The question is sometimes asked: Why is there so little in Jesus? own words about atonement? Dr. R. W. Dale replies, Because Christ did not come to preach the gospel because he came that there might be a gospel to preach. The Cross had to be endured before it could be explained. Jesus came to be the sacrifice and not to speak about it. But his reticence is just what he told us we should find in his words, he proclaimed their incompleteness and referred us to a subsequent Teacher ? the Holy Spirit. The testimony of the Holy Spirit we have in the words of the apostles. We must remember that the gospels were supplementary to the epistles, not the epistles to the gospels.
The gospels merely fill out our knowledge of Christ. It is not for the Redeemer to magnify the cost of salvation but for the redeemed. ?None of the ransomed ever knew.? The doer of a great deed has the least to say about it.
Harnack: ?There is an inner law which compels the sinner to look upon God as a wrathful Judge...Yet no other feeling is possible.? We regard this confession as a demonstration of the psychological correctness of Paul?s doctrine of a vicarious atonement. Human nature has been so constituted by God that it reflects the demand of his holiness. That conscience needs to be appeased is proof that God needs to be appeased. When Whiton declares that propitiation is offered only to our conscience. This is the wrath of that which is of God within us and that Christ bore our sins, not in substitution for us, but in fellowship with us. To rouse our consciences to hatred of them, he forgets that God is not only immanent in the conscience but also transcendent, and that the verdicts of conscience are only indications of the higher verdicts of God. <620320>1 John 3:20 ? ?If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.? Lyman Abbott, Theology of an Evolutionist, 57 ? ?A people half emancipated from the paganism that imagines that God must be placated by sacrifice before he can forgive sins. This gave to the sacrificial system that Israel had borrowed from paganism the same divine authority which they gave to those revolutionary elements in the system, which were destined eventually to sweep it entirely out of existence.? So Bowne, Atonement, 74 ? ?The essential moral fact is that, if God is to forgive unrighteous men, some way must be found of making them righteous. The difficulty is not forensic, but moral.? Both Abbott and Bowne regard righteousness as a mere forms of benevolence and the atonement as only a means to a utilitarian end, namely, the restoration and happiness of the creature. A more correct view of God?s righteousness as the fundamental attribute of his being, as inwrought into the constitution of the universe, and as infallibly connecting suffering with sin, would have
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?
Tap into your inner power today. Discover The Untold Secrets Used By Experts To Tap Into The Power Of Your Inner Personality Help You Unleash Your Full Potential. Finally You Can Fully Equip Yourself With These “Must Have” Personality Finding Tools For Creating Your Ideal Lifestyle.