Lent 2019: Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion (17) The gravity of Sin

Rutledge_Understanding the Death of JC_wrk03_c.inddWe continue our Lenten series on Fleming Rutledge’s outstanding book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (2015).

We are continuing within chapter 4 on ‘The Gravity of Sin’ and, in particular, Rutledge’s discussion of what Sin actually is.

That ‘Christ died for our sins’ (1 Cor. 15:3) is the core of the gospel.

But what is Sin? And why did Jesus have to die to somehow ‘deal’ with Sin?

This is a big chapter. Again, it’s worth repeating that these blogs only give a flavour of the book and do not do justice to Rutledge’s prose and argument. For that you need to go to the book itself – you could do a lot worse, it’s excellent.

Rutledge goes even higher in my estimation by bringing in Calvin and Hobbes:

Calvin and Hobbes Christmas

Rutledge sees 4 issues here: (180)

1) What’s Santa’s definition of good and bad (What’s God’s definition?)

2) How good to you have to be to qualify as good? (And who makes the determination?)

3) Maybe good is more than the absence of bad (which raises the issue of evil as the absence of good)

4) Such philosophical questions lead to worry which only a theological answer can resolve.

Sin is much more than failing to be as good as we might have been. Nor is Sin a comparison game – ‘at least I am not as bad as x’.

Sin is a power under which all of us are enslaved (Rom. 3:9; John 8:34). Only a greater power can liberate us. The Cross is that which liberates from Sin and Death.

Sin is responsible guilt for which atonement must be made. The Cross is sacrifice for sin.

Human solidarity in bondage to the power of Sin is one of the most important concepts for Christians to grasp. But it is not enough to say that we are in bondage to Sin. A result of that bondage is that we have become active, conscripted agents of Sin. (178-79)

So, Rutledge argues,

Unless we are to abandon the New Testament witness altogether, we much acknowledge that the overcoming of sin lies at the very heart of the meaning of the crucifixion’ (185)

A Cosmic Struggle

The story of the Bible then can be seen as

‘a cosmic struggle between the forces of Sin, evil, and Death … and the unconquerable purpose of God. (184-85)

This battle is seen in every book of the New Testament (see examples pp 186-90, with Paul in particular seeing Sin as a power that enslaves). It is framed in light of the story of Sin in the Genesis: the Fall as the story of how all humans are in a vast rebellion against God.

And, just when you think Rutledge can’t get any better, she brings in Bob Dylan – ‘You Gotta Serve Somebody’ – we all live under one dominion or another, the dominion of Sin or the dominion of Christ. (191)

Sin-Lite: Sin as bad deeds

We come back here to how a watery theology that attempts to speak of the gospel only in terms of God’s love or grace, without a robust account of Sin is, biblically and theologically speaking, incoherent.

It arises from a discomfort that to talk of Sin is somehow a ‘negative’ or ‘downbeat’ message. It cuts across American optimism but is far from confined to America.

But the Bible, and the OT in particular, gives serious attention to the ‘great weight’ of Sin. Rutledge comments that

‘Christian attempts to moderate or minimize it are anti-Hebraic.’ (191)

Another way the seriousness of Sin is minimised is by seeing it as some sort of catalogue of ‘bad deeds’. Rutledge comments on a humourous People magazine survey in which various actions were rated on a scale of badness – a ‘Sindex’.

Really bad Sins: murder, rape, child abuse.

Pretty bad: parking in a handicapped space; cutting someone off;

Not so bad: smoking, swearing, masturbation, copyright infringement, unmarried and living together.

Corporate sin was not mentioned.

Most telling for our purposes here, “Overall, readers said they committed about 4.64 sins per month.” We may laugh at this, but clearly, our sense of sin as specific actions is deeply ingrained. (194)

The Good PlaceWhich all brings to mind The Good Place – which is all about Sin and how to get a score good enough to get into heaven. I’ve watched and enjoyed all three series.

But while amusing – and The Good Place is very amusing – this trivializes the Bible’s realistic and weighty diagnosis of Sin.

Here’s scoring of ‘good deeds’ in The Good Place  just so you know what to focus on!

the-good-place-scoring

We will come back in the next post to how the Bible’s view of Sin confronts and contrasts to that of American sentimentality and superficial optimism about human nature.

