The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Commentary on NT usage of "propitiate" (JRP)

True; no dissension here. That includes the Son, of course; I mean, the Son is displeased and angry with our sinful behavior, too.

Instead of the Father murdering the Son… whoops. That theme didn’t occur (much less recur) in that parable.

According to Christ, that was going to happen already anyway, though it could have been perhaps averted. But yes, that’s one of the Gospel notions (particularly in the Synoptics–not so much, interestingly, in RevJohn however.)

Not exactly a “re-ocurring” theme in the Gospels, though.

At the risk of sounding tiresomely obvious: not in any of the actual uses of the word ‘propitiate’ in the New Testament, though. The sacrifice of Christ is “said” to “propitiate” God, where?

I mean, if you’re going to use the term, would it not be better to at least use it in the verbal direction the NT authors use it?

i.e., whatever mercy God shows us is because God is essentially and changelessly love.

Yep, I have to agree with that. If I didn’t believe trinitarian theism is true, I might not have to agree with that; but since I find ortho-trin to be taught (as a composite revelation) in scripture, too, then…

It’s no more faith in a ‘principle’ than having faith in a principle of God needing something to assauge His anger before He will deign to love us. It’s a major shift in belief about Christ and His accomplishment, but that’s going to be true either way; that’s only saying that there are radically different beliefs about Christ being talked about here. In that sense, it may involve a major shift in trust, between trusting God to do one thing and trusting God to do something else–but I’m willing to still call your belief a trust in God anyway. I’ve never once claimed you weren’t trusting in God, personally, and being as faithful to God as any of us can be, have I??

No cherry picking being done here. :unamused: I deny that God is essentially wrath, of course; I very much do not deny, but rather affirm, that God does do wrath. Just like I and every other Christian of practically any theology whatsoever (who affirms God does do wrath, anyway), affirms that God can and does set aside doing wrath in at least some circumstances. That is because God is not essentially wrath. God is however essentially love (unless trinitarian theism is false); consequently, when He does wrath, He does wrath contingently within His action of love to the object of His wrath. God could not set aside loving any person, even one He is acting in wrath toward, and still continue to exist (much less anything else in reality dependent on God for existence, which is everything.)

So, are you trying to affirm that God is also essentially wrath as well as essentially love? (Which, if that is true, I would then be ignorantly picking only the essential of His love, though still not “cherry picking” in your derisive metaphor; I could only be doing that if I also believed God to be essentially wrath and then refused to acknowledge it, only acknowledging God as essentially love instead.) Or, are you trying to affirm that God is not essentially love after all? (A denial that would comport rather well, by the way, with your complaint about a doctrine implying that God does mercy because He is essentially merciful. But then, we aren’t talking anymore about an affirmed essentiality of God in any case, so I couldn’t be “cherry picking” through essentials.)

You are entirely welcome to point out anywhere I have denied rather than affirm that God does and has done and will do wrath. I recommend actually quoting me on it; although that may make it more difficult to point out where I have ever denied rather than (as I in fact regularly do) affirm the wrath of God.

I’ve made it easy for you to point out where I disaffirm that God is essentially wrath, denying that instead. But this is not the same (as I also have explicitly stated) as denying that God does do wrath.

You haven’t read me very well, then. What part of my affirmation of God’s judgment and condemnation of Israel, and of Israel being in trouble with God, involves me denying that God was ever really angry with Israel? What part of my affirmation of the judgment of the lake of fire, and my affirmation that some persons will be thrown into the lake of fire, involves me denying that God was ever really angry with the ones He (including the Son) is throwing into the lake of fire? What part of my affirmation that those who refuse to show mercy shall not be shown mercy by God, involves me denying that God is ever really angry with persons who refuse to show mercy? What part of my affirmation that God promises (in the OT scriptures being reffed by the Hebraist) to end Israel’s punishment, involves me denying that God was ever angry with Israel (much less denying God’s punishment of rebel Israel)? What part of my affirmation that the Angel of the Presence left the Temple as part of His punishment of Israel, involves me denying that God (including as the Angel of the Presence) was ever angry with rebel Israel? What part of my affirmation that the judgment and punishment comes from the Father and the Son, involves me denying that God (Father and Son, and Holy Spirit for that matter) was ever angry with those He is judging with punishment? What part of my affirmation that the throne of God is the throne of ultimate judgment against sinners and sin, involves me denying that God is ever angry against sinners and our sins? What part of my affirmation that the judge will rule against us when we have sinned against our neighbor and will throw us into jail and torment if we do not make peace with the one we have sinned against, involve me denying that God is ever angry against us for sinning against our neighbor?

I wouldn’t use those terms that way, since the NT authors never do. But God, including the Son, says throughout the scriptures, OT and NT both, that He will set aside His anger against us if we will repent of our sins and cooperate with Him instead. And no, we don’t earn God’s forgiveness that way; God wouldn’t even make the offer available if He wasn’t already willing to forgive us our sins and redeem us. It isn’t as though our repentance calls upon some higher standard that God is then obligated to change His attitude toward us about or be sinning Himself against that standard.

Everyone of any theology whatsoever, Christian or otherwise, who acknowledges God’s just anger against sinners, agrees that God remains justly angry against sinners who continue impenitently sinning. We are continually warned in the New Testament, by Jesus (through report) and by the authors of the texts, that this includes Christians who insist on impenitently sinning, too; even ones who acknowledge and taste the sacrifice of the Son, precisely because when we keep on sinning we trample on His sacrifice for us. There is no further sacrifice available that will somehow save us from the coming punishment, even us Christians; there can be no sacrifice more fundamental than God’s own self-sacrifice for our sakes. But the punishment (says the Hebraist) is still directed toward our salvation from sin, which is God’s primary goal toward sinners per se.

Going back now for replies to some previous comments:

No denials here. Neither is there anything in that epistle, from the getgo through the conclusion, stating that Christ “atoned” or “propitiated” God, or even changed “God’s” mind about punishing us. It is God, on the contrary, Who sends (and so Who does) the propitiation; the only grammatic object of that sending in view, is us. The propitiation He sends is about our sins, and for our sake, precisely because (as John states in chp 4, right before his second use of the term “propitiation” God is love: in this is love, not that we love God, but that God loves us and sends His son Who is propitiation in regard to our sins.

The language does fit the concept (as I explicitly pointed out, several times, in my exegesis of the relevant verses in 1 John), that the Son is standing with us facing the Father, calling out toward the Father. But it is absolutely not to change the mind of the Father toward us–John explicitly states in chp 4 (and elsewhere) that God already loves us, and seeks our salvation; and there is certainly no difference or schism between the intentions of the Father and the Son in regard to us that has to be mended somehow.

Good; I’m glad I’ve never once claimed so, then! :wink: The most I’ve ever suggested, is that Christ’s death on the cross indicates that we have no justifiable anger toward God–a ‘forensic demonstration’ that I also refused to claim was the primary goal of the cross.

I will also point out, moreover, that my translation of 1 John 4 is not significantly different in its grammar than the one you’re using:

“he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”
“He loves us and dispatches His Son a propitiation about our sins.”

The present tense is for “love” and “send/dispatch” is there in the Greek, but Greek tenses don’t always match up very well to English tenses, and it isn’t wrong to use a form of past tense there. So no significant difference; I certainly don’t deny “He loved us and sent His Son”.

