Friday, June 16

Predestined for Death

The question of Who Killed Jesus? is being asked around the blogosphere and some pretty heavy hitters have weighed in. I am certainly not cutting edge with my thoughts, but I did want to offer some commentary and Scriptural support.

In Christianity Today Mark Dever writes, "At stake [with the Atonement] is nothing less than the essence of Christianity. Historically understood, Christ's Atonement gives hope to Christians in their sin and in their suffering. If we have any assurance of salvation, it is because of Christ's Atonement; if any joy, it flows from Christ's work on the Cross. The Atonement protects us from out native tendency to replace religion with morality and God's grace with legalism. Apart from Christ's atoning work, we would be forever guilty, ashamed, and condemned before God. But not everyone these days sees it that way" ("Nothing But the Blood" 29, May 2006)

I want to discuss this by discussing some of the major objections made and then offering Biblical support for Christ's substitionary atonement--which was predestined by God Himself.

First, Mark Dever discusses the charge that the Atonement and God's "definite plan" (Acts 2:23) is "divine child abuse" (31). Steve Chalke and Alan Mann say, "The fact is that the cross isn't a form of cosmic child abuse—a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for an offence he has not even committed. Understandably, both people inside and outside of the Church have found this twisted version of events morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith. Deeper than that, however, is that such a concept stands in total contradiction to the statement: 'God is love'. If the cross is a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by his Son, then it makes a mockery of Jesus' own teaching to love your enemies and to refuse to repay evil with evil" (The Lost Message of Jesus, 182-183 [a book review by 9 Marks]).

This charge is easily answered by our lack of clarity on the issue. For example, when illustrating the Trinity preachers often fall into modalism. They may try to "explain" the trinity as a substance like liquid/water/gas, but you cannot have all three states present simultaneously. Just so we must be careful in illustrating the beauty and hope of the atonement by not trying to simplify too much what the Atonement means.

James Spurgeon from Team Pyro says, "Do you know how many thousands of people were crucified by the Romans each year and for a period of hundreds of years? There were many people who suffered physically as much as did Christ by cruel Roman hands. But no one, I repeat no one, has ever suffered the way Jesus did. He suffered at God's hands. Let me state it this way:

God suffered his own wrath at Calvary. Christ is the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. It has always been God's plan to redeem and to do so in a way that maintained his holiness and his justice, yet magnified his love and his grace. (Indeed, Calvary magnifies God's justice and holiness as well.) That way was through pouring out his wrath upon himself in the person of the Son.

So, yes, the Father punished the Son. But we must also understand that at the same time God is punishing himself. God has volunteered to take upon himself his own wrath for sinners. He does so that he might shower upon those same sinners his infinite love and grace. This is necessary that God might save and yet act in accord with his own just and holy nature, or, as Paul put it, 'that he might be just and the justifier of the ungodly' ("Cosmic Child Abuse?")."

Dan Phillips from Team Pyro further states, "Man meant it for evil; but God meant it for good, for salvation, for redemption. And His will always prevails.

After all, He is God" ("God, evil, and the Cross").

Second, some might question how this might give us hope. But this demonstrates a misunderstanding of the Gospel itself. The question What or Who Are We Saved from? is all important. Is it man, God, Satan, Hell, or something else? I want to provide the negation of the correct answer which is found in the book previously quoted: "The fact is that the cross isn't a form of cosmic child abuse—a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for an offence he has not even committed." What are each of us saved from? The very wrath of God (Isaiah 51:21-23; Psalm 103:8-10; Nahum 1:2; Romans 1:18; 2:5; 3:5; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; ). "Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love" (Micah 7:18). "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him" (John 3:36). Finally, what can is clearer than: " Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God" (Romans 5:9).

Dave Warnock replies to Adrian Warnock's question Am I Really Alone? by saying, "Please reflect on what you are saying about God. Do you really want to worship the kind of God that would kill his own son? How could such a God bring hope to humankind?" ("Adrian's Blog: 'Did God kill Jesus?' Am I really alone?"). How? Paul replies, "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him" (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).


Also, this fails to see the utter despair and hopelessness mankind is in because of its sin. "'None is righteous, no, not one'" (Romans 3:10), but further, "For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and now hope "and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith" (Romans 3:22b-25). It is not that we all can do some good and some bad. It is that before we received the grace of God we had the choice every day and every minute--give God the glory or give self the glory--and we all chose every time to reject God's glory. Isaiah says, "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment" (64:6). My purpose here is not to be overly graphic, but "polluted garment" truly means menstrual rags. That is what our attempts at self righteousness looks like to God.

