Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Packer on Substitutionary Atonement

J. I. Packer has a new article on substitutionary atonement. Here are some quotes:
Throughout my 63 years as an evangelical believer, the penal substitutionary understanding of the cross has been a flashpoint of controversy and division among Protestants. . . . It remains so, as liberalism keeps reinventing itself and luring evangelicals away from their heritage.

Since one's belief about the atonement is bound up with one's belief about the character of God, the terms of the gospel and the Christian's inner life, the intensity of the debate is understandable. If one view is right, others are more or less wrong, and the definition of Christianity itself comes to be at stake.

As I grow old, I want to tell everyone who will listen: 'I am so thankful for the penal substitutionary death of Christ. No hope without it.'

. . . smartypants notions like 'divine child abuse,' as a comment on the cross, are supremely silly, and as irrelevant and wrong as they could possibly be.