 

Advertisements

Lent 2019: Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion (16) Sin: where to begin?

Rutledge_Understanding the Death of JC_wrk03_c.inddWe continue our Lenten series on Fleming Rutledge’s outstanding book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (2015).

In this post, and the next couple, we turn to chapter 4 and ‘The Gravity of Sin’

What is your response to the word ‘Sin’? Emotionally? Intellectually?

What is sin?

Would you agree with Rutledge’s argument in this chapter, that the church has largely lost a sense of the gravity of sin? Are God’s love and grace much talked about, but sin little mentioned? Is it just too ‘negative’ and depressing a topic to focus on?

What is the connection between sin and the gospel? In other words, what is the relationship between the ‘good news’ (of Jesus Christ) and the ‘bad news’ (of human sinfulness)?

So, how to talk about sin today? It is hardly a fashionable, attractive or exciting topic.

In a culture of optimistic self-affirmation, sin is simply not taken seriously as an idea. If mentioned, it is a bit of fun, used to sell some form of ‘sinful’ self-indulgence because ‘you are worth it’ – chocolate, cream, a spa, a holiday. The ‘sin’ of making space for ‘me time’.

The idea of ‘sin’ here is purely ironic, a marketing mechanism. The message underneath the ad being that ‘sin’ (of a bit of self-indulgence) is really a good thing. And the sub-text is that the idea of sin itself (that there is something fundamentally wrong with us and the world) is nonsense, to be smiled at as a primitive idea and dismissed.

The reason Rutledge had the chapter on Justice before this one on Sin – and Anselm in the middle – is that we need to understand God’s justice as his good intent to put things right – ‘liberating and restorative, not crippling and retributive’ (169). Then we are in a position to discuss Sin.

Rutledge uses a capital S – Sin singular, in terms of a general term describing human rebellion against God, a brokenness of relationship that impacts all other relationships.

To be in sin, biblically speaking, means something very much more consequential than wrongdoing; it means being catastrophically separated from the eternal love of God. It means to be on the other side of an impassable barrier of exclusion from God’s heavenly banquet. It means to be helplessly trapped inside one’s worst self, miserably aware of the chasm between the way we are and the way God intends us to be. It means the continuation of the reign of greed, cruelty, rapacity, and violence throughout the world. (174)

Plural ‘sins’ follow on from ‘Sin’ singular.

The point here, and throughout this chapter, is that we have an inbuilt tendency to downplay the gravity of Sin.

In the following quote – does what is said seem surprising or puzzling to you? Why?

The church has always been tempted to recast the Christian story in terms of individual fault and guilt that can be overcome by a decision to repent. This undermines the gospel at its heart. (171)

Hang on a minute – is not the Christian story all about overcoming guilt through repentance? How does it undermine the gospel?

What Rutledge is getting at here is the shift from utter dependence on God to confront and overcome sin, to a more optimistic and spiritually naïve anthropocentric emphasis on what we can do – as if Sin is overcome by our action (of repentance). For Rutledge

‘human repentance is not powerful enough, nor thorough enough or dependable enough to deliver the human race from wrong. (172)

This is why Rutledge is critical of evangelical revivalism – it focuses and actually depends on the human response as the overriding determining factor of salvation. The aim in such evangelism is to whip up emotion, primarily guilt, about ‘my’ sinfulness as a precursor to the resolution of ‘my sin problem’ through my repentance.

To be clear – Rutledge is not denying the importance of repentance. What is being criticised is where one ‘begins’ when talking about the gospel.

This takes us right into recent debates within contemporary evangelicalism, specifically for example, Scot McKnight’s book The King Jesus Gospel which was discussed at length on this blog some time back.

To recap, McKnight’s criticism is that evangelical revivalism fostered an individualistic salvation narrative, namely, a ‘gospel’ ‘method of persuasion’ designed to evoke a crisis of guilt and a subsequent decision to repent. Ironically, this took the focus off the announcement of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and zoomed attention in on the resolution of the individual’s ‘sin problem’.

This not only reduces the breadth and scope of the good news, it makes ‘the gospel’ all about ‘my salvation’ (individualistic soteriology) rather than the good news of Jesus and what God has done in Christ (Christology and soteriology – with salvation being much broader than individuals ‘being saved’).

