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Ransom for many VS Penal Substitution

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by RileyG, May 15, 2022.

  1. RileyG

    RileyG Veteran

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    Can someone explain why Christ died? and the difference between these two?

    Ransom for many: Christ freely chose to die

    Is this correct?

    Penal Substitution: (NOT CATHOLIC)
    Christ died as a "substitute" in place of our sins
     
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  2. Lady Bug

    Lady Bug Grateful For My Confirmation Supporter

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    I hate being one of those respondents who say "Sorry I don't know the answer" but oh well, I got to be one of those this time lol. The Catholic position on this was never taught in RCIA and I think it should have. I used to uphold the penal substitution idea until I found out that it was Protestant and not Catholic, but I don't quite understand the Catholics' version of this.
     
  3. narnia59

    narnia59 Regular Member Supporter

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    Ransom atonement theology is the view CS Lewis uses to present to children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A trade was made with Satan -- basically Jesus traded his life for ours. But Satan didn't realize that Christ would rise from the dead.

    It was popular in the early Church but there are problems with it in that there is no justice in having to pay Satan a price for taking something that never belonged to him.

    Catholic teaching is the satisfaction theory of atonement. Primarily taught by Anselm of Canterbury and further refined by Thomas Aquinas. Christ is our substitute. He offers to God perfect obedience and maintaining perfect holiness, as Adam should have done. That obedience cost him his life at the hands of sinful men (who were minions of Satan trying to destroy him). Anselm was quite clear that God neither desired or demanded the death of Christ. What he asked of Christ was obedience to holiness and truth. They both knew that would cost him his life, and it is an offering given and accepted in love.

    The Orthodox hold to a view of Christus Victor whereby the cross is where Christ defeats Satan, sin and death. Catholics also hold to that view and find it as a companion to the satisfaction theory understanding.

    Penal substitution as taught by the Protestants -- Christ is also a substitute but that understanding is that God would not reconcile with us unless we were adequately punished for our sins so his justice could be met. So Christ becomes a substitute to be punished in our place. And they would teach that when Jesus cries out on the cross asking God why He had abandoned him, that the Father really did turn his back on the Son. For some reason it never occurs to them that view totally contradicts a belief in the Trinity and that the three persons are inseparable. Some even teach that Christ really did go to hell while he was in the grave to be further punished and tortured by Satan.

    That's the nutshell version.
     
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  4. Michie

    Michie Standing by the Ukraine. Supporter

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  5. Michie

    Michie Standing by the Ukraine. Supporter

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  6. Michie

    Michie Standing by the Ukraine. Supporter

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  7. Michie

    Michie Standing by the Ukraine. Supporter

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  8. Michie

    Michie Standing by the Ukraine. Supporter

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    Penal substitution is a theory of the atonement that says God literally punished Jesus on the Cross.

    This theory is problematic because one cannot justly punish an innocent person, and Jesus was innocent. Therefore, for God to literally punish him would be unjust.

    In a previous post, I discussed how this view relates to other theories of the atonement. In this post, we’ll take a look at a proposed basis in Scripture for penal substitution.



    A Scriptural Basis?

    Continued below.
    Did God Punish Jesus on the Cross? – Jimmy Akin
     
  9. Joy

    Joy Well-Known Member Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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  10. RileyG

    RileyG Veteran

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    Thanks
     
  11. RileyG

    RileyG Veteran

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    Thanks for the distinction
     
  12. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If God is just by His own standards He may not declare an innocent person to be guilty nor a guilty person to be innocent. It says so in Proverbs. This rules out ‘imputed righteousness’ unless the righteousness of a newly saved sinner is also real. It rules out Jesus being punished by the Father too.
     
  13. narnia59

    narnia59 Regular Member Supporter

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    That's a great verse Chevy -- Proverbs 17:15 "He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord."

    Yet what God calls an abomination is the entire basis for penal substitutionary atonement that teaches that Christ is condemned by God so we can be justified.
     
  14. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Penal substitution, substitution in the strict sense, where an innocent person is condemned as guilty in the place of a guilty person, is an abomination. That the Father would demand such a thing is impossible. If they mean something else as 'penal substitution, then maybe. But the Father hating the Son and punishing the innocent Son is just wrong.

    I don't think the bulk of thinking Protestants, at least those who paid attention reading the OT, where it is an abomination for the scales of justice to be tipped, would ever accept it. In fact it is a recurring theme in the OT that the scales of commerce and of justice MUST be accurate. God can forgive the innocent, but it must be in MAKING them innocent in declaring them innocent. Not just covering the dung heap with some snow.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
  15. narnia59

    narnia59 Regular Member Supporter

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    Scripture never refers to us as dung heap covered with snow oddly enough. For being sola-Scriptura Luther certainly didn't have any issues inventing things.

    My favorite Scriptural reference that refutes that whole concept is Matthew 23:25-26 when Christ says "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean."

    Outward appearances are obviously not important to Christ but rather your inward state of cleanliness. And only when your soul has been perfected is the outside also clean. Infused righteouesness, because the spirit of Christ dwells within us to make us holy.
     
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  16. RileyG

    RileyG Veteran

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    Luther was very legalistic because of his scrupulous mind IMHO. I always found that saying interesting. He was probably influenced by the mountains in Germany where he lived.

    Thanks for the scriptural reference and distinction. I think it's making more sense to me as I study it more and more.
     
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