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Thread: The Atonement: Hypothetical Necessity or Consequent Absolute Necessity?

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    The Atonement: Hypothetical Necessity or Consequent Absolute Necessity?

    To introduce the subject of the necessity of the atonement, I have attached a PDF study that explains the issue pretty well. This is one of those supposed 'watershed' issues with two poles enabling each side to condemn the other as heterodox.

    I accept neither view as defined but will enter into discussion of a 'third way' if there is an interest in pursuing the issue (which to me is very significant to understanding the true gospel). I will quote one of my favorite teachers from the past who is also quoted at the end of this article--'before I talk about it, brother do you want to pursue it?' .

    A lot of the presuppositions of this debate are still a carryover from Augustinian theology and philosophy, though most would deny this. The classical doctrine of atonement (ransom paid to Satan) in a massively revised form is still alive. Satan as a 'god' along the lines of Manichean dualism has been replaced by an 'eternal law' that God must obey along the lines of Manichean dualism.

    To clarify: the issue I'm talking about is the discussion of the two views of the necessity early in the article, NOT the issue of the extent of the atonement (Particular vs. General) later in the article. On that I agree 100% with Particular Redemption and the defense of it.

    Bro. Bob

    Necessity of the Atonement.pdf
    Last edited by Bob Higby; 02-10-19 at 11:46 AM.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Sounds good to me Bob.. Did you write the attachment? I haven't read it yet, but before I do I will lay my thoughts down here... I believe that the atonement was necessary ONLY because God wanted it that way. I agree with you that there was no law that was binding upon God that created the necessity for the atonement. The atonement was necessary because that is what God had determined would be pleasing to Him. That is all. I look forward to further comments!
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    Thanks gentlemen! I will summarize my own position in a post very soon.

    I should have posted the link to the document, no, it is not mine. It is from the website of Covenant of Grace church in St. Charles MO. http://covenantofgracechurch.org/wp-.../ATONEMENT.pdf

    Bro. Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    I guess I believe in the first position outlined in the document, as I believe that God does extend the option of forgiveness to people, in this life, on the grounds of his mercy. I deny that God offers forgiveness to people on the grounds of Jesus' blood. The problem with the idea that God offers forgiveness to people on the grounds of Jesus' blood is that it makes it sound as though Christ died so that God could offer people forgiveness. But this is not true. Christ died so that God could give people forgiveness. God does not need Christ to die to offer people forgiveness. God is merciful enough to do that already. It is for those who have rejected God, his love, and his mercy that Christ died. These people are unrepentant. Christ is ascended on high to give repentance to Israel and the remission of sins (Acts 5:31). God gives his people repentance from sin, faith and justification on the grounds of Jesus' blood. This is why Christ died: to save those who were lost, to save those who did not trust in the power and love of God.
    I don't like being corrected, but don't worry about that, do it anyway. I'll get over it.

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    Bob Higby (04-04-19)

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    I want to resurrect the issues of this thread if possible, so my further comment is this:

    The doctrine of 'hypothetical necessity' is weak because it delves into the arena of what else God 'might' have done in his sovereign freedom, which to me is irrelevant because scripture teaches what God has actually done in His sovereign freedom. He has destined salvation through His atoning Grace in Christ, determining to owe the atonement to Himself.

    The doctrine of 'consequent absolute necessity' is a reaction to the classical theory of atonement, substituting the 'eternal law' in place of Satan as to what or whom the atonement is owed to. But this doctrine really never changed the classical theory of atonement! All of churchianity still has the devil owning souls and in charge of hell in spite of the switch from the atonement defined as a ransom paid to the devil to a ransom paid to the eternal law--which still leaves unredeemed souls in the ownership of the devil, due to the doctrine of his gaining them in the Eden serpent.

    Charles Spurgeon, in a sermon from the New Park Street Pulpit on September 4, 1855, stated that God will never let the devil have more in hell than He has in heaven. That is still the notion that the devil owns souls, straight from the classical atonement view of Origen and Augustine.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Higby; 04-04-19 at 01:24 AM.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Brandan (04-04-19)

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    I heard recently in church that many religions tend to elevate Satan in their beliefs. I never thought of this before but looking at many religions Satan tries to deceive people and elevate himself. I think the devil likes to tempt people to elevate themselves as well, such as believing they had some free will or power in saving themselves. It is through God adopting us as His children that we come into His family not by anything we do.
    " For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast"


    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Mary! So glad to hear from you on here again. Thanks for posting!
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    Bob Higby (08-01-19)

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    Agreed, fun to see you post again!
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Thank you!
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    On the matter of the nature, origin, limited powers, and destiny of Satan, I am nearing completion of the first of two articles. I had to split into two parts because the material was so extensive, so there will be one on the biblical argument and the second will be the historical argument (outlining the history of dogma invented by Justin/Origen and perfected by Augustine on the doctrine of Satan). There will be plenty of history in the first article but not extensive documentation of where the history of Augustinian dogma came from. The purpose of the first will be to document how far the current Augustinian dogma taught by all Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, and Christian nonconformists departs from the ancient biblical teaching on Satan.

    Bro. Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Bob, Iím very excited! Canít wait to read it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandan View Post
    Bob, Iím very excited! Canít wait to read it!
    I hope to have a first draft to send to you and a few others we know sometime next week. Will have to block out all 'competition' for a couple of hours each morning and give attention only to this.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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