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Friday, April 14, 2006

Penal Substitutionary Atonement

I can think of no greater act of worship on the anniversary of our Lord's crucifixion, than to read about the central work of His death on the cross.

Mark Dever is back at it. He wrote a wonderful article for Christianity Today. You need to read it. It may be heavier reading, but it's important that you understand it, worship God because of it, and are amazed by His grace in light of it. God has offered us redemption of sin through the incredible payment offered up by His Righteous Son on our behalf...we should be willing to read into it.

This afternoon, I spoke with a man that claimed to be a believer. Yet, I was greived that when I asked him to tell me about his conversion that it included nothing about his conviction of sin, his guilt before God, or Christ's work on his behalf.

We've got to make sure we keep central things central.

To the praise of the glory of His grace!

(HT:Justin Taylor)


  • At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    But don't forget everyone....God is full of wrath and we should focus on that more than his loving side.

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    without knowing who you are, anonymous...it's hard to respond, however consider the following two:

    which is more loving:

    Despite the activity of evil by humankind, because of being a loving God, He simply overlooks the sin that takes place. Forget whether this view is just (which it isn't), is it loving? Is it loving for God to overlook sin when we have not only violated Him, but others in the process as well. a whimsical turning away from sin is not love...but rather laziness.

    Now, if God, despite the fact that I have commited evil and violated His nature with my actions, decides to pour grace upon me by sending His Son to die on the cross for the forgiveness of my sin...not because I deserved it, but because He is loving and gracious...which to you sounds like a greater display of love.

    Wrath or justice is not a greater essence of God (for who can really classify which attribute of God is most important?), but love is only most greatly conveyed in the context of a just and wrath-filled God.

    by the way, did you read the article and this is your response, or simply your response to my blog in general?

  • At 8:34 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    Dew. Completely wasn't me. If I disagree with you, you know I'm not afraid to put my name with it. Of course I then delete it several hours later.

    But seriously, this wasn't me.

  • At 10:07 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    i knew that wailer. the fact the comment had remained up for nearly 4 hours by the time i commented let me know it wasn't you.

    that and the fact that i don't think you'd disagree with the article.

  • At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes I read your blog, and it was more or less not helpful in anything. My comment had more to do with something that you taught two weeks ago. I just chose a poor way, or time to vent about it. Sorry. Sometimes I read your blogs for clarity, and most recently I have found them more confusing than helpful. It's not your fault. And what you taught a few weeks ago, it wasn't how you taught it, it's more that I don't agree with it, and in the back of my head it makes sense, but I don't want to believe it, and chose the wrong way to express my anger. I just didn't want you to know who this was. Sorry again.....

  • At 9:11 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    thanks for the reply, anony.

    i fear you were doomed for disappointment if you came here seeking clarity. i feel like i am often muddying the waters. there are so many others who make a point so much clearer than i (as i felt dever did in his article).

    could you tell me which post created the concern? it is more than plausible that i wasn't clear, and it may be a good idea for me to clean something up.

    i am confused however, by your comment. is it that what i said appeared wrong, or is more of a heart issue? it seemed like maybe you were saying that something seemed right ("in the back of your head") but you don't want to submit to it.

    thanks for continuing to comment!

  • At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't remember which post it was, but sometimes your blogs make me laugh. I don't think you were wrong in what you taught us that night, it's just that I don't know what I believe and everything is going around me like this crazy tornado. You were just teaching what you thought was right, and that works for you and your other students. I just don't know what works for me. Maybe nothing will.
    But Hey, thanks for being patient, and sorry this is the only way I know how to contact you without you finding out who this is.

  • At 3:30 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    I would commend your efforts in starting one blog for serious issues and use another for sports and family. Most of your posts lately have been very deep and theologically-oriented. Note the curren title, "Penal Substitutionary Atonement," three words rarely used by anyone.

    I'm sure it was a good post, but do you see what I'm saying? You are probably losing some of the peeps who would just like to stay in touch with you and hear a funny story about your kids once in a while.

  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger Gary McDuda said…

    Great post man. I like this kind of post.

    I thought the emphasis in the article on not pitting one metaphor against the other was good. I think each one shines light on a certain aspect, and none of them contain all possible truth about the work of Jesus. That's um...why we have several!

    Your comment about the person whose testimony said nothing about conviction of sin, guilt before God or Christ's work on his behalf made me think of one of my first "evangelistic success stories."

    I had been reading the Bible with this guy for several weeks. When finally he asked something like "then what must I do to be saved?"

    So I moved into presenting the plan of salvation. He responded positively and I went home a happy camper.

    The next week I was reviewing his decision and said something to the effect of "Christ died in your place," and he said "HUH?" I said "You are a sinner and deserve to be on the Cross, but Jesus took your place"...to which he said (and this is a quote)...


    Well, I went home not quite as happy a camper as the week before. Somehow a believer who didn't deserve death seemed like an oxymoron.

    But I wonder how many people in our churches really believe the same thing? They spout the right words, but really, don't deserve to die

    Sure, I'm a sinner...but I'm not that bad...


  • At 6:13 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    not to get overly spiritual on you gary, but...

    "for am i now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am i striving to please men? if i were still trying to please men, i would not be a bond-servant of Christ."--galatians 1:10

    about two months into this blog i figured out two things:

    1. i could not write posts simply for the purpose of generating comments. i tried and it was terrible.

    2. i have no idea what people want, and shouldn't try and write with that intent.

    this blog is what's going on in my heart. right now, i've been wrestling with this kind of stuff. don't worry, stories about my daughter smearing baby lotion on the car windows, and an nba playoffs preview will follow...but so will "deep" stuff.

    by the way, maybe we should lament that the average believer can not figure out what penal substitutionary atonement is.

  • At 6:14 AM, Blogger Gary McDuda said…

    I think we'd have a lot more to lament if we really knew what the people in our own churches really believed about a lot of things. That thought scares me to death.

    I know what they say they believe, but what do they really believe about...

    how to be saved? (What IS this grace thing?)
    who is Jesus?
    Why do they "go to church"

    Anyhow...if you don't post to please people WHY BLOG? (just kidding...sorta).

  • At 9:14 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    Blogs have many purposes.
    (1) An outlet for thoughts
    (2) A forum for discussion and feedback
    (3) Fun!
    (4) Sharpen your writing skills
    (5) Critique other blogs =)
    (6) Keep a personal journal
    (7) Keep a not-so personal journal
    (8) There, unfortunately, is no #8.
    (9) Keep in touch with friends.
    (10) Keep in touch with enemies.
    (11) Introduce your friends to your enemies.
    (12) Celebrate sports victories.
    (13) Keep track of pictures of your kids
    (14) Communicate with people in your church
    (15) To please people =)
    (16) To appease people
    (17) To meet people
    (18) to let people meet you.

    Need I go on?

    Countless reasons to blog, yet so little time in which to blog it.

  • At 5:40 AM, Blogger Gary McDuda said…

    I like #8 the best.


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