Saturday, October 17, 2009

Is Penal Substitution Consistent with Arminianism

Former Fundy says is isn't, and that this is a reason for rejecting evangelical Christianity.

14 comments:

Gordon Knight said...

It would be nice to have some discussion of what "evangelical" means vs. Orthodox, Catholic, mainstream protestant etc.


Would C.S. Lewis be considered one today?

bossmanham said...

How does this guy come to this conclusion. Arminius himself believed it.

D.J. Lower / KKairos said...

It looks like a blog by someone who got fed a lot of interesting theological systems that were made to sound more necessary than they are, which might explain why he de-verted to agnosticism rather than converting to some other form of Christianity (and certainly there are forms of Christianity that would legitimately and reasonably call bull-crap on almost everything on his blog.)

Steven said...

It does not follow from "A Xist believed Y" that Y is consistent with Xism.

Steven said...

And I don't know if it is.

If I correctly understand penal substitution, then I would say it is not consistent with Arminianism. If you accept penal substitutionary atonement (assuming I understand it correctly), you ought to either be a 5 point Calvinist or a universalist.

bossmanham said...

Steven, if we're naming a system after someone, it should represent his views. So, since Arminius believed in PSA, it is proper to include the belief in the system.

Steven said...

Steven, if we're naming a system after someone, it should represent his views. So, since Arminius believed in PSA, it is proper to include the belief in the system.

It still does not follow that PSA is consistent with the rest of Arminianism.

A half century ago, people believed the following beliefs were contradictory and incoherent:

(a) God exists
(b) God is omnipotent
(c) God is omniscient
(d) God is omnibenevolent
(e) Evil exists

It does not follow from the fact that some system of beliefs consists of (a)-(e) that therefore (e) is consistent with (a)-(d), for example.

Likewise, it does not follow from the fact that PSA is a part of Arminianism that therefore PSA is consistent with the rest of Arminianism.

Fine by me if you want to put PSA in with the rest of Arminius's beliefs and call it Arminianism. That just means that Arminianism is now incoherent instead of just inconsistent with some other independent doctrine.

Robert said...

Steven wrote:

"If I correctly understand penal substitution, then I would say it is not consistent with Arminianism. If you accept penal substitutionary atonement (assuming I understand it correctly), you ought to either be a 5 point Calvinist or a universalist."

Explain this further. Just how logically does it follow that you cannot hold to penal substitution as an Arminian? I want to see your explanation for this, not just your dogmatic claim that it is so.

Robert

Steven said...

Sure thing, Robert.

I suppose my main reason for thinking so is the "double payment" argument. I think the best way to think of the atonement is in terms of penal substitution. Furthermore, I think the double payment argument shows that either Universalism is true or Limited Atonement is true. But Arminianism denies both of these. So Arminianism cannot be true and penal substitutionary atonement true.

So

U = Universalism
L = Limited atonement
A = Arminianism
P = penal substitutionary atonement

P1. A ⊃ ~(U∨L)
P2. P ⊃ (U∨L)
C1. ∴ ~(A&P)

Steven said...

And it's peculiar to me that PSA being inconsistent with A is a reason for dropping evangelical Christianity. Why not just be a Calvinist or a universalist? Or believe a different view of the atonement?

Robert said...

Steven,

I asked you for an explanation and you responded with:

“I suppose my main reason for thinking so is the "double payment" argument.”

Didn’t I already make you aware in the past of both an Arminian refutation (see Dan over at ARMINIAN CHRONICLES where he deals extensively with Owen’s arguments) and a Calvinistic refutation (e.g., see Tony Byrne, THEOLOGICAL MEDITATIONS, Sep. 9, 2009 “Double Jeopardy” and Dec.29, 2006 “On Penal Substitution”) of this argument?

“Furthermore, I think the double payment argument shows that either Universalism is true or Limited Atonement is true.”

The double payment argument has real problems that apparently you refuse to seriously consider.

“But Arminianism denies both of these. So Arminianism cannot be true and penal substitutionary atonement true.”

Arminians deny universalism because the bible denies it.

Arminians affirm universal atonement/that Jesus died for the whole world because the bible explicitly presents this truth/reality (see especially bible verses such as Jn. 3:16 and 1 Jn. 2:2).

You then presented some logical notation:

“U = Universalism
L = Limited atonement
A = Arminianism
P = penal substitutionary atonement

P1. A ⊃ ~(U∨L)
P2. P ⊃ (U∨L)
C1. ∴ ~(A&P)”

Putting your dogmatic claims into logical notation provides no argument. You assume everything that you need to prove here, that is begging the question on a massive scale and not persuasive at all.

Robert

Steven said...

I don't recall being made aware of any article or reviews/critiques of Owen's argument. I will check them out.

Steven said...

I am currently reading through a few of the posts on Theological Meditations on John Owen's argument and these objections are not anything new, nor are they very good.

The "eternal justification/salvation" objection is interesting but I don't think it is very good.

I suppose I may blog on it in a while but my brief reply would be this:

All that follows from the fact of penal substitutionary atonement is that the persons for whose sins Jesus died cannot also be punished for their sins. We ought to define what we mean by justification and salvation and see what exactly is supposed to be the problem, but my basic response is this: it is a prior fact that faith alone brings justification. Now, following PSA, necessarily, if Jesus died for S's sins, then S will be justified. It doesn't follow that S was always justified, I don't think, but rather just that, assuredly, S will be justified. So Paul in Romans 5: "through the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

I am not an expert, I will readily admit it; but I suppose those are briefly my thoughts on the topic.

Anonymous said...

Substitutionary atonement, penal substitutionary atonement, Orthodox, Catholic, mainstream protestant, C. S. Lewis, Arminius, Billy Graham, Spurgeon, throw in a few more and everything will be perfect, right?
Well then if Christ died in your place to keep you out of the hot place why is the hot place still open for business? If he died in anybody's place he would have died in everybody's place. But since God does not respect persons it leaves you back at square one. Maybe it is more than likely that he didn't die in anybody's place. Never paid a single penny for a sin and had no intention of doing so. Surely he was crucified. But the reasons you clowns are batting around are so far fetched that none of those reasons come close to understanding the actual reason for Jesus' crucifixion.
"It is NOT those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who OBEY the law who will be declared righteous." Rom. 2:13
You really need to find out which law Paul is talking about. For one more law has been added to the law after Jesus' crucifixion.