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Featured "Atonement and the Death of Christ" WLC's latest book

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by True Counterphobia, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    Anyone read this whole book yet? I am trying to read it while here on the forum in between notifications. From what I have seen so far it is pretty solid.
     
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  2. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Did you read this extensive review of the book?
    Fundamentally Flawed

    I haven't read the book myself, but if it is true that he is saying because of Jesus' sacrifice, sinners no longer deserve punishment for their sins, then I would disagree with that conclusion. Here is the quote in question: “Penal substitution in a theological context may be defined as the doctrine that God inflicted upon Christ the suffering that we deserved as the punishment for our sins, as a result of which we no longer deserve punishment” (p. 168)
    TD:)
     
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  3. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, if we are new in Jesus, we no longer are the deserving sinners we used to be.

    So, in any case, we do not deserve to be punished for what has been forgiven, I would say.

    We have been changed so we are now children of God; we in Christ no longer are the ones who did those things. We have been changed in our character so now it is not our character to do those things.

    But if someone believes that no person, at all, deserves punishment, this would be wrong, I understand.

    And in case a child of God does something wrong > for that particular item, he or she might deserve some sort of punishment, I suppose, but not for what is past and forgiven.

    But what works is real correction of our character so we become incapable of the wrong. This works better than just punishing. Ones can change behavior because of a punishment; but if there is no real character change, they will just do the same thing again or switch over to doing other wrong things.

    So . . . whether we deserve punishment or not, I can see how God knows it can't work. We need the correction which is encouraged in Hebrews 12:4-14.

    What we deserve might be only a side-show issue, then. But it is good to be humble and admit how we could be getting punished quite a lot, but know if it would really work or not :) There are ways I might punish myself, but this can be a trick to try to pay God off so He does not give me real correction which would stop the sinning.
     
  4. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    I don't think Dr. Craig is a universalist, so it's a moot point.

    Of course there is always going to be naysayers, but that doesn't mean the book is actually that bad.
     
  5. Jipsah

    Jipsah Blood Drinker

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    Who is "WLC"?
     
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  6. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Yes, I don't believe that the statement in question is universalist, and that's not the point. The review, though, essentially tells me that there are errors in the book, and namely the direction that propitiation takes according to Craig is backward. That statement in bold is enough for me not to be interested in the book, since I'm a slow reader and reading time is very precious to me, since it takes me usually a very long time to read theological materials. So I'm usually not interested in works that have known errors. I'm just letting you know why I wouldn't read it.
    TD:)
     
  7. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    The bolded statement appears self-contradictory to me. Why do you think only past sins are forgiven and not present sins? Of course, heinous sins once committed like murder, adultery, etc. would be forgiven as past sins with the idea that one has repented. But sins that might be present such as alcoholism and other addictions, gossip, vanities, etc. which the apostle John might categorize as "sins not unto death", why would someone who hasn't matured in the faith not be already forgiven of such things even while struggling to repent of those things? In my view, one who is trusting in Christ is one who has all sins forgiven, past, present, and future.

    My point is that the forgiven sinner still deserves eternal punishment, even though they have been forgiven by faith in Christ. The forgiven sinner then doesn't get the punishment he deserves because the Substitute has received it. That doesn't change the fact that the sinner still deserves punishment for the sins he committed. Therefore, the forgiveness is ongoing and active, as is the grace and mercy they receive is an ongoing need. IOW we don't stop needing the Savior after being forgiven. In my view, this ongoing need is a means to appreciate God's mercy, thus glorifying Him. So then, to say that sinners no longer deserve to be punished is hindering that appreciation, because it would tend to dull the conscience.
    TD:)
     
  8. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    William Lane Craig is a theologian and philosopher with a Ph.D in both. He has historically done a lot of debates including with some atheists on the existence of God.
     
  9. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    Honestly, the guy writing the review is writing it as though he hasn't read the whole book. He lists things from the beginning of the book and focuses on a few sentences that Craig wrote without providing an alternative, which makes me think he is simply a Craig hater.
     
  10. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    I am not sure why you would take the word of some nobody on the internet who only does negative reviews instead of someone who studied long and hard about the topic to give a Biblical, historical, and philosophical reasoning on the Atonement. I trust WLC on this because I trust him on other things. Not everything, but I surely want to hear him out.

    P.S. I am a VERY slow reader.
     
  11. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    Here is the definition Craig gives for Expiation: “To expiate” means to remove, annul, cancel; “to propitiate” means to appease, to placate, to satisfy. The object of expiation is sin; the object of propitiation is God.

    Craig, William Lane. Atonement and the Death of Christ (p. 27). Baylor University Press. Kindle Edition.

    So this writer of the review is simply being dishonest in his representation of Craig's work as the writer of the article says Craig does not give a definition for expiate when he clearly does.
     
  12. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    This is a fantastic article. Thank you for referencing it.
     
  13. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    But we will be judged about the works we have done.

    If I confess I did something wrong, I understand I am forgiven; but it is still a work I did. So, I don't know how Jesus handles this. I simply trust Him to do what He pleases, and it is most important to seek God for correction which changes our character so we do what He has us doing in His love.

