Ooohhh, getting very annoyed now.
Just listened to the whole discussion here
Transcript (by my own fair hand, using Real Player and speedy typing)just in case the link disappears at a later stage.
“even at the age of 10 I thought that this explanation was pretty repulsive, as well as nonsensical. What sort of God was this, getting so angry with the world and the people He created and then to calm himself down demanding the blood of His own Son? And anyway, why should God forgive us through punishing somebody else? It was worse than illogical; it was insane. It made God sound like a psychopath. If any human being behaved like this, we’d say they were a monster – well, I haven’t changed my mind since. That explanation of the Cross just doesn’t work though sadly it’s one that is still all too often preached”
Then “Reverend Rod Thomas from Reform, and Jonathan Bartley who edited a book called “Consuming Passion, why the killing of Jesus really matters” and also a director of Christian thinktank Ekklesia (sp?) and frequent contributor to Thought for the Day.
RT – God not casual about sin. Doesn’t mean God wants to go around zapping people – He holds people responsible. JJ is making the good news of the gospel bad. His argument is inconsistent – is Jesus God or separate from God? Why should God be satisfied on inflicting punishment on someone else? Jesus is not someone else – He is God.
JB – would associate himself with JJ – we misunderstand him. JJ says “on the cross Jesus died for our sins” – JJ actually taking issue with the idea of justice as only being done when someone smacks you over the head/punishes you. Actually about making things right – entirely consistent with Christian story – all will be made right when Jesus returns. JJ not confused about the Trinity – just grappling with the mystery.
Today presenter: So – what this argument is really about is about the sort of God one believes in?
JB – Yes – it’s about the character of God and Jesus Christ (God incarnate) – do we believe that Jesus was someone who ate with tax collectors and sinners or would He have campaigned against the Sexual Orientation Regulations and tried to withhold hospitality from the unrighteous – I believe He was the former.
Today presenter: Rod Thomas – I imagine that you regard that as a rather unkind caricature of what you were getting at when you referred to the God of Justice?
RT – Exactly the word. The whole point of this is that God shows His love for us by exempting us from His righteous punishment for sin. You’ve got to decide whether you think sin is a big issue or not. For Jesus Christ it was a big issue. To the woman about to be stoned for adultery whom He saved, He said “go and sin no more” – He cares very much about it – that’s why it’s good news.
Today presenter: Righteous punishment – slightly frightening idea?
RT: If you remove punishment, you forgo justice and end up with a terrible society where morality doesn’t matter.
Thought that RT was very clear. Question would be – for those who hold to the other view – how will things be made right when Jesus returns?