Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Shack Inspection: No Penal Substitutionary Death of Jesus, No Reconciliation to Claim

The Shack: “Honey, you asked me what Jesus did on the cross; so now listen to me carefully: through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world” (192).

How do you get reconciled to God without the death of Jesus propitiating the wrath that should have been ours? This is a question I wish I would have pursued further with Paul Young. Since Paul denies that Christ died as a penalty for our sins, how can he believe in reconciliation? Romans 5:8-10 says,

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
How is it that the blood of Christ saves us from God’s wrath if he was not providing a Substitutionary atonement that bore wrath? We see in the text that we (Christians) were at one time, enemies of God. The universal declaration is that everyone is guilty at God’s court because of sin (Rom. 3:9). We are all sinners in need of forgiveness and a righteousness which we do not have (Romans 1:18-3:20). A person cannot be justified (declared righteous) by good works because no one can do them perfectly (Romans 3:20-21; Gal. 2:16; 3:10-11). When we were in the position of being objects of wrath, God brought about a reconciling work in His Son’s death (Rom 5:10). Because the death of Jesus was a sacrifice for sins (Rom. 3:24-24; 5:10; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:26; 10:12), those who believe in him are justified and reconciled to God (Rom. 3:22-26; 5:1; Gal. 3:24-26).

Because Paul Young denies the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, I don’t see how he can then claim reconciliation. No penal substitutionary atonement, no reconciliation. We (believers) have gone from being enemies to being in a reconciled relationship with God. This all based on the propitiatory death of Jesus the Messiah.