    And forgive any and all people, in prayer with hope for them, like Jesus was doing on the cross > Ephesians 5:2.
     
  14. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    I thought we were talking about eternal punishment. There is a difference between lake of fire judgment and judgment which incurs gain or loss in the kingdom of God. So that statement still looks contradictory to me. In regard to eternal punishment, can you explain how this statement is not self-contradictory?
    TD:)
     
  15. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they are already forgiven, that's fine.

    I think God tends not to punish us as we go along, but He manages us and corrects us > Hebrews 12:4-14 < so we do better. And punitive actions do not change our character so we stop doing a wrong thing.

    I did not mean the bolded statement above to apply to eternal punishment.

    My attention is not to if we get punished or not, but if our Father corrects our character so we love, instead of sinning.

    And, to get to your Post #2 > if we are forgiven, we also are changed by God into new creatures who are no longer guilty of what we did as sinners; therefore, we can't be deserving of punishment for what we are no longer guilty of doing.

    But those who do not repent keep on deserving whatever God judges.

    In Jesus, we now have His record of His death and burial and resurrection; so we can not be deserving of punishment for what was done by anyone who is not in Christ's kingdom, including who we used to be.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020 at 7:10 PM
  16. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Ok, great! But like I said, I thought the OP was talking about eternal punishment. In that regard, I still don't agree with the statement in question.
    TD:)
     
  17. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    The OP is about the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. I have not seen Dr. Craig talk about what happens after we die at all (I am only on chapter 2 though).
     
  18. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you consider this to be on-topic for your thread > I plan to answer comments only if you comment first >

    But Jesus speaks of the New Testament in His blood. So, I see how shedding His blood on Calvary involves more than initial redemption. And so we could also talk about how we might be forgiven of things after we have become Christians . . . after we have been initially redeemed >

    Are our everyday sins as Christians already forgiven, or do they become forgiven only after we actively repent of them?

    Maybe we could say we repent of things we do after being saved. And then we are forgiven of what we repent of . . . even though it has already been covered by Jesus on the cross. The ongoing forgiving we get could be more relational forgiveness . . . what we experience when we fail but repent.
     
  19. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    You raise some really good questions.

    First of all, Dr. Craig does emphasise the work of the blood in the atonement based on the levitical law of sacrifice. So, even though it has to be a package deal, regarding the blood and the death, Craig still says the blood is of a very high importance based on the levitical law in sacrifice and this extends to Christs atoning work on the Cross.

    Our sins are forgiven when we repent, which is necessary for salvation. How it works exactly if we die and we haven't repented, I just do not know. I think dying with sins that are not repented of is not a good thing, but I think there are so few people who die without repenting of ALL their sins that this probably doesn't forfeit salvation. But the question remains... what does it mean to repent? Well, I think it is a "turning away" from sin and a "turning towards" Jesus. As some of the MJ have talked about this with me, it's more in terms of direction rather than specific things you do. Are you looking to Jesus in your life? Are you trying to have him influence your thoughts and deeds? Is God sanctifying you through the Holy Spirit? Those are the kind of questions we should ask when it comes to where we are with Christ and how repentant our heart actually is.
     
  20. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The atoning is in order to get us started with Jesus.

    When a person first turns to Christ, one is forgiven for past sins, and the person is reconciled with God. There is not only pardon for sins . . . actions . . . but one changes from fighting against God and constantly not obeying Him.

    But with God the person is undergoing correction > Hebrews 12:4-14 > this is guaranteed for every child of God > Hebrews 12:8.

    I understand that our Father is correcting us. He is making sure this correction results in us not sinning to the end, as maybe one might say. He changes us to loving, instead, so mainly we are busy with loving. Repenting of failures, in such a case, maybe can mean we just get back on track whenever we get . . . off track, somehow.

    And as we grow in Jesus, we live and love more and more like Him. And it becomes more and more natural not to sin. Also, by the way, our standards develop. For example, instead of thinking of murdering people we don't like, now we are busy with making sure we have hope for them in prayer. So, now we don't get to the point of wanting to murder someone > instead, we are concerned about if we love them with hope for them, like Jesus had hope for us, on the cross. So our base standard becomes higher :)

    Instead of being concerned about not hating, for another example, we might grow on to being concerned about not arguing. We are doing better, plus we have higher standards to keep us up here.

    Therefore, of course not repenting of sins is a bad thing. But I trust God to change us so we are maturing in His love which has no sinning. And I trust Him about how this will effect if we sin and how.

    We're not going the wrong way on the highway while drunk and throwing molotov cocktails at cars because they are driving toward us. But we can get too far to the right or left and need to get back in the middle of our lane. All through the day, we need to keep our forgiving up to date, and praying with hope for any problem person who comes to mind, and care about people we see here and there, and enjoy resting and riding in God's guiding in His peace > Colossians 3:15.

    So, I do not believe in the idea that we have trusted God and He will leave us on our own so we might die with un-repented sins. I believe He succeeds in us.

    And so it is wise to trust Him to succeed so we succeed.
     
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