a substitute word has to be found, which will never have exactly the same scope nor subtleties of the original. By definition, since it is flawed human beings making the judgement call, there can be no wholly accurate translation. Which version would that be anyway?! Continue reading “Is the Bible without error?”

Is God the Father Mad, Bad or Good?

How can a merciful God command genocide?

“..in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them… as the LORD your God has commanded you” (Deut 20:16-17)

“Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'” (1 Samuel 15:3)

There can be no disputing that this violent portrayal of God is incompatible with the merciful God revealed in Christ who commands us to love our enemies: Continue reading “Is God the Father Mad, Bad or Good?”

Price, Payment and the Transactional Trap

Was Jesus’ self-sacrifice a payment?

The concept of price has many connotations, but it is not always related to a payment.

For example, when a soldier pays “the ultimate price” we do not make the illogical leap that somehow his life was a payment to someone. Actions have consequences, and we often refer to a negative consequence as “the price that has to be paid” e.g. if you decide to have offspring, then you will need to nurture and care for them for at least 18 years. That is the “price you pay” for having children. But there is no transaction, no payment to anyone.

So when something (freedom, peace etc) has been “bought at a price” it does not mean literally that some type of exchange or transaction took place. Continue reading “Price, Payment and the Transactional Trap”

Aristotelian influence on Calvinism

An article exploring the inherent problems in fusing an Aristotelian doctrine of God with the teaching of the Bible about the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For those who are interested in exploring how Calvinism moved away from Calvin’s warm-hearted God this is a fascinating article. In it James B Torrance illustrates how using Aristotelian distinctions plus confusion over the nature of covenants, and wrongfully applying these to God lead to contra-Biblical conclusions e.g. that justice is the essential attribute of God, but the love of God is arbitrary.

https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/1983-2_083.pdf

“The doctrine of the Incarnation is not that an impassible God came in Jesus Christ. It is that God came as man in Christ and ‘suffered under Pontius Pilate’.  Continue reading “Aristotelian influence on Calvinism”

George MacDonald on “Justice”

One thing must surely be plain–that the punishment of the wrongdoer makes no atonement for the wrong done.

This unspoken sermon of George MacDonald is an excellent example of how much truth we miss (and even deny) when we interpret God’s justice in accordance with our own weak and fundamentally flawed human understanding of the concept.

The following are a few quotes, but you really need to read the whole sermon (link at the bottom) to benefit from the arguments presented.

“There is no opposition, no strife whatever, between mercy and justice. Those who say justice means the punishing of sin, and mercy the not punishing of sin, and attribute both to God, would make a schism in the very idea of God”. Continue reading “George MacDonald on “Justice””