“Dispatch” is a stronger word in Greek than “Send”, but otherwise isn’t materially different.

“His Son” is still “His Son”; “our sins” is still “our sins”.

I didn’t include a preposition like “as” there, but only because there isn’t one in the Greek (even clearly implied by suffix). My analysis indicated, though, that comparing this and 1 John 2 together, Jesus Christ the Just is the {hilasmos}. So I can hardly deny (nor did I ever deny) that the Father sent His Son as an (even as the) {hilasmos}.

I translated the preposition {peri} as “about”, because that’s what it means; not “for”. But while there’s some difference between the two prepositions, I’m doubtful that the difference necessarily amounts to a different application of Christ as {hilasmos}: someone who believes Christ was sent to propitiate and atone God (or God’s wrath or whatever–as the NT authors never once put it when using either of those words, so far as I can find) could still say it was “about” our sins; someone who believes Christ was sent to atone and propitiate us (as the NT always puts it, whenever the authors are being clear about specifying the object of the action), could still say it was, in a sense, “for” our sins.

I used “propitiate” because my project was to identify and analyze occurrences of that word in the NT (or the Greek word {hilas-}, rather, which doesn’t have quite the same meaning as the Latin {propitiate}, but which had some related contextual usage by metaphor, as I explained in my first comment on the topic). I didn’t start off, in any case, reading some meaning into that word and translating it otherwise, as “atoning sacrifice” for example; but I did go to some trouble to explain why I was recognizing and applying various connotations of the word. Even so, even I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with rendering the term as “atoning sacrifice”–I’ve pointed out elsewhere my acceptance and application of Christ’s self-sacrificial atonement.

So, what’s the real problem here? It obviously isn’t with my translation.

“Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell; and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in heaven.” (Colossians 1:19-20). There is no greater punishment than death. Whatever correction the resurrected must endure, it is there with new knees to bow and new tongues to confess that God’s pardon of them becomes self-evident.

As Paul makes clear, it’s Christ’s blood at the cross that makes this peace possible in heaven. Resurrection is the proof of forgiveness. All men whom the father had given to Christ will be raised. In another place you said that we are not forgiven yet through Christ’s blood - but then my question becomes, "How, then, can we be resurrected?’

Is that supposed to be showing me where there was anything in 1 John, from the getgo through the conclusion, stating that Christ “atoned” or “propitiated” God, or even changed “God’s” mind about punishing us? Because it’s a quote from Colossians instead. (Maybe you didn’t notice.)

I made a point to quote and discuss Col 1:19-20 (and v. 22, too, plus some surrounding contexts) back in the thread where I hunted up and discussed NT uses of the word “atone/reconcile” (here and in the following entry); plus I’ve brought it up a few times since then in our discussions. I’m glad to see you’re finally starting to discuss it! Though apparently you still haven’t noticed yet that neither this verse, nor verse 22, involves Christ “atoning” or “propitiating” God, or even changing “God’s” mind about punishing us. God the Father is the one doing the reconciling (though “the Father” doesn’t actually show up in the Greek there; but grammatically yes, He’s the one implied as you show in your quote), and who He’s reconciling is “all things”.

Not that I disagree; but this isn’t in the verse you quoted either.

Why exactly did you quote that verse in answer to my observation that there is nothing in 1 John about Christ “atoning” or “propitiating” God, or even changing God’s mind about us in any way (including in regard to punishment)? Because quoting Col 1 only exemplifies that observation for the Colossians Epistle, too. :wink:

As Paul also makes clear, whom God is thereby reconciling with Christ’s blood are rebels against Himself, “alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds”; even such entities in the heavens. The phraseology is similar to the Philippians hymn 2:6-11, which you were alluding to yourself, where neither Jesus nor the Father can be reasonably said to be one of those “in the heavens, and on earth, and under the earth” who are bowing at the name of “Jesus” and confessing in loyal submission that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Ditto St. Paul’s ref to Isaiah 45:23 in either case: it is former rebels who are thus returning to being loyal to God. Neither the Father nor the Son are rebels against each other; thus neither do they need reconciliation to each other; and the Father would not be thus professing loyal submission to the Son in any case. I hardly need add that Phil 2 doesn’t have Christ “atoning” or “propitiating” God, nor changing “God’s” mind about us, including in regard to punishment–if I pointed that out in regard to all the verses which don’t have such things, there’d hardly be an end to it. :mrgreen:

May I also point out in passing, though, that St. Paul goes on after that hymn in Philippians to exhort his congregation to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”? After which he continues exhorting they themselves to be doing good works as though they themselves have some personal responsibility in doing so? I mention this, because whenever I point out that we have a subordinate personal responsibility to be doing good works, which can only be done by God’s grace in numerous ways, you routinely think I’m trying to say that we earn our salvation thereby–but I am saying no more, and no less, than St. Paul does or any other Biblical author for that matter, including when they’re reporting what Jesus taught on the topic. You obviously don’t think they’re teaching that we earn our salvation with good works, or that we have any intrinsic good of our own to “impress” God with; and I agree, they’re not teaching that in the least. So why do you keep insisting that I must be meaning that, when all I’m doing is teaching the very same thing after them!?

You conveniently forget that I have also routinely said that we are forgiven already. And you conveniently forget that I have also routinely pointed out that the evil are resurrected as well as the good, and not to zoe eonian but to eonian crisising which includes punishment. Why?–because they are still impenitently sinning. (Which, by the way, means they are not in fact in the position of loyally praising God for His mighty saving deeds. Not yet.) Consequently they are not yet forgiven (“neither in this age, nor in the age to come” as Christ Himself puts it when warning in the strongest terms about the sin against the Holy Spirit), in a sense different from the sense in which they are already forgiven. You also conveniently forget that I have agreed (obviously I had to be the one to first state this, in fact, since you’ve consistently avoided the whole topic of the evil being resurrected to punishment) that even the resurrection of the evil to continuing punishment makes no sense except as a deed of God’s forgiveness to them. Consequently, I am certainly not denying that the resurrection (whether of the evil as well as the good, or of Christ as the firstfruits) is proof of God’s forgiveness of sin.

Nevertheless, as a practical matter it’s a good idea to remember that insofar as we insist on sinning God’s forgiveness is not yet completed in us: which are warnings that continue throughout the New Testament. The Hebraist is especially vocal about warning lax Christians what will happen if they keep on continuing to sin, thus trampling on the body and blood of the sacrifice of Christ. I would be irresponsibly remiss (as well as technically inaccurate, both scripturally and metaphysically), if I didn’t sound the same warnings: not least to myself!

Great! We have a solid point of agreement. The good, the bad will all be salted with fire. Is that fire correction or punishment - it’s apparently the same fire all are to go through.

I would say the fire is the Holy Spirit (“For our God is a consuming fire”, as the Hebraist concludes his remarks on the topic). The Holy Spirit disciplines those He loves, including with punishment; that includes Christians when we’re being impenitent about our sins, too.

