Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Refutation of Paedocommunion

Introduction (This is the manuscript for a sermon I preached @ Grace URC on June 29th)

In this post will be demonstrating that the Bible does not teach paedocommunion, rather the Bible clearly teaches credocommunion. Before we go into the arguments that refute the paedocommunionists position we need to first know what it is. Paedocommunion is the view that very young children can partake of the Lord's supper by virtue of the child being baptized and in the covenant. This view says that a young child at three of years need not examine himself or make a profession of faith before he takes communion, but that a child's covenantal status is a sufficient condition for the children of believers to partake of the Lord's Supper. Conversely, the credocommunionists position is that in order to partake of the Lord's supper a child or any person must be a believer who can 1) understand the significance of the supper, and 2) examine themselves in order to see if they are eating the supper in a worthy manner. This is the opposite of the paedocommunion position because on the credocommunion position just being in the covenant can never be a sufficient condition or qualification to partake of the Lord's supper. Because the church has been given elders who are supposed to enforce biblical doctrine with authority it us up to their biblical wisdom to ensure that both these qualifications are satisfied in any particular individual on the credocommunionists position (Titus 1:9;2:1,7, 15). The structure of this refutation of paedocommunion is that I will first present the strongest proof for the credocommunionists position and then after that I will demonstrate that all other arguments and objections from paedocommunionists position are unsuccessful.

1 Corinthians 11:27-29

My argument for credocommunion is from 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. In these verses we find qualifications for partaking in the Lord's supper. However, these qualifications arise out of a problem in the church of Corinth. The problem in the church of Corinth is that there are people who are eating all the food and getting drunk off of drinking to much wine while partaking in the Lord's supper. They were eating and drinking so much that there was not enough food and drink for other poor believers who wanted to participate in the Lord's Supper. So these are the circumstances in which Paul gives qualifications for partaking in the Lord's supper. These qualifications function in such a way as to prevent these unique historical circumstances that were occurring in the church of Corinth. Yet, these qualifications function to give a general guide for the church to practice communion in a proper way. I will go into this more after I have given my exegesis of verses 27-29 which I believe conclusively establishes credocommunion.

Verse 27

Paul starts out in verse 27 by showing the importance of eating the supper properly Paul puts it like this in verse 27 1 Corinthians 11:27 “27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.” Paul is saying here that if we partake of the Lord's supper in a sinful way then we are guilty of sinning against the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now this does not mean that one has to be perfect or that one should not partake of the supper if they are struggling with sin, rather this text is teaching us not to partake of the supper in a sinful fashion. However, I would say that this text excludes unbelievers from taking the supper because a unbeliever suppresses the truth of God in unrighteousness and he will certainly not take the supper in a worthy fashion if he has that mindset. This therefore, establishes the principle that only believers are to partake in the Lord's supper. Furthermore, if one holds to the principle “better safe than sorry” then this also implicitly teaches against paedocommunion because we are not certain if children are regenerate until they profess faith. So if a child ends up not professing faith and they were partaking of the Lord's supper the whole time then they would have been guilty of profaning and sinning against the body and blood of the Lord and the church would be permitting this. The costs here are much too high so therefore it is reasonable that we adopt the principle that it is better to be cautious about very important spiritual matters rather than not be. These assumptions are wise for carefully applying God's word, however, they also rule out paedocommunion.

Verse 28

Verse 28 makes the case for paedocommunion even more difficult because Paul gives explicit qualifications that would rule out very young children just baptized in the covenant, verse 28 reads: 1 Corinthians 11:28 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. Paul is saying that a person in the singular should examine himself before he partakes of the supper. If a person does not examine themselves then they are not following this scripture verse. The reason why people examine themselves is to see if they are going to partake of the supper in a worthy manner. This means they are to see if they are Christians and if they are not going to partake of the supper in a sinful fashion. Clearly, many very young children either do not have the mental capacity or have not shown that they have the mental capacity to fulfill this qualification. Therefore, if a young child cannot meet this criteria then they ought to be excluded from the table and this entails that paedocommunion is false.

Verse 29

But Paul does not just stop there, he goes on to give a further qualification to the supper in verse 29 which reads: “For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” Paul's point here is that if anyone does not recognizing the significance of the body of the Lord then he reaps judgment on himself. What Paul means by body in this verse is the body of the Lord because this Greek “soma” word is used in this way in the immediate preceding context two times in verses 24 and 27 of 1 Corinthians 11. Many paedocommunionist out of desperation argue that this means the church, however, this goes against Paul's use of the word “soma” in the immediate context. What Paul means by recognizing the body of the Lord is probably acknowledging the proper understanding of the Lord's supper and to what the supper points to which is the shed blood and broken body of Jesus for our justification. Clearly, this falsifies paedocommunion because paedocommunion teaches that we should allow children to the table only because they are in the covenant, but this verse gives more qualifications than just covenant membership. Not only does this verse disprove paedocommunion but it shows the danger of paedocommunion position because parents that do not make sure that their children follow these qualifications put their children at risk of the judgment of almighty God. Therefore, this is all the more encouragement to the church that we should carefully to observe these qualifications and this is why I think that biblical wisdom suggests that a closed table is very beneficial to have.

