March 23, 2017

April 1, 2010


Pierced, Crushed and Punished. For us.

Isaiah 53:4-6 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

This short, famous, stanza lies at the centre and climax (since the song is a chiasm) of the final Servant Song in Isaiah. Stunning words written more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus and yet clearly about Him.

Isaiah speaks of the punitive substitutionary death that the Servant suffers on behalf of His people. Whereas the first Servant Songs may possibly refer, in part, to the entire nation of Israel this can certainly not be said of Isa. 52:13-53:12. The Servant clearly suffers on behalf of the people as their representative and figurative "father" (see 53:10).

The New Testament (texts such as John 12:38; Rom. 15:21, 16:25; 1Peter 2:22ff. etc.) clearly identifies Jesus as this same suffering one.

And so we see that this awful Friday is, in fact, a very Good Friday for by placing our confidence in Him and His incredible suffering we are brought to peace with God and healed.

 


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60 comments

Beautiful, Fr. Ould… Thank you.

[1] Posted by Floridian on 4-2-2010 at 06:38 AM · [top]

I don’t buy into penal substitution, at all. The forces of the devil killed Jesus. He saves us by his Incarnation, by what he taught us about how to live. The Resurrection was Jesus’ way of telling the devil, “up yours”, evil is defeated.

[2] Posted by DesertDavid on 4-2-2010 at 08:42 AM · [top]

So God was killed by the Devil—and you think this is better than the concept that God Himself took our justly-deserved punishment himself?  What a pathetic God you have, DesertDavid.

[3] Posted by Fidela on 4-2-2010 at 09:42 AM · [top]

DesertDavid,

Guess that’s the reason for your nickname - you have to stay out in the desert and bury your head in the sand in order to ignore all of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation and the understanding of the Jews and of the church for 4000 years in regard to the need for the Cross and the Blood, as well as maintain the revisionist position on human sexuality.

[4] Posted by Floridian on 4-2-2010 at 09:43 AM · [top]

Your argument is based on the premise that sin must be punished. Human beings in positions of power - parental, governmental, ecclesiastical and commercial - have been inflicting punishment on those not in power - children, citizens, laity & clergy, consumers & employees - since the beginning of human society (and continuing). Punishment regimes, however, have utterly failed to extinguish the behavior they purport to deter. Jesus intended to change all that by reserving punishment to God alone and that among persons, the proper behavior was forgiveness. The resurrection was an act in defiance of those who punished Jesus. It was statement that those with earthly power are no match for God. Its message was, punish me all you want, my Word you cannot extinguish.

[5] Posted by DesertDavid on 4-2-2010 at 09:49 AM · [top]

God the Father did allow the devil to kill Jesus.  Jesus, the Son, the Holy Lamb, the Final Passover Lamb did lay down his life willingly. 

God (Father and Son) allowed the evil one have his moment….then (heh, heh)....

Jesus rose again! 

By HIS Blood, Suffering, Cross, Bearing our Sin, and Resurrection, HE Defeated sin, lust, lies, hell and death…for all eternity.

[6] Posted by Floridian on 4-2-2010 at 09:54 AM · [top]

desertdavid doesn’t believe in penal substitution. another example of an episcopalian who knows better the the Bible and all the saints, all the church fathers, better than Augustine, Aquinas, ...

Read your Bible.

[7] Posted by robroy on 4-2-2010 at 10:14 AM · [top]

Desert David:

I shall pray for you that you may truly know Jesus who went willing to suffering and death in order to triumph over death and bring US life and salvation.  This is indeed a GOOD Friday, because by his wounds we are healed and by his blood we are saved.

[8] Posted by Deacon Francie on 4-2-2010 at 10:41 AM · [top]

#2, DesertDavid writes:

I don’t buy into penal substitution, at all. The forces of the devil killed Jesus. He saves us by his Incarnation, by what he taught us about how to live. The Resurrection was Jesus’ way of telling the devil, “up yours”, evil is defeated.

In #5, you write:

Your argument is based on the premise that sin must be punished. .... Punishment regimes, however, have utterly failed to extinguish the behavior they purport to deter. Jesus intended to change all that by reserving punishment to God alone and that among persons, the proper behavior was forgiveness.

Plenty of other spiritual leaders/gurus have taught their disciples not to be self-centered, to exhibit peace even when they’ve been mistreated, forgive those who mistreat us, etc, - but the radical things Jesus taught were about who he was. 

Why shd we believe Jesus was the Incarnation of God?  If there was no bearing of our penalty by Jesus, why shd he be incarnate? You talk about punishment regimes not accomplishing their goals - perhaps that includes God’s punishment of his people, becs whatever his goal, we keep sinning.  Paul writes, “the good I wd do, I don’t, and the sin I don’t want to do, I do.” Does that mean we shdn’t be held to the law, held to the standards God has for us? You cd even ask if natural consequences of sinful choices are “God’s punishment,” or just what shd be expected?

Two of the things he taught were Jn 10.14-18I am the good shepherd.. and I lay down my life for the sheep…..  The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my own life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and authority to take it up again.”  and later, “I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of the world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”(Jn 14.30-31)

You say we shd forgive each other, and ultimately, yes, we shd. But why shdn’t sin be punished? Shd forgiveness preclude any kind of punishment? A neighbor of ours rigged up mini cameras in the bathroom of the house he shared w/ his girlfriend and her children, one of whom was an adolescent girl. He filmed this girl in the shower (among other places). Shd there be no punishment through the courts for what he did?  Shd those of us who are Xn, and who recognize that we need forgiveness as much as he does, not be revolted by his actions, and not want to see the case go to court?

If there hadn’t been a need for Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin, why wd there need to be a resurrection?  What wd it’s point be? How wd it be thumbing his nose at the devil? If Jesus says, from the cross, “It is finished,” why not have that be the end, why not have him taken down from the cross, his wounds tended to, and go on from there?  Why have him die and be buried?

But as John the Baptist said, Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  Jesus, the Son of God, 2nd Person of the Trinity, became incarnate, and was crucified for our sakes.  He was the perfect offering for our sins (and, becs he’s inclusive, for the sins of the whole world). He suffered the agonies of crucifixion, died, was buried, and on Easter, rose again in Resurrection power and glory.

Go to an Easter Vigil, and listen to the series of lessons that are read. They cover it all: the good of creation, the breaking of the relationship betw God and man, all the way through the atoning sacrifice and the priest’s Easter proclamation that the sacrifice has done its job.

[9] Posted by maineiac on 4-2-2010 at 11:44 AM · [top]

DesertDavid,
Are you willing to argue that the Pharisees, and all others who participated in the Passion were possessed by the Devil? 
And as for sin meriting punishment- see Romans 6:23. Thus Jesus died for our sins.

[10] Posted by m+ on 4-2-2010 at 11:51 AM · [top]

DesertDavid - I appreciate your honesty and thoughts. I am curious, what would you make of John 1:29 - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Look forward to conversing more.

[11] Posted by Festivus on 4-2-2010 at 11:58 AM · [top]

RE: “I don’t buy into penal substitution, at all. The forces of the devil killed Jesus. He saves us by his Incarnation, by what he taught us about how to live.”

Hey Desert David, I am curious about something.

How does God, then, overlook our many and manifold sins in order to redeem us and make us His own?  Does He just say “bygones”?

If there is no substitution of Jesus’s life for ours, His perfection for our wickedness, then how does God deal with the horror of our sinful behavior, our harmful hateful acts down through the ages?

RE: “Your argument is based on the premise that sin must be punished.”

No.

The argument—or rather explanation—of penal substitution is based on the premise that there will be justice in the universe.  It is in the character of God to achieve justice, and He also embedded it into the nature of the world, and the humans He created.

There will be justice.

How is justice achieved, once and for all, allowing God’s character to be fulfilled, while also rescuing those lost in sin.

[12] Posted by Sarah on 4-2-2010 at 12:56 PM · [top]

Hebrews 10:5-10 is clear that the Incarnation cannot be separated from the Atoning Sacrifice at the Cross.  Worth saying on Good Friday.

[13] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 4-2-2010 at 01:03 PM · [top]

Interesting thread.  More so than I suspect some of you realize.  The early church fathers did not address Jesus’ suffering in their theology so much.  Reformation theologians made more of it than they did.  Indeed, it wasn’t until after Constantine that the Cross became popular.  In the earliest surviving artwork from the early church there is a startling lack of “crucifixion” pieces.  The early church Fathers held this as a mystery.  Later theologians highlighted the concept of Jesus’ suffering in our place.  The first Christians did not give Jesus’ suffering theological pride of place, focusing instead on the entire salvific act (including the suffering). This is more a matter of focus and emphasis than real difference.

Jesus died for our sins.  What began in Incarnation is brought to fruition in Resurrection and Ascension.

What the early church tended to find in Jesus’ suffering was strength to face their own in His name.

[14] Posted by Ed McNeill on 4-2-2010 at 01:18 PM · [top]

They say it was by way of appearance, and in this manner, that the divine virtue in matter was affixed to the cross; and that He Himself did not undergo this punishment, since it was impossible that He should suffer this; which assertion Manichæus himself has taken in hand to teach in a book written upon the subject, that the divine virtue was enclosed in matter, and again departs from it. The mode of this they invent. That it should be said, indeed, in the doctrine of the Church, that He gave Himself up for the remission of sins, obtains credit from the vulgar, and appears likewise in the Greek histories, which say that some “surrendered themselves to death in order to ensure safety to their countrymen.” And of this doctrine the Jewish history has an example, which prepares the son of Abraham as a sacrifice to God. But to subject Christ to His passion merely for the sake of display, betrays great ignorance, for the Word is God’s representative, to teach and inform us of actual verities. - Alexander of Lycopolis, 409-448

[15] Posted by Festivus on 4-2-2010 at 01:43 PM · [top]

Festivus,

There is no question that gnostics denied the crucifixion, and that the Early Father’s contradicted them.

[16] Posted by Ed McNeill on 4-2-2010 at 01:56 PM · [top]

I suppose there is also some faulty Christology involved here.  The Triune God is both judge and victim.  God is not punishing Jesus as some sort of 3rd party innocent bystander.  Rather God’s justice is vindicated through the atonement of Jesus, God incarnate.  It’s like a judge sentencing a murderer to death and then stepping down from the bench to have sentence executed on himself.  I find penal substitution a completely satisfactory explanation of the Biblical evidence.

[17] Posted by Br. Michael on 4-2-2010 at 02:21 PM · [top]

This is more a matter of focus and emphasis than real difference. Jesus died for our sins.  What began in Incarnation is brought to fruition in Resurrection and Ascension.

Ed, I like the way you say this and I appreciate the historical summary with which you set it up.

What’s important to me in the debate (contra DesertDavid’s post) is that we resist any reduction of Jesus to “savior by example of the good life.” Our salvation is possible because of what Jesus did, is doing and will do.  Our humanity is joined, by grace, to his divine life.  We cannot incarnate the Word, atone for our sins, establish the kingdom, rise to eternal life or anything else except that Jesus Christ has done these things for us, lets us share in them by the Holy Spirit, and prepares a place for us in the new heavens and new earth he will bring to be.

The culture Christianities of right and left reduce Jesus to a moral example or value symbol, useful but not essential to our “being good” and “finding what works for us.” 

So I would say that the Creedal affirmations, including “was crucified for us,” need to be maintained as a whole, no one of them set above or against the others.  To borrow a good word from your post, they must be maintained as “mystery,” never reduced to moral or symbolic examples of humanly devised virtues.

[18] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 4-2-2010 at 02:27 PM · [top]

#16 - I simply found it an wonderful quote and quite appropriate to the discussion. Blessings you and St.James this wonderful Easter!