It’s notable that Mark 9:49-50 caps off a story arc found in all three Synoptics, where Jesus warns the apostles themselves, after they’ve been squabbling among each other about which of them is the greatest, that unless they repent and become like the child He sets among them, they will absolutely not be entering into the kingdom. While Mark 9:49-50 clarifies that the punishment of Gehenna is far from hopeless, Christ is still warning us (specifically including His own apostles and other disciples) that it would be better not to be thrown into Gehenna. And yet, all of us will be salted with that eonian fire. The distinction is how the Holy Spirit will be acting in regard to us: Jesus will be (and already is) baptizing us with Spirit and with Fire, and the Spirit will still be acting in love toward us. (As the Hebraist says, quoting Proverbs, the inheritors are the ones who are punished; the bastards are allowed to do anything they want! :wink: ) But insofar as we insist on loving and fondling our sins, the love of the Spirit will be punishment.

Eonian life, or eonian crisising: it’s from the heart of God, qualitatively from His essential being (which is Love) either way. And as with several other key scriptural concepts, it’s both ‘already’ and ‘not yet’. Forgiveness is both already (which is most important) and not yet (which, while less important, is still important.) The crisising is both already and not yet. Salvation from sin is both already and not yet. Freedom from judgment is both already and not yet. The kingdom is both already and not yet. Even “zoe eonian”, eternal life, is both already and not yet. (GosJohn is notable among the Gospels for routinely presenting “eternal life” with present-reality grammar; but obviously, we still die–the most blatantly obvious example of this in GosJohn being Jesus Himself, though faithful Elizear/Lazarus is another example. Heck, he ended up having to die twice. :wink: )

How does this coorelate with the incident in Exodus 32:11-14 where Moses apparently changed God’s mind about destroying the people of Israel? (I would be interested in an analysis of the word ‘repent’ in Hebrew as it applies to God, if you ever get the chance, perhaps a later time?)

So is this to imply that as long as we resist repentence toward God, His love will seem like wrath in the fire and only when we relent then that forgiveness become into realization (from the repentent sinners POV) and that fire will turn to joy {hilas}?

That would be an example of the older notion of “propitiate” (though I don’t know whether the term is used there per se in the Greek LXX), which I mentioned in my introduction: Moses (on the face of it anyway) inclines God into sparing the rebel Israelites.

The first thing to note is that this doesn’t in fact correlate at all with the uses of the term ‘propitiate’ (or ‘atone’) in the NT, where God (Father or Son either Person) atones or even propitiates us; the Father sends the Son as a propitiation for our sake. God (Father and Son) is always the doer of the action; the sinner is always the receiver of the action. (Not counting a couple of examples where the propitiation or atonement is between humans, but even then the doer of the action is the one who has been sinned against; the receiver of the action is the sinner.)

If we replace “implore” in Ex 32:11 with “propitiate” for purposes of parallel analysis, the subject-verb-object structure is entirely reversed: Moses is the doer of the action; God is the receiver of the action. The sinner has no part in the interaction at all (even though the interaction is about sinners topically.)

The second thing to note, is that Moses was addressing the visible YHWH during that whole episode. In trinitarian terms, it was God the Son (in unity with God the Father) Who basically orders Moses to stand aside so that He can slay rebel Israel; and it is God the Son (in unity with God the Father) Who receives the propitiation from Moses. Once again, the usage doesn’t square up at all with how divine propitiation and atonement works in the NT (but rather is much closer to the normal pagan notions of propitiation and atonement); but neither does the usage square up with the notion of the Son propitiating and atoning the Father (much less by the substitutionary ‘punishment’ of the Son for some crime He didn’t commit)!

Mm-hm. Though I would say that His love will also be wrath, not only seem like wrath, so long as we insist on our sinning.

First off, you’re an apocalyptic - your system has to have a wrath-filled God for it to stand.

Frankly, your definition and understanding of propitiation is the most bizarre bit of sophistry I have seen on the subject.

You’re argument goes like this: Christ died so that we may be reconciled to the fact that God is not reconciled (He’s still filled with burning anger and wrath) that is, until He sees we’re reconciled to the fact that He is filled with wrath and then He’s nice to us unless we screw up. Repeat daily, hourly, moment by moment - as needed and call it theology.

My argument is thus: God is reconciled by Christ’s sacrifice and we are to be reconciled to that fact. And as long as we are talking facts, the nature of His reconciliation is that He is not even counting men’s sins against them - there’s no condemnation in God.

You continue to sell out Christ for the sake of your eschatology. You say Christ didn’t, couldn’t propitiate God’s anger and wrath by taking away our sins - because without that wrath your books don’t sell. So we hear the mantra from you that fearing God is the good thing - which is great for horror stories - but not the good news and not the truth.

I’ve never met an apocalyptic that didn’t jack the Gospel up beyond all recognition. Not one. Fubar.

Ran, thanks for explaining FUBAR for us sheltered souls who haven’t yet been delivered from selling out Christ in order to remain consumed with being “wrath-filled.” PBPGINFWMY

And I for one could really do with some new knees! :smiley:

That’s such a curious way to start a reply, that I’m not quite sure what to say in turn!

My system does have to have a God Who persistently acts toward saving all sinners from sin; and this action must involve at least God’s wrath against the sin; also, more than occasionally, wrath against the sinner–but only insofar as the sinner insists on holding to his sins (fondling them, as RevJohn colorfully puts it in the final chapter.)

My system (i.e. trinitarian theism) also, however, has to have this wrath being totally contingent on God’s love and positive justice being fulfilled to the object; consequently, I’m fond of quoting that place in Isaiah where God says “There is no wrath in Me!”–but that if people go out to war against Him with thorns and thistles, He’ll burn up the thorns and thistles, whereas by contrast if these (who have gone out to war against Him) cling to Him as their refuge He will be a friend to them.

In that sense, I would deny that “my system” has to have a “wrath-filled” God: I don’t consider “wrath” to be any essential characteristic of God (it isn’t as though the Persons of the Trinity act in eternal wrath toward each other!), whereas I do consider love and positive justice to be essential characteristics of God and indeed eternally acted by God in His own self-existent interpersonal relationships. “My system” does involve the wrath of God where applicable, though, including very strongly, where applicable, and that includes all three Persons of the Trinity in union of purpose with each other. (Not schisming in their intentions.)

And insofar as I think the scriptures reveal (unveiling, “apocalypse”) that there is some major wrath-of-God on the way, then yes I’m an apocalyptist. Also insofar as I think the scriptures reveal there is some major catastrophes on the way before the Day of the Lord (and leading into the Day of the Lord). Also insofar as I think the scriptures ‘reveal’ anything at all, whether about the future or about heavenly truth, I’d pretty much have to agree I’m an “apocalyptist”. Heck, insofar as I think the Holy Spirit ‘reveals’ anything at all to anyone at any time, I’m an “apocalyptist”, strictly speaking. :wink:

Anyway, you’re welcome to go explain to Dom Bnonn and some of the other Triabloguers that “Jason Pratt’s system has to have a wrath-filled God for it to stand”! (Here, for example.) You might be doing me rather a favor, since it’s arguably more accurate to describe “my system” that way than to describe it as having a “namby-pamby” God etc. It would at least be highly amusing to watch. :mrgreen:

How a charge of having to have a “wrath-filled God” for “my system” to stand, relates to my observation that Moses’ appeal to God in Exodus doesn’t correlate at all with the uses of the term propitiate (or atone either) in the NT, remains to be guessed at. I guess. :wink: (Which I could make guesses about, but would rather you clarify yourself, if you will.)