So rather than beginning with the bad news of sin, Rutledge is arguing this,

‘If a congregation is led to an understanding of salvation, the sense of sin will come as a consequence – and then the knowledge that the danger is already past will result in a profound and sincere repentance. That is the proper time to start talking about sin. (173)

In other words, coming at things from a very different angle to McKnight and others, Rutledge is agreeing with them by saying the announcement good news (gospel) of what God has done in Christ comes first. This puts focus where it should be – on the grace, love and saving action of God.

Human response follows – including a deepened awareness of sin and subsequent repentance.

Karl BarthRutledge retells a story of Karl Barth about a Swiss legend. A rider unknowingly crossed a frozen Lake Constance by night. When he realised what had happened he broke down horrified at his near death experience. This is like the impact of the announcement of the gospel. We hear retrospectively the news of what God has done. It is only then we understand the fate from which we have been rescued.

The words of Karl Barth

Do we really live in such danger? Yes, we live on the brink of death. But we have been saved. Look at our Savior, and at our salvation! Look at Jesus Christ on the cross … Do you know for whose sake he is hanging there? For our sake – because of our sin – sharing our captivity – burdened with our suffering! He nails our life to the cross. This is how God had to deal with us. From this darkness he has saved us. He who is not shattered after hearing this news may not yet have grasped the word of God: “By grace you have been saved!” (Barth, Deliverance to the Captives, emphasis in the original in italics. Rutledge, 172-73)

So when it comes to Sin, there is a deep personal response – but it is to the gospel of good news of God’s love and saving action. Salvation does not depend on ‘me’, but on God.

Gospel first, then joy, gratitude, thanksgiving, repentance (a turning to God and from ourselves) and subsequent obedience.

 

Lent 2019: Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion (15) the cross as cosmic child abuse?

Rutledge_Understanding the Death of JC_wrk03_c.inddWe continue our Lenten series on Fleming Rutledge’s outstanding book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (2015).

This post is staying with Rutledge’s discussion of Anselm.

We come back to big questions

What happened at the cross?

What picture does the cross give us of God? Does the Son die on the cross to appease the wrath of a vindictive Father?

Anselm’s satisfaction ‘theory’ of the atonement has had many detractors. The term ‘child abuse’ for the Son’s suffering on the cross to appease the wrath of a vindictive Father did not originate with Steve Chalke, it has been around for some time.

Rutledge summarises how Anselm, and the view of the cross as a way of ‘satisfying’ God’s honour, has been seen as:

  • Legalistic
  • Depicting the ruthlessness of God
  • An overly mechanical view of the atonement
  • Where salvation is primarily a change in God’s attitude to humans not a transformation in believers themselves
  • A drama of an infinitely offended God against a humanity unable to satisfy the demands of his vindictive wrath

And to this we can add, what about the question of necessity – was God somehow ‘forced’ to atone for sin in order to restore his honour? And if so, does this reduce the cross to an act of almost legal obligation?

Yes, says Rutledge, Anselm’s language and reasoning is removed from the biblical narrative and thought world, but the content of his theology has often been unfairly dismissed as a result.

Rutledge defends Anselm, arguing that such objections are caricature. The ‘twist’ is that God is NOT under some external obligation which binds his actions. No, rather it is in his very nature to show grace.

The atonement, therefore, for Anselm is

…nothing mechanical; it means rather, that the story of our deliverance has an inner logic that brings joy to the believer. (156)

Similarly, in regards to ‘honour’, Anslem’s God is not some sort of feudal despot obsessed with his own honour and status. Rutledge has an interesting point here, if we use ‘righteousness’ instead of ‘honour’ we would do no violence to Anselm’s argument.

Again, rather than seeing static systems of honour and satisfaction in Anselm, he is much more concerned to communicate how God graciously acts to put right what is wrong. God does not need to defend his own honour.

‘God is not a tin-pot dictator obsessed with his privileges’ (157).

God’s honor is God’s righteousness, his holiness, his perfection – but it is also God’s love and freedom, which show themselves in the kenotic self-emptying of the Son. (157)

Since the weight of sin is so great, there is no possibility of atonement or satisfaction until that debt is paid – and there nothing in all universe that can do this besides God.

