Trinity and Atonement

In his analysis of The doctrine of the atonement in Jonathan Edwards and his successors , DP Rudisill says that Edwards sets the Father’s justice in opposition to the Son’s love. This cannot be, of course: “If Christ be the perfect revelation of God, the attributes which He . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith that works

Edwards emphasizes that faith must do in order to be faith at all in this arresting formulation ( The Miscellanies, 833-1152 , #856): “The acts of holy Christian practice do as much belong to the acceptance of Christ as the outward act of a beggar, in putting forth his hand, and outwardly . . . . Continue Reading »

Whence sacrifice? Whither sacrifice?

What are the chances that someone sometime in nearly every ancient culture decided that killing animals was a good way to worship their gods? What are the chances that this would be a near-universal practice without any tradition, any traditio /handing-over, of sacrificial rites? Aren’t the . . . . Continue Reading »

God Most Moved

Grotius ( Defensio Fidei Catholoicae: De Satisfactione Christi Adversus Faustum Socinum Senensem , 10.1-2) agrees with Socinus that Christ’s death is an “expiatory sacrifice . . . for sin.” He locates the difference in two places - the “target” of that expiation, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Union and Substitution

Following a long tradition that stretches back at least to Aquinas, Grotius argues that Christ’s substitution for sinners is legitimate only because of the union that He has with those whose sins He bears ( Defensio Fidei Catholoicae: De Satisfactione Christi Adversus Faustum Socinum Senensem . . . . Continue Reading »

Debts and Punishments

Socinus argues that in redemption, God is the offended party, the creditor whose debt isn’t repaid by sinful man. As a creditor, he is free to forgive without satisfaction being made. In fact, the idea of debt-forgiveness assumes that no satisfaction is made. Grotius sees this as a category . . . . Continue Reading »

Scapegoat

Socinius says that the scapegoat doesn’t bear punishment for the sins of the people. Grotius ( Defensio Fidei Catholoicae: De Satisfactione Christi Adversus Faustum Socinum Senensem , 1.28) disagrees: Citing Genesis 9:5; Exodus 21:28; and Leviticus 20:15, he concludes that in Scripture . . . . Continue Reading »

Angry love

Grotius ( Defensio Fidei Catholoicae: De Satisfactione Christi Adversus Faustum Socinum Senensem, 7.4) defines wrath as the desire to inflict punishment, and he insists that God is wrathful toward sin and sinners, and that this wrath must be satisfied by the infliction of punishment if sinners are . . . . Continue Reading »

Argument from Thanks

Grotius ( Defensio Fidei Catholoicae: De Satisfactione Christi Adversus Faustum Socinum Senensem , 4.10) insists that punishment of one for the “delict” of another is just, and is customary among many peoples, ancient and modern. Part of his argument turns the question upside down to . . . . Continue Reading »

Preserving Beauty

Sovereign rulers, Grotius argues ( Defensio Fidei Catholoicae: De Satisfactione Christi Adversus Faustum Socinum Senensem , 3.12) are free to relax certain laws and punishments if they have sufficient reasons to do so. Because of the fall God has more than sufficient reasons to relax the law that . . . . Continue Reading »