Matson, David Lertis. "Divine Forgiveness in Paul? Justification by Faith and the Logic of Pauline Soteriology." Stone-Campbell Journal 19, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 59-83.
Pauline scholars remain puzzled by the virtual absence of forgiveness language in Paul. The problem, however, is more than a lexical curiosity; it penetrates to the core of Pauline soteriology. Rather than forgive, God justifies sinners by regarding the death of the sinner as having taken place in union with the substitutionary representative death of Jesus on the cross. This model of a God who exacts payment for sin is incompatible with forgiveness, but only in this way is God both just and justifier. The result is a compelling answer to one of the common objections to traditional atonement theory, with important implications for Christian life and theology.
This article formed the basis of two public lectures — one at the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference in Indianapolis (where Dr. Matson was one of three plenary speakers), an event attended by scholars and ministers in all three branches of the Restoration heritage, and the other to a standing-room only crowd at the North American Christian Convention in Anaheim this past July.
This make the third article printed in the SCJ by Dr. Matson since 2008.
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More about the Stone-Campbell Journal:
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