This is not somehow ‘Father against Son’, as Rutledge says the crucifixion ‘should never be interpreted as a deed done to an unsuspecting Son by his Father’ (161). Rather, the Son endures death freely and out of love for the salvation of all.

Who Gets Reconciled God or Us?

The last point on Anselm; a further critique is that he seems to make it sound as it if is God who is changed by the atonement and not us. God’s honour is satisfied and he is reconciled towards humanity.

But the Bible never talks of God being reconciled, it does talk of humanity being reconciled to God. So the key question is this

How can we talk about the wrath of God unless we conclude that somehow the sacrifice of Jesus caused the Father to change his mind? This indeed would cast the Father in a bad light. (163)

But Rutledge argues this is a caricature of Anselm. God’s attitude never alters. There is no change in God, he always wants salvation and reconciliation. It is fundamentally important that we grasp this – God is not capricious and needing to be appeased in order to behave in a nicer way. The cross reconciles us to God, not the other way around.

God’s judgement is enclosed in his love. (164)

This is the heart of Anselm, not caricatures that abound of him. Rutledge quotes David Bentley Hart on Anselm and then Anselm himself

“In the God-Man (Deus Homo), within human history, God’s justice and mercy are shown to be one thing, one action, life, and being … the righteousness that condemns is also the love that restores.” (Hart,  164)

“He freed us from our sins, and from his own wrath, and from hell, and from the power of the Devil, whom he came to vanquish for us, because we were unable to do it and he purchased for us the kingdom of heaven: and by doing all these things he manifested the greatness of his love for us.” (Anselm, 1.5, Rutledge, 164.)

Next, we begin chapter 4 on ‘The Gravity of Sin’

Lent 2019: Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion (14) Anselm reconsidered

Rutledge_Understanding the Death of JC_wrk03_c.inddWe continue our Lenten series on Fleming Rutledge’s outstanding book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (2015).

Here we begin a non-numbered ‘bridge chapter’ on Anselm. The bridge is between chapter 3 ‘The Question of Justice’ and chapter 4, ‘The Gravity of Sin’.

Why Anselm? Well because no-one in the history of Christian theology has been more influential and controversial when it comes to the atonement and understanding God’s justice. See his Cur Deus Homo? (Why the God-Man? c. 1095-98).

How do you understand the cross? How does God ‘deal’ with sin? What is the ‘satisfaction’ theory of the atonement and why do many people not like it?

Rutledge sets out to defend Anselm’s ‘theory’ of ‘satisfaction’ from criticism that it is

juridical, feudal, rigid, absolutist, vengeful, sadistic, immoral and violent. (146)

Her argument in this chapter is that such reaction are

overly literal, unimaginative, tendentious and unsympathetic readings of Anselm. (146)

Her aim is to show that aspects of Anselm’s teaching about the atonement are still of ‘pivotal importance’ for thinking about the cross and justice today.

So what are some of the central elements of Anselm’s atonement theology? To summarise Rutledge’s summary:

  • Humanity’s relationship with God is ‘wholly ruined’
  • We are unable to restore what is owed to God because of sin and are therefore needy
  • If we do not wish to restore the relationship we are unjust

Rutledge draws parallels to the human condition: both neediness and injustice runs through each one of us. Anselm speaks of the universal human condition. Anselm again:

  • Restoration and happiness will not take place save by the payment of the debt incurred by sin.
  • ALL people face this predicament

Rutledge suggests that negative reactions to Anselm here are more to do with the ‘offence’ of being told you are either needy or unjust and require a debt to be paid.

Anselm’s arguments, Rutledge argues, resonate with our modern world in other ways. The offender remains in ‘debt’, but given the offence caused, mere payment of the debt will not bring restoration, something more is needed to repair the relationship satisfactorily with the one dishonoured.

So, as we agree today, it is not enough to ‘let bygones be bygones’ and to overlook justice. As Rutledge argued in the previous chapter, it is intolerable that wrong can be done with impunity. All around us are individuals and groups pursuing justice that in some way will ‘right a wrong’

Just today as I write this, in Northern Ireland, over 46 years after the event, a British soldier has been charged with murder during the mass shootings of civilians in the 1972 Bloody Sunday demonstrations in Derry. The families have spent their lives seeking some sort of transparency, some sort of truth and some sort of justice.