I thought I was pretty in-depth and straightforward about how the word was typically used in Latin and Greek religion; it’s standard material. The NT usage is very different from typical religious expectations, but that’s hardly my fault. If other authors don’t notice this but apply the typical religious understanding instead, that’s hardly my fault either; and moreover that doesn’t change how the NT authors actually use the terms. (It only ignores it.)

Even though the term ‘propitiate’ isn’t used per se in the example brought up by Dondi, I accepted it as an example of the typical religious application of the idea (that someone has to incline God to be in our favor), and again I think I was pretty straightforward about doing so. That the doer and object of the action is not at all the same as the NT usages, is again hardly my fault. Nor does ignoring the actual NT usage and pretending it is something else instead, really solve the problem.

(If it comes to that, I’m pretty sure I was the one who brought up the famous Suffering Servant portion of Isaiah which is often appealed to by penal substitution theorists, with some surprise that you yourself hadn’t appealed to it yet in this thread. Going out of their way to bring up apparently countervailing examples for discussion, is usually a sign of someone trying to fairly discuss the issue. {shrug} :slight_smile: Not trying to be a bizarre sophist.)

{{You’re argument goes like this:}}

God never needed reconciling to us, but sacrifices Himself to reconcile us to Him. So long as we’re sinners, though, we’re still not reconciled to God but are still rebelling against God. God continually acts to reconcile us to Himself, however, and will keep at it until our reconciliation is complete, however long that takes, because He loves us–and indeed from His eternal perspective we are reconciled to Him already. This already/not-yet paradox is very common in OT and NT theology, and reflects the relationship between God’s eternal present and our temporal existence.

I wouldn’t call that my argument, per se (it’s a series of statement claims); but it’s what my arguments come out to.

Neither my arguments nor the result of my arguments involve Christ dying to reconcile us to some fact of doctrine; nor (as ought to be obvious) do they involve God having to be reconciled to us at all. They do involve the threat (if one wants to think of it as a threat) that even those who have once been enlightenend and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they do not hold fast but go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, provoking the Lord with an evil, unbelieving heart, falling away from the living God, there no longer remains for them a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries with severe punishment for those who thus crucify the Son of God again and trample Him underfoot and have thus regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which that sinner was sanctified, insulting thereby the Spirit of grace.

But that is a concern expressed, in various ways, throughout all categories of scripture in the NT (not to say the OT). And it is a terrifying thing to fall thus into the hands of the living God, as the Hebraist puts it (from three chapters of whose I just quoted previously). But neither I nor the Hebraist, nor anyone else in the NT considers that wrath to be hopeless. Even some of the OT authors don’t. Why? Because God doesn’t have to be reconciled to us: His discipline is meant to lead us to Him.

(For what it’s worth, I suspect Moses just didn’t understand this, and figured God needed propitiating to the Israelites, the way a pagan god would, which Moses attempted to do by means of appealing to God’s pride and by shaming God through presenting himself as more merciful than God–the typical religious feeling and tactics.)

Does this mean God counts men’s sins against them, even those who are Christian? Certainly–the whole Bible from beginning to end testifies to this. But God also does not count men’s sins against them in several ways: first, He does not in fact annihilate us when we sin (or we’d be annihilated already); second, He does not in fact require propitiation and/or atonement to us before He will act graciously toward us (which is why none of the NT uses of those terms involve “God” being reconciled and/or propitiated by anyone, including by “Christ”, but always involves the sinner being reconciled and even propitiated by the one sinned against–which is usually God, whether as the Father or as the Son); and third, He does not remember the sins we have done against us (focusing rather on the sins we presently insist on holding to).

Is there condemnation in God? No; no more than (per Isaiah) there is wrath in God – despite poor Bnonn in that thread I linked to, who somehow thinks wrath is an essential attribute of God! But I have never once taught that condemnation or wrath are essential characteristics of God. God does do them, but they are always contingent on love and the positive justice of fair-togetherness (i.e. righteousness). Which is why everyone everywhere agrees that God can set aside His wrath and moreso never does do wrath to at least some persons (i.e. toward unfallen persons and especially toward the Persons of the Trinity in interaction with each other. Except where some theologians, though certainly not me, insist that the Father is being wrathful toward the Son, schisming the substance of the Trinity thereby, especially in the sense they consider God’s “wrath”.)

So, “as long as we are talking facts”, I actually agree that “the nature of His reconciliation is that He is not even counting men’s sins against them – there’s no condemnation in God.” (Keeping in mind that in other ways God does count our sins against us, even when we are Christians.) However, as long as we are talking facts, neither is there anywhere in the NT where it says that “God” is “reconciled” by Christ (or by Christ’s sacrifice or in any other way), much less that we are to be reconciled to any mere doctrinal fact (much much less to an ostensible “fact” that appears nowhere in the NT testimony, imaginations of some theologians notwithstanding. Though if we were to be reconciled to some fact, I would say that it is “God is love”. But actually we are taught that we are to be reconciled, by God, to God–Who is love.)

Actually, I recall having some rather different rationales than that – which perhaps incidentally have not really been addressed yet. But, out of curiosity, which “books” of “mine” am I “selling” that depend on Christ not “propitiating” God’s anger and wrath (by taking away our sins or otherwise) in order to find an audience willing to pay for them? You seem to have some in mind. Can you provide some relevant details on how those books (plural) I’m selling depend on that? Actually, can you provide some selections from any of my books (whether I’m selling them or not) on that topic?

Granted, I do certainly affirm that Christ didn’t propitiate God’s anger and wrath (by taking away our sins or otherwise) and that He couldn’t have done so had that needed to have been done. But I don’t recall any of my books (whether being sold or not) involving that point per se. I may just not be remembering, though.

and David (in Psalm 19 for example) and the Hebraist, and from Moses, by the way, since we were talking about him recently, among several other Biblical personalities and authors, up to and including Jesus in the Gospels

Shrug. Looks like I’m in good company at least in your denunciation. :slight_smile:

I’m a trinitarian and not an apocalyptic - there’s is no condemnation in God and therefore no wrath. None. He is propitiated by Christ’s work.

That’s the problem - you don’t apply it rightly. Read Matt 24:34 and keep applying it to EVERY generation. How can you do that with a straight face?

Right, you and Hollywood and everyone else trying to cash in on people’s unfounded fear of God’s intentions - when they were clearly stated and carried out 2000 years ago!

I don’t need to appeal to His suffering, I appeal to His accomplishment, namely, the taking away of our sins - He bore them. He was the ultimate last sacrifice and it is impossible for man or for God to go back to a time before His accomplishment.

Really?! Well let’s toss out the OT - He seems pretty displeased with mankind. Do you understand what you just said?

Nonsense. For you that means reconciling ourselves to the fact that He is still filled with wrath. That’s the non-effectual sacrifice you come selling. But I ain’t buying it.

Good luck breaking out of that category. Simul iustus et peccator.

