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Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1913


To me its about the gospel and penal is the gospel ...

does any one no off hand what was preached in the major reviles weather it was one of the other gospels ....

 2017/4/3 7:08Profile

Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1470
Dothan, Alabama


Hey brother Gary:)

I think I am following you and it was different at different times, with each preacher being true to his understanding and walking in the light he was given. Edwards of course was penal while Finney (as Tyler pointed out) was not and makes a rather overt point regarding the attonement.

It's interesting that Finney was an attorney and did not find the penal aspect in the scriptures but rather a much different thing being taught.

What's even more interesting (to me) is that in spite of these men's differences in doctrine and theology the Lord was able to use them both mightily to reach the lost and turn souls from hell!

So while I appreciate studies like this at the end of the day history proves this matters less than wether we are willing to go all in and become a living sacrifice for Christ... if not we are a poor waste of His blood that purchased us and are cheating Him out of that which He bought.


 2017/4/3 8:42Profile

Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510

 Re: Penal substitution disputed by many

Hi Docs,

I agree that this is an important question. Once the theological terminology is removed, this question is simply about the meaning of the atonement.

God wants us to know this. Let's not dismiss this as high-brow theology; rather, it is Christianity 101.

The atoning work of Christ is central to the gospel, and how we understand it has trememdous ramifications for practical living. I speak from my own experience.

Given that this thread has gone off the rails, you might find this old discussion thread on "Atonement Views" to be helpful:

Note in particular Philologos' responses. He writes from a penal substitution perspective.

 2017/4/3 15:02Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2282

 Re: Thank you yuehan

I'm a might bewildered here. I was just casually looking over theories and views of the atonement and thought I might mention in a small way on the forum. Suddenly out of the sea came a many headed something voicing things one thousand light years away from any iota of anything I was thinking of or intended. I was told,

- I need to quit studying the Bible so much

- Any theologian who attempted to present a view of the atonement bought into the ways of the world

- Any theologian who has attempted to organize a portion of biblical truth was profoundly misguided and operating outside of the Spirit

- Those interested in doctrine have left their first love

- Any and all theologians have been captive to the thoughts of their own mind instead of the revelation from scripture

- Protestants cling to the Word out of fear because they are afraid to admit it is something less than the living Word of God.

Nothing about any discussion revolving around penal substitution.
Anyway, I'm suprised and a bit perpelexed where all this came from but if I find time I will take a look at the link you recommended. Thanks for taking the time.

David Winter

 2017/4/3 16:01Profile

Joined: 2012/6/10
Posts: 225
United States


None of those are accurate but they do prove you have missed the point of everything I've been trying to say


 2017/4/3 19:21Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2282

 Re: Brother appolus

I want to apologize if I may have rubbed your feelings or intent the wrong way by bringing up stacking the deck. Hindsight sure can be valuable as I know from having to take advantage of it so many times. If I said anything wrong or in the wrong way I offer appologies.

David Winter

 2017/4/5 8:16Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri


I wanted to comment on this topic early on, but felt that I should not. However, I feel free now to give my two cents worth.

Paul admonished Timothy to study to show himself approved, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Paul admonished both Titus and Timothy about the importance of sound doctrine. I don't think anyone with even a cursory knowledge of scripture would denigrate a systematic study of scripture. It is an important discipline in the life of a believer.

But on the other hand, Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 2 that he is coming, not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of power in the Spirit of God. In Galatians 1, Paul tells us that his revelation of the gospel did not come from any teaching of man, but rather by revelation by the Spirit of God. In other words, Paul did not get his doctrine from systematic study, but as direct revelation by the Holy Spirit.

One thing I notice about Paul's writings are the great number of quotes from the Old Testament. Paul was a student of Gamaliel and most likely had the law and most of the prophets committed to memory. This served as great raw material for the Holy Spirit to quicken to Paul, but it took the quickening of the Holy Spirit to bring the truth out of the knowledge.

In 1 Cor. 8, Paul makes an interesting statement. He says that knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies. Knowledge, apart from intimacy with God, leads us to thinking we have all of our intellectually derived, doctrinal ducks in a row, and causes us to approach the word of God from a argumentative or debating mentality. But knowledge that is gained in the context of intimacy and relationship comes by revelation and is profitable for growth and edification.