Objections to 1 Corinthians 11

However, before I move on there are two prominent paedocommunionists objections to the traditional Reformed reading of 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 that I will deal with. The first objection is that to apply verses 27-29 to paedocommunion is to take it out of context because 1 Corinthians 11 is about unifying the differing factions in the church rather than excluding people from the Lord's table. The first problem with this objection is that the main theme in the immediate context is not so much about unity in general so much as it is about those who were not eating the supper properly because they are not including believers who legitimately have a right to eat the supper. Paul's point to them is that the reason why this sinful event was happening to begin with is because they were not following the proper qualifications for partaking in the supper. As we can see this is perfectly compatible with the context because Paul's general principle does not allow for the Corinthians behavior and as well as other behaviors that we have previously discussed. The paedocommunionists usually means by “it is out of context” is that we should only apply these qualifications to cases when believers eat the supper in a way that does not include all of the church. The problem with this response is that the qualifications themselves do not actually say this, so the paedocommunionists is simply putting something in the text that is not there. Furthermore, to try to limit the application of this text is inconsistent with how we read the Bible and how we apply it to our own unique circumstances. For example, in 1 Corinthians 5 when Paul commands the church to discipline a person for sexual immorality we do not limit the application of this text to only disciplining people who are sexually immoral but to all individual's who are living in unrepentant sin. Therefore, to only limit the qualifications in 1 Corinthians 11 to the situations involving people taking the supper sinfully by not including believers is inconsistent to how we apply the Bible to all areas of life. The second paedocommunionists objection to this passage is that we do not apply other commandments and qualifications to very small children so it is inconsistent to apply these qualifications to very small children. For instance, Tim Gallant uses 2 Thessalonians 3:10 which says that “those who do not work do not eat”, Gallant argues surely we do not apply this to very small children so therefore we do not apply 1 Corinthians 11 to very small children. My response to Gallant is threefold 1) if we were to be consistent with this line of reasoning then we could exclude very small children from the commandments of God and hence very small children could not really sin (which Tim himself rejects). 2) If we were to exclude very small from all sorts of qualification then very small children could function as elders in our churches because the qualifications do not apply to them. 3) Because Tim's principle leads absurdities like 1 and 2 then we should adopt the following principle: a child is only excluded from a commandment and requirement only if it leads to something that is clearly immoral like in the case of Tim's example of starving your children because they are not working. Therefore, we can consistently say on basis of 1 Corinthians 11 that small children that have not professed faith cannot come to the table and that objections offered to the contrary are unsound. In the time remaining I will refute the two most popular positive arguments offered for paedocommunion.

Argument 1: The Passover

One of the most popular arguments in favor of paedocommunion is that the passover celebration included small covenant children without qualification and the passover celebration is connected to the Lord's supper, hence, the Lord's supper should include small covenant children without qualification. The reason why this argument is a failure is because of the fact the Old Testament data never clearly says that small covenant children participated in the passover, this is rather a foggy inference that the paedocommunist's draws. So in order to make this argument work the paedocommunist's makes way too much out of the Old Testaments unclear evidence. And in doing this the paedocommunist's violates two solid hermetical principles that have been around since the Reformation, they are, as follows: 1) Let the clear scripture interpret the unclear scripture, and 2) let the New Testament interpret the Old Testament. The paedocommunist's reasoning violates both these principles at the same time when he lets the unclear Old Testament evidences interpret the clear New Testament evidence of 1 Corinthians 11. The actual passover event was said to include households in Exodus 12 and it does not really say explicitly whether or not covenant children who had not professed faith had participated in it. The passover was a unique event, but what was a repeated event was remembering and celebrating the passover which better fits with the Lord's supper which we repeatedly celebrate to remember the death of Christ. This puts the paedocommunists in a very difficult position because the celebration of the passover was only commanded to individual's and it involved a pilgrimage to Jerusalem which was a command that a very small child could not have even followed. Deuteronomy 16:1-7 is the text that commands how the passover is to be followed: “Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Abib he brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Sacrifice as the Passover to the LORD your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the LORD will choose as a dwelling for his Name. 3 Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste-- so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. 4 Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning. 5 You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the LORD your God gives you 6 except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. 7 Roast it and eat it at the place the LORD your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents.” Not only is doubtful that very small covenant children could even follow this, but it is not even commanded to family units it is commanded to individual's because every single Hebrew verb is in the masculine singular. Therefore, it is not clear that small covenant children that did not profess faith took part in the passover celebration. So the best option for us is to follow the reasonable hermetical principles of the Reformation and let the clear interpret the unclear, let the New Testament interpret Old Testament and when we follow these principles the paedocommunists passover argument is unsuccessful.

