“As Christ sustains a twofold relation to believers – one in the charactter of their Surety, bound to satisfy justice in their behalf; the other in the character of their Head and Lord, operating in them by the animating and directing influence of his Spirit – so he had a twofold end in his death and sufferings: one, the payment of a price of redemption for us to justice; the other, to set before us an example worthy of imitation. Hence his sufferings may be viewed either as satisfactory or as exemplary…the mentioning of the one end does not exclude but supposes the other.” Francis Turretin, On the Atonement of Christ, pg. 57
I was reading through this section of Turretin’s work on the Atonement. Not his popular short essay called “The Necessity of the Atonement” but rather his longer work translated by James…anyway I found it refreshing that Turretin didn’t make his readers choose between Christ death as a substitution and his death as an example. Unfortunately Turretin didn’t really explore the exemplary nature of Christ death in much depth in his work but nevertheless it was refreshing. I’ve been reading a number of articles and texts on the atonement and to be honest I’m starting to get frustrated with the polemically loadedness of the topic. It seems like one is either bashing the penal substitutionary view of the atonement or defending it in such a way that one almost looses all sight of the multi-facetedness of death of Christ in the New Testament.
In addition to Turretin’s work one article I really appreciated was Richard Mouw’s article called, “Violence and the atonement.” Mouw is the president of Fuller Theological Seminary and he combines a unique set of interests in both Reformed Theology and Younger Evangelicalism.
Love to hear your thoughts on Turretin’s quote and Mouw’s article…
(Photographic art by Gwennie2006; piece entitled “apophenia2“)