The Atonement is truly part of the hope of the Gospel: each of us was lost and condemned in our sins, but God provided a perfect sacrifice for us--not just a good example, or an offering to Satan, or to any man. He did some of these things, but the power of the Atonement was in its satisfaction of God's wrath. A good example or victory over the Devil without the power to appease God would have been vain. This wrath was just. He was full of wrath because we stole His glory and ignored His beauty. His wrath had to be appeased. Christ truly is our salvation and hope.

This whole discussion started with Adrian Warnock quoting C.J. Mahaney at NA 2006:
"Who killed Jesus?

The Father. The Father killed the Son. Feel God's love for you revealed in this verse. He crushed his son. For you. He crushed Him. He bruised him. He punished him. He disfigured him. He crushed him. With all of the righteous wrath that we deserved. That's what the Father did.

So great was his love for sinners like you and me" (The Cross: A Meditation on Jesus' Atoning Death).
I have listened to his message and I would recommend listening to it. The Daily Duck responded with this:
"If any single quote could encapsulate why I am not a Christian, this one, by C J Mahaney, has to be it. The sheer, hideous inanity of a god that demands a blood sacrifice from an innocent in repayment for the sins of the guilty is beautifully captured here. It is a theology that captures the worst aspects of an archaic moral worldview, one that promulgates the barbaric idea of blood guilt and blood sacrifice. Modern Christians gasp in horror at those cultures that carried on the cultural values of this mindset, such as the Aztecs and their human sacrifices, or the honor killings practiced by many Islamic cultures today. Yet their central theological mystery, the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Christ, is premised on the very same archaic view of honor and morality as these throwback cultures represent. I don't get it. How does a modern Christian, brought up in an ethos if personal responsibility and individual dignity spout sentiments like the above without a hint of moral vertigo?" ("Trolling the God Blogs").

Theologians have in the past recognized that the members of the Trinity made a covenant of redemption in eternity past making possible the salvation of the elect. John Flavel says, "The elect (though not yet in being) are here considered as existent, yea, and as fallen, miserable, forlorn creatures: how these may again be restored to happiness without prejudice to the honor, justice, and truth of God: this, this is the business that lay before them" ("A Display of Christ"). The Father agreed to save the elect upon the satisfaction of His wrath, which Christ himself agreed to satisfy on the Cross and by whom we are redeemed, and the Holy Spirit agreed to seal those whom are redeemed.

Last, where can we receive justification for saying God killed Jesus? I want to mainly focus in the book of Acts. Peter preaching to Jews says, "this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men" (Acts 2:43), and again, "And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled" (3:17-18) and compare that to what the prophets, particularly Isaiah, said:

"Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all
" (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Peter again says, "For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place" (Acts 4:27-28). Peter never onces says, "OK! You guys are off the hook because Jesus was predestined for death." No, he squarely places the blame on their shoulders, while acknowledging the plan of God. This is not a case of cosmic child abuse, but love on a grand scale. For the Father did indeed kill the Son and the Son from eternity past agreed to be our sacrifice to redeem us from our sin.

(All emphasis such as italics, bold, or color is mine unless otherwise noted)

Soli Deo Gloria

17 Comments:

Blogger Ken Fields said...

Outstanding post, Mathew.

If God did not kill Jesus than the plan of redemption is an afterthought ... where God was required to step in and try to bring some good out of a terribly bad coincidence (which happens to destroy the OT illustration of the cross -- Abraham and Isaac).

That's not my God, and that's not what happened -- as you so wonderfully pointed out. As John Piper says, "What God required of us He gave to us by killing His Son."

That's my God and His plan of redemption!

6/16/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ken Fields said...

And one more thing ... If God did not kill His Son, then to whom did Jesus pay the ransom for our souls?

And one more thing ... If God did not kill His Son, then to whom was He praying in the Garden?

Okay, I'm done!

6/16/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mathew Sims said...

OKAY...one more thing! =) Well I had not posted for a while so I figured I was due. My wife and I recently got a little puppy who has a been a handful.

I think that this fact plays a large role in how you perceive evil in this world. People always question...well how can God be good if he allows "X." But what they do not understand is the most horrible yet beautiful (i.e., eucatastrophe) thing that every happened is that God agreed to become man and die. What more evil can there be that the only perfect person was condemned to death and not only that but willfully so. I would agree with many other that the real pain on the cross was that Jesus was forsaken by His Father.

