Sunday, December 16, 2007

God's Anger

In church this morning, the preacher pointed us to a wonderful section in Micah, which seems very relevant to the whole Penal Substitutionary Atonement debate. Part of the issue there is that a lot of people have difficulty seeing that God gets angry with our sin. Seems that they're not alone...

"Do not prophesy", their prophets say. "Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us."

Should it be said, O house of Jacob: "Is the Spirit of the LORD angry? Does he do such things?"

Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright?


Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy.

If a liar and deceiver comes and says,'I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,' he would be just the prophet for this people!

Micah 2:6-7, 10-11, NIV


PamBG said...

I don't think 'God getting angry' is what most academic non-PSA arguments are about.

I disagree with PSA because I don't believe the presupposition that God cannot / does not forgive unless someone is punished.

Yes there are texts in the bible that suggest that God won't forgive without retribution. There are also texts in the bible that suggest that God forgives 'for free'. We are not the heretics that people like to paint, we just honestly disagree.

For me, the 'PSA only' school is teaching false doctrine. Possibly it doesn't matter much until someone decides to turn their back on Christianity because they feel that they cannot accept PSA and they have no awareness that it's possible to be a faithful Christian and disagree.

John said...

It depends which arguments you're in... I've seen some which are about God getting angry over sin and some which are about how that anger can be dealt with.

I keep hearing about this PSA-only school, but I've never actually spoken to anyone who thinks that. As I quote elsewhere from the most prominent conservative evangelical book on the topic in recent times,

We agree that a comprehensive doctrine of the atonement must include other themes besides penal substitution. But then again, we have never read a proponent of penal substitution who claims that penal substitution is the only motif connected with the atonement in the Scriptures.

Anonymous said...

Of course penal substitution isn't the only method by which we're redeemed. It's one mechanism to describe how the atonement works, and emphatically not the atonement itself. I'm afraid I have to join Custard, though, in the camp that's never met anyone advocating a 'psa only' position.

As for the punishment thing, the way I see it is that God so dearly wanted nobody to be punished, that he died himself.