Sin Is Not A Legal Problem – Athanasius and the Atonement

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I often struggle when people speak of their “sins.” Indeed, it is not unusual to be asked, “Is ___ a sin?” The question always makes me feel like a lawyer.

Imagine that, instead of a doctor, you have a lawyer whom you consult for your medical problems. You are having trouble breathing. You’re short of breath and occasionally you cough up blood. You go to your doctor (lawyer) and he examines you. He doesn’t listen to your chest, take x-rays or do a scan. Instead, he asks you some careful questions.

“Have you ever smoked?”

“No,” You answer.

“Have you ever been exposed to asbestos?”

“No,” you reply again. His questions continue in a similar manner.

“Have you always tried to take good care of your health, eaten correctly, and exercised?”

“Yes,” you say.

“Well, then,” he concludes. “I see no problem here.”

“But I can barely breathe and sometimes I cough up blood.”

“Well, clearly it’s not your fault, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. But how’s that bunion we discussed last time? Have you become truly sorry for buying those cheap shoes?”

Sin is not a legal problem because God is not a lawyer (and neither is a priest if he knows his business). Sin is a death problem. It’s far more like a disease than anything else. St. Athanasius offers this important observation in one of the most central texts in all of patristic thought:

But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under its dominion. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good. By nature, of course, man is mortal, since he was made from nothing; but he bears also the Likeness of Him Who is, and if he preserves that Likeness through constant contemplation, then his nature is deprived of its power and he remains incorrupt. So is it affirmed in Wisdom: “The keeping of His laws is the assurance of incorruption.”  (On the Incarnation, 1.4).

Though the words, “law,” “transgression,” “commandment,” are used in this passage, they do not govern its meaning. Instead, Athanasius gives them a different understanding. As many of the Fathers would do following him, St. Athanasius equates existence with goodness. God is the only truly existing One. Created in His likeness, we are created with a view towards eternal life. When we broke communion with God through sin, we let loose a principle of “corruption” (literally “rot”) in our lives. Sin is thus given the meaning of death and corruption, a movement towards non-existence, a return to the dust from which we were made.

That process of death and corruption is not a punishment – it is a consequence. God does not say, “In the day you eat of it, I will kill you.” He warns, “You will surely die.” Athanasius again:

But since the will of man could turn either way, God secured this grace that He had given by making it conditional from the first upon two things— namely, a law and a place. He set them in His own paradise, and laid upon them a single prohibition. If they guarded the grace and retained the loveliness of their original innocence, then the life of paradise should be theirs, without sorrow, pain or care, and after it the assurance of immortality in heaven. But if they went astray and became vile, throwing away their birthright of beauty, then they would come under the natural law of death and live no longer in paradise, but, dying outside of it, continue in death and in corruption. This is what Holy Scripture tells us, proclaiming the command of God, “Of every tree that is in the garden thou shalt surely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat, but in the day that ye do eat, ye shall surely die.”

“Ye shall surely die”— not just die only, but remain in the state of death and of corruption. (On the Incarnation, 1.3).

Again, the text here uses the term “law,” but his sense of it is not of a rule that is broken, but of a principle at work. Indeed, the translator uses the term “natural law,” though the Greek actually says, “the death which is according to nature.” Sometimes translators insert unnecessary confusion by the forensic mentality that has so governed Western Christian thought.

What should be noted is the interior of Athanasius’ thought. For many, the very hint of law would drive them towards the notion of rules broken and punishment incurred. As such, none of the language of death, corruption, being, non-existence, would be necessary or even come to mind. But the force of everything Athanasius is saying is predicated on ontology – the question of being. The “mechanics” of sin are understood in terms of being and the loss of communion bringing about a fall towards non-being. There is simply no use of the imagery common to forensic thought.

So, you go to your doctor and say, “I can’t breathe well and I’m coughing up blood.” He runs scans and tests, comes back and says, “You have cancer. I’ll need to operate and do some other things.” And you complain, “But I never smoked! I was never around asbestos! I took care of myself, ate well and exercised.” So the doctor says, “Well, then. Legally you shouldn’t have cancer, but you do. And if I don’t treat you, you’ll die.”

