Atonement

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God”

Heb. 10:12

“…and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

Jn. 10:15

“Ay, ay, d’ye know what it was – dying on the cross, forsaken by the Father?  D’ye know what it was?  What?  What?  It was damnation, and damnation taken lovingly…  It was damnation, and He took it lovingly.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Subsection

The Active Obedience of Christ

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Order of Contents

Extract
From the Middle Ages
Puritan Articles
Articles
Books
Quotes
The Necessity of the Atonement

The Atonement & Common Grace

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Extract

Alexander, Archibald – The Cross  no date or source info, 4 paragraphs

 

 

From the Middle Ages

Anselm – Why God Became Man, or Cur Deo Homo  133 pp.

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Puritan Articles

Rutherford, Samuel –  The Doctrine of Universal Atonement Proven False and Unscriptural, from his Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself, no date, 88 paragraphs

Turretin, Francis – On the Atonement

Brown of Wamphray, John – ‘Arguments Against Universal Redemption’  †1679  36 pp.

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Articles 

Cunningham, William – The Doctrine of the Atonement, p. 237 ff,  133 pages, from his Historical Theology, vol. 2

Berkhof, Louis

The Nature of the Atonement  1950  25 paragraphs, from his Systematic Theology

Divergent Theories of the Atonement  1950, 23 paragraphs, from his Systematic Theology

The Purpose and Extent of the Atonement  1950, 16 paragraphs, from his Systematic Theology

Dabney, Robert – Christ our Substitute  no date, 4 pp.  published by the Presbyterian Committee of Publication, Richmond, VA. 

Hodge, Charles 

Beman on the Atonement  being chapter four from his Essays and Reviews, p. 129, 1857, 55 pages

On the Nature of the Atonement  1832, 169 pp.

Spurgeon, Charles – Particular Redemption  a sermon on Matt 20:28, 1858, 31 paragraphs

Walker, James – The Atonement  starting on p. 67, 27 pp.  being chapter three from his The Theology and Theologians of Scotland: chiefly of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

An excellent exposition of the doctrine of the Atonement from the perspective of 1600’s Scotland, from a minister in the Free Church of Scotland.

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Books

Dabney, Robert – Christ Our Penal Substitute  Buy  11 chapters, 115 pp.

A defense of the legal nature of the atonement based in justice for punishing sins, and Christ being a substitute for his people.

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Quotes

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

‘Just a Talker’, pp. 8,26-28

“Ah, dear gentlemen, there is something tremendous in the atonement.”

“The whole question of the atonement… must… be base on the two propositions, moral and legal: (i) that sin deserves punishment; and (ii) that vindictive justice belongs to God.”

“We are asked [by liberals] to throw aside every theory of the atonement and repose in the fact.  But I cannot receive the atonement as a blank mystery… the fact of an atonement would not be clear to me apart from its reasons and relations.”

“The atonement did not make God propitious, merciful, longsuffering [notice the order in Jn. 3:16]; but God’s great love said, ‘I am ready to forgive, if I can do it justly’, and, his infinite wisdom finding that He could do it justly in this way, He resolved on the sacrifice.”

“Divine vengeance found sin in us, but Christ was made sin for us.”

“Justice required satisfaction, but love gave vicarious satisfaction.”

“Take away the substitution, and all that remains for me is this:  ‘Jesus tried to make us good; but, good man, he failed.”

“You remember one of my favourite tracts, ‘The Poor Negress’.  The broken English leaves out the connections, and brings in the big facts.  ‘He die, or we die: He die, we no die.'”

“The blood of Jesus is surely a ransom for ten thousand pits!”

“The expulsion form Eden was an awful thing; the deluge was an awful thing; the destruction of Sodom was an awful thing; the events of the last day will be awful; hell is very awful.  There is something more awful still – it is the cross of the Lord Jesus.”

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Quotes on Limited Atonement

Nicholas Ridley  †1555

John Foxe, Acts and Monuments, 19th century edition, volume 7, Written in prison before his execution by fire.  