[19] Posted by Festivus on 4-2-2010 at 02:28 PM · [top]

DesertDavid’s theology ends up being standard works righteousness.  For he says God alone punishes, but give us no way to avoid God’s punishment.  Where’s the Gospel?

[20] Posted by Harry Edmon on 4-2-2010 at 02:30 PM · [top]

Differing historical human speculations on the exact nature of the Atonement aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

In history, they’ve given theologians a lot to argue about. And, it looks like this thread is heating up. I’ll go make some popcorn and check back in. Whoops - fasting until sunset.

Debates like this are more fun and more edifying than the current Great Matter. Thanks for the respite, David.

[21] Posted by Ralph on 4-2-2010 at 02:34 PM · [top]

#18 Tim+

Thanks.

[22] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 4-2-2010 at 04:15 PM · [top]

I don’t buy into penal substitution, at all. 

Well of course not, DesertDavid. That’s because you don’t buy into the Bible, either.

Is this meant to be some sort of great revelation for us?

[23] Posted by David Ould on 4-2-2010 at 06:19 PM · [top]

I buy into the Bible, but not the same way many Christians do. The Bible is, yes, God’s word, but God’s word to a particular people at a particular time and place. What is unchangeable about God is that God is always changing. There are at least six theories of atonement - ransom, satisfaction, penal substitution, moral influence, non-violent, christus victor. The last three make more sense to me than the first three. Jesus Himself did not see His death as a sacrifice for the sins of humankind - that is nowhere in the Gospels. That is something some of His followers invented after He died. What we need to do is interpret the rest of scripture through the lens of the four canonical Gospels, not through the lens of Paul. I buy into some traditional stuff (I love Solemn High Mass, Benediction, bells and Smells, etc) and into some modern stuff (women and LGB persons in Holy Orders, same sex marriage). And then there’s a few issues where I don’t make either camp totally happy (abortion - I believe life begins at viability; divorce - I believe remarriage should be allowed to abandoned spouses but not to those who walk out on their spouses). I am thoroughly Anglican in the most traditional sense of all - I think for myself!

[24] Posted by DesertDavid on 4-2-2010 at 10:40 PM · [top]

What we need to do is interpret the rest of scripture through the lens of the four canonical Gospels

I do not think you actually believe that for a moment.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

[25] Posted by David Ould on 4-2-2010 at 10:56 PM · [top]

[24] DesertDavid

I think for myself!

We all think for ourselves.  You have said nothing of significance by stating this ... unless you mean something else entirely.  Too often the people who make this statement really mean “I am my own authority.”  But you aren’t, and if you think you are, you are more to be pitied.  So, DesertDavid, what is the authority behind all these statements you have made?  How do you know them to be true?  I ask this question all the time, and I never receive an answer.  Will you perhaps be the first, or will you join the long list of liberals who dodge and weave and evade the question?

carl

[26] Posted by carl on 4-2-2010 at 10:56 PM · [top]

Why do I need “authority” to validate my relationship with Jesus? What good would authority do me?

[27] Posted by DesertDavid on 4-2-2010 at 11:51 PM · [top]

I believe that God’s word is applicable and is addressed to all people of all times, all eras and in all places.

[28] Posted by Cennydd on 4-3-2010 at 12:00 AM · [top]

And “in all sorts and conditions of men.”

[29] Posted by Cennydd on 4-3-2010 at 12:05 AM · [top]

[27] DesertDavid

I am not asking about how you “validate your relationship with Jesus.”  I want to know the authority by which you are making the truth claims you have made.  For example:

What is unchangeable about God is that God is always changing.

How do you know these claims are true?

carl

[30] Posted by carl on 4-3-2010 at 12:47 AM · [top]

Dear friends in Christ,
I hope that your Good Friday has become Holy Saturday and moving right along, Pascha.