Argument 2: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

The last argument we will be dealing with comes from 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 which reads: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 “16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” The argument made by the paedocommunionist is that Paul says that the one Body of Christ partakes in the Lord's Supper and children are a part of the body of Christ, therefore, children ought to partake of the Lord's supper. The problem with this argument is this: if the paedocommunionists were consistent with this line of reasoning then this would mean that even infants who are too young to have hard foods would be obligated to partake in the supper, but paedocommunionists state that only when a child is old enough to eat solid foods then they can partake in the supper. So even the paedocommunionists see 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 as not the entire body of Christ, but only those who are old enough to eat of it. But then if this true then it is inconsistent with the claim that body of Christ means every single person because it excludes infants that cannot eat solid food, therefore, there is no problem with the credocommunionists adding other biblical qualifications to partake in the Lord's supper that are found in 1 Corinthians 11. As we have seen there are simply no good reasons to think that paedocommunion is true, rather 1 Corinthians 11 gives us sufficient reason to doubt the truth of paedocommunion.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why Would God Permit Scribal Errors in Biblical Manuscripts?

An argument that has been advanced by Bart Ehrman is that if the God of the Bible does exist then we can think of no good reason for why He would allow scribes to make slight errors in copying the original manuscripts of the Bible. The implicit inference that is made from this is that because we can think of no good reason for why God would allow this then there is probably is no good reason. And of course if there is no good reason then this proposition is probably logically incompatible with the goodness of the God of the Bible. The Conclusion would be from this argument is that therefore the God of the Bible probably does not exist.

The natural response by most Christians is "well we can construct the Bible today to 99% accuracy to the originals so surely there has not been that much copying errors." While this is true this does answer the principle in the argument: Why would God permit any sort of copying errors in the Bible at all?

Well the way I would approach this argument is by attacking two of the key premises for our purposes we will call these two premises: P1 and P2

P1: If we can think of no morally sufficient reason for why God would permit scribal errors then we have good reason for thinking that there is none.

P2: We can think of no morally sufficient reason for why God would permit scribal errors.

P1 seems to be false to me because Christian theism theologically admits at least a light form of skeptical theism. That is simply to say: God is incomprehensible so God's reasons for doing this may beyond our cognitive grasp. Surely it would not be completely absurd if God only allows man to damage his word a little bit for some incomprehensible morally sufficient reason. Now with all things being equal then it seems to me that we ought to be say that P1 is neither justified nor unjustified so it cannot function as a defeater against Christian theism.

However, I believe we can do better and actually provide a possible reason for why God would permit man to slightly make copying errors in his Word. In other words we can actually show this entire argument to be less reasonable to believe rather than to affirm. We can show this argument to be more than inscrutable because we can plausibly show it to be false. We can do this by giving reasons for rejecting P2 and if we give sufficient reason for rejecting P2 then this argument really does not even get off the ground. With that being said here are a few possible reasons one could give:

Reason 1: God allowed errors in his word to show his Glory by showing how his goodness and perfection far surpasses ours and this would encourage us to depend on him more. The reason why allow errors would do this is because God has given us his perfect word that does not have any error and the moment God gives this to humanity they mess it up by their fallibility. In the end the greater good is accomplished. God shows his glory and perfection and we experience his glory. But in all of this our imperfection and fallibility is exposed and this highlights our need for God and the greatness of God. This is all done at a very small cost: small non-essential errors that do not even effect our Christian life in a negative fashion.

Reason 2: There is another possible reason that is strange, but it still remains a possible morally sufficient reason. God permitted demons to do slight damage to His Word so that He can punish them and show His justice. Now the demons could have caused the human scribes to make small accidental errors and so on. So God gets to display His justice towards absolute evil at the cost of the smallest errors that do not effect the Bible's essential message to humanity. This seems like a morally sufficient reason.


As we can see, Bart Ehrman's argument is to be regarded as a failure so when you hear him give this reason for leaving Christianity you can be assured that this is a bad reason for abandoning one's Christian faith.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Richard Dawkins Excuse For Not Debating William Lane Craig

It's Ironic here that Dawkins says he will only debate a Bishop, Archbishop, Pope, or Cardinal and will not debate a creationist. The reason why it is Ironic is because Dawkins debated John Lennox who Dawkins considers to be a creationist and yet fits none of Dawkins above criteria. Furthermore, Dawkins also debated Alister Mcgrath who also does not fit into Dawkins criteria of a high ranking church man. It seems that Dawkins excuse for not debating William Lane Craig does not hold water.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Five Points of Calvinism 101


I am going to give a brief overview of Calvinism in this post. This means that I am going to provide a explanation of each of the five points of Calvinism and then provide the strongest arguments in favor of each point. This was a Sermon I present at Grace URC for the second Service and so the content is very simple at the cost of not being overly precise. But this is a very good general introduction and defense to Calvinism.

