Saturday, April 21, 2007

unity and doctrine

There has been a lot of press recently about the Christian doctrine of Penal Substitution (if you want a better resource than Wikipedia, this book has received some excellent reviews).

You may be aware that Jeffrey John recently penned a controversial article on the issue, or that 'Word Alive' and 'Spring Harvest' have separated. In the wider context of unity you may have seen this blog article, which although very narrow-minded and quite patronising does at least raise some issues worth thinking about.

Unfortunately I find this all quite sad, and feel that once again we are being distracted from the Good News of the Christian faith; however this seems to be an opportune moment to welcome Caleb to my list of 'Other Parts of the Blogosphere'. Caleb, whom I met in Iona, has written an intelligent, balanced, and thought-provoking response to some of the more negative issues mentioned above, and if you're looking for something more positive, I suggest you head in this direction.

12 comments:

Caleb W said...

Hi James,

Thanks for the link and kind words, and also for your recent email, which I hope to reply to sometime this weekend.

Keep blogging! :-)

Scott said...

You're right, in some ways, about it obscuring the Good News of Christ, but then the Good News of Christ is the crux of the whole thing! If you don't believe in Penal Substitution, then the news isn't Good. Good News is precisely the point: it's the reprieve from a rightful destruction and judgement, the escape from the gallows at the last minute, because someone else was willing to take our place.

Anonymous said...

See here too:

http://www.adrian.warnock.info/2007/04/word-alive-and-spring-harvest-to.htm

JP said...

I agree with you, Scott, and whilst we're on the subject, Daniel has written a good post here this morning.

My point however, is that unavoidable as it may be, this segregation which seeps out in to the press does nothing to quell the old sarcastic saying "see how these Christians love each other" and is not helpful for our cause of preaching the Gospel to the world.

AnthroPax said...

The BBC has collected the bit from JJ's broadcast, as well as discussion about it here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/whydidjesusdie_3.shtml

I havn't had a chance to listen to them, but you may be interested

dave said...

I don't understand, perhaps you can help...

If you believe in God then why can't you make your God amazingly brilliant? Why cry over spilt milk when you know you're all gonna get into heaven anyway?

Scott said...

We believe in God because he is True; not because it's something we thought it'd be nice to do. Our God does happen to be amazingly brilliant, and has provided, through Christ, the possibility of salvation for anyone who will confess with his tongue and believe with his heart that Jesus Christ is Lord.

But he is amazingly brilliant *because he is*, not because we made him so: if that were the case, it wouldn't be worth a fig.

dave said...

Ignoring your silly waffle:

Why cry over spilt milk when you know you're all gonna get into heaven anyway?

This is actually an interesting question for me, because I KNOW I'm not going to heaven, yet I don't care. I'm quite happy with the lack of heaven, however for yourself and many like you the prospect of not going to heaven would be horrible. It seems silly to me to be worrying about something that doesn't matter when you're in heaven anyway...?

Scott said...

How can you be comfortable with the prospect of eternal judgement in a lake of fire?

How can anyone believe in going to heaven without Christ? It won't happen. And to not even believe you'll get there by any other means external to yourself... doesn't that make you massively arrogant? Or if you believe everyone gets there, doesn't that make you a believer, essentially, in the ultimate meaninglessness of nearly absolutely everything?

To which of those do you wish to associate yourself?

dave said...

Right mate, you can't read. Have another go, then come back with a proper reply that is perhaps at least 40% relevant to what I posted.

Scott said...

I can read and am certainly not your mate.

I fail to see how I misunderstood your post, but since you claim I did, why not rewrite it slightly less incompetently so we can all have another go?

Ross said...

hmmm first of all I thought Scott's
reply was completely irrelevant too
but i think the second paragraph is going back to the penal substition thing and is not directly addressed
to Dave. sorted.

Scott 1 Dave Nil

However Dave is right in general on the whole there not a being a god thing.

Scott 1 Dave 10

buts Scotts probably a nicer person

Scott 10 Dave 10

Draw! everyone's a winner. if only all arguments could be settled
this way.