[31] Posted by monologistos on 4-3-2010 at 02:43 AM · [top]

DesertDavid,
The natural mind (our own thinking and reasoning) apart from revelation of God, cannot see the Kingdom, cannot understand or value the laws, commandments, precepts, the Scripture or the ways, design and purposes of God, will not be in accord and agreement with them.  Without the revelation of God and a first priority love for God, we will not desire to obey it.  If anything comes before God in our hearts, and if we have not been born again and our minds renewed, we will not submit ourselves to GOD and obey Him.
I Corinthians Luke 24:44-46
John 14:21
Romans 1:28
Romans 8:5-7
I John 5:2-3

[32] Posted by Floridian on 4-3-2010 at 06:17 AM · [top]

I forgot the most important Scripture:
Matthew 16:23 (ESV)
and didn’t finish typing I Corinthians 2:16

[33] Posted by Floridian on 4-3-2010 at 06:24 AM · [top]

RE: “Why do I need “authority” to validate my relationship with Jesus?”

Well so far we’ve found out that your “Jesus” deals with the monstrous crimes and sins of the world down through history by saying “bygones.”

So I’m not sure that we’re really talking about the same person when we talk about “Jesus” anyway.

Maybe you need to learn more about this person with whom you are claiming to have a relationship.

Or maybe there are two different “Jesus’s” out there, one with whom you are having a relationship and one that the rest of us are.

[34] Posted by Sarah on 4-3-2010 at 06:39 AM · [top]

A person with a Spiritual regenerated mind and a circumcised heart (Deut 30:6, I Corinthians 7:19, Ephesians 2:11, Colossians 2:11) will find himself in agreement with Psalm 119 and with Psalm 73:25-26 and will understand (and grieve) that it is for our salvation that Christ came and for our sin that Christ died.

[35] Posted by Floridian on 4-3-2010 at 06:47 AM · [top]

It seems as if DesertDavid may not have a clear view of the Godhead in the trinitarian sense, as there is a bit of a separation of his understanding of Jesus and God.

[36] Posted by aacswfl1 on 4-3-2010 at 09:08 AM · [top]

It also appears that DesertDavid is claiming to be the recipient of direct and unique revelation to which the rest of us are not privy too.

[37] Posted by Br. Michael on 4-3-2010 at 09:53 AM · [top]

I also might point out that at lot of DesertDavid’s comment at 24 is contrary to TEC’s official teaching as reflected even in the 1979 Prayer Book as weak as some us think it to be.

[38] Posted by Br. Michael on 4-3-2010 at 10:17 AM · [top]

[39] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 4-3-2010 at 10:26 AM · [top]

All of us relate to Jesus in our own way. Who’s to say I’m right or you’re right? Only God knows! I’m not prepared to accept that any one Christian or group has a monopoly on truth.

[40] Posted by DesertDavid on 4-3-2010 at 10:48 AM · [top]

I’m not prepared to accept that any one Christian or group has a monopoly on truth.

I find it a sign of hope this Holy Saturday in this sentence.  It implies recognition that there is one truth.

[41] Posted by Jackie on 4-3-2010 at 11:10 AM · [top]

There are two teachers of God’s Word. Both know the message thoroughly, but each teaches a rather different version.

Authority, Holy Tradition, helps with discernment.

When one receives a personal revelation, not consistent with the teachings of the Church throughout the ages, it’s indeed possible that one has been called to be God’s Modern Prophet (Hoshana!!!), sharing that new wisdom to enlighten the world further. However, it’s more likely that the other teacher has given it.

It’s good to be debating the Doctrine of Atonement. The bottom line: Jesus died for our sins. The rest is elaboration. That elaboration should get us thinking, and that thinking should get us praying.

Time to thumb through Lion, Witch and Wardrobe again.

[42] Posted by Ralph on 4-3-2010 at 11:37 AM · [top]

Give DesertDavid a break - he’s showing all the signs of being qualified to be elected bishop in most dioceses in TEC

[43] Posted by RalphM on 4-3-2010 at 11:45 AM · [top]

[40] DesertDavid wrote:

All of us relate to Jesus in our own way. Who’s to say I’m right or you’re right? Only God knows! I’m not prepared to accept that any one Christian or group has a monopoly on truth.