Total depravity

With that being said let us move right into the first point of Calvinism which is Total depravity. There are a few misunderstandings about this point so I will start with what this point is not saying: This point is not saying that human beings are so evil that they cannot do any civil or public good. Furthermore, this is not saying that we ought to expect human beings to be so evil that we should expect every unbeliever to have actually committed murder and adultery. Why if that were true that would make the T.V. Show Law and Order only 30 minutes instead of hour because the cops would know right away that the prime suspects to all the crimes would be unbelievers. Well this is not what Total depravity is teaching rather what it is teaching is that Human beings in their fallen state cannot do any spiritual good and cannot choose God (unless of course God chooses to give them grace sufficient to save them). The three best verses in support of this doctrine are John 6:44, Romans 3:10-12, and Romans 8:8, I am telling you them ahead of time so that you can turn to them in your bibles. So let us first look at John 6:44 44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. The verse just says you cannot come to God unless he draws you and that person who is drawn is raised in glory on the last day. Now let us turn to Romans 3:10-12 10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." The funny thing is that some of these are so clear that they require little exposition. But the point of this passage is that unbelievers cannot do spiritual good and they cannot seek God. And obviously if one were believing in Christ they would be seeking God, so this verse clearly teaches total depravity. But perhaps the clearest and concise verse of all is Romans 8:8 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. If you are a unbeliever you cannot please God and clearly by believing in Christ and doing a good work is pleasing to God, therefore, according to Romans 8:8 unbelievers cannot do this.

Unconditional Election

All of these verses clearly establish total depravity, so let us move on to the next point which is unconditional election. The point of unconditional election teaches that before the foundation of the word and before we were born God choose us and predestined us in Christ Jesus. This choosing of God is based on anything about us like our foreseen faith or works but rather it is based on the free will and good pleasure of God. God chooses many for eternal life and others for eternal distress and this is not based on the creature, but based on God and bringing about his greater glory. This is clearly taught in two places in God's word: Romans 9:11-23 and Ephesians 1:4-12, Let us read Romans 9:11-23 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad-- in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls-- she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13 Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-- prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory--” This verse really could not be any clearer. God freely chooses many for eternal life and eternal death not based on anything about them, but based on his greater glory. If anyone ever objects that this verse is not really teaching Calvinism then all you really have to do is point out all of the objections that Paul anticipates like 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! And "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" These are precisely the sort of objections you get when you teach Calvinism, so clearly Paul is teaching Calvinism otherwise he would not anticipate these objections. Well Ephesians 1:4-12 is just as strong so let us turn there Ephesians 1:4-12 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-- to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” This verse is a wonderful verse that shows us God's unconditional love for us in Christ Jesus. The point is that we were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world and this was not according to our agenda, but according to God's free will, pleasure, and glorification. I would say that these two places are by far the strongest places to go to support this doctrine.

Limited Atonement

But with that being said lets move to one of the most controversial points of Calvinism Limited Atonement. Limited atonement or perhaps more accurately called particular redemption teaches that Christ dies for the elect only, that is to say Christ death only atones for the sins of those who were chosen and saved by God. This view denies that Christ has died for every single person who has ever lived. So whats the biblical evidence for this controversial view? The nature of the atonement itself is perhaps the best evidence for this view. The atonement is a propitiation, that is to say, the atonement is a turning aside of the wrath and anger of God for sin because Jesus Christ took our place. For this let us look to Romans 3:25 which reads Romans 3:25 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- Now the NIV translates the Greek word i`lasth,rion to mean a sacrifice of atonement, but that is technically not precise enough. The Greek word i`lasth,rion means propitiation and the definition of propitiation is turning aside the wrath of God. Therefore, the implication is that Christ's death turns asides and satisfied God's anger and wrath toward sin. So if this is what the atonement did and Christ satisfied God's just anger and wrath for our sins. Then what is the implication if one rejects limited atonement and says that Christ died for all people? Well this means that God is not justly angry or wrathful toward anyone which means everyone is going to heaven, but this is false because the Bible clearly teaches that there are people who are going to hell in Matthew 25:46 - 26:1 46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." Finally, another strong argument comes from Romans 8:31-34 and Romans 8 especially verses 31 and following is about how believers should not worry about losing their salvation because nothing can separate us from the saving love of Christ Jesus, so with that in mind lets read Romans 8:31-34 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Here the fact that Christ died for us is suppose to comfort us and assure us that we are saved. Now if the arminian is right and Christ died for those who are suffering in hell forever and ever, then mentioning the fact that Christ died for you would not be a very comforting fact because Christ dies for those who are in hell and who do not have salvation. And lastly perhaps one of the most classic texts in support of the Reformed position is John 10:11 which reads 11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Now arminians are quick to point out that just because Jesus says he dies for his sheep (believers) it does not mean that Jesus did not die for other people. But the problem with this rationalization of this text is that Jesus mentions unbelievers and false teachers in the context, so it seems like Jesus is implicitly excluding them from the benefits of His death. So let me give you an example of what I mean: If I came to you today and I said well there are some churches in town like a baptist church, and there is a Lutheran church, but today I have gift for this church. Now I dare say that everyone would take what I am saying in a exclusive sense, that is to say you would all interpret it to mean that I have only given this church a gift and not the other churches in town. But this is what Jesus does in John 10 he mentions unbelievers in the context and in so doing he implicitly does not includes unbelievers from the benefits of his death and includes only believers. Those are the most powerful arguments for limited atonement so lets move on to the most powerful arguments for Irresistible grace.

