March 25, 2006
Posted by Tony Byrne at 3/25/2006 08:29:00 AM
March 23, 2006
Posted by Tony Byrne at 3/23/2006 12:47:00 PM
March 22, 2006
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." (Rev. 5:9-10)
One of the glorious truths of Scripture is that Jesus is not a hypothetical Savior, a mere wanna-be who fails with regularity. No, we proclaim a powerful Savior who perfectly does the will of the Father. His death did not make the purchase of men from every tribe, tongue, people and nation possible, it actually accomplished that which the Triune Majesty intended. Why so many long for an "atonement" that atones not I will never understand, but when they make reference to the extent of the atonement, point them to this text that defines what it means to speak of the "world" in a New Testament context.
“Then there is the argument from the Trinity. It is argued that if Christ died for all men equally, then there would be conflict within the Trinity. The Father chose only some and the Spirit regenerates only some, so how could the Son die for all men in general? Actually, this argument needs refinement. There are general and particular aspects about the work of each member of the Trinity. The Father loves all men as creatures, but gives special love only to the elect. The Spirit calls all men, but efficaciously calls only the elect. Similarly, the Son died for all men, but died in a special manner for the elect. We must keep the balance with each of these. If, on the one hand, we believe only in a strictly Limited Atonement, then we can easily back into a strictly particular work of the Father and the Spirit. The result is Hyper-Calvinism, rejecting both Common Grace and the universal Free Offer of the Gospel. On the other hand, if the atonement is strictly universal, then there would be disparity. The tendency would be towards Arminianism – the result would be to reject election and the special calling of the Spirit.”
Curt Daniel, The History and Theology of Calvinism (Good Books, 2003), p. 371
Satisfaction not Commercial.
The Reformed divines are also accustomed to make a distinction between penal and moral satisfaction, on the one hand, and pecuniary payment, on the other. In a mere pecuniary debt, the claim is on the money owed, not on the person owing. The amount is numerically estimated. Hence, the surety, in making vicarious payment, must pay the exact number of coins due. And when he has done that, he has, ipso facto, satisfied the debt. His offer of such payment in full is a legal tender which leaves the creditor no discretion of assent or refusal. If he refuses, his claim is canceled for once and all. But the legal claim on us for obedience and penalty is personal. It regards not only the quid solvatur, but the quis solvat. The satisfaction of Christ is not idem facere; to do the identical thing required of the sinner, but satis facere; to do enough to be a just moral equivalent for what is due from the sinner. Hence, two consequences. Christ’s satisfaction cannot be forced on the divine Creditor as a legal tender; it does not free us ipso facto. And God, the Creditor, has an optional discretion to decline the proffer, if He chooses (before He is bound by His own covenant), or to accept it. Hence, the extent to which, and the terms on which Christ’s vicarious actions shall actually satisfy the law, depend simply on the stipulations made between Father and Son, in the covenant of redemption.
Posted by Tony Byrne at 3/22/2006 05:01:00 PM
March 21, 2006
March 14, 2006
Posted by Tony Byrne at 3/14/2006 12:43:00 PM
March 1, 2006
"Another way in which the Puritans emphasized preaching was that when they began to put up their own buildings they put their pulpits in the centre. What attracted the attention of the worshippers was not the altar, so-called, but a pulpit with an open Bible on it. It is regrettable to find increasingly that there is no pulpit Bible in many nonconformist churches at the present time and there are too many pulpits placed in a corner! I think that has some significance. But the Puritans had a central pulpit; and the Bible was there on it.Moreover some of these men preached large numbers of sermons. Some preached every day of the week, and on Sundays more than once. Calvin himself was pre-eminently a great preacher. He preached at times every day and twice on a Sunday; and the Puritans perpetuated this idea. There was constant and systematic preaching, and people would travel considerable distances in order to hear such preaching. Nothing was so characteristic of the Puritans as their belief in preaching and their delight in listening to preaching. Then the number of sermons printed by them was remarkable. This raises a very interesting point, which we tend to forget, namely, that so much of the theological teaching of the Puritans was given in the form of preaching and sermons. I suggest in passing that we must consider once more whether the best way of teaching theology is not through preaching, through exposition of the Word. If you keep to the Word you will preserve a balance, and be constantly reminded of the importance of applying it as you go along."