No one has made any claims to having a monoply on truth, of course.  We are all of us limited finite creatures, and we all get things wrong.  If DesertDave means nothing more than this, we have no argument.  But in fact he means much more than this.  He means that truth is fundamentally unknowable.  Different men make different truth claims and yet none of them can really speak with authority.  This is why he will not answer the question on authority.  He knows he has none.  Thus he makes truth claims even as he denies he has the ability to make truth claims.  At the end, he is reduced to simply doing what he thinks right in his own eyes.  Absent any external authority, he falls in upon himself.  He retreats to the one place he finds insufficient. As DesertDave himself wrote:

Who’s to say I’m right or you’re right? Only God knows!

But where else can he go?

God made man with the ability to communicate.  He did so principally so that God could communicate with man.  Are we to say then that God gave us the ability to communicate but then found Himself unable to overcome the limitations of His own creatures?  Many would like to make this claim, but not because they think God incapable.  Rather, they do not want to be bound by the revelation they would otherwise receive.  They think to themselves “If God is not clear in His revelation, then how can He hold me to account?  I cannot be accused of resisting His will if His will cannot be known.” 

Doubt is the Great Liberator.  It frees men to act in accordance with their own desires, for each man’s desire becomes just as good as another.  Since God has not clearly revealed His own narture, each man may imagine a safe and comfortable god fashioned in his own image.  A god who does not speak of righteousness and sin and wrath and judgment and holiness.  A god who speaks peace and only peace.  A god who speaks love and only love.  This is the liberal ‘Christ’ who saves not because men do not require salvation.

One might as well have a relationship with Osiris.

carl

[44] Posted by carl on 4-3-2010 at 01:03 PM · [top]

I’m not sure I believe in DesertDavid - his feeds are just too good to be true. But whether he is a real person or simply a phantom blog-stirrer, I hope he/it keeps firing away as the responses are brilliant and sooooooo worth reading.

[45] Posted by Elliot B on 4-3-2010 at 03:41 PM · [top]

RE: ” Who’s to say I’m right or you’re right?”

Well, apparently, DesertDavid is to say . . . for he started out his first two comments proclaiming quite firmly that our take was wrong and his was right.

When challenged to be consistent, reasoned, and principled, however, he fell back on “who’s to say” and “no monopoly on truth” and so on and so on.

That’s a pretty standard response when someone recognizes that they can’t really reasonably or consistently defend their original position.

[46] Posted by Sarah on 4-3-2010 at 05:37 PM · [top]

DesertDavid,

I am writing from the real desert - Kuwait -where I was honored to be asked to sing the Exultet at Easter vigil last night.  As you love all the high church stuff—vestments and smells and bells and sung liturgy—I wonder what you make of the following:

“….For Christ has ransomed us with His Blood, and paod for us the price of Adam’s sin to our Eternal Father!
This is our Passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain, Whose Blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night when first You saved our fathers:  You freed the people of Israel from their slavery and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night when the Pillar of Fire destroyed the darkness of sin.
This is the night when Christians everywhere, washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement, are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the night when Jesus broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful Your care for us!  How boundless Your merciful love!  To ransom a slave You gave away Your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
The power of this Holy Night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy; it casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed, when Heaven is wedded to Earth and we are reconciled to God!”

How much of that do you believe, DesertDavid?  And does your integrity permit you to say or sing it, if you don’t believe most of it?

[47] Posted by Fidela on 4-4-2010 at 04:13 AM · [top]

I don’t know about DesertDavid, but I believe every bit of it.

