Response to Turretinfan on the Crucifixion
May 22, 2010 3 Comments
Part 7 from our old interaction
Turretinfan responded to the accusation that the strict legal imputation view must necessitate a damning, forsaking, cutting-off, or separation (choose whichever term you wish) of the Son from the Father. He writes:
“The Father that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, shall also freely give us all things (Romans 8:32). This was no pagan sacrifice, but a fulfilment of the pious type (“type” in the sense of “shadow”) that Abraham provided by offering up Isaac his son (Hebrews 11:17-19). Jesus was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted (Isaiah 53:4) and it pleased the LORD to bruise him, to put him to grief, and to make him an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10). Nevertheless, God did not utterly forsake him, but raised him up on the third day when the work to obtain our justification was complete (Romans 4:25).”
Fist, there is no denial of a sacrifice offered to the Father in our theology. The entire theology of the liturgy is one in which Jesus is both the priest and the victim: not in a re-sacrificing afresh, but as a realist re-presentation of Calvary. It should be clear, however, that we cannot read human analogies into the Trinity. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac is certainly a type of the sacrifice of Christ, but Abraham and Isaac were two separate individuals with two separate wills. Abraham could kill Isaac because their persons did not share the same will. It is flat out Arianism to think Jesus is a human person who can be separated from God.
Turretinfan writes, “God did not utterly forsake him…” God could never forsake Him, because He is God. The only subject there in all the Incarnate acts is the Logos. The Word became flesh. He did not assume some man named Jesus and He did not turn into flesh. The Divine Person assumed impersonal human nature. That’s orthodoxy, and that’s what Turretinfan doesn’t grasp.
We need only ask Turretinfan who was cut off/forsaken? Jesus the man, or the Logos? The problem is this:
A) In strict, Calvinistic imputational theology, Jesus takes our punishment.
B) Our punishment is eternal damnation and separation from God.
C) Ergo, Jesus had to be separated from God to complete the transaction.
Now, if this is the sense in which the texts Turretinfan cited are read, and Calvinists generally read them this way, then here is what must occur in the Trinity and the Incarnation:
A) Jesus of Nazareth must be a secondary subject who can receive the wrath of God.
B) The Son is God, so the Logos must reject this man, Jesus of Nazareth.
C) This is classic Arianism and Nestorianism, and denies the reality of the Incarnation and that the Incarnate Son of God is a single divine hypostasis.
Or, 2. Paganism
A) The Son of God, who is a divine Person, fully indwelling the other Persons, is separated and rejected by the Father.
B) This means there is now a division in the single will of the Father and the Son and a denial of the mutual indwelling.
C) This is one god sacrificing and opposing another god: polytheistic paganism.
Neither options is salvageable. They are both heretical and are again based on faulty Calvinistic anthropology and Christology. The Logos underwent all the actions, and He is the only subject. He even underwent the crucifixion, and because He was impassible, He swallowed up death in His immortality. Death died in the death of Christ. But a divine Person (God!) cannot change or die or lose divinity or be separated from divinity. Thus,the suffering and death occured, as all Christians taught until this revived heresy of Luther and Calvin, that He suffered in the flesh: that is, in His human nature alone. He could not be, strictly speaking, “rejected by God,” because He was and is God! The texts cited refer simply to the sufferings of his human nature, and to that alone.