It takes the Holy Spirit to correctly interpret scripture. He is the one who breaths life into the written pages. There is a huge difference between knowing part of the word on a purely intellectual level and having the Holy Spirit drop the truth of that thing into your spirit in such a way as to make it a living reality. The word of God was never meant to be studied and dissected, but rather to be received as a living, breathing reality that transforms our lives so that we become partakers of the divine nature. The ultimate goal is spiritual life and godliness.

Lets look at the atonement as an example. We can look at it seven ways form Sunday and devise all sorts of systematic ways to define it. We can then debate our various viewpoints. And, there might be a valid place for doing so (I will leave at least that much room). But what was the purpose of the atonement? Why was the price paid? The purpose was to bring many sons to glory. The purpose was to break down the wall of enmity between me and God so that I could enter once again into relationship with Him, unhindered by the law of commandments. This is reconciliation. It was so that God, through the Holy Spirit, could make me a partaker of the divine nature. It is so I might be made the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.

When the reality of the purpose is dropped into me by the Holy Spirit, it makes the topic of the atonement become the reality of relationship through Christ. To me, these are two very different things.

We cannot divorce the study of the word and the revelation of the Holy Spirit. With one comes knowledge. With the other comes divine empowerment at every level of my life.

Just my perspective.


 2017/4/5 11:43Profile

Joined: 2016/8/14
Posts: 21


What a wonderful word, brother Travis! I completely agree - it's not either the Bible or the Spirit - it's both!

Also, with regards to the OP - I never actually considered that there were so many different explanations of the atonement, and I find I hold to a few of them simultaneously. But I find it hard to question that penal substitution is vital to understanding the atonement. I will quote a verse that philologos also mentioned in the thread that was linked to:

From Romans 3
... Christ Jesus 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

The point is that God "passed over former sins", and for Him to be just and righteous, those sins had to be punished and borne by Jesus. I don't see how this passage can be understood apart from a penal perspective. Although as I mentioned, I don't necessarily believe that was the only thing that the atonement did. What's you're take on this?


 2017/4/5 12:01Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2282

 Re: Thank you twayneb

That is a excellent post.

I'm a little short of time but among other things, this is what struck me.

- But what was the purpose of the atonement?

- Why was the price paid?

- The purpose was to bring many sons to glory.

- The purpose was to break down the wall of enmity between me and God so that I could enter once again into relationship with Him, unhindered by the law of commandments.

- This is reconciliation.

- It was so that God, through the Holy Spirit, could make me a partaker of the divine nature.

- It is so I might be made the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.

Under the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, those things are understood from examination of the scriptures which are the written and living word of God as if God Himself was speaking to you. Yes, God may speak to us during our devotions or prayer times but nothing there will ever contradict the things found in His living word. I'm not saying you don't believe this but more than a casual investigation of the scriptures is and should be a normal practice for us who are rdeemed. The truth of God in the atonement of Christ is laid out for us in His word.

Thank you bro for excellent thoughts expressed in your post.

David Winter

 2017/4/6 8:42Profile

Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1487

 Re: Martyr's perspective

I felt I should add a note in regard to Martyr's comments and perspective. Based on what I've read, I think I had a similar experience growing up. My family was a part of largely mainline, conservative churches. The largely cessationist views contrasted with my parents experience of being born of the Spirit and teaching. My parents never pushed us kids to be born again or seek being filled with Spirit but they did tell us about their experience.

When I entered into the fullness, the Lord gave me a couple years of intense instruction. So many things were opened to me that were clearly not understood or taught in the churches I had been a part of, I was sure that the promise of the Holy Spirit leading into all truth could simply mean direct, divine revelation. I thought I didn't need any teachers or leaders, I just needed to abide. That was only partly right.

The vision God gave me included building up the Church but to do that you need to teach, preach which I had been denying the need of in my life. God used Sermon Index to introduce me to preachers who have revelation on things I sorely needed but He had not chosen to reveal directly to me.

I encourage you to watch some of the God's Foretold Work that often includes "Doc" Winter, Reggie Kelly and other Spirit taught brethren. I'm sure it will be a great blessing for your soul and spirit.

Blessings on you dear brother

 2017/4/8 7:08Profile

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