[48] Posted by Cennydd on 4-4-2010 at 05:07 PM · [top]

I would have to change or be silent at “... restores lost innocence ...”
We remain fallen creatures in a fallen world…

[49] Posted by Bo on 4-4-2010 at 06:05 PM · [top]

I understand the Exultet a bit differently than you do. Adam’s sin was rebellion against God. It is the same sin that the evil people who killed Jesus committed. Th ultimate rebellion against God was to kill God’s son. Only they can’t, because Jesus is immortal. Jesus had a choice. He could give up his life or change his conduct to suit his enemies. He chose the former, because he loved us. He thus allowed himself to be a sacrificial lamb for our sake. He valued accomplishing His mission - to save us from sin by His message - than He did His own life. Those are my views. I don’t presume to say my views are “The Truth.”  I don’t demand everyone agree with me as a condition of sharing Eucharist with me. I accept God speaks to each person differently. We can, and should, be, united around God’s table as sisters and brothers to share the Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation. Jesus ate with tax collectors and other sinners. Surely Episcopalians can celebrate Mass with one another despite differing opinions on many subjects.

[50] Posted by DesertDavid on 4-4-2010 at 08:40 PM · [top]

[50] DesertDavid wrote

I don’t presume to say my views are “The Truth.”  I don’t demand everyone agree with me as a condition of sharing Eucharist with me. I accept God speaks to each person differently.

Fortunately we are talking about something innocuous like the Atonement and not something really important ... like (say) wearing chausibles.  Otherwise, DesertDavid would be mounting an impassioned defense of his position.

carl

[51] Posted by carl on 4-4-2010 at 09:05 PM · [top]

Re: DesertDavid #24:
“I buy into the Bible, but not the same way many Christians do. The Bible is, yes, God’s word, but God’s word to a particular people at a particular time and place.”

DesertDavid, if the Bible is simply “God’s word to a particular people at a particular time and place”, that would mean that we need a new Bible SPECIFICALLY for every people in every place at every particular and specific time.  And of course, that would not be of much help either - since every people everywhere would need to have God specifically speak to them in their time and place ad infinitum. Time is never constant.

Re: “What is unchangeable about God is that God is always changing.”

How do/did you know this? If you got this knowledge from the Bible (buying into the Bible in your way), that sounds like you are contradicting your prior stated position about the Bible being “God’s word to a particular people at a particular time and place”.

Or, did you get God’s word about His nature (re. change and changelessness)directly communicated to you at the particular place and time of your writing post #24?

Fr. Kingsley Jon-Ubabuco
St. Philip-the-Apostle
Arlington Texas

[52] Posted by Spiro on 4-4-2010 at 09:17 PM · [top]

Desert Dave,
The cup of salvation is Christ’s blood, His body is the bread of life.  If you don’t believe you’re saved by his blood shed to seal the new covenant, and brought to life by the word made flesh broken for us why do you partake of the Lord’s supper?


Do you hold that they anyone actually killed God (rather than being guilty by intent, as we are guilty of adultery by looking to lust after a woman we’ve never touched)?

[53] Posted by Bo on 4-4-2010 at 09:30 PM · [top]

Happy Easter All,

DesertDavid you wrote

What is unchangeable about God is that God is always changing. There are at least six theories of atonement - ransom, satisfaction, penal substitution, moral influence, non-violent, christus victor.

From this I can plainly see that you mistake God with Theologians.  We have no common ground for dialogue about God if you cannot discern theories about Christ’s Sacrifice and your pet theory.  There is no point.

[54] Posted by Ed McNeill on 4-5-2010 at 12:37 AM · [top]

I am so very glad that I became a Roman Catholic three
years ago.  Now, I know that all you Protestants
(yes, Anglicans are definitely Protestants) think that
I’ve somehow limited my relationship with God or my
ability to think for myself or something pitiable like that!  You think that I’ve given up something.

In truth, the only thing I’ve had to give up
is the “right” or “privilege” of figuring out for
myself what it means to be a Christian.  The last few
years before embracing the full communion of Jesus’
Holy Roman Church, I had the distinct feeling that that
“right” was more of an impossible burden.  Thank God,
now I have Our Holy Father and the Magisterium of the
Church, which teaches the Truth given by Our Lord Jesus
Christ himself—a Truth which has not changed in
two thousand years!

