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    March 25th, 2012 @ 10:26 pm by Kevin

    Whose wrath was satisfied the day Jesus died–God’s? Ours? The devil’s?

    Is God a being whose wrath needs to be satisfied before he can forgive?

    Is the crucifixion of Jesus an expression of God’s wrath or an expression of his love?

    Does the Crucifixion resemble the sort of eternal punishment awaiting those who reject God, or is it an image of the lengths to which God is willing to go to rescue us from such a fate? Can it be both?

    How you answer these questions has a direct bearing on how you conceive of hell–its purpose, duration, who goes there (if anyone), for how long and why.

    The longish (14:47) video below asks some of these questions and more. Most importantly, it challenges those who hold to the penal substitution view of the atonement–the idea that Jesus was punished on the cross in our place, thus satisfying God’s desire for justice, which allows him to forgive anyone who believes in Jesus and accepts the sacrifice Jesus made in their place. (At least that’s how I remember it being put to me at Bible camp when I became a Christian back in 1980.)

    This is a fairly popular view amongst evangelical Christians of all stripes, from Calvinists to Arminians. But it’s facing a number of challenges as of late, including this video. So here’s my challenge: Watch this entire video–and then render your verdict here.

    And if you don’t believe Jesus died to satisfy God’s wrath, exactly what did his death accomplish?

    This is one of my favorite subjects, but I’m going to keep mum for now.

leave a comment on this post (7 Comments)

  1. He did a great job. Very well put-together. While it would have made the video longer, it might have been good for him to go into his ideas about what the atonement really looks like to him.

  2. I had never heard this young man before. He poses a lot of great questions for discussion.

    Leon Morris regarding the theories of the atonement said:

    “There are many ways of viewing [the atonement]. We are left in no doubt about its efficacy and its complexity. View the human spiritual problem as you will, and the cross meets the need. But the NT does not say how it does so.”

    “But we are small minded sinners and the atonement is great and vast. We should not expect that our theories will ever explain it fully. Even when we put them all together, we will no more than begin to comprehend a little of the vastness of God’s saving deed.”


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  4. . Are you asking those questions to elicit a response? If so, here are my direct responses to your opening questions.
    . 1. Jesus’s death on the cross satisfied the wrath of the Jews, even specifically the Pharisees. See Mark 1:9-15, Acts 2:36.
    . 2. Repentance satisfies the wrath of God, and God will always forgive those who repent. Those that will not repent shall suffer wrath and never have forgiveness. For example, see Mark 3:29 – some things will not be forgiven because their very nature denies repentance.
    . 3. God expressed his love on the cross, but it also demonstrated other things as well, such as how we would condemn the guiltless (even God himself) and what would await us if we continue in our sin.
    . 4. The crucifixion process is representative of judgment, and the final effect of death is representative of the second death. It is an image of how far God is willing to go even to get our attention (see John 12:32) and so in this sense it can be both.
    . Some short comments on the 15 minute video below:
    . The LXX is a terrible unreliable translation whose writers (or later editors) were not above blatantly altering the text for its own purposes. I can provide some obvious examples, but let’s just say for now that you should never base any doctrine upon a difference found in the LXX.
    . The way the question of “Penal Substitution” is phrased seems to assume that God and Jesus two different people, essentially implying that Jesus was not God. For example, look to your own comment in the next to last sentence, “…if you don’t believe that Jesus died to satisfy God’s wrath…” What did you just say right there? When it naturally produces that type of slip, then perhaps It is worth considering that there might be a flaw or two with Catholic Trinity model as well.
    . When a debtor forgives a debt, the penalty must be paid, and that penalty is paid when the debtor absorbs the debt (the sin). If Jesus is God, and if Jesus is willing to absorb that the sin against himself if we will repent, then Jesus pays the penalty for sin with his own blood. Those that despise his blood and trample the sacrifice underfoot shall not have forgiveness. See Hebrews 10:26-29.
    Heb 10:26-29 KJV
    (26) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
    (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
    (28) He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
    (29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
    . A biblical doctrine of the annihilation of the wicked destroys the “eternal hell” aspect.
    . I will say that the way “Penal Substitution” is presented here it does have some flaws, but that is not to say that its support is without merit. Christ did die on the cross and he did pay the penalty for our sins, and there is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood. That’s scripture, and this is a figure that God has chosen to employ – see Matthew 26:28, Hebrews 9:22-28.\
    . The flaws that I see (as the theory is presented here) lay with a portrayal of God as having a split personality, and a general unwillingness to acknowledge Jesus as the One God and LORD of the Old Testament. This is not a case of one being demanding wrath be satisfied and needing to beat up another party out of vengeance.
    . Yes, the “eternal conscious torment” dogma does present a sadistic deity, but the biblical message of the wages of sin is quite different, where the punishment does have a practical purpose and really will remove the unrepentant and all evil from existence… and it is not about cruelty.

