Payment Required :: Salvation, Mercy, and Logic, Part II

This is part two of a discussion on the Christian notion of salvation. Christians and apologists are encouraged to comment.

Willful Expose, in response to the last post, summarized the Christian understanding of salvation in fairly traditional terms. In other words, in terms of justice and omnipotence. She argued thusly:

God is omnipotent in that he is all-powerful, but not that he can “do anything” per se. For instance, God cannot sin, because sin is not in his character. It is because of this same character that God requires payment for sins. That payment had to be someone perfect, and only Jesus could be perfect.

Not to pick on Ms. Expose, but I’m not sure I see the logic behind connecting

  • God not being able to sin, and
  • God requiring payment for sins.

This “requiring payment for sins” is not an attribute of God, then, it’s simply a fact about it. I require my students to make up missed work within two weeks, but that requirement is not an attribute of my character, and therefore I can change it as I see fit. The same would be true of God. He might be perfect, but he doesn’t have to “require payment for sins.”

Further, it’s not logical why that payment had to be from someone perfect, someone “innocent.” If innocence is required, then I would think all the infants who have died in the world would more than make up for it.

Ah, but there’s a rub in that — “Original Sin,” a topic I’ll return to in part three on Monday.

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2 thoughts on “Payment Required :: Salvation, Mercy, and Logic, Part II

  1. I didn’t mean that (2) was the logical consequence of (1) but rather that the two situations are related. God’s character sometimes “limits” him. I’m really busy now, but I’ll be back in a bit to explain myself more.

  2. I guess I shall cop out and just give a link. This information on that page is more thorough than anything I would write.

    http://www.carm.org/doctrine/Jesusdieforsins.htm

    PS: I don’t always link to carm! It’s just a coincidence.

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