Thursday, January 6

What I've Been Doing

I've been busy commenting again on the substitutional atonement issue here and here. This is part of what I wrote (This is in response to Wink's comment that if we didn't really die with Christ--and I understand this to mean that if we didn't really experience death with Christ--then that "gives the lie" to the statements of scripture that say that we died in Christ):
We are comprehended by God in Christ's death. He sees us (and our sins) there with Christ. In that sense, we died in Christ. At the same time, we do not experience the death that is the punishment for our sins. We are spared it.

This is not giving a lie, but making it true. This is the way in which it is made true. What God reckons is reality, even if it is not our actual experience. And this is what is meant (I think) by substitution: What we don't experience is counted as ours.

Like the proxy vote example, if you will. My proxy voter votes instead of me. Their vote is reckoned to be my vote, and really IS my vote, even though I didn't experience marking my own ballot in any way, even though I never left my own home. The proxy voter substitutes (or stands in) for me, and casts a vote in my place. Yet there is a true sense in which I am included in that vote, and the vote is mine: it's the substitutionary nature of the vote that makes that particular act of voting inclusive of me. And what is accomplished substitutionally in that vote--apart from my actual experience--reaps real (or experiencial [sic]*) benefits for me.

That I voted by proxy and not in actual experience is not giving the lie to the statement that I voted. That I voted by proxy (or substitutionally) is the way in which the statement that I voted is true. Similarly with my death in Christ. That Christ died in my place is the way in which I died. It's the way the statement that "I died" is made true.
I encourage you to go over to Parableman and read the whole conversation.

The next passage I plan to look at in regards to the substitutional nature of the atonement is from Isaiah 53.

*Yes, sadly, I have to sic my own comments. There is probably more siccing that needs be done, but I've moving on for now.