Tom Schreiner on the Atonement

So far we have shared quotes from Wayne Grudem and C. H. Spurgeon on the cross. Today I’d like to share a quote from Dr. Tom Schreiner, Associate Dean and Professor of New Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky). Incidentally, Martin Downes has just posted an interview with Dr. Schreiner.

“I define penal substitution as follows: The Father, because of his love for human beings, sent his Son (who offered himself willingly and gladly) to satisfy his justice, so that Christ took the place of sinners. The punishment and penalty we deserved was laid on Jesus Christ instead of us, so that in the cross both God’s holiness and love are manifested.

The riches of what God has accomplished in Christ for his people are not exhausted by penal substitution. The multifaceted character of the atonement must be recognized to do justice the canonical witness. God’s people are impoverished if Christ’s triumph over evil powers at the cross is slighted, or Christ’s exemplary love is shoved to the side, or the healing bestowed on believers by Christ’s cross and resurrection is downplayed. While not denying the wide-ranging character of Christ’s atonement, I am arguing that penal substitution is foundational and the heart of the atonement.”

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