Monday, May 24, 2010

Good Short Article on Penal Substitution

This is the big problem I find with Luther and Calvin's theology of the cross. It either says God damned his own nature and separated the inseperable members of the Trinity, or it divides the one will of the Father and the Son. ... but of course as Luther aptly wrote: "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has"

1 comment:

  1. Though I can't quote sources on this point, my understanding is this:

    Following Calvin's dictum that the humanity did not comprehend the divinity in the incarnation, it is proper to understand that there was a sense in which the Son, the second person of the trinity, both did and did not suffer in his divinity. His suffering in his divinity was subsumed under his state of eternal blessedness. He was pleased to be grieved for a time.

    At the end of the day, this is the same tension inherent to the teaching that God grieves over sin (Gen 6:6). How can an eternally blessed God grieve? We must either explain away the text or understand that the two things are compatible.

    Acknowledging that we've arrived at the edge of the abyss when we begin to analyze the emotional life of God, I think the best way to understand this issue is that God is grieved over sin considered in itself (microcosm), but he is also pleased with its existence in general (macrocosm). In the same way, the Son was grieved to suffer the wrath of the Father considered in itself (microcosm); yet he was simultaneously pleased with his suffering considered in general (macrocosm). Ultimately there is no intratrinitarian division, either with regard to the divine nature or the divine will. All remain in their eternally blessed union and communion.