PSA and PFOT and ST

Penal Substitutionary Atonement and Pierced or Our Transgressions and Stephen Travis

I am being lectured to by Stephen Travis at the moment at college. I am learning a lot about Redaction Criticism and hope to write my next essay on what Jesus has to say about The Kingdom of God, which I think will be interesting.

I am also still working on my defence of PSA in the light of contemporary criticism and noticed that on page 215 of PFOT by Ovey, Jeffery and Sach that they accuse Stephen of a faulty theology of the atonement. It is implied that Travis favours expiation over propitiation because he uses the idea of absorbtion. The authors of PFOT say that this 'is not even biblical!' I disagree, the translation of Hilasterion in Romans 3:25 should neither negate propitiation or expiation. The two terms should co-exist and not be made to war against each other. As I have argued in my essay, is it not more the case that the Bible in its presentation of Christ as the mercy-seat, portrays God in Christ offering himself as a means of expiation for sins justly incurring his wrath which is then propitiated.

Anyway, I asked Stephen in the coffee break how he feels about being thus portrayed. I asked him what does a theologian and writer do in these situations, if he googled himself, he would discover his critics, does one simply ignore the charges or what?

Stephen said he had written a number of books and understands that not everything he writes is going to induce universal agreement.

I wished I had had more time to pursue the topic with Stephen. It would have been very edifying, so it is with interest that I received an email today to say that he has agreed to give a lecture on his view of Penal Substitution at the end of the month. I will keep you updated.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Quote: "disagree, the translation of Hilasterion in Romans 3:25 should neither negate propitiation or expiation. "

I agree with you here, the two concepts can co-exist here. The problem though is the term "propitiation" by definition means to "turn away wrath" (appease), it does not mean to re-direct it onto a substitute. So by using this term, Paul effectively precluded Psub when he used it in Rom 3:25. Further, in Rom 3:24 Paul used the term "redeem" which likewise contradicts Psub, because redemption is about "buying back" at a price, not about transferring punishment.


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