This is the true atonement. Being made one (at-one-ment) with the Living God, we have life, not according to reward, nor according to the law, but according to the God/Man who took our dying nature upon Himself and endured death. Trampling down death, He rose again that all who are united to Him might trample down death and rise as well.

 

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.



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148 responses to “Sin Is Not A Legal Problem – Athanasius and the Atonement”

  1. Nicholas Stephen Griswold Avatar
    Nicholas Stephen Griswold

    Terry,
    It won’t be too long and an example will appear. They always do when we get to discussing the forensic concepts of salvation in the West. Then you will understand what Michael is referring to, but you are not one of those folks.

  2. Karen Avatar
    Karen

    Terry,

    “Dual monologues” strikes me as another way of saying talking past each other, using similar words, but meaning by them quite different things.

    Of the latter, “salvation” is a word that tends to have quite a different context and meaning between a fully Orthodox use and popular, common Protestant (or even American cultural) use.

    One thing I particularly like about Fr. Stephen’s blog us that it is generally a very safe place to ask questions.

  3. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Michael,

    My wife and I have traveled a lot, but never to Wichita, KS. Who knows. We might show up and surprise you.

  4. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Thank you, Karen.

    I like the opportunity to participate.

  5. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Nicholas,

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    I see where salvation and atonement can be explained with the hospital/healing image.

    To say that the Bible does not at all use the legal concept goes too far, I think.

  6. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Question:

    How can God allow one to go to hell when he is only sick? I don’t think hell can be viewed as a hospital like the church is.

  7. Karen Avatar
    Karen

    Terry,

    I don’t think anyone is claiming the Scriptures use no legal language. What is being claimed by the Orthodox is that this juridical language in the Scriptures (e.g., St. Paul in Romans) did not mean to the biblical audience nor to the early Fathers what it later came to mean during the Protestant Reformation especially to the Reformers, who were working with a very different understanding of the nature of “the law” than the biblical writers and approaching the question of salvation within a much different framework (i.e., that of the Reformation-Counter Reformation polemics).

  8. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    What does baptism accomplish?

    Why is it ‘essential’ for salvation.

    I, too, was baptized ‘for the remission of sins’.

  9. Karen Avatar
    Karen

    Terry, continuing Church as hospital motif, I’d suggest hell is the natural consequence of the patient refusing the cure and exiting the hospital, but no longer having access to his favorite mood-altering substance (spiritual idol or delusion) to numb the pain of his disease. IOW, hell is the spiritual disease itself. Hell is just what remaining in a state of rebellion and opposition to God’s good will looks like with a foretaste here and now in the “unmanageable life” that characterizes the addict to sin and in its consummation in the next life when there will be no denying the full reality of the real spiritual condition of the unrepentant in the full Light of God’s glory.

  10. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Thanks, Karen.

    I think I understand. No more questions. We have probably run this pony around the block enough times, at least on my part.

  11. Fr. Stephen Freeman Avatar

    Terry,
    Forgive me, but it’s good to listen as well as to ask questions. Many of the words, such as “sin,” “hell,” etc., are easy to use, assuming that you mean by them what everybody (including the fathers) means. But it’s not the case. I’m posting an article tomorrow that’ll take the question of “legal” much deeper. The words in the NT that are treated as “legal” today absolutely did not have the meaning assigned to them. The meaning today is based in nominalism, a philosophy that did not appear until about 1100 or later, but is today the dominant mode of thought in the modern world. It distorts many, many things.

    Read the post tomorrow and then we’ll discuss the concept of “legal” language in the NT.

  12. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Hum. Interesting. “Hell is the spiritual disease itself”.

    I like that.

  13. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Father,

    Some people’s post are easier ‘to hear’ and to understand.

    If I don’t understand or if I disagree, I’ll ask a follow up question.

    This thread has been thought-provoking and eye-opening for me.

    I really appreciate all the input, I understand the Orthodox position better and have more respect for my new faith.

    Truthfully, father, I’ve already studied much of these matters in some detain. However, reassurance is always beneficial. I have read many books and lots of article on the Orthodox faith in the last two years.