MBS
Soli Deo Gloria

6/16/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Mathew Sims said...

Mark Dever in "Nothing But the Blood" writes, "Still, why pit these theories against each other and discount, ignore, or diminish biblical language that describes the death of Christ? While a victor may have moral influence on those for whom he conquered, may he not also be a substitute? While Christ's example of self-giving love may also defeat our enemies, may he not, by the same act, propitiate God's wrath? Each of the theories conveys biblical truth about the atoning work of Christ.

I don't doubt that we have more to learn from Christ's death than simply the fact that he died as a substitute for us, bearing our grief and carrying our sorrows (Isa. 53:4). Peter, for instance, teaches that we should follow Christ's example of suffering for that which is good (1 Pet. 3). Any biblical understanding of the Atonement must take into account our having been united to Christ by faith, adopted and regenerated in him. As those who belong to him, as his temple and his body, we expect the fruit of his Spirit to be evident in us. Because of the Atonement, we expect a new quality to our lives (Rom. 6; 2 Cor. 5; Gal. 5; 2 Pet. 1). The Atonement is not merely moral influence, but it surely results in moral improvement."

6/17/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

'The Father agreed to save the elect upon the satisfaction of His wrath, which Christ himself agreed to satisfy on the Cross and by whom we are redeemed, and the Holy Spirit agreed to seal those whom are redeemed'.

When precisely was this covenant made? Where is it mentioned in scripture?

6/17/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mathew Sims said...

This covenant was made in eternity past. There is not one Scripture verse that says, "The Trinity made a covenant to save sinners." I want to acknowledge Louis Berkhof as my source for these "proofs" as it were.

1. The plan of redemption was included in the eternal decree or council of God (Eph. 1:4ff, 3:11; 2 thess. 2:13; 2 tim. 1:9; Jas. 2:5; 1 Pt. 1:2) "Now we find that in the economy of redemption there is, in a sense, a division of labor: the Father is the originator, the Son the executor, and the Holy Spirit, the applier. This can only be the result of a voluntary agreement among the persons of the Trinity, so that their internal relations assume the form of a covenant life" (266 Systematic Theology).

2. Passages which point out the plan of salvation is eternal (Eph 1:4; 3:9-11, but that it was in nature a covenant (John 5:30, 43; 6:38-40; 17:4-12; Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Cor 15:22 Christ is pictured as the head of a covenant body--just as Adam was the head of the human race.

Anyways it goes on and on. If you are able read Berkhof 265-271 for a more thorough discussion of the Scriptural merit for discussing a covenant to actually redeem a covenant people.

MBS
Soli Deo Gloria

6/17/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I have read Berkhof, being something of a recovering Calvinist myself. It seems to me that in this as in many other areas he can't resist the temptation to fill in the gaps that scripture leaves empty - as you yourself admit when you say, 'There is not one Scripture verse that says, "The Trinity made a covenant to save sinners."' Precisely. Not one.

6/18/2006 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ken Fields said...

Tim,

After reading your comments, I was wondering how you interpret and explain the following verses:

1 Peter 1:20, "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."

Revelation 13:8, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

Romans 16:25-27, "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen."

Ephesians 3:11, "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The plan of redemption is not an afterthought or a reaction to man's sin ... salvation is all of God ... He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

So, was redemption God's idea or man's idea ... and what Scripture can you provide to support the idea that redemption was the Father's eternal plan without the Son's knowledge or understanding?

6/18/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mathew Sims said...

Tim,
There is also not one verse that says, "God is a trinity." but we belive in a triune God.

MBS

6/18/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Simmer down, guys. I'm well aware of the fact that I'm not going to convert the entire Calvinist world to my views - especially given your obvious theological astuteness - and I don't plan to try.

My problems with the quote from Flavel were as follows:

1. It gives the appearance of limiting wrath to the Father, and therefore easily falls into the old caricature of a stern and wrathful Father who can barely be restrained from taking out an enormous temper tantrum on the world by the ministrations of a kind and gentle Son. If there is wrath and love in God, there is wrath and love in both Father and Son. The quote from Flavel obscures this and seems to drive a wedge between them.

2. It gives the impression that at some point before the beginning of time the three persons of the Trinity had a sort of policy conference to divide up the labour of salvation. I'm not objecting to the idea that there is an eternal plan of salvation; I'm simply objecting to the idea that it had its genesis in such an anthropomorphic way.

I do most strenuously object to the idea that God killed Jesus, but I don't expect to be able to convince you guys of either the scriptural basis for my objections, or of the harm that is done to sensitive souls by the kind of language that you are using, so I'll keep quiet on that issue.

