The Socinian theory may be found stated, and advocated, in Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum, 1:566-600; Martineau, Studies of Christianity, 83- 176; J. F. Clarke, Orthodoxy, Its Truths and Errors, 235-265; Ellis, Unitarianism and Orthodoxy; Sheldon, Sin and Redemption, 146-210. The text, which at first sight, that seems to favor this view is <600221>1 Peter 2:21 ? ?Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps.? But see under (c) below. When Correggio saw Raphael?s picture of St. Cecilia, he exclaimed: ?I too am a painter.? So Socinus held that Christ?s example roused our humanity to imitation. He regarded expiation as heathenish and impossible; every one must receive according to his deeds; God is ready to grant forgiveness on simple repentance. E. G. Robinson, Christian Theology, 277 ? ?The theory first insists on the inviolability of moral sequences in the conduct of every moral agent and then insists that, on a given condition, the consequences of transgression may be arrested by almighty fiat. Unitarianism errs in giving a transforming power to that which works beneficently only after the transformation has been wrought.? In ascribing to human nature a power of self-reformation, it ignores man?s need of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. But even this renewing work of the Holy Spirit presupposes the atoning work of Christ. ?Ye must be born anew? ( <430307>John 3: 7) necessitates ?Even so must the Son of man be lifted up? ( <430314>John 3:14). It is only the Cross that satisfies man?s instinct of reparation. Harnack, Das Wesen des Christenthums, 90 ? ?Those who regarded Christ?s death soon ceased to bring any other bloody offering to God. This is true both in Judaism and in heathenism. Christ?s death put an end to all bloody offerings in religious history. The impulse to sacrifice found its satisfaction in the Cross of Christ.? We regard this as proof that the Cross is essentially a satisfaction to the divine justice and not a mere example of faithfulness to duty. The Socinian theory is the first of six theories of the Atonement, which roughly correspond with our six previously treated theories of sin and this first theory includes most of the false doctrine which appears in mitigated forms in several of the theories following.
To this theory we make the following objections:
(a) It is based upon false philosophical principles. For example, that will is merely the faculty of volition, that the foundation of virtue is in utility, that law is an expression of arbitrary will, that penalty is a means of reforming the offender and that righteousness, in either God or man, is only a manifestation of benevolence.
If the will is simply the faculty of volition, and not also the fundamental determination of the being to an ultimate end, then man can, by a single
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