    My priest is wonderful. The church here is warm and encouraging.

    One of my goals is evangelism among Protestants, and especially the Church of Christ.

    That’s the real reason I’m here. I am seeking knowledge and how to answer others who will be asking the same questions.

  14. Michelle Avatar
    Michelle

    Terry,
    I liked your last question. I think when people contemplate what hell’s eternity reveals to us about hell’s nature our logical minds lead us to the idea of retribution. What could possibly be the point of endless, eternal suffering? It seems utterly pointless if not for the sake of retribution. The one suffering must somehow deserve this endless, profitless, punishment. We can’t imagine any other reason for it.

    But, just maybe, imagined logical conclusions concerning hell are not what is called for here. Maybe, instead, what is called for is contemplation of
    a mystery; “If I am the chief of all sinners, then how is it I could possibly find myself in God’s Kingdom before anyone else? If I escape hell, then how is it that anyone else could not?” If in anyway I feel that to find myself in the Kingdom, while some other poor soul dwells in hell, is perfectly just and good, then I lack the humility to find myself in the Kingdom. It would be a mystery indeed should I find my way to the Kingdom before someone else. And a tragedy if I ever presume it just and good that I gain the Kingdom, while another justly suffers for their sins.

  15. Michelle Avatar
    Michelle

    Some very good questions, Terry. Welcome to the blog, friend 😊

  16. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Michelle, help me understand what you are saying a little better.

    Is it just and good if I gain the Kingdom?

    Is it just and good if I end up in hell?

    Thank you very much.

  17. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    I’m happy you and the others here are so patient with me.

    Thanks, Michelle.

  18. Nicole from VA Avatar
    Nicole from VA

    It is a tragedy for any person to choose to reject God’s love.

    I’ve been learning a bit about the sun, how the energy it generates is from nuclear reactions like thousands and thousands of bombs going off simultaneously

    If at the end of time all people are simultaneously exposed to God’s boundless love it does seem like those who have not started to allow a bit of His love into their hearts and allowed it to flow out to others are in for a shock. They may experience God’s love as overwhelming brightness, as fire that burns.

    The heat may make them hard like mud that drys and cracks rather than soft like wax (one Saint’s analogy)

    But at Divine Liturgy we offer “ourselves and each other and all our lives to Christ our God.”

    My brother may have forgotten God. But we in the Liturgy offer his life to the good God who only loves mankind. We

    Somehow this reality of felix culpa exists, that our sin is not good, but that God is capable of bringing more good into our lives than existed before

    St Silouan in his poem Adam’s Lament says that after the fall we have been given a new paradise, ‘fairer than the first.’

    Given indeed.

    It has taken me years to realize I cannot earn it and the enemy of mankind is the one who encourages me to try

  19. Michelle Avatar
    Michelle

    I guess what I am trying to say is that eternal hell becomes a mystery for me when I contemplate it. You’re wanting clear definitions of what I consider “good and just,” but that kind of misses the point. I will try to explain myself through an illustration. What I’m trying to get at is more of an existential experience, so I’ll describe what I experience when I contemplate hell:

    First, I imagine myself as the worst of all sinners, as the liturgy says. I tell myself that this is, indeed, the truth.

    Then, I imagine someone whom I love dearly, but, alas they are lost -a staunch atheist, who professes, with complete sincerity, a fierce hate of the Bible and the Jesus found in it (this is a real person I’m speaking of, mind you).

    Then, I imagine we both die. I die as the worst sinner to ever live. He dies as a faithless atheist, full of hatred of Christ. Then I imagine that I find myself in God’s Kingdom, and I find my atheist friend dwell’s in hell. If I were truly the worst of all sinners, with a heart much harder, and much more cold to God than his, then how could this situation possibly happen? How could I have possibly escaped, and he not? I was not more warm to Christ than he. No, rather, I was more cold to Christ. It can’t make sense. Hell cannot make sense to the chief of all sinners, should they escape it, while yet someone else does not.

    Likewise, I, the chief all sinners, with a heart more hardened than anyone else in existence, cannot sit back in heaven’s lofty abode and say it makes perfect sense that I dwell here in peace, while my atheist friend dwells in eternal unrest in hell.

