Classic Works of Apologetics - AtonementClassic Works of Apologetics Online
What is the atonement? Why is it important in Christian theology? And why is it important to you? Find out from these Biblical scholars -- and, of course, the Bible.
6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Bryan, William Jennings
American political leader. Read about Bryan here and here.
Bryan on Belief. Christian Observer, June 19, 1907, p. 8.
"I do not understand all the mysteries of the Bible, but if we live up to all the things in the Bible we can understand we will be kept so busy that we will not have time to worry over the mysterious. My observation is that the people who are all the time worrying about the mysterious things are mighty little concerned about the plainest things in the Bible, that they could apply with profit to themselves. Living in the midst of mystery, I shall not for that reason refuse to accept a religion that will mould our lives for good."
American theologian. Son of Jonathan Edwards (1703-58). President of Union College at Schenectady, N.Y. Read more about Edwards here.
The Necessity of Atonement, and the consistency between that and free grace, in forgiveness, illustrated in three sermons, preached before His Excellency the governor, and a large number of both houses of the legislature of the state of Connecticut, during their sessions at New-Haven, in October, A.D. M.DCC.LXXXV. By Jonathan Edwards, D.D. Pastor of a church in New-Haven. 63,  pp. 18 cm. (8vo)
Head of Jewish Studies, Moody Bible Institute. Read about Professor Goldberg here.
Rich Robinson. "'To the Jew First': A Biblical Analysis of the 'Two-Covenant' Theory of the Atonement." "The two-covenant theory has circulated for some years among non-evangelicals and even among some conservative Christians. If you've ever been told that Jews don't need Jesus because they "already have a covenant with God," then you are hearing this theory of salvation, which was developed by Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig early in this century. Gudel, a Lutheran pastor, summarizes the history of the theory and briefly surveys what Jewish and Christian proponents have written. Then he delves into a biblical analysis with an examination of passages such as Romans 1:16, 2:9, and Acts 13:46. He traces the missionary core of Christianity through Jesus, the apostles, and Paul. Gudel then suggests provocatively that promotion of the two-covenant theory is anti-Semitic. This article is lively and well-written, especially helpful if you've not heard of the two-covenant theory before now."
Pierced for Our Transgressions. 384 pp. Limited preview.
The belief that Jesus died for us, suffering the wrath of his own Father in our place, has been the wellspring of hope for countless Christians through the ages. However, with an increasing number of theologians, church leaders, and even popular Christian books and magazines questioning this doctrine, which naysayers have described as a form of "cosmic child abuse," a fresh articulation and affirmation of penal substitution is needed. And Jeffery, Ovey, and Sach have responded here with clear exposition and analysis.They make the case not only that the doctrine is clearly taught in Scripture, but that it has an impeccable pedigree and a central place in Christian theology, and that its neglect has serious consequences. The authors also systematically analyze over twenty specific objections that have been brought against penal substitution and charitably but firmly offer a defining declaration of the doctrine of the cross for any concerned reader.
"This book is important not only because it deals so competently with what lies at the heart of Christ's cross work, but because it responds effectively to a new generation of people who are not listening very carefully to what either Scripture or history says."-- D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
"One of the most comprehensive treatments available of the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement. The writing is clear and understandable to non-specialists, but its authors fully understand the technical issues, so that the book makes a real contribution to the academic discussion as well."-- John M. Frame, Reformed Theological Seminary.
"This book is faithful to Scripture, knowledgeable of history, conversant with current debate, and deeply committed to seeing the church flourish in our day."--David F. Wells, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
"An important scholarly contribution to a current doctrinal debate with enormous spiritual and pastoral implications."--
Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School.
"The authors defend the doctrine of penal substitution with sparkling clarity and winsome logic."--Thomas R. Schreiner, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
"I commend this book for its comprehensive and fair scrutiny of the many objections brought against the doctrine of penal substitution in recent years."-- I. Howard Marshall, emeritus professor, University of Aberdeen.
"A very significant book. The authors have carefully and convincingly evaluated the biblical material on which the teaching of penal substitution has been based and reaffirmed it."-- Peter T. O'Brien, Moore Theological College.
Emeritus Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Honorary Research Professor at the University of Abderdeen (Scotland).
The Theology of the Atonement. This paper was given at a joint Evangelical Alliance/London School of Theology Symposium on the Atonement held at the London School of Theology from 6-8 July 2005. It does not focus on the extent of the atonement (though there is a helpful affirmation of unlimited atonement in a substantial footnote, # 68), but on giving a powerful argument for the penal substitution view of the atonement by an advocate of unlimited atonement. This is significant in the context of the Arminian/Calvinist debate because some have argued that unlimited atonement is inconsistent with penal substitution, despite the fact that Arminius and most Arminians have held to penal substitution as at least part of the meaning of the atonement. The article was taken from http://www.eauk.org/theology/key_papers/Atonement/upload/ihowardmarshall.pdf
McDonald, H. D.
