Sunday, October 09, 2011
... Of all the events in the experience of Christ, His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection, and His return, His death stands central. As important as the other events are, both in themselves and in relation to His death, the death of Christ remains central, because apart from atonement there would be no forgiveness of sins. Christianity would be nonexistent. It is the birth that makes the death of Christ possible, but it is the death that makes the birth important. It is the resurrection that makes possible the application of the benefits of His death. It is the death that makes His resurrection important and makes the one who has been restored to life the Redeemer.
It is of the utmost importance that we maintain a sound doctrine of atonement. The study of the atonement must be done with the whole personality, not just the rational mind. While a study of atonement is fascinating in its logical consistency, it must go deeper than that to be comprehended. It must grip the heart also. There is nothing that sheds light on the serious of holiness and sin like the atonement that God provided to bring forgiveness of sin. A proper view of atonement puts seriousness into the whole study of theology. Any system of ethics that does not read from atonement the seriousness of sin and understanding of God's holiness and God's love that is seen in atonement will be grossly inadequate. Any view of grace that is not grounded in the understanding of sin, holiness, and the high regard for law that is manifested in atonement will be empty, shallow, and shot through with the tendencies of antinomianism…(1)
1. Classical Arminianism: A Theology of Salvation, F. Leroy Forlines, ed. Pinson, pp 199-200, (Nashville, Randall House, 2011)