    And, furthermore, if I, the chief of all sinners, were ever pleased to see my friend in eternal unrest in hell, then I would not be united with Christ in His perfect love for my atheist friend. And if I am not in unity with Christ, then I am not in His Kingdom after all. To be in the Kingdom and, at the same time, to be at peace with others abiding in hell is an impossibility. And, yet, somehow, both paradoxically and mystically, eternal hell is a reality.

    My point is to persuade you not to make up your mind about what the nature of hell must be. Leave it an open question worth contemplating. Leave it a mystery.

  20. Michelle Avatar
    Michelle

    Terry,
    The last post of mine was directed to you. I forgot to put your name on it, sorry.

  21. Mark Basil Avatar
    Mark Basil

    Phew!
    God grant us time to exhale after all this!
    Dear to God Terry, if I were in your shoes my head would be spinning right now. When I converted I was such a mess and so turned around. You strike me as a man with much stability already under his feat. Even still too much stretching all at once can break us a bit. I hope you are well with this pace, friend.

    I will try and pray for us both a bit tonight. Perhaps you can pray for me as I know we might disagree on some things. Then we can really enter the Tradition as brothers who dwell in unity, like the oil running down the beard of Aaron.
    There is much in recent blog comments for me to digest.

    in peace and friendship;
    -Mark Basil

  22. Michelle Avatar
    Michelle

    Mark Basil is right!

    Terry,
    You came on here with intriguing questions, and was engaging with many others, but I still couldn’t help myself and pounced on you with long winded conversation, trailing off from your original concerns. My apologies!

  23. Fr. Stephen Freeman Avatar

    Terry,
    It is good to slow down the questions. It can overwhelm the thread and bring other discussions to a halt. Be moderate.

  24. Nicholas Stephen Griswold Avatar
    Nicholas Stephen Griswold

    Terry,
    Yes, there are words in Scripture that we see as legal in our modern education. The issue is what the ancients meant when they used those words. What Father is saying is those words, which we now define as legal, did not mean the same thing in the days that Scripture and the writings of the Fathers were laid down.
    Law has an entirely different meaning to us in the 20/21st Century than it did back in the 1st Century. Remember, their culture was vastly different than ours is today. They did not have lawyers, courts and boos full of imposed moral rulings. Even the word to judge did not mean what we mean today. We see it in terms of imposing disciplinary action by establishing guilty. The Hebrew word for Judgment means to heal and set things right, back to their proper condition. It is a horse of an entirely different color.
    One problem is that when modern day scholars translate and decide on meaning in the Lexicons, they do so with a modern mindset prejudice. Most of our English translations of Scripture and the Early Fathers were done by people of the Reformed tradition. They have a highly forensic view of salvation and when they translate, this theological preference dictates how they render the Greek into English and their forensic think dictates what they write down. It is not a deliberate attempt to distort, but a natural outcome.
    The bottom line is that we see legalism because of the way the language is translated and our own understanding of the meanings of the words. What Father is saying is that OUR interpretation of what Scripture is saying (legalistic) is incorrect and that we need, through the renewing of our minds, to see this language as the ancients meant it. Its the old question of who has control over the meaning of written words; the writer or the reader.

  25. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Thanks, Nicholas,

    That makes sense.

  26. Nicholas Stephen Griswold Avatar
    Nicholas Stephen Griswold

    Terry,
    You and I have far more in common than you realize so I am in-sync with your questions and now where they are coming from. 🙂

  27. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Wow, Nicholas, that means a lot. I’m trying to be a ‘good’ Orthodox.

    I’m also trying to prepare myself to reach to other Protestants.

    Most of the people I know and associate with don’t accept or believe something just because so-and-so said so.

    I had a professor in seminary, a very godly man, who had a PhD in NT from Harvard and a PhD in OT from Hebrew Union, a Jewish seminary. He was brilliant. He could use the Hebrew and Greek like it was English. But he was a proponent of the legal substitutionary model. I would like to see a discussion between him and Fr Freeman.

