July 21, 2017

eclectica: distinctive Christianity and the atonement

Two topics have my attention his week, so this will be a brief posting. The first link comes from a very interesting piece by Michael Kruger. The second is a piece put up by a friend of ours and frequent contributor, Jim Oesterwind. Jim offers notes on a series of sermons by another friend, Mark Minnick. You might find all of this instructive. Links below the jump.

First, Michael Kruger:

One of the Main Ways that the Earliest Christians Distinguished Themselves from the Surrounding Culture | Canon Fodder

A quote:

This sampling of texts from the second century demonstrates that one of the main ways that Christians stood out from their surrounding culture was their distinctive sexual behavior.  Of course, this doesn’t mean Christians were perfect in this regard.  No doubt, many Christians committed sexual sins.  But, Christianity as a whole was still committed to striving towards the sexual ethic laid out in Scripture–and the world took notice.

Needless to say, this has tremendous implications for Christians in the modern day.  We are reminded again that what we are experiencing in the present is not new–Christians battled an over-sexed culture as early as the first and second century!

But, it is also a reminder why Christians must not go along with the ever-changing sexual norms of our world.  To do so would not only be a violation of the clear teachings of Scripture, but it would rob us of one of our greatest witnessing opportunities.  In as much as marriage reflects Christ’s love for the church, Christians’ commitment to marriage is a mean of proclaiming that love.

The separation from the world that the Bible calls for is perhaps first and primarily a separation from the godless immorality that pervades it. The world’s language is filled with sexual filth and innuendo. The world’s music is the same. Every aspect of human culture is affected by man’s debased focus on indulging self.

While separatistic Christians may not have expressed themselves perfectly on every occasion regarding this kind of separation, surely we can acknowledge that the popular perversions of human culture are antithetical to Christianity. Surely we can make up our minds to turn away and turn to God.

Or can we?

Second, Jim Oesterwind:

Universal Propitiation

You can find the Minnick series here. A few notes from Jim’s notes:

You must never think of God as the pages of a law-book.  He is not impassive.  He is justly swollen with wrath against iniquity and those transgressing His law.  We must have a mediator.  Jesus Christ was sent to be the propitiation not merely to be the propitiator.  The propitiator and the propitiation are one.  Jesus is the Priest and the Lamb of God.  He turns away the wrath of God for me.

On Isaiah 53.4-6… and the Suffering Servant

53.4-6 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Every Jewish believer who read this passage assumed it was talking about him.  Many times we witness and use this passage and are fully confident it applies to any and everyone we witness to.  If you just read the Bible, you would not come to the conclusion that this passage is limited to a select group of people.

Isaiah 53.5-6 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray (each and everyone of us not certain types of mankind); we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah speaks of what Christ would do 7 centuries after the fact.  Christ would bear in Himself all the iniquities/transgressions of every single one of us.

1.Christ’s propitiation was universal in its scope.

2.How can this be and yet some are not saved.  First, not all are elect (Romans 9).  Second, all had the truth preached to them.  However, they did not all heed it (Romans 10).

There is a lot more here, I would encourage you to read the notes and listen to the messages. You may not agree with every point, but you will likely find something helpful here.


Publication of links in The Eclectic Web feature does not imply endorsement of the viewpoint or contents of any of the websites linked. The links are provided as a matter of interest to Christians.

The Eclectic Web is compiled by Don Johnson. Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.


Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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