6/19/2006 01:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mathew Sims said...

Tim,
Thank for bringing these concerns to the forefront. I will readily admit that the Father and Son are one and share the dimension of love and wrath. They (i.e., the Trinity) are all God and possess all the characteristics of deity.

Scripture does seem to clearly say though that the Father's wrath is what the Son is appeasing. So although the Son is wrathful to the Scripture does not seem to highlight that aspect of his character...BUT the book of revelations is the revelation of Jesus Christ and does demonstrate that Jesus too is just and wrathful. It is not some uncontrable anger though...like "wrathful Father who can barely be restrained from taking out an enormous temper tantrum on the world." His anger is just and righteous--like Jesus in the temple. The money changers had made the temple a den of thieves and He was righteously angry.

2. Your second objection is rightly founded. We cannot put the Trinity in our box when it comes to time. But it seems again the Scripture is clear that sometime in eternity past whenever that was that they agreed to redeem and save mankind. How it all actually took place can only be conjectured.

I would be interested in your interaction with the texts, particularly in Acts, which seem to state that God did "kill" or predestined for death Jesus in some way.

I am always happy to discuss theology in a civil manner. Please feel free like I said to interact with these texts.

MBS
Soli Deo Gloria

6/19/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Ken Fields said...

Tim,

Please don't misunderstand our questions ... we aren't livid with you!! We are simply unaware of the Scriptural problem with a God who preordained and predetermined the death of His Son as a payment for sins.

We are asking you to explain your view in light of Scripture! While your arguments may be appealing to our finite understanding of God, you offer no Scriptural basis for such a view.

Meanwhile, we are left wondering how our language (which is Scripture) could be offensive to anyone. If the death of Christ was God's plan for the redemption of His people, then what was the purpose was His death?

Again, we are not attacking you with vitriolic verbage, we are asking you to prove your point with Scripture!

Thanks for the interaction!

6/19/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan Allen said...

Hello All,
This is my first time to post on this subject, and I realize that I am coming late to the discussion. But I was thinking quite a bit about this yesterday, and it came to mind that it seems like we are missing the BIG PICTURE.

The one side says that God could not have killed Jesus because that is contrary to who God is. Killing someone is not loving and God has said in His Book that He is LOVE. The other side says (correctly in my humble opinion) that if God did not kill Jesus then the atonement is an after thought, and quite a bit of scripture is quoted to prove that the atonement is not an afterthought, but rather a well planned event.

What I think is missing to the discussion is an analysis of the cross from Christ's perspective. It has been stated that the cross was a horrid, evil, crushing event. That is all true. It has also been stated that believers have benefitted greatly from the cross, also true. What I propose is that Christ also benefitted greatly from the cross. In fact, I posit that the cross was the BEST THING for Christ.

God repeatedly said that Christ was His BELOVED SON. God said that HE LOVED Jesus. I tend to believe Him. The word used in the Greek is agape. Selfless love, love that puts the other person first. Love that is an intentional response to promote well being according to Wikipedia. That means that if God is telling the truth, that even the horrid death on the cross that Jesus endured, was ultimately of benefit to Him.

Do the scriptures support this thought? I believe that they do. We see in Hebrews 12 that Christ endured the cross because of the "joy set before Him". He thought that the cross was worth it because of the joy that would flow to Him as a result. In John 17 Jesus prays, just before His crucifixion, that NOW is the time for Him to be glorified by the Father. That glory was His because of the cross. Finally, in Philippians 2, Paul states that Christ is exalted by the Father because of His obedience in going to the cross.

Why did God kill Jesus on the cross? For two reasons. One, it was necessary for us. Two, it was beneficial to Christ.

6/19/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Okay, here we go.

Last point first. Ken says, 'Meanwhile, we are left wondering how our language (which is Scripture) could be offensive to anyone'. I'm sure you're sincere in asking this, Ken, but the point that Steve Chalke and Alan Mann make is a valid one; many sensitive people simply recoil at the idea of a God who kills his own Son. They recoil even more at C.J. Mahoney's language about 'crushing'. If you don't understand how this sort of language could be a stumbling block to sensitive souls, then I'm not sure how I can help you to understand it. I'm a pastor of twenty-eight years' experience, and I can assure you that I see the horror in people's faces at this idea all the time.

Now to Matthew's points.