    I respect and honor Fr Freeman. I just think there is more to the legal argument than he gives it credit. I certainly believe in the hospital/cleansing model; it just doesn’t give the entire picture of the atonement or of salvation.

    It is evident that Fr Freeman is a smart and wise man, and one does good to to read and to listen to him.

    Out of respect for Fr Freeman I’m going to stop the questions for awhile.

    Again, thanks so much Nicholas.

  28. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Father,

    Again my posts are going to moderation and not being posted.

    If that is the case, please let me know.

    I do plan to cease the questions for awhile.

    Thanks, Father

  29. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Father,

    If you think I’m being inappropriate, I will cease all posting.

    Thanks, Father.

  30. Alex Volkov Avatar
    Alex Volkov

    Terry, to your question about the Scriptures and the Fathers.

    I believe you will agree that the Bible doesn’t interpret itself. (If it were not true, there would be no heresies). Thus, the Bible can’t be the sole and final authority. We need some lens or guidance to understand the Scriptures in the proper way.

    “First of all you must understand that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Pet 1:20

    The Bible was produced in the Church, by and for the Church. The Church knew what it believed before the books of the New Testament were written. What we know about Christ, Christian teachings and practices – we know initially, from the oral tradition that was delivered by the Apostles to the Churches which they founded.

    Church is “the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

    “Real interpretation of Scripture is Church preaching, is tradition” – St. Irenaeus

    The Holy Fathers kept and passed the Apostolic Tradition to other generations. The Fathers were not only theologians or scholars but also ascetic, men of prayer, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write down the Church interpretation of the Scriptures.

    For Orthodox Christians, when we speak about how to interpret the Scriptures, criterion of truth is neither my personal understanding, nor my pastor’s interpretation, nor the Pope’s opinion but the consensus of the Fathers.

    The Fathers might have diffetent personal opinions on certain things but if we see the consensus, we can definitely say that this is the teaching of the Church.

    So, the consensus of the Fathers is our lens and guidance in understanding the Scriptures.

  31. Karen Avatar
    Karen

    Terry, sometimes my comments go into moderation as well. Usually this is just so Fr. Stephen can take more time to thoughtfully moderate the thread if it has gotten busy and just as often it seems it can be some kind of technical glitch or oversight where a comment initially goes into the wrong folder–one that Father may not monitor as frequently as the actual thread. Eventually your comments will appear, and, if not, some kind of explanation in their place.

  32. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Thanks, Karen.

    That certainly makes sense. Since all the posts that have been made, I thought I had crossed the line. 😎

    I’m still going to stop the questions for awhile. I can learn a lot simply reading.

    Thanks, again. It was nice of you to explain it to me.

  33. Fr. Stephen Freeman Avatar

    Karen, Terry, et al
    Sometimes comments go into moderation and I haven’t got a clue as to why. There are a tiny number of people, maybe 2, whose comments I moderate and often delete, but this is not the case here.

  34. Michelle Avatar
    Michelle

    Father,
    I posted something on your most recent article and its been in moderation all day. Not sure if its a glitch or I’m one of the one’s you moderate, lol. I don’t mind if its the latter, but if its a glitch I thought id just bring it to your attention. Thanks!

  35. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    My last comment went to moderation.

    I think that is 2-3 are in moderation.

    I’m glad to know I’m not barred.

    Thanks a lot

  36. Fr. Stephen Freeman Avatar

    Terry, I don’t see any in moderation.

  37. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Father,

    My last post is showing. Thanks.

  38. Agata Avatar
    Agata

    Wonderful reply Alex!
    You are taking Dino’s place in his absence…
    🙂

  39. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Alex,

    Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it.

    Blessings

  40. Fr. Stephen Freeman Avatar

    Everyone,
    I apologize to the comments community for my harsh answers to Hugh. There is a better way to respond than the one I chose.

    On an important note: A distinction (particularly for readers here) has to be made between dogma and theology, or theological discussion. The dogma of the Church is found in the Great Councils and the writings surrounding those councils. They are further developed and expressed in the liturgical life of the Church. At the end of the spectrum is theologizing about those teachings. For the teaching is there, but how it is to be understood is always a conversation that is taking place within the Church.

