Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Puritan Scholar on Penal Substitution

James Packer wrote an article for the July-Sept (2007) volume of NB News, a magazine for supporters of UCCF. It is reproduced by the Banner of Truth on their website here. The following are some notable quotes from the article:

“An evangelical theologian, dying, cabled a colleague: 'I am so thankful for the active obedience (righteousness) of Christ. No hope without it.' As I grow old, I want to tell everyone who will listen: 'I am so thankful for the penal substitutionary death of Christ. No hope without it.'”

“It is impossible to focus the atonement properly until the biblical mode of Trinitarian and incarnational thought about Jesus Christ is embraced.”

“…smartypants notions like 'divine child abuse', as a comment on the cross, are supremely silly, and as irrelevant and wrong as they could possibly be.”

“Again, the atonement cannot be focused properly where the biblical view of God's justice as one facet of his holiness, and of human wilfulness as the root of our racial, communal and personal sinfulness and guilt, is not grasped.”

“God's mercy to guilty sinners is framed by his holy hostility (wrath) against their sins.”

“Just justification - justified justification - through the doing of justice in penal substitution, is integral to the message of the gospel.”

“Penal substitution…will not be focused properly till it is recognised that God's redemptive love must not be conceived - misconceived, rather - as somehow triumphing and displacing God's retributive justice, as if the Creator-Judge simply decided to let bygones be bygones.”

“Had we been among the watchers at Calvary, we should have seen, nailed to the cross, Pilate's notice of Jesus' alleged crime. But if, by faith, we look back to Calvary from where we now are, what we see is the list of our own unpaid debts of obedience to God, for which Christ paid the penalty in our place.”

“A lawyer, having completed his argument, may declare that here he rests his case. I, having surveyed the penal substitutionary sacrifice of Christ afresh, now reaffirm that here I rest my hope. So, I believe, will all truly faithful believers.”


H.C. Ross said...

Hear, hear!

Marty said...

Dear Edwin,

Thanks so much for drawing Packer's article to our attention. What a wonderful piece about the wonderful cross!

God bless,

Marty Foord.


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