30 May 2008

One More Krauth Goodie

Man, is this guy unbelievably helpful:

"The theory of the atonement, which pretends to explain it, is rotten at the core. The atonement, in its whole conception, belongs to a world which man cannot now enter. The blessings and adaptations of it we can comprehend in some measure. We can approach them with tender hearts, full of gratitude; but the essence of the atonement we can understand as little as can understand the essence of God." Conservative Reformation, p. 654

17 comments:

christopher palo said...

Perhaps what Krauth should have said is that atonement is incomplete for without the resurrection, Christ's work for us and our salvation is incomplete.

Eric Phillips said...

Christopher,

Do you know that Krauth is excluding the resurrection when he speaks of "the atonement"?

William Weedon said...

In point of fact, Krauth had earlier said:

"We have had in our hands a book on the Lord's Supper by an American preacher, the frontispiece of which represents a lonely tombstone, and on it the world: 'To the memory of my Saviour.' Nothing could more sadly, yet vigorously, epitomize the tendency of which we speak - the graveyard tendency, which turns the great festival of the redemption into a time of mourning, and coldly furnishes forth the marriage tables with the baked meats of a funeral. The glory of the Lutheran system in all its parts, and especially the doctrine of the Lord's Supper, is, that it accepts, in all its fullness, the Apostles' argument: 'If when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, MUCH MORE, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His LIFE.' Never, indeed, has the human heart been so taught as by our system in its purity to turn to teh death of Christ for hope; but our Church has been led by the Holy Spirit too deeply into all the fulness of truth to man an antagonism between the death of her Savior and His life. If Christ must die to make our redemption, He must live to apply it. If the Lord's Supper is a sacrament of the redemption made by His death, it is also a sacrament of the same redemption applied by His life." p. 653

William Weedon said...

That should read: "to make an antagonism..."

christopher palo said...

It has been my experience that when the atonement is spoken of, it is spoken, whether intentionally or unintentinlly, in terms of only the death of Christ and omitting the Resurrection. The additional quote helps. Thanks.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

There are enough "rotten" theories of atonement to make necessary abundant explanation as to why they are rotten.

Like this one

http://seminaryblog.com/2008/05/22/celebrating-corpus-christi-as-lutherans/

which says, in part, "We are proclaiming that unjust and violent death, the execution of that innocent man. But we are not mourning. For in that terrible and frightful event, God spent his wrath."

Brian P Westgate said...

And what could ever be "rotten" about that? Calling that "rotten" is calling God Himself "rotten?" Or to put it another way, is to accuse Him, with many "post-moderns," of divine child abuse.

Doorman-Priest said...

Every word English and yet Krauth reads like a foreign language.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Where in any law is there provision for executing an innocent man?

Was not God's justice satisfied by Christ's having offered perfect obedience, on behalf of us all? Then what was left to be wrathful about or to punish?

God's law required perfect obedience OR death, not both. Had He required both, that would have been illegal, not to mention immoral and unjust.

(But note, it is not what God did I critique, but a certain theory of the atonement. Big difference.)

William Weedon said...

"For it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'" Matthew 26:31 The "I" is the Lord of hosts. And so as our Lord moves into His Passion, He says to His disciples: "Shall I not drink the cup the the Father has given me?" And so He prayed: "Not my will, but Thine be done." And so He is obedient to His Father who "strikes" the Shepherd, who gives Him the cup of suffering to drink, and whose will is to "crush Him and put Him to grief." Isaiah 53:10

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yes, Christ is citing a poetic expression by Zechariah. We all understand that nothing happens unless God permits it, and this is what such references are assuring us. Yet we also know it is satan (not God!) who was the murderer from the beginning.

That’s the whole point: that for love of us, Christ let the devil throw everything he had at Him. As if to say, “Go ahead, spit and slap and put on the thorns and it will accomplish nothing but to show forth My superior strength, for I shall not waver in My love or My faith. Drive the nails through, lift Me up naked, and I shall draw all men with me; but I shall not deny my Father. I shall remain perfectly obedient; like Job, I shall never blaspheme Him, no matter what you, satan, do to me. Bring on the vinegar and the gall and the mockery; pierce My side; it shall not effect my soul. And besides all this, I Myself will lay down my own life. (You cannot take it from Me!). For my children, I shall endure even death, in order to conquer that as well. I shall endure, and overcome, and vanquish, every weapon you can bring out of your arsenal. And then I shall arise, glorified, while all your weapons, suffering and death, lie useless in the pit. And when My body has suffered in every part, and has been victorious in every part, and shown itself unconquerable and the bearer of immortality, I shall give it to My children for their heavenly food and drink. And I shall raise all My children with Me.”

Mustn’t confuse the role of satan with that of God!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

P.S. Here's Isaiah 53:10(a) in the Septuagint: "10 The Lord also is pleased to purge him from his stroke..."

The Septuagint, of course, is the Bible Christ and the Apostles knew, and from which they quoted. It is also the Bible adopted by the ancient Church. It was universally accepted among Jews for centuries before Christ.

Whereas the other text, the one behind the more familiar version of Isaiah 53, was produced after Christ by Christ rejectors.

Brian P Westgate said...

The Apostles don't just quote the Septuagint, but they also quote the Hebrew verbatim, and also, if I recall correctly, use their own translations. Now why use the Septuagint? It is simply because they were preaching to a Greek-speaking world. No need to go reinventing the wheel when you have a serviceable translation already. Plus they probably didn't have the time . . .

Brian P Westgate said...

I forgot to mention, that when in Nazareth Christ reads the Scriptures, it is near certain that he reads the Hebrew. So also we hear of St. Paul the Apostle preaching in Hebrew. Even if he was preaching in Aramaic, he certainly knew the Hebrew well.
It has been said that Isaiah isn't that great in the Septuagint, even translating with plurals what should be singulars. Thus it LOSES its christocentricity.

William Weedon said...

It is worth noting what Brian has already observed. The NT does not invariably quote the LXX. For example, when Is 53:4 is cited in Matthew 8:17, a translation is used that is clearly NOT the LXX.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

The translation used in Matthew 8 is not the one we find in, say, Strong's, either. Not the one in the King James. Not the one from which you quoted v. 10. Those texts post-date Christ.

So that point proves little if anything.

Moreover, Matthew 8:17 says Christ's healing miracles are the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy. Nothing to do with God's wrath being expended, unless by Christ against sickness and sin and the devil.

William Weedon said...

But you had stated that the LXX is the Bible that the NT writers knew and cited; I was simply agreeing with Brian that it was not the version they invariably turned to. I've not done an exhaustive search of every time Is 53 is quoted in the NT, but it would be curious to see how often it matches the LXX. I believe it is an exact match in Acts 8 - but beyond that I've not checked it out. It would be instructive.