HT: Andy Naselli.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Graham Cole on the Atonement
Graham Cole (Systematics Lecturer at TEDS and an Australian, ergo, everything he says is true and simultaneously brilliant) has new book on the atonement entitled, God the Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom. I've wrestled with the issue of the place of penal substitution (PS) in biblical theology. In my mind, PS is clearly taught in Scripture (e.g. Mark 10:45; Gal 3:13; Rom 8:3), but is it THE central atonement motif or is it derivative from another. I. Howard Marshall and Thomas Schreiner present a good case that PS is the predominant atonement motif in the NT undergirding all the others, although I do find the Christus Victor theme attractive as a possible controlling premise as well. Any how, in an interview with Andy Naselli, Graham Cole says:
"Penal substitution provides a good example. It seems to me that following the biblical plotline, the first note struck is the Christus Victor one (i.e., the defeat of evil) in the protevangelium (first gospel) set out in Genesis 3:15. But how is the evil one defeated? The grounds of accusation need to be removed that stand against us, and the fear of death that is the devil’s tool needs to be addressed as well. The cross of Christ disarms the evil one by removing the grounds of accusation against us (Col 2). Christ died in our place (1 Peter 2)), experienced the righteous divine wrath that we deserve (Rom 5) and so, if we are in Christ, there is no condemnation (Rom 8). Because we stand clothed in Christ’s righteousness we will not face the divine judgment of the great white throne for our sins (Rev 20). Our names are in the Lamb’s book of life. The fear of death, which lies in judgment, is thereby addressed (Heb 2). Evangelicals in my view need to do more justice to the Christus Victor theme and in so doing find that penal substitution is integral or central to it."
HT: Andy Naselli.