Friday, April 08, 2011

And so it begins...

“Forgiveness is largely absent from Genesis 1-11. In some cases, one can discern mitigation of punishment, whether this is in delaying a sentence (Genesis 3, 6), protecting the guilty (Genesis 4), or preserving a remnant (Genesis 6-9). God treats the human couple mercifully by providing clothing to cover their shame, even though he does announce a curse against them.”—A Severe Mercy, page 32

<idle musing>
Interesting observation about lack of forgiveness. The theme of mitigation of punishment will come up again as we work our way through the book.

But, I am bothered by his phrase “even though he does announce a curse against them.” Where? Where in Genesis 3 does God announce a curse against humanity?

No! God announces a curse against the serpent and against the ground. He doesn't curse humanity! If people would begin to realize what the text says in Genesis 3, I suspect there would be a transformation in how they view themselves as well.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that the infamous doctrine of penal substitution is linch-pinned on the misreading of Genesis 3. Not that penal substitution isn't a part of what the atonement is about; it is, but it is a small part. I would (and have—search the blog for it) argue that Christus Victor is a larger part of what the atonement is about...
</idle musing>


Nick said...

Actually, Penal Substitution is not found in Scripture since it relies on an incorrect understanding of the Biblical term "Atonement". See this link for a brief look at the facts.

Art Mealer said...

Can't help considering:

2 Corinthians 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Rom 3:24-26

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

jps said...

Nick, can't agree with you. But, let's see how it works out as the book progresses.

Art, yep. I don't deny penal substitution, I just don't think it can begin to exhaust the richness of what atonement means. Neither can any other single theory; atonement is too multi-faceted for any one theory.