humanity and purging the race from its sin. Here is the sense of defilement but no sense of guilt, subjective pollution, but no objective condemnation. We take precisely opposite ground from that of Irving. Christ had, not hereditary depravity, but hereditary guilt; that he was under obligation to suffer for the sins of the race to which he had historically united himself, and of which he was the creator, the upholder, and the life. He was ?made to be sin on our behalf? ( <470521>2 Corinthians 5:21), not in the sense of one defiled as Irving thought but in the sense of one condemned to bear our iniquities and to suffer their penal consequences. The test of a theory of the atonement, as the test of a religion, is its power to ?cleanse that red right hand? of Lady Macbeth. In other words, its power to satisfy the divine justice of which our condemning conscience is only the reflection. The theory of Irving has no such power. Dr. E. G. Robinson verged toward Irving?s view, when he claimed that ?Christ took human nature as he found it.?
(e) It necessitates the surrender of the doctrine ofjustification as a merely declaratory act of God and requires such a view of the divine holiness, expressed only through the order of nature, as can be maintained only upon principles of pantheism.
Thomas Aquinas inquired whether Christ was slain by himself, or by another. The question suggests a larger one; whether God has constituted other forces than his own, personal and impersonal, in the universe, over against which he stands in his transcendence or whether all his activity is merged in, and identical with, the activity of the creature. The theory of a merely subjective atonement is more consistent with the latter view than the former. For criticism of Irvingian doctrine, see Studien und Kritiken, 1845:319; 1877:354-374; Princeton Rev., April, 1863:207; Christian Rev., 28:234 sq .; Ullmann, Sinless nature of Jesus, 2l9-232
5. The Anselmic, or Commercial Theory of the Atonement.
This theory holds that sin is a violation of the divine honor or majesty and, as committed against an infinite being, deserves an infinite punishment. The majesty of God requires him to execute punishment, while the love of God pleads for the sparing of the guilty. This conflict of divine attributes is eternally reconciled by the voluntary sacrifice of the God-man, who bears in virtue of the dignity of his person the intensively infinite punishment of sin, which must otherwise have been suffered extensively and eternally by sinners. This suffering of the God-man presents to the divine majesty an exact equivalent for the deserved sufferings of the elect and that, as the
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