Isaiah 53 is consistently used as a proof text for the penal substitution theory of the atonement. Whilst there is no doubt that this chapter contains prophetic echoes of Jesus’ sacrifice, we should not simply assume that we can apply the entire text literally to the events of Golgotha. The litmus test for how to understand Isaiah 53 must come from the New Testament and the Apostles.
Let’s examine all the specific verses from Isaiah 53 which are either utilised or directly quoted in the New Testament. Continue reading “Isaiah 53 in the New Testament (the Apostles’ teaching)”
Brad Jersak is one of those rare guys who has grasped fully that God the Father is not some imposing judgemental figurehead we construct, but that he is, as testified by scripture, exactly like Jesus.
In this recent post, Brad takes a look at “sin” – universally understood as “missing the mark”. But what does that mean? What is this “mark” that we keep missing? …
In John’s gospel Jesus categorically states that he would not be left alone by the Father.
There is one oft overlooked problem with claiming that the Father abandoned Jesus, and that is that the Gospel narratives do not bear it out. Let’s examine them.
- Was Jesus abandoned by his Father?
John’s Gospel provides us with two very specific statements from Jesus about his coming death – and the shock is that Jesus categorically states says that he would not be left alone by the Father. Continue reading “The Gospel Narrative: Never Alone”
I just love this one. Our insulting arrogance exposed.
Although we watched the “Monster God or Monster Man” debate between Dr Michael Brown and Brian Zahnd some time ago, we only recently stumbled across this interesting review of it (which contains a link to the debate). The debate is a great starting point to get a handle on the issues… and then Rob Grayson’s review provides helpful reflection.
If you like being astounded by God and being built up by a dose of pure Gospel, then set aside 54 mins and watch (or listen) to this. Peter has profound insights and understanding that I have never seen the likes of before, and I doubt I ever will again. Bathe, soak, drown… and be renewed:
This presentation from the January Series, Calvin College 2017 is well worth a listen. Tom Wright explores what the Kingdom of God is about, and shows what is woefully missing from our Western “theories” of the atonement.
For a clear understanding of the issues as stake in this debate, the whole talk is definitely worth the investment (Tom actually starts 5 mins in). Tom is clear and persuasive.
If you don’t have time and just want a pertinent “highlight” start at 40 mins in (stopping at around 44 mins, or 49 mins):
(N.B. I would challenge/disagree with his phrasing in a sentence or two, but it’s relatively minor. I still thought the talk was excellent)
A common theme of the Apostle Paul is ‘we are in Christ and Christ is in us’. Paul does not talk imputation, he talks union.
One verse that has puzzled me a lot is II Corinthians 5:21
What does it mean for Christ to become (or be made) “sin”? How can one who does not know sin, nor has committed any sin, become “sin”?
Continue reading “He became sin: Union or Imputation?”
On what basis do we claim that, in divine forbearance, God made an omission that he now has to put right?
Must God punish all sin? Was he, in effect, storing it up under the Old Covenant until the day that Jesus would be punished for every last sin ever committed?
Let us examine closely the usual ‘go to’ passage presented in support of this argument. Continue reading “The book of Romans, and “passing over” sin”
We recently came across this article by Derek Vreeland. It is a thoughtful piece and makes a helpful contribution to the debate. You’ll need to read it through to the end, though, or you’ll entirely miss the point he’s making: