View of the Doctrine of the Atonement - Canadian Megachurch Pastor

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De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hi,

In Canada there is a certain large megachurch network. Its leader is quite influential and he has, in the past put forth some questionable statements regarding the atonement. From a recent interview, these are some quotes:

"To say God was angry at Jesus or “poured out the cup of his wrath upon Jesus” (a popular image in Evangelical preaching) goes too far beyond what is written. That part is atonement theory, not atonement fact. Rather, the one who knew no sin became our sin – that is how the LORD crushed the Servant in Isaiah 53:10 – with our sin, not with his wrath. That much IS stated clearly in Scripture. I find this way of expressing the sacrifice of Christ – emphasizing the healing nature of his substitutionary sacrifice – more aligned with Scripture. The idea of God pouring out his wrath upon Christ on the cross is our language, our graphic image, not the Bible’s"

and,

"If someone says that the penalty for sin is death, and Jesus died for our sin, therefore he has taken the just penalty upon himself – if that’s what they mean by PSA than I’m right with them. In that sense, I affirm PSA. But you and I know that many Christians go beyond that, and equate PSA with God actively outpouring his wrath upon Jesus, as though God had to vent his wrath somewhere so it wouldn’t fall on us. That’s the version of PSA I do not think can be supported biblically. It says too much and goes too far beyond what it written."

and,

I want to be as clear as possible, so let me say the same thing a few different ways. The Bible answers the question of “Where did our sin go?” Our sin went onto Jesus. But the Bible does not address the question, “Then where did God’s wrath go?” What we do know is that, if God makes sinners righteous, then we are no longer children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). God’s wrath is gone, but I am overstepping Scripture to declare that God got rid of his wrath by pouring it out on Jesus. Please understand, I’m not asking anyone to rethink the results of the atonement, only one aspect of one theory about how the atonement achieves those results. I think when we affirm what the Bible clearly affirms – that Jesus became our sin and we became his righteousness – then we know that we can stand before the Judge of all the earth as genuinely innocent, genuinely pure, genuinely reborn people, free from wrath.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The full interview is here:

https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/c...larity-with-bruxy-cavey-on-the-atonement-2-3/

What are your thoughts on these quotes?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
Hi,

In Canada there is a certain large megachurch network. Its leader is quite influential and he has, in the past put forth some questionable statements regarding the atonement. From a recent interview, these are some quotes:

"To say God was angry at Jesus or “poured out the cup of his wrath upon Jesus” (a popular image in Evangelical preaching) goes too far beyond what is written. That part is atonement theory, not atonement fact. Rather, the one who knew no sin became our sin – that is how the LORD crushed the Servant in Isaiah 53:10 – with our sin, not with his wrath. That much IS stated clearly in Scripture. I find this way of expressing the sacrifice of Christ – emphasizing the healing nature of his substitutionary sacrifice – more aligned with Scripture. The idea of God pouring out his wrath upon Christ on the cross is our language, our graphic image, not the Bible’s"

and,

"If someone says that the penalty for sin is death, and Jesus died for our sin, therefore he has taken the just penalty upon himself – if that’s what they mean by PSA than I’m right with them. In that sense, I affirm PSA. But you and I know that many Christians go beyond that, and equate PSA with God actively outpouring his wrath upon Jesus, as though God had to vent his wrath somewhere so it wouldn’t fall on us. That’s the version of PSA I do not think can be supported biblically. It says too much and goes too far beyond what it written."

and,

I want to be as clear as possible, so let me say the same thing a few different ways. The Bible answers the question of “Where did our sin go?” Our sin went onto Jesus. But the Bible does not address the question, “Then where did God’s wrath go?” What we do know is that, if God makes sinners righteous, then we are no longer children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). God’s wrath is gone, but I am overstepping Scripture to declare that God got rid of his wrath by pouring it out on Jesus. Please understand, I’m not asking anyone to rethink the results of the atonement, only one aspect of one theory about how the atonement achieves those results. I think when we affirm what the Bible clearly affirms – that Jesus became our sin and we became his righteousness – then we know that we can stand before the Judge of all the earth as genuinely innocent, genuinely pure, genuinely reborn people, free from wrath.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The full interview is here:

https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/c...larity-with-bruxy-cavey-on-the-atonement-2-3/

What are your thoughts on these quotes?
He's arguing against a straw man, but (reading charitably) I think he is getting at something true.

He speaks twice of the view that "God had to vent his wrath somewhere." Nobody holds that. It's a straw man. It's not as though God was angry with Christ at the cross.

On the other hand, he says, "If someone says that the penalty for sin is death, and Jesus died for our sin, therefore he has taken the just penalty upon himself – if that’s what they mean by PSA than I’m right with them." Here he explicitly affirms that Jesus took the punishment for sin. That is all that the orthodox mean when we say that God poured out his wrath upon him--he did it as a judicial act, not out of some need to "vent."

This reminds me of this article: 10 Reasons The Father Didn’t Turn His Face Away At The Cross

The Father was not angry with the Son at the Cross. There was no breakdown in the eternal communion of the persons of the godhead. There was no interruption in the mutual delight that the Father and the Son have for one another. The Cross was Christ's path to blessing--"for the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

That being said, I don't know this man or his theology. He doesn't flesh out his doctrine in the quotes above. In fact, his veil of biblicism is disturbing: "That part is atonement theory, not atonement fact." He implies that the words of the Bible are all that we can consider dogma, and not the doctrines deduced from Scritpure; those things are just "theories."
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
One must look up the meaning of the words "expiation" and "propitiation."

Understand the references to the "cup" Christ has to drink with the OT background of the cup of God's wrath and the further reflections in Revelation.