    • Our Father always restores….always corrects….always does his will….to burn in fire means to clean….brimstone is a purifying agent used in carpentry to remove odors and mildew or mold….It was used both externally, in the form of ointments for the skin and vapours to fumigate diseased places….

      Brimstone and fire: these verses always speak of brimstone and fire coming from heaven, not hell; and this brimstone and fire is always on the earth, and never in “hell”. Genesis 19:24; Deuteronomy 29:23; 2 Kings 1:12,14, Job 1:16; 18:15; Psalm 11:6; 18:13, Isaiah 30:33; 34:9; Ezekiel 38:22; Luke 17:29; Revelation 14:10; 19:20; 20:10; 21:8

      Weeping and gnashing of teeth: This is always speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem when their kingdom was cast out, not in “hell”. Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28.

      Unquenchable: is used in Leviticus 6:12-13; 2 King 22:17; 2 Chronicles 34:25; Isaiah 34:10; 42:3; 43:3; 66:24; Jeremiah 4:4; 7:20; 17:27; 21:12; Ezekiel 20:47; Matthew 12:20; Mark 9:43-48

      The apparent meaning of “shall not be quenched” is: when the Lord pronounces a judgment of fire on something, that fire cannot be put out by man until it has burned everything up, leaving only ashes. Obviously, the fire at Jerusalem did go out (Jer.17:27; 52:12-13, 2 Chron.36:19-21) and Jerusalem was rebuilt seventy years later. What sinners will be unable to deliver themselves from (Isa.47:14) is the unquenchable, eternal, everlasting fire. The fire will continue to consume everything that is wicked until it is completely destroyed and turned to ashes.

      Jude 1:7 clearly states an example of “eternal” fire. This is the same Greek word that is used for “everlasting” fire and “everlasting” punishment as used in Matthew 18:8 and Matthew 25:41,46 (Notice hell is “everlasting punishment”, and not “everlasting punishing”. The punishment is eternal in its results, not in its duration.

  5. Hey Kevin, I watched the video and I want to say first and foremost, your delivery and the spirit in which you did it, was one of grace and humility. You say that you could be wrong, as could others, and I applaud that perspective. It is with that perspective that I too seek the truth. The idea of hell is not one that I like at all, for anyone. I’m sure we can all think of people who are so bad that they surely “deserve” hell, but it’s not the majority, and we really don’t know those people anyway.

    I do, however, think your example with the prodigal son is a little off because there is a distinction with the prodigal son, in that he is already a son, i.e. child. He is already in the family, i.e. if the metaphor were to apply to the children of God, they are already forgiven and therefor, aren’t in need of that again, in terms of salvation. See Hebrews 10:14. I hope that I explained that clearly. If you’re saying everyone is a child of God, i.e. a prodigal son, that just needs to come back from our waywardness, I would disagree with that interpretation of the passage, but I could be wrong. 🙂



  6. I believe God has given me some insight on this, but it’s so deep I’m not sure I can put it into words. I’ll try. The truth lies in the middle. It’s the penal substitution theory, but keeping in mind the oneness of the Trinity. If God forgives us only because a 3rd party stepped in to pay our debt, then, like you said, that’s not true forgiveness, because God has received His payment. It’s only true forgiveness when the person who is owed, agrees to absorb the debt themselves. Now, God is holy, and leaves no sin unpunished, as He told Moses when He met him on the mountain. However, keeping in mind the “oneness” of the Trinity, it wasn’t a 3rd party that stepped in to pay the debt for us, it was God Himself, in the form of a human, stepping in to absorb the entire debt we owed to Him, by allowing sinful mankind to execute Him. God the Father experienced the excruciating pain of watching His only Son be killed unjustly. God the Son experienced the excruciating pain of the cross and physical death. Now Jesus, the human, had his own human will, which is why He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane to not have to go through with it. This is where the oneness of the Trinity is shown again, as the Spirit maintained the unity of the Trinity, by keeping the will of the human Jesus in line with the will of the Godhead……..”not my will, but thine.” Isaiah 53:10 is correct. God DID delight in crushing Jesus……..not because He was getting all the revenge and justice He could possibly get by punishing Jesus, but because He WAS Jesus, He was crushing Himself (through the hands of sinful men) and (go deeper here now) because He was delighted that He could finally show the world how far He was willing to go to show us how deep His love for us is.

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