Once more into (unto?) the breach…

You’re certainly welcome to (try to) explain how the Son changed the mind of the Father about this (implied by the word ‘propitiate’ one way or the other, whether in Latin or in Greek–to lean toward us, or to smile favorably in relation to us, respectively) to match the Son’s own attitude toward us, while still maintaining no substantial schism in the unity of the Trinity. Which I’ve invited you to do before (reffing various church fathers on the topic if you like), but haven’t seen yet.

If there is no intentional schism between the Father and the Son, however – which there cannot be if trinitarian theism is true – then the Father had no need to be ‘propitiated’ (or ‘atoned’ either) in regard to us. (Or else the Son also needs propitiating before He will be gracious to save us from sin, and who is supposed to do that?) A unitarian could go the route of intentional schism (up to a point–though still not very far, I would argue), or any of several other kinds of Christian, but not a trinitarian theist. Not and still be talking coherent theology. (Nor a modalist, either, btw.)

Which happens to fit the fact that nowhere (so far as I can find yet) do the New Testament authors explicitly treat the Father as having to be propitated or atoned, by Christ or by anyone else. Whereas, your application of propitiation and atonement does not fit that demonstrable fact (so far. I’m trying to fairly qualify the point to make room for future discoveries and discussion; also because I know the OT goes at least a little the other, normally expected religious way on that. Which I’ve been trying to nudge a discussion on, too, though without much success in widening the topical scope of our discussion that direction yet. :wink: )

Relatedly, a denial of schism between the Persons also fits the referential contexts of the cry from the cross–which I’ve mentioned before. As I’ve also invited you to explain how the Father’s real abandoment of the Son, schisming the substance of the Persons in the greatest imaginable way, doesn’t count as schisming of the Persons. (With refs to church fathers if you wanted.) Which I also haven’t seen you do yet. (Ultimately your response to that was to explicitly require ignoring any immediate contexts and focusing on the saying as an isolated prooftext. Not the theologically strongest tactic conceivable. :wink: )

Or even how that supposed abandonment can coherently fit some kind of penal substitution theory, the actual dis-continuity of which I’ve written about at length either here or in the other thread for which these two word-study threads were provided for reference and discussion. But replies to which I still have not received from you, despite several exchanges having gone past since then.

It’s one thing to say “I’m a trinitarian”, and even to be a trinitarian in intention. It’s another thing to be a trinitarian coherently. Trinitarians who require denials of key trinitarian doctrines in order to promote other doctrines, are not being coherently trinitarian. Logically they should fix the doctrinal discontinuity one way or the other, whether that involves dropping trinitarianism for something else (as unitarians or modalists do, for example), or dropping the subordinate doctrinal position for something else that fits the trinitarian doctrinal set coherently. I recommend the latter.

“Now, concerning that day and hour no one is aware, neither the messengers of the heavens, nor the Son; except the Father only.”

Oh, wait, sorry. That was verse 36.

“Verily I am saying to you that by no means may this generation be passing by till all these things should be occurring.”

I don’t apply the fulfillment of all the cataclysmic prophecies to every generation, obviously; which has been a bone of contention at a rather more fundamental theological level than mere apocalyptism for a very long time. Was Jesus wrong? Does that mean He is not omniscient; and would that mean He is not fully God as well as fully man? Or was Jesus right in some cool unexpected way? (e.g. Prester John theories–though those seem nixed immediately by the end of GosJohn itself; or wandering Jew theories. Etc.) Or was Jesus right but {he_ genea} was meant to translate ‘race’ or ‘family’ instead of ‘generation’ here? (Which would fit Jesus’ reassurance, especially in GosMatt, that as bad as things are going to get humanity and/or Christianity won’t be wiped out before He returns.) Or was Jesus right and all this applied only to the forthcoming fall of Jerusalem, the end? (Most famously, or infamously, promoted by NT Wright today, though others have tried going that route in the past, too. I say “infamously” only because NTW is notorious for pushing this theory so hard; far beyond any reasonable defense, in the estimation of many critics, myself included, despite a lot of value to his arguments, too.) Or, was Jesus doing a double-prophecy, and speaking here of the fall of Jerusalem to come, but elsewhere overlapping with His actual second coming later? (Which would fit the character of previous multiple-fulfillment prophecies.)

There are plenty of options to sift through, including that some Christians made up this prophecy later and represented Jesus as giving it. But I will point out again, because I do pay attention to contexts, that Jesus Himself goes on (both here and the parallel saying in GosMark 13:32) to admit that only the Father really knows the timing for sure. (Which either means Jesus was making an educated but wrong guess about the generation certainly not passing away before these things happen, or the term was supposed to mean something other than generation, or some more exotic theory is true. And, by the way, I am also quite aware that in GosJohn Jesus seems to expect or at least hope for His eschatological return and judgment to kick off very soon after His resurrection and ascension, though not before the Paraclete is sent to help Christians evangelize the world.)

I will also point out, that if you’re trying to argue that Christ’s propitiation of “God” on the cross (like they’re completely different entities, not only distinct Persons of the same one God per trinitarianism) voided all of Jesus’ prophecies about butt-kicking and wrath and catastrophe to come (which by the way He routinely presents as being His own wrath, just as RevJohn talks about the wrath of the Lamb–and practically all of RevJohn must be voided now, too, or rejected as non-canonical from the outset), then it isn’t only Jesus being wrong about an educated guess on one topic that He Himself (per the story anyway) cautioned He might be wrong about. It’s Jesus being massively, galactically wrong about certain things He taught us to expect (whatever their actual timing and outworking) that He Himself would be involved in.

I can defend, at several levels (including within a specifically coherent trinitarian theory), the claim about this {genea} not passing away; with a straight face, and without requiring that all that wrathy final-catastrophe stuff be happening every generation. (Though notably Jesus prophecied that standard population tragedies will actually occur in every generation until the end, so we shouldn’t suppose that just because such things are occuring the end is actually nigh: those things are always occurring.) I can even add a bit to the argument for (at least sufficiently good) historical veracity by appeal to the criteria of embarrassment (in that GosMatt and GosMark both include a timing claim and an apparent qualifier that their exalted prophet claiming Deity status might be wrong about that particular detail.)

On the other hand, you’re welcome to defend either Jesus being vastly wrong about what He taught us to certainly expect concerning His own actions to come, or the texts being vastly wrong about what Jesus actually claimed–within or without a trinitarian theology–if you want. (Which would of course concurrently involve denying that any of this was fulfilled by the fall of Jerusalem, either, as an OT-style punishment on Israel’s leaders and/or people again. Since that would involve the wrath of God somehow, which was supposed to be propitiated by Christ’s work on the cross, and “there’s is no condemnation in God and therefore no wrath. None.”)

In short, your theory appears to require that Jesus was hugely wrong to be an “apocalyptic” Himself (because His propitiation of “God” on the cross, which one would have to suppose He had no clue about either–thus explaining, admittedly, why He never talks about it ever :mrgreen: --voided all His own apocalyptic expectation as well as any similar apocalyptic expectations of His immediate followers as represented in other NT texts); or that all this apocalyptic stuff in the NT (whether apparently from Jesus or from anyone else) was invented by some subsequent generation of followers (per some early 20th century historical scepticism theories, which have managed to survive in minor and critically thrashed but still somewhat culturally pervasive forms today).