First, you claim that 'Scripture does seem to clearly say though that the Father's wrath is what the Son is appeasing'. Where, precisely? I think the usual phrase is 'the wrath of God', not 'the wrath of the Father', isn't it?

Second, you ask me to interact 'with the texts, particularly in Acts, which seem to state that God did "kill" or predestined for death Jesus in some way'. I'm happy to do so.

You quote from Acts 4: "This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men". I note carefully the language used here. God's part is to plan and foreknow; the human part is to crucify and kill. You also quote Acts 3: '"And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled". Again the economy of salvation is clear: God foretold and fulfilled, but it was 'you brothers' who acted in ignorance (i.e. in the crucifixion of Jesus).

As for the quote from Isaiah 53, it is never clearly specified who it is that does the crushing and bruising. In fact, it seems that in verse 4 a misunderstanding is being corrected: 'Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted'. It seems as if the prophet is saying that to 'esteem him stricken by God and afflicted' is to misunderstand the mystery of what is happening; the truth is simply that he has 'borne our griefs and carried our sorrows'.

It is true that at the end of the quote the prophet does say 'Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all' - but once again, this does not say that God killed Jesus, but simply that God laid our sin on him.

Your article quotes James Spurgeon as saying, "Do you know how many thousands of people were crucified by the Romans each year and for a period of hundreds of years? There were many people who suffered physically as much as did Christ by cruel Roman hands. But no one, I repeat no one, has ever suffered the way Jesus did". I would agree with that (hence my lack of interest in movies like 'The Passion of the Christ', which focus on the physical horrors). I would suggest that Jesus' cry of dereliction on the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' gives us a decisive clue as to what the difference was. The Son, who had never felt the separation from God which is a common experience for us humans, now for the first time felt the alienation from God which is the penalty for sin. The crushing, the killing, was not unique. It was the Godforsakenness which Jesus experienced on our behalf which was his decisive act of atonement.

6/19/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ken Fields said...

Tim,

You said, "...many sensitive people simply recoil at the idea of a God who kills his own Son. They recoil even more at C.J. Mahoney's language about 'crushing'. If you don't understand how this sort of language could be a stumbling block to sensitive souls, then I'm not sure how I can help you to understand it."

Are you suggesting that we change Scripture or 'tone down' the graphic depictions of a God who must punish sin?

As for your understanding of Isaiah 53, I am perplexed how you try to explain away the simple meaning of Scripture (i.e., "smitten of God"). It seems unmistakably clear!

As for your response to the passages in Acts (Acts 2 and 4), it seems that you are forced to admit that the death of Christ was a definite (and unchangeable) part of God's ordained and predetermined plan while you are unwilling to admit that the fruition of this plan took place without God's involvement. Yet, 2 Corinthians 5:21 says differently, "For (God) made (Jesus) to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." Another verse with which you must interact is Jesus' prayer in Matthew 26:39, "Father,if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless,not as I will, but as you will."

While these texts do not specifically contain the words "God killed Jesus," their meaning is clear ... God, having eternally ordained the death of His Son, used the hands of willing and sinful men to accomplish His eternal purposes in Jesus' cross.

6/19/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mathew Sims said...

Tim,
Well I have to agree with Ken. Your interpretation of the Acts passage admit that God ordained them, but not that God carried out the acts itself. I would agree God did not physically drive the nails into Jesus' hands, but without God's authority they would have never been able to carry out their plot.

Your interpretation of Isaiah appears particularly faulty. The structure is not constrative. You think God killed Him, but really He only bore you sins. The Geneva Study notes say, "We judge evil, thinking that he was punished for his own sins, and not for ours." Bruised is the Hebrew word chalal which means crushed. The actor in verse 6 is the LORD.

I would agree with your assessment of the overemphasis on the physical torment and not enough on the spiritual separation which was paramount.

MBS
Soli Deo Gloria

6/19/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Well, I have nothing to add. I still believe that while the precise language of the biblical texts certainly justifies speaking of the Cross as God's plan, it does not justify speaking of God as having himself killed Jesus. To take this step is to fill in a gap that the texts themselves do not fill in - just as the texts speak of the death of Jesus as a ransom for sin, but never specify to whom the ransom was paid.

Ken, I do not know you or what you do, so let me ask you an honest question: have you ever sat with a person who, as a child, was abused by their father? As a pastor, I have had that experience many times. And I know from that experience that it is a horrific thing for those people to hear that God killed his own Son. No, I do not think we have to change the texts of scripture. I think we have to change our faulty interpretations of them.

With this I will now bow out and let you guys have the last word.

6/19/2006 11:39:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home