Monthly Archives: June 2009

More False Atonement Doctrine: The Moral-Example Theory

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series Pastoral Soteriology

(A continuation of the series, A Pastoral Soteriology.)

Jesus noted, “wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it (Mat 7:13).  To that end, it should be no surprise that there are so many erroneous theological theories in relation to each properly determined and biblical one.  Continuing the pursuit of a good and valid atonement theory, today’s post once again yields only a failed attempt which resembles nothing more than man recasting God in his own image.

The Moral-Example Theory

The moral example theory was proposed by Pelagius (354-420 AD), himself an opponent of the concept of original sin, believing that sin was a matter of choice rather than an ingrained and universal affliction.  Pelagius further believed that it was possible for man to live a sinless life within himself.  His atonement “theory” certainly did not fall far from the tree. Continue reading

Unsound Theories of Atonement

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series Pastoral Soteriology

(A continuation of the series, A Pastoral Soteriology.)

Understanding that sin carries the penalty of death, separation and God’s extended wrath toward the sinner brings one to the natural yearning to understand the nature of the provision God has made for the restoration of man from this condition.  Obviously, this series is concerned with such illumination; God has made atonement available.  The details concerning God’s provision of atonement is both something so simple that a child can grasp it, yet so complicated than a man can spend his entire life attempting to systematize it fully.  The child can understand that “Jesus died for my sins,” yet the theologian may spend years trying to fully understand how exactly the provision of Christ was applied to the account of the sinner. Continue reading

The Wrath of God

This entry is part 3 of 13 in the series Pastoral Soteriology

The Wrath of God

It is very popular among certain soft-spoken pseudo-theologians today to downplay and “preach away” the existence of God’s wrath toward man’s sin.  Placating today’s whiny “I’m okay, you’re okay” cultural sentiments, they express anti-biblical platitudes which decry that “a loving God” would simply not reveal his anger toward mankind whom he loves.  Indeed, many are perfectly contented with the idea that God is incapable of genuine wrath; claiming that it is outside of his perfect nature to be prone to jealousy and anger.  “Rock star” preachers, such as Rob Bell, gain standing ovations from such gross misrepresentations of biblical theology, such as Bell’s “The God’s Are Not Angry” sermonette tour.  Ending with the phrase “God is not angry because God is love” is a certain crowd pleaser at such gigs. 

Others, such as popular emergent author, Alan Jones, declare that penal substitution is a “vile doctrine” (Reimagining Christianity, p. 168) and that anger is inconsistent with love as a characteristic of God.  The position of this warped understanding of the gospel is based upon the sentimental and philosophical perception that love and anger are somehow mutually exclusive qualities.  Noting that “God is love” and that everything God does is “inspired by love,” they contend that God is incapable of exhibiting wrath because wrath is not motivated by love.  These men must not have children.  Continue reading

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