My theory requires Him to have been wrong on one relatively minor educated guess that He Himself cautioned He didn’t really know about for sure (the idea being that He receives everything from the Father, and the Father hadn’t given Him this knowledge yet), or even that He wasn’t in fact wrong at all (since actually He was reassuring His disciples again that, to put it in previous terms of 24:22, “And unless those days had been cut short, no flesh would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.” i.e. humanity wouldn’t in fact be wiped out, no matter how bad it eventually gets.)

Ah, context. :slight_smile: Have fun! :smiley:

and Sts. Peter and Paul and John and several OT prophets and, hm, Jesus…

Ah, context. :slight_smile: Have fun! :smiley:

I’m especially curious about when the wrath of the Lamb was carried out; it had to have been before the crucifixion. Also, to pull a more immediately pertinent curiosity out of the hat, when the events of Matt 24:37-41 were carried out. Y’know, the things Jesus prophesied immediately after the verse you reffed? Which chapter of which Gospel relates their fulfillments?

I may not much like the wrathy stuff… okay, actually part of me does, but I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to like the wrathy stuff, because there’s an obvious amount of (at least temporal) tragedy involved in it, too. But it’s hard even for me to watch 2012 (which has actually nothing to do with God per se, quite explicitly, by Emmerich’s own intention) because most of the places shown being destroyed are where the one I love the most either lives, or has visited, or has been recently planning on visiting. (Plus some connections to her work in other regards.) It was like watching her die again and again and again and again and again and again… and frankly, I would rather die the death myself than that should happen even once.

But I would be irresponsible as a scriptural exegete not to take warnings of that sort into account.

(Plus, the fact is that everyone I love, Christian or non-Christian, will certainly die someday, probably in great fear and pain–unless the Rapture happens first, which will only affect some of them, and which I’m certainly not counting on happening first; and which may happen after the Great Tribulation anyway :wink: – just as Christ Himself has also died. He shares their deaths with them; and if death must come, then for that self-sacrifice on His part I am deeply grateful. But whether any of us are ‘raptured’ or not, at any time, we still are expected to share in the death of Christ so that we may also share in His life eonian. That’s almost the whole symbolic point to baptism in water, per St. Paul anyway; and I agree with his teaching on that.)

Um… you really aren’t aware that (at least one of) Isaiah’s Suffering Servant prophecies looks like it’s teaching penal substitution theory concerning Christ’s own death?! Even I think that that’s important to reckon into the account, from the standpoint of an exegetical systematic theology anyway. It’s practically the Big Gun of penal substitution theories.

(Since, after all, there’s practically nothing in the NT about that doctrine. :mrgreen: At best, it’s being read into NT texts from elsewhere; though that may still be the right thing to do. The main problem being that it has to be read in against the grammatic use of the relevant verb-actions in the NT, though. As discussed in these two word-study threads. At length. Discussed at length and in detail by me anyway. :slight_smile: )

Yep, pretty well. (At length etc.)

It’s kind of funny that I’ve been the one to keep bringing up the OT on this topic, giving you opportunities in your favor. Which you haven’t even talked about yet.

(It’s also kind of funny that this was practically your defense against my narrative-contextual discussion of the cry from the cross: ‘Just ignore the Psalm!’)

True; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all three (per trinitarian theism. As, not incidentally, I pointed out in discussing Dondi’s question about the Moses scene. Which, oddly, you sailed on by again without discussing…) Do you understand what you just said? :wink: God the Son (per trinitarian theism) seems pretty displeased with mankind, in the OT (and in the NT, too.) So, who’s going to propitiate the Son? Doesn’t He have to be propitiated so He will save us?

“Kiss the face of the Son!–lest He become angry and ye perish in the way! For His wrath may be easily kindled (or soon, or quickly, depending on translation). How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” Ps 2:12. So, is it the rebel kings and gods of the earth (i.e. the devils) who have to propitiate the Son for us, before He will stop being wrathy and be save-y to sinners instead, per verse 10-11? Or do they propitiate the Son only for themselves? How about the Spirit?–alas, apparently there is no propitiating Him, since blasphemy against the Son may be forgiven but not blasphemy the against the Spirit, neither in this age nor the age to come.

So: apparently the Son propitiates the Father for us, since no one else can do that and the Father needs propitiating before He will save us; but it’s kinda fuzzy about who (devils? evil kings?) is supposed to propitiate the Son, to convince Him to put aside His wrath and save us instead, unless we’re all supposed to do that for ourselves maybe; and no one, not even the Son or the Father, propitiates the Spirit.

Penal substitution doesn’t seem to go very far! :mrgreen:

Um, no; as I’ve explicitly stated numerous times, that means personally repenting of our sins and choosing, as responsible persons, to cooperate with God–which God is both empowering us and leading us to do (and without which we wouldn’t even want to do it, much less be able to.) That empowerment and leading, is (part of) God’s reconciliation of us to Himself. Strictly speaking, we have some responsibility, too, in reconciling ourselves to God, (although the NT never uses the term in that reflexive fashion–probably because even that responsibility of ours is a derivative gift of God’s in the first place! Even what responsibility we have, is due to God’s action first to reconcile us to Himself. The exhortation is “Be reconciled to God!” not “Reconcile yourself to God!” The primary action is still done by God; the secondary action, where applicable, is by the sinner; the object of the action is always the sinner.)

We have no responsibility (or ability) to reconcile God to us. But fortunately the NT never says that God has to be reconciled to us; it’s always the other way around: “Be reconciled to God!” as St. Paul teaches his readers to exhort in evangelism, for example.

What I actually write must not matter much to your opposition of what I believe, hm? (The people who accuse me of teaching salvation by works have a more accurate complaint. Slightly more accurate anyway. :wink: )

Which sounds familiar as an exegetical strategy, too, come to think of it…

What do you mean by ‘intentional’ - are you hedging your bets with such strange qualification?

Are you saying that it’s ‘unintentional’ that there’s no condemnation in Christ and oddles of condemnation and wrath in the Father? That’s what your eschatology forces you to believe. But enough of the ‘now but not yet’ nonsense. Frankly, you’re confused.

Anyway, the Father was propitiated in regards to HIS JUSTICE. He was the one who justly angered, not us. How can He justly resurrect mankind if something had not have happened to assuage that JUST anger? Hint: it wasn’t because you turned over a new leaf, you can’t control the universe like that - except in your novels.

How on earth you think Christ was sent to propitiate US is breathtaking. MY JUSTICE (or, should we say, sense of justice) needs propitiating? You have to be kidding!

But you continue to say just that. Amazing.

No, I mean a schism of intentions between the Persons. (With the Father intending to do one thing and the Son intending to do something else.)

In the sense of whether a schism between the persons is proposed to be happening intentionally or unintentionally, neither type of schism could be true if trinitarian theism is true, either. But that wasn’t quite what I meant by the phrase “intentional schism” in the quote you referenced.

Nope. I was saying (as I had said before) that if Christ intended no condemnation and the Father intended (as you put it) oodles of condemnation and wrath instead, then that would be an intentional schism (in the sense of a schism between intentions)

If that schism of intentions had itself occurred unintentionally (as might easily though ironically happen among humans), that wouldn’t make things any better; it would only be more incoherent with trinitarian theism! (Not that I’m claiming you think such a schism of their intentions happened unintentionally. I expect you think such a schism of their intentions happened quite intentionally, rather.)

