This moot court session summarily refutes claims #13 and 14 of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA). Both of these claims are modern accretions to Anselm’s medieval model of atonement.
Claim #13 states: “God pours out his wrath and all the torments of Hell upon the crucified Christ, imputing Christ’s righteousness to mankind and mankind’s wickedness to Christ. Thereby, man becomes positionally righteous; Christ, positionally wicked. But in reality, mankind remains wicked; the imputation is merely a legal declaration.”
The Atonement School infers this claim largely from Isaiah 53, the “Suffering Servant Passage.” This inference evinces astoundingly shoddy biblical scholarship because Matthew 8:14-17 interprets Isaiah 53 to be fulfilled when Christ heals the sick and frees them from demonic possession. Moreover, Proverbs 24:24 and 17:26 condemn imputation of guilt to the guiltless and innocence to the guilty. In short, claim #13 of PSA shows that the Atonement School has simply isolated the Suffering Servant Passage from the rest of the Bible in order to make their case.
Claim #14, considerably less complicated than #13, states: “The wickedness of all humanity having been imputed to him, the crucified Christ becomes a literal curse and the embodiment of sin,” an inference that the Atonement School draws from Gal 3:13 and 2 Cor 5:21. Sadly for the Atonement School, this construal is at odds with that of the early Christians who commented on those passages. Gregory of Nazianzus (AD 325-389), Theodoret (AD 393 to circa 457), and Basil of Caesarea (AD 329-379) all understand the words “curse” and “sin” as figures of speech not to be taken literally. Other Church Fathers (Gregory of Nyssa [4th c. AD] and Ambrose of Milan [AD 340-397]) write that “sin” and “curse” simply refer to the damaged human condition.
Run time: 23:32; Posted: 4/26/15