…Not only the Lord’s commandment is broken, his cup is denied to his servants, to whom He commanded it should be distributed, but also with the Mass is set up a new blasphemous kind of sacrifice to satisfy and pay the price of sins both of the dead and the quick, to the great and intolerable insult of Christ our Savior, his death and passion, which was and is the one only sufficient and everlasting available sacrifice satisfactory for all the elect of God, from Adam the first, to the last that shall be born in the end of the world…

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John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

“It is a monstrous doctrine: ‘Christ died for me, and I may die the second death’; only God does not hold them by their logic.”

“To die for the sake of sinners whose sin is not actually taken away would be a clear waste of moral action.”

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William Cunningham on the distinction ‘the same’ and ‘the as much’

Sermons: from 1828-1860, 1872, reprinted by Still Waters Revival, 1991

Sermon 28 – The Atonement: Scripture Doctrine and Current Theories, on Gal. 4:4-5, pp. 408-9

We believe it can be proved to be the clear and certain teaching of Scripture, that Christ, having become our surety and substitute, took our place and assumed our responsibilities as transgressors of God’s law, and in consequence, endured the penalty we had incurred, and thereby rendered satisfaction to the Divine Justice and Law for our sins,—a satisfaction which was the true and adequate ground of all subsequent procedure on God’s part towards us, in bestowing forgiveness and spiritual blessings.  Christ’s death, according to this view, was not merely penal in its general character, but it was on His part the endurance of the penalty we had merited,—the same penalty we had incurred;—the same, not, of course, in its circumstances or its external aspects, but in its legal value,—its moral worth, its real significance, as a compliance with the requirements of law, which denounced punishment and demanded satisfaction.  It is true, indeed, that all orthodox divines have not attached quite so much importance as Dr. Owen does, to the distinction between the idem and the tantundem,—‘the same,’ and ‘the as much,’—a distinction which he presses so strongly in the exposition of this subject.  Some divines of the highest eminence and orthodoxy have admitted that the substance of what Scripture teaches on this subject might be held to be declared by asserting that Christ suffered as much as sinners had deserved,—the tantundem and not the idem,—provided due care was taken to guard against the loose and vague generality of representing Christ’s death merely as a substitute for the penalty,—a phrase which may mean almost anything or almost nothing,—and to keep up distinctly and prominently the idea of substantial identity, or sameness as really attaching to it, when viewed as a judicial infliction in accordance with the provisions of law.

But though some difference of phraseology has been sanctioned by high authority on this subject, there has been a very general concurrence of opinion among orthodox divines, that it is no real declaration of the scriptural doctrine of the Atonement to say that Christ’s death was a substitute for the penalty which men had incurred, or even to say that it was an equivalent for the penalty, unless the idea of substantial identity, or sameness,—sameness in worth and value, in import and significance,—be kept up, by its being represented as a full equivalent and an adequate compensation.  This, at least, seems necessary in order to embody the sum and substance of what Scripture teaches upon the subject; and nothing short of this can be fairly held to be implied in the position that Christ suffered as a substitute for us, and thereby rendered satisfaction for our sins to God’s Justice and Law.  Our [Westminster] Confession of Faith says (ch. 11, section 5) that both ‘the exact justice and the rich grace of God are glorified in the justification of sinners.’  And we are persuaded that it may be regarded as a general test of the soundness of men’s views upon this whole subject, that they not only assent honestly and intelligently to this statement of our Confession…  

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The Necessity of the Atonement

“It seems to me a terrible thing to say that there was no intrinsic necessity for Christ’s death, for then we virtually say that He died for sin that He need not have died for.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Berkhof, Louis – The Cause and Necessity of the Atonement  1950, 14 paragraphs, from his Systematic Theology

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The Atonement and Common Grace

The Atonement Provides Common Grace Benefits for the Reprobate

20+ historic reformed theologians are quoted.  William Cunningham and R.L. Dabney are particularly good.

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“In giving Christ to die for poor sinners, God gave the richest jewel in His cabinet; a mercy of the greatest worth, and most inestimable value.  Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is!”

John Flavel

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