Not incidentally, several of my previous remarks pointed out that, insofar as Biblical testimony goes (OT or NT) the wrath of Christ is in unity with that of the Father, inasmuch as They (as the one indivisible God) have wrath at all toward sinners. Which They do; but wrath is not in Them (or in God, singly speaking), essentially. Love is. The wrath of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in union of intention) is contingent upon the love of God (because God is essentially love, not essentially wrath), and so is an expression of the love of God to the sinner.

Which I’ve been saying numerous times before. (I wish you would oppose what I’m actually claiming, for a change. :unamused: )

Once again, I’m the one being faithful to the biblical witness by incorporating it. I don’t think it’s nonsense; but if I did then I would consider that a demerit against the worth of Biblical testimony on spiritual topics. And I would get very nervous if my theology required me to just ignore its widespread and prevalent presence (on numerous though related topics) as though it didn’t exist.

Leaving aside the whole point about how the NT never uses the word that way (as you’re clearly going to leave aside), I’ve offered before for you to spell out in detail how the Father was propitiated in regards to His ‘justice’. You haven’t wanted to do that any of the times I’ve offered before; but you’re still welcome to try. (Since, after all, I’ve already pointed out in detail how even if unitarianism is true instead of trinitarianism, it must still be impossible for Christ to do that, not even counting the whole point about how this instantly introduces a schism of intentions between the Persons of the Trinity. It’s only fair for you to have opportunities to reply in detail. You’re welcome to start any time. Any time now. At all. :mrgreen: )

Which I’ve agreed about, numerous times. (Only, I don’t limit that to the Father. Since that would be schisming the Persons again, not only distinguishing them.)

I’ve mentioned several times before that He justly resurrects both the good and the evil, the good to life eonian and the evil to eonian crisising (whatever ‘eonian’ is taken to mean). One way or another, that crisising involves punishment and the wrath of God. Unless you’re denying that He resurrects the evil? Or denying that He resurrects the evil to crisising/punishment? (I’ve asked for clarification on that before, too. And have yet to receive it.)

I think you’ve already aptly demonstrated how much you know about my novels. :wink: (Hint: even less than you do about details of scriptural testimony; which shouldn’t be surprising because there’s at least some evidence that you’ve read the scriptures here and there. Whereas you couldn’t have possibly read my novels at all, unless you got hold of one of the few pdf/doc copies of Book 2 floating around. And certainly you’ve given zero evidence of even having read the available novel. Your guesses as to the details count as negative evidence, actually. Good luck trying to find reference to the wrath of God at all in Book 1, for example!)

But I have never once claimed that we have to repent before God will love us instead of be angry at us. Try to keep in mind: I’m not the one who keeps stating that God (much less God’s wrath or God’s justice) needs propitiating! That means I don’t consider my repentance to propitiate God either. In fact I have bluntly stated (more than once, yet again) that no sinner could propitiate God, by repenting of his sin or otherwise, if God did in fact have to be propitiated.

Yeah, that whole ‘reading scripture’ thing is hard for some people to grasp the possibility of without losing their breath at the thought of it. :unamused:

Although, to be fair, I have tried to continually point out that the actual data in the NT is the reverse of the typical religious expectation. So, yeah, the surprise is understandable. But that doesn’t change the data.

I notice you didn’t quote me as saying that our justice (or our sense of justice) needs propitiating. But if I “continue to say just that” then it ought to be easy to find where I just keep on saying that our justice is what needs propitiating.


The closest I’ve ever come to that, that I can recall offhand, is an early mention in the prior thread that Christ’s death serves among other things as a forensic demonstration to us that God does in fact fulfill justice by suffering injustice along with the innocent. Along with a parenthetical notice that one of the uses of ‘propitiation’ in the NT seems to have that demonstration in view as well. But I explicitly denied that this was the main purpose, much less the sole purpose, of the sacrifice of Christ; and even insofar as it was one purpose at all, the sense of justice it is intended to fulfill in us comes from God’s own justice to start with–not ours in origination, as though we are the ethical standard.

So no, “our justice” is not what God is propitiating; not surprisingly, that never comes up in the NT references, either. Nor, for that matter, does God’s justice comes up as an object of propitiation in the NT refs!–though if one or the other ‘justice’ had to be propitiated, I agree it would be God’s, not ours.

What I have constantly and routinely pointed out is the object of propitiation (per se, and of atonement/reconciliation, too) in the NT, is the sinner. Personally. Not the sinner’s sense of justice, much less the sinner’s justice (period). It ought to be obvious from my initial remarks concerning the meaning of the word, first in Greek and later in Latin, that God’s “propitiation” of us involves leading us to repent of our sins and return to Him: a hugely important and wide-ranging theme in both the OT and the NT. He leads us to smile toward Him (in Greek); He leads us to incline toward Him (in Latin. In Hebrew the idiom would be that He leads us to cling to Him, by the way.) Everything I’ve written about reconciliation and propitiation, including how those terms are used in the NT, is totally consonant with that.

Again, if you’re going to oppose me, at least try to oppose what I’m actually saying and doing.

Christ didn’t suffer injustice at the hands of God but rather suffered His Justice. He became sin and suffered death precisely because that’s what divine justice decreed must happen.

What we, as men, dole out is far from divine justice. We take life, but we cannot give it back, no matter how propitiated you say we may become.

The decree now is that we will all see life again - not because we have stopped sinning (only a fool would brag of such a thing) but because divine justice has been fulfilled. The decree and the law itself nailed to the cross. Reducing that to a ‘forensic demonstration’ is to completely miss the point.

Christ actually bore the sins of the world upon Himself. And God put them there to confirm the divinity of the Law and His Justice and by that confirmation propitiated God’s justice, reconciled Him to us and thus saves us from death - we will be resurrected; whereas, we couldn’t have been while bearing our own judiciously decreed sin. We would have remained dead forever had Christ not taken our penalty upon Himself.

So I ask myself why you don’t believe any of that. And why you think that Christ failed to propitiate the Divine Justice - and having failed you must pick up the slack to propitiate a still Wrath-filled God - a work, I think, that begins in unbelief.

The answer I see is that you have allowed your eschatology to divine the Gospel - when it should be the other way around.

Since I didn’t specifically say there what I’ve specifically said many numerous times elsewhere, that the injustice Christ suffers is our unjust treatment of God, I’ll give you a pass on this one. But I agree, that God does not suffer God’s injustice (which would be ridiculous); and I never meant to imply otherwise.

Insofar as God (both Father and Son) voluntarily sets up His suffering of our injustice, though, I might actually agree in that way that Christ “suffers injustice at the hands of God”. But only in the very qualified way I just described, which I would utterly distinguish from suffering God’s injustice.

For that matter: insofar as God’s positive Justice (capital ‘J’ :mrgreen: ) always acts toward the fulfillment of fair-togetherness between persons, and God (as Christ) volunteers to suffer for sake of God’s Justice being fulfilled in us, I would even agree that Christ suffered God’s Justice. I’m a little iffy about whether I would go so far as to say that Christ suffered at the hands of God’s Justice, but I might even agree with something extremely particular along that line.

I can even agree that God suffered death because God in His Justice decreed that that’s what must happen!