Consider the OT imagery of sacrifices being consumed by fire, where fire represents God's wrath or holiness and then understand Christ was viewed as the "Lamb of God."

God's "wrath" is the penalty for sin. If sin went on Jesus, so did God's wrath.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Jeremiah 25:15, Isaiah 51:17, Revelation 14:9-10 provide the ongoing imagery of the cup of wrath. Our Lord in Matthew 20:22 and Matthew 26:39, was speaking to this very thing. If Our Lord did not so "drink from the cup", wherein lies the propitiation of the wrath of God?

God is just in the pouring out of His wrath on sinners. God was just when He poured out His wrath on He who stood in the place of sinners, too.

I get the bit about God being angry at Jesus, as it assumes some passion God does not possess and goes further to imply that in this state of rage God does something unjustly. I think from that opening bit the rest of the comments assume this premise without warrant.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Hi,

In Canada there is a certain large megachurch network. Its leader is quite influential and he has, in the past put forth some questionable statements regarding the atonement. From a recent interview, these are some quotes:

"To say God was angry at Jesus or “poured out the cup of his wrath upon Jesus” (a popular image in Evangelical preaching) goes too far beyond what is written. That part is atonement theory, not atonement fact. Rather, the one who knew no sin became our sin – that is how the LORD crushed the Servant in Isaiah 53:10 – with our sin, not with his wrath. That much IS stated clearly in Scripture. I find this way of expressing the sacrifice of Christ – emphasizing the healing nature of his substitutionary sacrifice – more aligned with Scripture. The idea of God pouring out his wrath upon Christ on the cross is our language, our graphic image, not the Bible’s"

and,

"If someone says that the penalty for sin is death, and Jesus died for our sin, therefore he has taken the just penalty upon himself – if that’s what they mean by PSA than I’m right with them. In that sense, I affirm PSA. But you and I know that many Christians go beyond that, and equate PSA with God actively outpouring his wrath upon Jesus, as though God had to vent his wrath somewhere so it wouldn’t fall on us. That’s the version of PSA I do not think can be supported biblically. It says too much and goes too far beyond what it written."

and,

I want to be as clear as possible, so let me say the same thing a few different ways. The Bible answers the question of “Where did our sin go?” Our sin went onto Jesus. But the Bible does not address the question, “Then where did God’s wrath go?” What we do know is that, if God makes sinners righteous, then we are no longer children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). God’s wrath is gone, but I am overstepping Scripture to declare that God got rid of his wrath by pouring it out on Jesus. Please understand, I’m not asking anyone to rethink the results of the atonement, only one aspect of one theory about how the atonement achieves those results. I think when we affirm what the Bible clearly affirms – that Jesus became our sin and we became his righteousness – then we know that we can stand before the Judge of all the earth as genuinely innocent, genuinely pure, genuinely reborn people, free from wrath.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The full interview is here:

https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/c...larity-with-bruxy-cavey-on-the-atonement-2-3/

What are your thoughts on these quotes?
He appears to be drinking from NT Wright theology, as he is denying here penal substitutionary atonement, which is the very heart of the theology of the cross. Calvin and Luther both would have seen this as being defective, as there is indeed a wrath component in the atonement, as God anger and wrath had to be propiated in an active sense. it was not God venting out upon Jesus, nor having a form of child abuse, but it was the truth that Holy God must have an appeasment for His wrath upon sin itself, as it violates His very holiness. Jesus willingly took this upon Himself, asHe endured that cup of wrath in order to see many come to salvation due to His death on their behalf.
 

KSon

Puritan Board Junior
The gentleman in question is part of the "new" Anabaptist movement, one which trends very liberal and heterodox. There are videos of discussions he hosts with his church, ranging from "How do we welcome our gay brothers and sisters (in the faith)?" to "open dialogue" with a Muslim on the Lord's Day, during which he made no apologetic stand for the faith. Further, he has yoked himself with Greg Boyd (an open-theist) and Brian Zahnd (who openly denies PSA, while "co-pastoring" his church with his wife). His engaging style and personality (kind of a "hipster ragamuffin") has won him many followers, particularly in the millennial demographic.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The gentleman in question is part of the "new" Anabaptist movement, one which trends very liberal and heterodox. There are videos of discussions he hosts with his church, ranging from "How do we welcome our gay brothers and sisters (in the faith)?" to "open dialogue" with a Muslim on the Lord's Day, during which he made no apologetic stand for the faith. Further, he has yoked himself with Greg Boyd (an open-theist) and Brian Zahnd (who openly denies PSA, while "co-pastoring" his church with his wife). His engaging style and personality (kind of a "hipster ragamuffin") has won him many followers, particularly in the millennial demographic.
He and his congregation are fulfilling 2 Timothy 4:3
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
It’s already been said above, but I just want to reiterate. His argument may be shown its error merely by reciting two words: “cup,” and “propitiation.” If this man claims that saying the wrath of God for our sin fell upon his Son “goes beyond what it written,” then it can safely be said that he has not read—or at least read well—“what is written.”
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
This guy doesn't look sound. I remember my Pentecostal parents talking enthusiastically about Bruxy Cavey. That's often a warning sign for me! They liked his torn jeans, apparently.

And I have to wonder why he didn't opt for a better stage name.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
It’s already been said above, but I just want to reiterate. His argument may be shown its error merely by reciting two words: “cup,” and “propitiation.” If this man claims that saying the wrath of God for our sin fell upon his Son “goes beyond what it written,” then it can safely be said that he has not read—or at least read well—“what is written.”
He seems to be one thta would hold to God was somehow venting upon Jesus His wrath in a hateful fashion?
 
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