Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shedd - On the Atonement

Shedd writes:

Before leaving the subject of vicarious atonement, it is in place here to notice its relation to the soul of man. For, while Christ's atonement has primarily this objective relation to the Divine nature, it has also a secondary subjective relation to the nature of the guilty creature for whom it is made. The objective atonement is intended to be subjectively appropriated by the act of faith in it.

Dogmatic Theology, page 409 (emphasis in original)

Likewise, Shedd explains that

Unfallen man was a member of the heavenly family merely by the fatherhood of creation and providence; but after his rebellion and apostasy this ceased to be the case. Redemption was needed in order to restore him to membership. The whole human family are not now God's heavenly family. Only a part of it are the dear children of God. Those only are members of God's family who are members of Christ, "of whom the whole family in heaven and earth [the church above and below] is named," Eph. 3:15. All others "are bastards, and not sons," Heb. 12:8.

Dogmatic Theology, page 422 (footnote omitted)

While Shedd does say that "It does not mean that Christ's vicarious atonement naturally and necessarily saves every man ..." (Dogmatic Theology, page 437) but Shedd goes on to explain that "The atoning Mediator can demand upon principles of strict justice, the release from penalty of any sinful man in respect to whom he makes the demand."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This claim is powerful, powerful!

Shedd: [[The objective atonement is intended to be subjectively appropriated by the act of faith in it.]]

I am not certain if Shedd had this verse in mind when writing that?

Joh 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

When I weigh what he is saying this comes to mind from Exodus:

Exo 20:18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off
Exo 20:19 and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die."
Exo 20:20 Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin."
Exo 20:21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Exo 20:22 And the LORD said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven.

and this here:

Exo 24:9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up,
Exo 24:10 and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.
Exo 24:11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

Adam had a very "objective" relationship with God.

We see there at Exodus that the objectivity was so horrifying to them the children of Israel did not want to have it rather settling for the subjectivity.

And of course the quote in John about the eyes and hands that saw and touched the Flesh of God, that was very objective.

It isn't the object lesson God is after but His Active Faith producing believing Children full of good works:

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--
Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Now the just shall live by Faith!