Irresistible Grace

Irresistible grace is the doctrine that when God graciously wills to saved you and creates faith in your heart you cannot resist and you cannot do otherwise. There three verses that strongly support Irresistible grace John 6:44, Ephesians 2:8-9, and Romans 9:18-20. Let us turn to our first verse found in John 6:44 it reads: 44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. This passage is teaching that anyone who is drawn is raised up on the last day. Raised up refers to being raised up in glory rather than damnation because Jesus consistently uses the phrase “on the last day” in this way throughout the entire discourse (John 6:39-40). Moreover, the Greek word e[lkw (or "draws") suggests that it is Irresistible because John uses it with regards to Peter dragging fish that he has caught (John 21:11) and John seems to use it this way consistently throughout his Gospel. If the arminian wants to suggest that all persons are drawn then all people will go to heaven because those who are drawn are raised in glory in verse 44. And Suggesting that all people go to heaven as we have seen is demonstrably false from Matthew 25. As we will see John 6:44 also has implication for perseverance of the saints. So lets move on to our next verse Ephesians 2:8-9 which reads Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. The reason why this verse teaches irresistible grace is because the faith and grace we have is not from us, but it originates with God which means if God wills to save us and our ability to have faith solely comes from God then we cannot resist it (because after all it is not of us). In the Greek “this not from yourselves” refers both to faith and grace. So faith is a creation of God and not of us which means it is not of our ability to resist it. So with that in mind let us move to our last verse which is Romans 9:18-20 it reads 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will? 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?” Paul here is anticipating a common arminian objection to irresistible grace which is “well if God irresistibly causes you to be saved and to be damned then why would God hold you morally accountable for something you cannot resist?” If Paul were not teaching Calvinism here specifically irresistible grace then Paul would never anticipate these objections. In other words, if Paul was teaching the arminian view which is resistible grace then these questions and objections would never come up. But they do which shows conclusively that Paul was teaching Calvinistic doctrine of irresistible grace. So if we are getting the same objections that Paul got we are probably in pretty good shape.

Perseverance of the Saint

Perseverance of the saints is the last point of Calvinism which teaches that once you are genuinely saved you cannot lose your salvation. This point has been subject to gross misrepresentation and mocking because people paint it like this: Once saved always saved no matter what you do, no matter what you do your always going to be saved. And people also say well if once saved always saved is true then you could just take out a gun and start shooting people at random and you still you will saved. Well this is not the way we as Reformed Christian view it. We view it like this: those who are genuinely saved will not lose their salvation and a sign that someone never had salvation to begin with is if they do not persevere in the faith which is manifested by rejecting Christ and living in unrepentant sin. Now although this view has been mocked by many it has ample biblical support, the verse we will be looking at is John 6:44, John 10:28-29, and Romans 8:34-39. Lets us turn in our Bibles to John 6:44: John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. Here John could not make it any clearer if you are drawn by God you will be raised in a glorious resurrection body, there is no thought or concern in John's mind that those who are drawn will fall away and be damned to hell. But John makes this even clearer in John 10:28-29 which reads 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. Again John is crystal clear: those who have eternal life and who are in the Fathers hand no one can snatch them out, in other words when they are in the Fathers hand they will always remain there. And finally we are going to end on this last verse which is perhaps one of the strongest verses in favor of perseverance of the saints and it is found in Romans 8:34 – 8:39 and it reads 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. This verse teaches that nothing in all creation can separate us from the saving love of Jesus Christ and the logic here is inescapable: If nothing in all creation can separate us from Jesus Christ's saving love, then are you a part of creation? The answer is: Yes! So once you are genuinely saved you cannot even separate yourselves from the love of Christ Jesus which means you cannot lose your salvation. This is an amazing truth as are all the points of Calvinism. And this is why I wanted to spend our time on them today, for you see if one rejects Calvinism they are ultimately compromising the Love and Glory of God. And in all we do we should glorify God even in our Doctrine.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Plantinga's Argument for Dualism

In my estimation this is a very strong argument for thinking that Dualism is true.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Biblical Evidence For Subsitutionary Atonement and Double Imputation in 2 Corinthians 5


2 Corinthians 5:11-21 has been recognized by many interpreters to be a deeply theologically pack and challenging text. John Calvin recognized this passages significance when he said: “Here, if anywhere in Paul's writings, we have a quite remarkably important passage and we must carefully examine the words one by one1." The significance of this pericope cannot be underestimated because most traditional Protestant interpreters have understood it as a text about the redemption we have in Christ Jesus2. More specifically, it has been said that this text teaches that Christ’s was imputed our sin and that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us3. However, there have been many contemporary scholars that have disputed this traditional meaning of this text on the basis that in context this has to do with Paul’s defense of his apostolic ministry and not about soteriology4. Although such contextual concerns are legitimate by contemporary scholars, it still can be true that Paul’s intentions in 1 Corinthians 5:11-21 is to both defend his apostolic ministry and set out his view of salvation. Therefore, the thesis of this paper is that in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 Paul defends the legitimacy of his Ministry of reconciliation by basing it on Christ’s being legally imputed our sins as our substitute in order that we can be imputed righteousness by God.

