Wednesday, February 28

Now It Comes Out

In the comments of Monday's post on the Baptist Board discussion I was participating in, I mentioned that
[w]hat really bothers me about the system being put forward in that thread is that it makes God unjust. People don't go to hell because God has just grounds for sending them there. After all, according to this theory, justice has been satisfied on behalf of every person
After I wrote that, I felt a little bit guilty, because although I could see that logically, this is where the so-called system was leading, it hadn't actually been said yet. Well, now it has. From the proponent the view under discussion:
Justice can condemn, but one can be condemned apart from any concept of justice as well. God has satisfied justice through His own sacrifice on our behalf. However, that is not the only way someone can be condemned, as the Bible clearly shows.
Well, yes, one can be condemned apart from any concept of justice, if the judge is an unjust judge.

By the way, this isn't typical universal atonement (You know, the unlimited side of the unlimited vs. limited atonement discussion!), which has God's justice satisfied potentially on behalf of every person, but only actually satisfied on condition of faith. Here's a short summary of the usual version of universal atonement, taken from this comparison chart.
Christ's redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe on Him are saved. His death enabled God to pardon sinners on the condition that they believe, but it did not actually put away anyone's sins. Christ's redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.
Notice that universal atonement does not "actually put away anyone's sins", except as a person comes to faith. In that way, universal atonement does not have God condemning people who have no crimes counted against them. Neither does limited atonement, which has Christ's redeeming work putting away only the sins of his people. Limited vs. unlimited atonement is not the real issue here.

Update, March 1: No blogging today because I'm still working hard at this BB discussion. Leslie (see comments) took the time to read through the whole thing. As she says, there's some convoluted thinking there.

One example: In response to my statement that God can't condemn someone without just cause, we have this:
I’m sorry, but God can do what He wants.
I know a lot of people question the value of these sorts of discussions. I think that if you have the stomach for this sort of thing, and a rather thick skin, you can learn a lot from participating. At the very least, you'll solidify what you already know. When someone comes up with some rather novel idea, as in the case in this discussion, all the better, because you can't rely entirely on the apologetic work that others have done. When you have to develop the arguments yourself, you know what you know.

However, it's not for everyone, and it can be time consuming, which is why I began blogging and mostly gave up discussion boards. Blogging takes so much less time!

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