atonement atonement atonement

so, this one just doesn't seem to want to go away, does it? first Jeffery John, then Spring Harvest and whilst I've heard plenty from various blogs about the diabolical nature of Steve Chalke, I can't help but think 'what is this really about?'

you see, I can't believe that it is simply a belief that penal substitution is the heart of the gospel. theological study has shown that there are different ways of understanding such biblical statements as 'he died for our sins' 'pierced for our transgressions' 'by his wounds we are healed' etc etc. the word 'punishment' can have a 'penalty' element or a 'restorative' one - both are valid readings of scripture.

so, I've asked this before, what is it about penal substitution that has so defined who God is, for some people, that it is impossible to question it?

and don't tell me that it is about defending Scripture, because, as mentioned above, interpreting the words in Scripture is flexible and living in its nature.

so, what is it? any ideas gratefully received...

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