Christ the Substitute

In this section I argue that 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 and 21 teaches that Christ died as our substitute. Verses 14 and 15 clearly indicate a sense substitution. According to BDAG u`pe.r can mean substitution and the passage they cite in favor of this is 2 Corinthians 5:14. Daniel Wallace points out that when u`pe.r is paired with a genitive and it is used in soteriological passages then it is being used in a substitutionary sense1. All six uses of u`pe.r in verses 14-15 and 20-21 meet this criteria of being paired with a genitive (although 20 is not used of Christ, but Paul). A further principle that Wallace establishes is that when u`pe.r is used in soteriologically significant text we are to assume it is being used in substitutionary sense unless we have sufficient reason to doubt it2. In verse 14 Paul uses u`pe.r and in this text it is being used clearly to indicate substitution because the conclusion “therefore all died” cannot be true unless if Christ died for all, as their substitute3. Verse 15’s use of the two u`pe.r ought to be taken as substitutionary because it is the same subject matter (the death of Christ), it follows contextually from verse 14, and there is no reason to doubt that it is being used in this substituionary way. Verse 20 is also a soteriologically significant passage that has u`pe.r with a genitive. There is no reason to doubt that u`pe.r is being used here as substitution. In fact there are positive reasons for taking u`pe.r as referring to substitution. u`pe.r has been used three times of Christ in this pericope as substitution so we should assume that Paul is using this consistently in a christologically and soteriologically significant passage. Lastly, the substituionary usage of u`pe.r in verse 21 explains the teaching of verse 19 about imputation because Christ was our substitute for our sins therefore our sins are longer imputed to us. If we do not understand u`pe.r to mean substitution then we have no way of explaining how and why our sins are no longer imputed to us. For these reason above u`pe.r is to be viewed as substituionary in verses 14-15 and 21. Having established the subsitutionary atonement in 2 Corinthians 5, I move to discuss the imputation that occurred while Christ acted as our substitute in his death.

The Imputation of our Sins to Christ

The Context is Legal

I argue in this section that there is contextual evidence that would lend support to contention that there is a legal transaction occurring in 2 Corinthians 5:21. The word that suggests that this is a legal context is logi,zomai in verse 19.

Before studying the how Paul uses logi,zomai in 2 Corinthians 5:19 it is necessary that I analyze the meaning of the word in general and my assessment of this word is that it could be used legally. According to BDAG logi,zomai means “to determine by mathematical process”. logi,zomai in secular usages can refer to an objective accounting of value or debt in commercial transaction4. In the Septuagint logi,zomai could be used of a commercial transaction about something which were contrary to fact (Gen. 31:15; Lev. 25:31)5. Therefore, logi,zomai can have a legal and commercial meaning.

Paul’s use of logi,zomai in 2 Corinthians 5:19 is legal because of it’s relationship to trespasses and it’s Parallel to another Pauline legal text. In 2 Corinthians 5:19 auvtw/n and paraptw,mata are related by genitive of possession. This means that people have trespasses, but that these trespasses are mh. logizo,menoj. The relationship between logizo,menoj and auvtoi/j is dative of advantage. Therefore, people who have sin are not having their sins imputed against them. A statement like this reflects the commercial transaction use of logi,zomai which is reflected in secular usages and in the usage of the Septuagint (Gen. 31:15; Lev. 25:31). The reason why this statement reflects a forensic or commercial transaction is because people have sin but they are being treated as if they do not have sin much like the legal uses in the two Septuagint passages. A second reason for thinking that logi,zomai verse 19 is legal is because it is similar to Paul’s use of logi,zomai in Romans 4. Romans 4 is a forensic context were Paul uses logi,zomai twelve times. In Romans 4:8 Paul speaks of the blessed man whose sin the Lord will never logi,shtai or count. Romans 4 is a legal context that is remarkably similar to 2 Corinthians 5:19 and this gives us an additional reason for thinking that the use of logi,zomai in 5:19 is being used forensically.

Because I have just established the legal usage of logi,zomai in verse 19 I turn to look at the possible implications of this conclusion for verse 216. In this section I argue that Christ was legally imputed our sins in verse 21. I argue that the legal understanding of a`marti,a fits better than any other alternative understanding of a`marti,a in verse 21. I argue this by looking at alternative ways one could understand a`marti,a in verse 21 and how all these alternative understandings of a`marti,a are deficient. Lastly, I argue that there are many good reasons for taking a`marti,a as a legal imputation and that there are no good objections for taking it as legal.