    That is the role of my writing. It is the conversation about the Orthodox faith and life in the context of our current culture. What I write in that conversation is not the same thing as dogma even when I express my thoughts in a very direct manner.

    On the whole, the last 10 years have been fruitful and many people, including hierarchs and theologians have found it helpful across a wide range of Orthodox cultures. To date, parts of the work have been translated into around 10 languages or so. But sometimes it also gets a bit “edgy,” particularly when I’m critiquing something that seems to me to matter. I also sometimes write in a manner to shake things up a bit in order to help people think about things in a way they have not before. That’s why you’ll see me use a phrase like “un-moral Christian” or “salvation is not a legal matter.” I stand by what I write. But do take it for what it is.

  41. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Father,

    Thank you for the explanation.

    I, too, ‘stand by’ what I believe and write here.

    In my view through this blog (a fine blog indeed) you are the teacher and I am the student. However, throughout my formal educational ‘career’ I disagreed with a teacher here and there, and I asked lots of questions. Fortunately, I was never expelled or kicked out of a class.

    I look forward to many more of your posts. I can see what I restudy and/or learn here is filling in certain blanks in my theology. I suppose there will always be blanks that need to be filled.

    Thanks for your insight and for your patience. I really, really appreciate it.

    Blessings, father.

  42. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    I have decided to postpone my baptism this Sunday.

    I don’t feel right, not being more in tune with some Orthodox beliefs.

    I look forward to more interaction and coming to a better understanding.

    Thanks and blessings to all.

  43. Terry Finley Avatar
    Terry Finley

    Someone posted asking if I can handle this blog and not be overwhelmed.

    I believe so. I have an excellent education and fifty years of ‘practicing theology’.

    Thanks for your concern.

  44. Art Avatar

    “That process of death and corruption is not a punishment – it is a consequence. ”

    I’ve struggled with the concept of PSA for years. While on one level I get the thrust of what is being said with PSA, I am also opposed to a common interpretation: “I’m a worthless sinner who deserves eternal hellfire.” It’s possible I completely misunderstand it and my views, not PSA properly understood, are the issue.

    However, I’m not sure it can be supported that God looks at us as ontologically worthless. This view can easily lead us to place emphasis on the physicality of the violence of the cross a la The Passion Of The Christ and that somehow that level of blood and gore is necessary for the depraved ontology of our humanity. It almost begins to sound like the Gladiator games where we are relieved it’s not us and therefore we cheer.

    ‘Wrath’ is easily (mis)understood as the Father pouring out all His venom on Jesus on the cross. In other words, we make God sound like us. Rather than mercy we seek blood sacrifice; i.e. we look at it like someone needs to be punished.

    But ‘death as consequence not punishment’ really leapt off the page. Filtering “PSA” through this prism gives it a different nuance. It is Jesus bearing the full weight of death and this voluntarily; it is not the rage of an angry Father fulfilling legal requirements to which He Himself is bound.

    Consequence, not punishment.

    He took our place (i.e. substitution) and experienced the fullness of death in an unfathomable way and inverted death to give us life.

  45. Fr. Stephen Freeman Avatar

    Art,
    I do not subscribe to the PSA and think it is both flawed and not Scriptural.

  46. Nicholas Stephen Griswold Avatar
    Nicholas Stephen Griswold

    In the course of my Seminary education I read Anselm, who is the father of the PSA point of view. I took particular note that none of the attributes of the Divine that he used to argue that an ultimate sacrifice was required were the revealed attributes of God in Scripture. They were all pagan attributes of the Divine from Greek philosophy. I agree with you Father, PSA is not Scriptural, and I assert that it is, in fact, pagan.

  47. cyril Avatar
    cyril

    Father,
    I’m a coptic orthodox and we are struggling nowadays in restoring our legacy and faith…. we are in the painful process of clarifying the truth and I’m truly thankful for everything you have shared with us, it is so helpful and you’ve helped me at the personal level in my journey in God …. Thanks for everyting keep going.

  48. cyril Avatar
    cyril

    Alexandria will shine again, oneday the body of christ will be whole again I believe …..

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