The desire for justice runs deep in us all.

If sin is not exposed, named, and renounced, then there has been no justice and God is dishonoured. (152-53)

So Rutledge affirms Anselm in his statement that

‘compassion [without atonement or ‘satisfaction’] on the part of God is wholly contrary to the divine justice, which allows nothing but punishment as the recompense for sin. Therefore, as God cannot be inconsistent with himself, his compassion is not of this nature. (Anselm 1.24, Rutledge, 153)

So love or compassion or forgiveness on its own is not enough – justice is needed. Without justice (sin being atoned for) there is only punishment for sin.

Many today are deeply uncomfortable with this idea of punishment.

Rutledge defends Anselm. He is no hellfire preacher, he writes with a pastor’s heart and is saddened by the human predicament. His theology is more ‘we reap what we sow’ – punishment is exile from relationship with God, a loss of happiness. And it is only God himself who can rescue us from our predicament because that his character is one to restore and renew.

So Rutledge contends, it is a caricature to see Anselm as obsessed with legal and forensic language that depersonalises God and makes atonement like a business transaction. But neither is it denied that Anselm’s imagery, scholastic language and metaphors are rather alien to the narrative flow of the Bible.

We return to another couple of objections to Anselm in the next post – is God compelled by necessity to atone for sin in order to restore his honour?

Lent 2019: Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion (13) Rectification

Rutledge_Understanding the Death of JC_wrk03_c.inddWe continue our Lenten series on Fleming Rutledge’s outstanding book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (2015).

In this post we finish chapter 3 on ‘The Question of Justice’.

The question in view here is the relationship between the righteousness of God (justice, justification) and judgement (condemnation, destruction).

Rutledge moves on in the final section of this chapter to discuss justice / righteousness.

You may be aware that these two very different English words come from the same Greek word group. Justify, justification, righteousness, just, justice, righteous are all derived from the same root in Greek

So justice and righteousness are effectively, in the NT, the same thing. But we do not read them that way in English. We tend to think of the ‘righteousness of God’ as his holiness often in contrast to our unrighteousness / unholiness (pre-conversion Luther)

But the crucial thing to grasp here is that God’s righteousness is best understood as a VERB not a noun. It refers to the power of God to make things right. He acts ‘rightly’ to ‘rightify’ we may say.

This is why Rutledge prefers ‘rectification’ instead of ‘justification’ – it better captures this sense of God putting things right.

So, what difference does this make? Well, two aspects of God’s righteousness are brought out

  1. God’s Righteousness as loving pursuit

Rutledge gives the example of Hosea 11 – Yahweh pursuing his Bride in order to restore their relationship. So we can think of God’s righteousness in more relational and restorative terms than that of the law court.

The righteousness of God is not a static, remorseless attribute against which human beings fling themselves in vain. Nor is it like that of a judge who dispenses impersonal justice according to some legal norm. (136)

  1. God’s righteousness as ‘aggressive action’

But the other side of God’s loving pursuit is what Rutledge calls his ‘aggressive action’ to restore righteousness. The example of Isaiah 1:24-27 is given, but Rutledge could have stayed in Hosea. It perfectly captures the double-sided nature of God’s righteousness. It tells the story of God’s astonishing love for his unfaithful people, but also contains more warnings of awful judgement than practically any other prophetic book.

Rutledge contends that even God’s judgement is restorative – the overriding goal is renewal and justice – and that means ‘smelting away impurities and the removal of alloy’ (137)

God’s Righteousness as apocalyptic intervention

Rutledge goes to lengths to make the point that by the end of the OT, this longing for justice – of restoration and renewal – had effectively come to a dead end. Post-exile Israel could only hope for divine intervention. Righteousness could only come from God, not from within

Justice and righteousness are not human possibilities. And this brings us to Jesus, the arrival of the Kingdom of God and his death on the cross.

In the final analysis, the crucifixion of Christ for the sin of the world reveals that it is not only the victims of oppression of injustice who are in need of God’s deliverance, but also the victimizers. (141)

… all are under the Power of Sin. In the sight of God, everyone is need of deliverance .. (142)

This means that God’s action at the cross is the unique and shocking place where loving pursuit and aggressive action against Sin come together.