The Meaning of a`marti,a in Verse 21

There are two alternative ways of understanding a`marti,a in verse 21 other than the forensic perspective that I have of a`marti,a. One way to understand a`marti,a is to see it as meaning a “sin offering” as in the Old Testament sacrifices7. Another way to understand a`marti,a in verse 21 is to see it as referencing this phrase in Romans 8:3 pe,myaj evn o`moiw,mati sarko.j a`marti,aj8. Defenders of this understanding a`marti,a would take it to mean that Christ had a visible form like sinful human nature which is subject to sin9. These are the two most plausible alternative understandings of a`marti,a in verse 21. I now move into my critique of these two alternatives understandings of a`marti,a.

There two significant problems for viewing a`marti,a as a sin offering in 2 Corinthians 5:21. The first problem is that that no where else in the New Testament does a`marti,a mean “sin offering”10. A phrase that is like a`marti,a that can mean sin offering in the New Testament is peri. a`marti,a (Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:18)11. a`marti,a is paralleled to dikaiosu,nh qeou/ which can either have one of two meanings: 1) righteous legal status from God (Genitive of source) or 2) an activity of God (subjective Genitive)12. The problem is that both of these meanings are not parallel to a “sin offering” but rather they have to do with righteousness whether a source or an activity. Therefore, for these two reasons it is implausible to understand a`marti,a as a “sin offering”.

The second position which views a`marti,a as a reference to evn o`moiw,mati sarko.j a`marti,aj has one major problem. The problem is that a`marti,a cannot mean or be glossed as “in likeness of sinful flesh”, but rather it can only be glossed as “sin” or “sinfulness” without any denotative meaning of “in likeness of sinful flesh” (BDAG). If Paul wanted to teach that theology here he would not have paralleled it with dikaiosu,nh qeou and would have put evn o`moiw,mati sarko.j a`marti,aj rather than a`marti,a. Hence, there is no good reason for thinking that a`marti,a could mean or be referencing evn o`moiw,mati sarko.j a`marti,aj.

I have shown that the alternative readings of a`marti,a are deficient and I move into my positive case for thinking that a`marti,a is to be taken legally.

A proper understanding to.n mh. gno,nta a`marti,an in verse 21gives a strong reason for believing that a`marti,a is to be taken forensically. ginw,skw can mean to learn something that one was previously ignorant of (BDAG). However, in verse 21 ginw,skw cannot mean that Jesus was factually ignorant of sin because Jesus taught about sin (Matt. 18:6). What is behind the Greek word ginw,skw is the Hebrew verb [d;y" which means to have a personal and intimate experience of13. Although Jesus knew about the sins of others (Heb. 12:3), Jesus himself did not have first hand personal experience of sin. mh. means not ever and gno,nta is in the aorist which suggests that it is timeless truth14. Hence, these two Greek words together are to be understood as “never knew sin”15. This is a clear affirmation of the Pauline truth that Jesus was sinless (Rom. 5:19). When Paul says that Christ was a`marti,an evpoi,hsen this cannot mean that Jesus was actually a sinner, but rather that he was a sinner in the forensic imputed sense. This is much like those who are actually sinners in verse 19, but yet God does not legally impute them their sin. The difference is that Jesus never had experienced sinning, yet he was legally imputed our sin.

Contrary to the claims of N.T. Wright, the context surrounding a`marti,an evpoi,hsen supports the Reformed position that this our sins legally imputed to Christ because he was our substitute16. For those who do not see verse 19 as connected to verse 21 then the phrase mh. logizo,menoj auvtoi/j ta. paraptw,mata auvtw/n practically hangs in their air without any reason or explanation. In verse 19 Paul is doing three things first he was saying 1) that God used Christ to reconcile the world, 2) what this did for those who were reconciled (not being imputed sin), and 3) how this gave Paul the trusted ministry that he has. If one does not take the legal imputation view of verse 21 then they cannot explain how it is that Christ reconciled the world by God not imputing their sin to them. However, on the substitutionary forensic perspective verse 21 provides a reason for why God does not impute sins to sinners17. The reason is this: Christ took our place and was imputed our sin so that we will no longer have sins imputed to us. This is perfectly legitimate in the context because the context of 21 is legal and full of subtitutionary language as I have previously argued. There is a u`pe.r plus a genitive in a soteriological text and according to the principle established earlier we should take this as substitutionary reference unless there is a reason to doubt it18. Hence, the forensic substituionary view is established in the context and provides an adequate explanation of Paul’s reasoning behind verse 19. However, there remains an important challenge that I answer in the next paragraph to the view I have proposed.

Responding to a Potential Challenge

One potential challenge for the forensic view of sin is that if it were referring to Christ being imputed our sins then a`marti,a would be in plural rather than the singular. The word para,ptwma used for sin in verse 19 is plural and yet we see that in verse 21 a`marti,an evpoi,hsen is singular. So if the sins of those who are in Christ were being imputed to Christ then it would be more accurate to say that “Christ became sins”. The reason why Paul used a`marti,a in the singular rather than the plural in verse 21 was so that Paul could maintain the clear parallel between a`marti,a on one hand and dikaiosu,nh qeou/ on the other. If there were to be a parallel in the plural we would get a non-Pauline saying because Paul never uses dikaiosu,nh qeou/ in the plural and for him there is only one source of righteousness—Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:30). Furthermore, Paul’s style elsewhere in his letters can be more concerned with literary parallels rather making scientifically precise theological propositions (Rom. 5:15-19). Therefore, I do not regard this potential objection as a sufficient reason to doubt that a`marti,a is to be viewed as legal imputation.