(Fl. 21st century)
The Atonement of the Death of Christ. Baker: 1985. 371 pp.
(Fl. 21st century)
Biblical scholar, researcher/writer/speaker, IT business executive. Read more about Miller here.
A Brief Declaration and Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity: as also, of the person and satisfaction of Christ. The eighth edition. Glasgow, 1798. 181 pp. Also here. CCEL Description: Few of Owen's treatises have been more extensively circulated and generally useful than his Brief Declaration and Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity. At the time when the treatise was published, the momentous doctrines of the Trinity and the Atonement were violently assailed; but it was not so much for the refutation of opponents as for "the edification and establishment of the plain Christian" that our author composed the following little work. The reader will find in it traces of that deep and familiar acquaintance with opposing views, and with the highest theology involved in the questions which might be expected from Dr. Owen on a subject which he seems to have studied with peculiar industry and research.
The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. Being a treatise of the redemption and reconciliation that is in the blood of Christ. First American edition, carefully revised and corrected. Carlisle, (Pennsylvania), 1792. 319 pp. Also here. CCEL Description: The Death of Death in the Death of Christ is John Owen's definitive work on the extent of the atonement. It is a polemical work, designed to show among other things that the doctrine of universal redemption is unscriptural and destructive of the gospel. It was called forth by the progress in England of Arminianism and the half-way house of Amyraldianism adopted by Baxter, Davenant and Usher.
Dissertation on Divine Justice. CCEL Description: A Dissertion on Divine Justice refutes the teaching that God could pardon sin by a mere act of will, and without any satisfaction to his justice i.e. without an atonement. It deserves to be read with interest as the conclusive settlement of a question of vital moment and one of the most vigorous productions of Owen's intellect.
Doctrine of Justification by Faith. CCEL Description: Owen's masterly account of justification by faith is distinguished from the two other classical 17th-century English treatises on this subject (those of Downame and Davenant) by its non-speculative, non-scholastic character and its dominating pastoral concern. The resurgent Roman challenge, and current Protestant confusion, obliged Owen to write controversially at certain points, but the core of his discourse is straightforward biblical exposition, massive, fresh, compelling and practical. Of all the many Puritan treatments of justification, Owen's is without doubt the richest.
Doctrine of the Saints' Perseverance Explained and Confirmed. CCEL Description: Written to answer Redemption Redeemed by the Arminian, John Goodwin, this treatise contains a minute refutation of Goodwin's views but nevertheless would, in the words of Andrew Thompson "be almost as complete were every part of it that refers Goodwin expunged, and undeniably forms the most masterly vindication of the perseverance of the saints in the English tongue."
Gospel Grounds and Evidences of the Faith of God's Elect. CCEL Description: What are the evidences on which the elect of God, in any process of self-scrutiny, may ascertain the reality of their own faith? Ascribing to faith all the importance which is due to it as the instrumental cause of justification, John Owen suspends the entire question of the genuineness of conversion upon the existence of a fourfold development or operation of that gracious principle in the hearts of all who may be anxious to discover whether they have been really quickened and born of God.
Packer, James I.
Prolific Christian pastor-author. Educated at Oxford University, Dr. James I. Packer has served as assistant minister at St. John's Church of England, Harborne, Birmingham and Senior Tutor and Principal at Tyndale Hall (an Anglican seminary in Bristol). He preaches and lectures widely in Great Britain and America and contributes frequently to theological periodicals. His writings include Fundamentalism and the Word of God, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, and Knowing God. Dr. Packer was Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Learn more about Packer here.
The Fact of Christ: A Series of lectures. Popular edition. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1906. viii, 188 pp.; 19 cm. "These lectures were given in Renfield Church during last winter to a public class which met on Sunday evenings after service; they are now published without further elaboration either of matter or style." Endorsed by William Jennings Bryan.
The Facts of Life in Relation to Faith. New York: Hodder & Stoughton, George H. Doran Company, 1913. x, 294 p. 19.5 cm. Contents: Creed of experience -- The indifferent world -- The problem of pain -- The atheistic fact -- The reality of Christ -- The claim of humanism -- The veto of death -- The comment of to-day. Note: "This book is practically a sequel to The Fact of Christ."
Torrey, R. A. (Reuben Archer)
Evangelist and educator.
R.A. Torrey and A.C. Dixon, editors. The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book
House Co., Baker Books, 1917. From 1910 to 1916 they were distributed free of charge, primarily to churches in the United States, due to a grant from Milton and Lyman Stewart of Union Oil Company. In 1917 the Bible Institute of Los Angeles reprinted the set in four volumes under the editorship of evangelist R. A. Torrey. (excerpted from Dictionary of Christianity in America)
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 John 2:1-3
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 4:9-11
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.