Nothing else, no other method of execution, no other death, could achieve such justice.

The wrath of God, which plays such a large role in both Old and New Testaments, can be embraced because it comes wrapped in God’s mercy.

The wrath of God falls upon God himself, by God’s own choice, out of God’s own love.

God, in Christ on the cross has become one with those who are despised and outcast in the world. No other method of execution that the world has ever known could have established this so conclusively. (143)

In the next post we start an extra chapter sandwiched in between chapters 3 and 4 – a ‘bridge chapter’ on Anselm.

 

Lent 2019: Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion (12) forgiveness is not enough

Rutledge_Understanding the Death of JC_wrk03_c.inddWe continue our Lenten series on Fleming Rutledge’s outstanding book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (2015).

In this post we continue in chapter 3 on ‘The Question of Justice’. The question in view here is the relationship between the righteousness of God (justice, justification) and judgement (condemnation, destruction).

A couple of discussion questions:  If you have suffered a grave injustice, what reactions and emotions went with it? What place did anger and a desire for justice have? 

Christians are called to forgiveness. But what is forgiveness? How does it work? And how is it connected to justice?

How much should we expect or seek justice in this world? Or is justice to be left to the next?

We’re going to focus on where Rutledge returns to the connection between forgiveness and justice. In the light of the horrors that stalk our world,

Forgiveness is not enough. There must be justice too …. ‘The cross is not forgiveness pure and simple, but God’s setting aright the world of injustice and deception’ [quoting Volf]. This setting right is called rectification. [also called justification]  (126)

When we speak of setting right, we are not talking of a little rearrangement here and a little improvement there … From beginning to end, the Holy Scriptures testify that the fallen predicament of humanity is so serious, so grave, so irredeemable from within, that nothing short of divine intervention can rectify it. (126)

When it comes to injustice, Rutledge argues that we humans have a deep sense that

  1. there should be some accountability
  2. a just resolution of the offence should have some sense of proportionality.

However, most of the time our outrage is directed at others who infringe our rights. We pursue justice for ourselves –  ‘The public is outraged all over cyberspace about the things that annoy us personally’ (129) but much less often about injustices that affect others.

Rutledge moves here to the ‘outrage of God’ or the wrath of God.  If ever there is a theological idea that is ‘out of step’ with the culture of the Western church it is this one (my comment).

Quick aside – in writing about love, I found myself talking much of the wrath of God. The two cannot be detached. The same is true with justice and forgiveness.

To try to have love without wrath, or forgiveness without justice, is to deny the cross.

If we think of Christian theology and ethics purely in terms of forgiveness, we will have neglected a central aspect of God’s own character and will be in no position to understand the cross in its fullest dimension. (131)

Rutledge tells several stories of terrible injustice and the victims’ desire for justice. See this link for the story of Sister Dianna Ortiz and the American Govt involvement in supporting Guatemalan security forces that kidnapped, raped and tortured her, their crimes aided by American stonewalling of the truth.

Outrage is sparked when perpetrators like this act with a sense of impunity – few things are worse that having no hope of justice and that the guilty, the powerful, the exploiters and oppressors will ‘get away with it’.

The consistent message of Scripture, OT and NT, is that those who act unjustly do not do so with impunity. Rutledge quotes Volf again,

A non-indignant God would be an accomplice in injustice, deception and violence. (131)

So if our blood does not boil at injustice, can we said to be serving the God of the Bible?

But here is where God’s wrath at justice takes a revolutionary turn. What Rutledge calls ‘a shockingly immoral and unreligious idea’ (132)

No one could have imagined, however, that he would ultimately intervene by interposing himself. By becoming one of the poor who was deprived of his rights, by dying as one of those robbed of justice, God’s Son submitted to the utmost extremity of humiliation, entering into total solidarity with those who are without help …

Even more astonishingly, however, he underwent helplessness and humiliation not only for the victimized but also for the perpetrators … Who would have thought the same God who passed judgement … would come under his own judgement and woe? … the crucifixion reveals God placing himself under his own sentence. The wrath of God has lodged in God’s own self.

In the next post, we will finish chapter 3 with further discussion of the justice and righteousness of God.