Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
December 29th, 2014 by Joel Watts

If Jim shain’t listen to the Papist, then what of the Reformed?

God the Father, Cima da Conegliano, Circa 1510-17.

“Slow your roll, Jim” – God the Father, Cima da Conegliano, Circa 1510-17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Poor Jim. I no longer know what it is like to have such a deficit in theology — so it is difficult for me to empathize with him. As he would not listen to the Papist, shall he then turn a deaf ear to the Reformed?

This is from a good Scotch theologian:

That oneness of mind with the Father, which towards man took the form of condemnation of sin, would, in the Son’s dealing with the Father in relation to our sins, take the form of a perfect confession of our sins. This confession, as to its own nature, must have been a perfect Amen inhumanity to the judgment of God on the sin of man. Such an Amen was due in the truth of things. He who was the Truth could not be in humanity and not utter it,—and it was necessarily a first step in dealing with the Father on our behalf. He who would intercede for us must begin with confessing our sins. This all will at once perceive. But let us weigh this confession of our sins by the Son of God in humanity. And I do not mean in reference to the suffering it implies viewed as suffering. Christ’s love to the Father, to whom He thus confessed the sin of His brethren,—His love to His brethren whose sin He confessed,—along with that conscious oneness of will with the Father in humanity, in the light of which the exceeding evil of man’s alienation from God was realised; these must have rendered His confession of our sins before the Father a peculiar development of the holy sorrow in which He bore the burden of our sins; and which, like His sufferings in confessing His Father before men, had a severity and intensity of its own. But, apart from the question of the suffering present in that confession of our sins, and the depth of meaning which it gives to the expression, ” a sacrifice for sin,” let us consider this Amen from the depths of the humanity of Christ to the divine condemnation of sin. “What is it in relation to God’s wrath against sin ? What place has it in Christ’s dealing with that wrath 1 I answer: He who so responds to the divine wrath against sin, saying, “Thou art righteous, O Lord, who judgest so,” is necessarily receiving the full apprehension and realisation of that wrath, as well as of that sin against which it comes forth, into His soul and spirit, into the bosom of the divine humanity, and, so receiving it, He responds to it with a perfect response,—a response from the depths of that divine humanity,—and in this perfect response He absorbs it. For that response has all the elements of a perfect repentance in humanity for all the sin of man,—a perfect sorrow—a perfect contrition—all the elements of such a repentance, and that in absolute perfection, all—excepting the personal consciousness of sin,—and by that perfect response in Amen to the mind of God in relation to sin is the wrath of God rightly met, and that is accorded to divine justice which is its due, and could alone satisfy it. (The Nature of the Atonement and Its Relation to Remission of Sins and Eternal Life, 1859; 134–36)

In Which I Respond to Joel’s 1871 Citation of a Papist in Support of a False Theological Claim | Zwinglius Redivivus.

I note this portion of Campbell’s text is quoted in Chris Tilling’s recently edited work on Beyond the New Perspectives.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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