I can’t agree that God literally became sin (or even became a sinner) in order for all this to happen; but figuratively I can accept various things along that line (and have spoken myself at some length in various places about it).

Merry Christmas! :mrgreen:

If I was someone who didn’t accept the deity of Christ personally (only at most that God the Father was living in the man, Christ), I might be able to accept that Christ (the not-God man) became sin. But: I’ve also pointed out at length, that if that happened, or if Christ (unitarian or trinitarian either one) was only punished by the Father as if He was a sinner (which I’ve also stated at length that I can and do accept at least one notion of), then exactly in proportion to that it would be impossible for Christ (per se) to propitiate the Father in any way! Because, as I recall agreeing strenuously with you yourself before in the past, no sinner can propitiate God.

P(roposition) 1: No sinner can propitiate God.
P2: Christ either becomes a sinner or is treated as one by the God the Father for all practical purposes.
C(conclusion) 1: Christ, having become a sinner or being treated as a sinner by God the Father for all practical purposes, cannot propitiate God. (from P1, P2.)
P3: God the Father (but not the Son?!?) needs propitiating. And/or His justice does. And/or His wrath. Whatever.
C2: God the Father (and/or His justice, and/or His wrath) remains unpropitiated by the Son. (from C1, P3)

Fortunately, I deny that God the Father (and the Son, and the Holy Spirit) need propitiating before they will save us from sin, have mercy on us, love us, etc. That denial follows as a logical corollary from ortho-trin theism (if ortho-trin is true); and I’m an ortho-trin theist, instead of being a pagan or some other kind of theist. It also happens to comport very well with at least NT scripture.

(In hindsight, allow me to ask: where is my eschatology in priority anywhere in this? Hint: nowhere. :unamused: )

Claiming that all I’ve done is reduce it to a forensic demonstration (when I explicitly have affirmed numerous times that the sacrifice of God on the cross is more than a forensic demonstration–including in the comment to which you were supposed to be replying), also completely misses the point. :wink:

I actually totally agree with that. Though apparently not the way you mean it.

Put our sins on Christ? Or “the decree and the law nailed to the cross”? I could agree either way.

I might could agree with that. Though I’m leery talking about the divinity of the Law per se. (The Logos, the rational action of God, and foundation of all creation, yes; the Spirit Who gives the Law, yes. The law itself? Depends on how closely the term is being identified with the Logos/Memra/Word of God, Who is God Himself.)

As the NT docs never say anywhere (that I can find so far); saying something radically different instead.

Ditto. As described at exhaustive length and detail already. But never really discussed by you yet. :wink:

That, however, I can agree with. :slight_smile:

You could just ask me; and read why I don’t believe some key parts of that; and discuss what I’ve actually written in detail. I wrote and submitted, for discussion, two whole commentaries on the NT usage of “propitiate” and “atone/reconcile”, you know. Or maybe you don’t know that I did?!

If you somehow haven’t heard about that: here’s a link to the commentary on the NT usage of “propitiate”, if you actually and truly want to get some idea of why I exegetically reject some of what you just wrote. The link to my commentary on the NT use of “atone/reconcile” is near the beginning of the first comment.

I certainly invite you to discuss the actual data there anytime. That’s why I submitted it: for consideration and discussion. :unamused: You did in fact discuss the actual data there a little bit already; but not much, so you may not remember doing so.

(And yes, I’m being ironic that you would ask yourself why I don’t believe Christ propitiated and/or atoned God, in a thread I set up specifically to consider and discuss the actual New Testament data on the use of those terms.)

I don’t think He failed to; because I don’t think the divine justice needed propitiating per se.

I could ask myself why, after God-only-knows-how-many-hours-and-pages-of-writing-from-me, you think I have ever once claimed that I am supposed to propitiate God (when in fact I have repeatedly claimed that not only does God not need propitiating but that no sinner could propitiate Him if He did.)

But I would rather ask you why you think I have ever once said that. And I would rather ask you why you have never noticed me explicitly distinguishing between repentance of sin and propitiation of God.

I doubt I am going to get much of an answer, though. sigh.

(You may not agree that there is a real distinction between repenting of sin–which we are constantly exhorted to do in scripture, by the way, OT and NT both–and propitiating God. But disagreeing with my distinctions there is NOT even remotely the same as me claiming that we have to propitiate God with our repentance.)

In order to consolidate topics somewhat better, I’m going to port an extended discussion on propitiation from another thread back to this one.

This comment from RanRan, in that other thread, begins at least a little to address the question I asked at the end of my most recent comment here in this thread. I’ve linked there for reference purposes; but I’m going to try to port over all the relevant material (before and after that comment) to this thread now.

I’m going to try to just port the relevant comments here to this comment. Readers may check back through the link above, to ensure I pulled everything I should have ported (and to add more from that thread as you see fit for sake of addressing the propitiation topic.)

The comment of mine that Ran is originally quoting from below, can be found in its totality here in that other thread.

My (rather amused and ironic) reply concerning all the supposed “sales” of my “books” can be found toward the end of this comment in that thread, by the way. :wink:

The comment from Bob Wilson that Ran is replying to below, can be found originally here.

It seems probable that Ran was including my prior comments in that thread, when he wrote this next–but whether he meant that or not, I think it’s still important to include in order to provide the fullest exposition from Ran on his position, for consideration:

My reply to the charge of emotionalism was:

This reply from Ran (to a comment by Denver which can be found here), looks very relevant, too:

(Note: Ran’s rhetorical spitting was addressed in the other thread, and he’s been doing better about that since then. I’m only porting over what he wrote at the time; so please don’t hold this language against him here.)

Relatedly, from a reply to John in that thread:

(Note: by context, Ran was ironically asking “Isn’t there anything special about Christ?”–the idea being that people here, apparently including me, are trying to reduce or even usurp Christ’s unique importance, substituting ourselves for that unique importance instead.)

My brief reply to Ran on this (until I had the time and energy to do more), was:

In reply to that:

Ran and Jim went on to have a discussion after this, which for the sake of its own importance (and possible continuance by one or both of them in this thread), I will present in the next comment.

As noted at the end of my previous summary, Jim and Ran continued on with a branch of the conversation, which seems relevant enough here in this thread; so I’m going to copy it over here, too.

Ran has not yet (specifically) answered Jim’s questions about what he thinks concerning John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8. (He may do so in this thread, or he may consider them sufficiently answered already in principle.)

I find this statement rather curious. If you are equating being born again with the resurrection, then it automatically brings up a problematic observation in my mind.

In Nicodemus’ engagement with Jesus, he brings up the question of returning to one’s mother’s womb to be reborn. The point I wish to make here is that none of us had any control of our being born, it just happened (as an act of God, if you will). Likewise, Ran, you seem to be saying that none of us have any control of being born again (resurrected), it will just happen (as an act of God, if you will).

The problem I see here is that there are essentially two resurrections, one for the righteous and one for the wicked (as hinted at in Daniel 12:2). But if resurrected equates to being born again, then why would there be a distinction, particuarly of something we have no control over. If Christ’s sacrifice is universal, then we all ought to be resurrected to eternal life, and not ‘shame and everlasting contempt’. Seems to me there is a behavioral factor at work here. Perhaps you can explain?