Foster, Christian Life and Theology, 226, 227 ? ?Grotius emphasized the idea of law rather than that of justice and made the sufferings of Christ a legal example and the occasion of the relaxation of the law and not the strict penalty demanded by justice. But this view, however it may have been considered and have served in the clarification of the thinking of the times, met with no general reception and left little trace of itself among those theologians who maintained the line of evangelical theological descent.?
To this theory we urge the following objections:
(a) While it contains a valuable element of truth, namely, that the sufferings and death of Christ secure the interests of God?s government, it is false by defect, in substituting for the chief aim of the atonement one which is only subordinate and incidental.
In our discussion of Penalty (pages 655, 656), we have seen that the object of punishment is not primarily the security of government. It is not right to punish a man for the beneficial effect on society. Punishment must follow wrongdoing or the punishment can have no beneficial effect on society. No punishment, that is not just and right, can work to the good of society.
(b) It rests upon false philosophical principles, as that utility is the ground of moral obligation; law is an expression of the will, rather than of the nature, of God. The aim of penalty is to deter from the commission of offenses and that righteousness is resolvable into benevolence.
Hodge, Systematic Theology, 2:573-581; 3:188, 189 ? ?For God to take that as satisfaction, which is not really such, is to say that there is no truth in anything. God may take a part for the whole, error for truth, wrong for right. The theory really denies the necessity for the work of Christ. If every created thing offered to God is worth just so much as God accepts it for, then the blood of bulls and goats might take away sins and Christ is dead in vain.? Dorner, Glaubenslehre, 2:570, 571 (Syst. Doct.. 4:38-40) ? ? Acceptilatio implies that nothing is good and right in itself. God is indifferent to good or evil and, authority and force bind that man alone. There is no necessity of punishment or atonement. The doctrine of indulgences and of supererogation logically follows.?
(c) It ignores and virtually denies that immanent holiness of God of which the law with its threatened penalties, and the human conscience with its demand for punishment, are only finite reflections. There is something back
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