[55] Posted by PaulA. on 4-5-2010 at 10:58 PM · [top]

PaulA,
I think you have exchanged the sense of accountability to God for the security of following other men.  I would rather, on the day my works are tried, see my own mistakes burned up than see the flames consume mistakes of other men acted out in my life.

What Rome teaches has ‘required’ has changed, many ‘clarifications’ have been issued.  St. Augustine thought the immaculate conception unnecessary, St. Jerome doubted the canonical status of the apocrypha. Rome says that its teachings have not changed, but some have been ‘clarified’ to the point that great men of the Church are in disagreement with what is now taught as if it were part of the faith shared by Apostles.

I wish you well: that you may actually heed the call of the spirit, that you may serve Christ in your new fellowship, and that you may never substitute obedience to men for discipleship in Christ.

[56] Posted by Bo on 4-6-2010 at 12:32 AM · [top]

PaulA,

In truth, the only thing I’ve had to give up
is the “right” or “privilege” of figuring out for
myself what it means to be a Christian.

That’s interesting. Were you a Mormon? You were clearly never a protestant since we don’t get to figure that out. Our faith is delivered to us, just once.

But since you are here on an Anglican blog, how about you give a response to DesertDavid? Several protestants have done so, standing forth to witness for the faith once delivered - but since you have the certainty of the teaching of the magisterium, you should be able to give a much better answer than any of us to a liberal. So please do respond to him…

[57] Posted by MichaelA on 4-6-2010 at 03:14 AM · [top]

Thanks, Michael A.  I’m not offended by your response;
perhaps my thinking about what others believe is
colored too much by the current atmosphere of revisionism. You don’t tell me what denomination you
belong to, but I happen to think many Protestants (especially fundamentalists) have more in common with Catholics than with many Anglicans.

With apologies to Desert David, I don’t think I would
care to argue with him, because I suspect he’s more
interested in his own opinions than in being persuaded of
anything.  Actually, I think, Michael A., that I have much more in common with you than with him, and I’m sorry
if I offended you by my remark about figuring it out for
oneself. I was referring primarily to my own experience,
which was extremely distressing in today’s atmosphere of
relativism.  Yes, I’m sure that many Anglicans (and
people of many denominations) believe in an absolute
truth or “faith given once for all.”  The problem, as I
see it, is Whose truth, Whose faith?
Before embracing the full communion of the One, Holy,
Catholic, and Apostolic Church (with which Anglicans are in no more than partial communion), I never had a satisfactory answer to that question.

Or, to put it succinctly, there is no unity apart from
the Roman Pontiff.  To me, that is perfectly obvious!

[58] Posted by PaulA. on 4-6-2010 at 04:34 PM · [top]

Thank you also, Bo.  Your response is reasonable and is
perhaps even more charitable than what I would have said
(or wanted to say) to a Catholic until shortly before I
made this commitment.

Don’t think I haven’t had problems since making this
commitment.  One can only share his faith with others,
and I think you and I both have a more Christian attitude
than certain Anglican leaders; I know it’s not up to us
to judge them, and the fear of doing that is one reason
why I left. It’s certainly true that we each are ultimately responsible to God for our own actions, so I
most sincerely appreciate your good wishes.

[59] Posted by PaulA. on 4-6-2010 at 04:43 PM · [top]

PaulA,
My turn to apologise if I gave the wrong impression - you certainly did *not* offend me by your comments! I made a point about what protestants believe, hopefully in the same fair spirit that your original comment was offered.

I suspect you are correct in your characterisation of DesertDavid (with all due respect to him).

Re your question on my denominational background, I’m a sydney anglican born-and-bred, so definitely on the “proudly protestant” side of Anglicanism.

You will find there are several committed Roman Catholics who comment on Stand Firm from time to time (as well as some former RC’s and in-betweeners) as well as the whole range of anglicans. I expect you will find many to both agree and disagree with you (sometimes your “foe” on one thread will be your staunch ally on another!). So I hope you find it edifying.

[60] Posted by MichaelA on 4-6-2010 at 06:02 PM · [top]

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