Imputed Righteousness From God

In this section I argue for the other half of 2 Corinthians 5:21 as having a legal meaning. I argue the forensic view first by looking at other Pauline usages of dikaiosu,nh qeou/. After this I argue for the forensic view by appeals to the context that surrounds dikaiosu,nh qeou/. Lastly, I argue that the parallel in verse 21 provides a reason for thinking that dikaiosu,nh qeou/ is a legally imputed status from God.

The majority of the times that dikaiosu,nh qeou/ is used it communicates the idea of God imputing righteousness forensically and this supports that Paul was using dikaiosu,nh qeou/ in this fashion in 2 Corinthians 5:21. I argue this by looking at Philippians and then by looking at the uses of dikaiosu,nh qeou/ in the book of Romans.

dikaiosu,nh qeou in Philippians

The clearest usage of this being a legal imputed status from God is where Paul contrasts dikaiosu,nhn th.n evk no,mou with th.n evk qeou/ dikaiosu,nhn in Philippians 3:9. The reason why this is the clearest is because of the preposition evk is used to indicate that this righteousness is from God19. This righteousness has a legal meaning because all that is needed for this righteousness to come to a person from God is by faith in Jesus Christ. The reason why faith in Jesus Christ suggests that it is legal is because there is no righteous works one needs to do to be imputed righteous by God, but only faith in Christ brings this imputation from God. Furthermore, the righteousness of the law and the righteousness of faith are clearly contrasted in this verse to bring out the legal character of justification by faith. In addition, when the imputation of righteousness by faith alone exists in other verses it usually has strong forensic meaning (Rom. 3:21-4-8). All these arguments gives us a strong indication that evk qeou/ dikaiosu,nhn is being used here to indicate a legally imputed status from God. This shows that when Paul uses dikaiosu,nh qeou/ in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that he is using similar phrase from Philippians 3:9 to communicate similar ideas. The only difference between them is that Philippians 3:9 has the preposition evk whereas 2 Corinthians 5:21 lacks this. However, both share the same terms to explain what sort of people are imputed righteousness, namely, those who are evn auvtw/|Å evn auvtw/| is referring to those who are in Christ20. Therefore, we have a great amount linguistically parallels between these two texts which suggests that they are using the same legal categories for dikaiosu,nh qeou/.

dikaiosu,nh qeou in Romans

The use of dikaiosu,nh qeou/ in the book of Romans is used the majority of times as a legally righteous imputed status from God and this helps shed light the use of dikaiosu,nh qeou/ in 2 Corinthians 5:21. dikaiosu,nh qeou/ is used six times (Rom. 1:17; Rom. 3:5; 3:21-22; 10:3) and only once out of those six times is dikaiosu,nh qeou/ is used to indicate something other than a legally righteous imputed status from God (Rom. 3:5). However, this perspective is disputed because some view dikaiosu,nh qeou/ as a subjective genitive (an activity of God) so I will briefly give some positive reasons for thinking that the use of dikaiosu,nh qeou is used as genitive of source (legal status from God)21. One of major problems that Paul is trying to address in the book of Romans is how can a guilty man who God’s wrath abides upon be made righteous before God (Rom. 1:17-20; 3:9-20; 4:5-8; 5:15-19; 9:11). Paul’s answer is that God justifies the ungodly sinner on the basis of Christ’s righteousness by faith alone (Rom. 1:17; 4:5; 5:15-19). This justification of the ungodly by faith alone is one of the major themes of the book of Romans (1:17; 3:21-4:8). The book is primarily concerned with our being made righteous before God rather than God vindicating his actions in redemptive history. In fact a righteous status from God that makes righteous the ungodly is explicitly found in Romans 4:5. Therefore, when we come to the texts about the justification of the sinner the stronger Pauline emphasis is going to be on our righteous status from God rather than God’s activity which shows his righteousness. In other words, a major theme in Romans is not how God can be righteous but about how man can be righteous. It may be true that both are in Romans but the latter is more heavily emphasized than the former22. Hence, when we come to dikaiosu,nh qeou in 2 Corinthians 5:21 we should understand it as a legally imputed status from God because the majority of the uses of dikaiosu,nh qeou in Romans and Philippians have this meaning.

Contextual Argument

There are three contextual considerations that suggests that dikaiosu,nh qeou/ is to be viewed as genitive of source, that is: God is source of our imputation of righteousness. The first reason is that 5:11-21 does not at any point emphasize the righteousness of God’s activities. This is not to say that God’s actions in this text are unrighteous, but rather that the fact that his actions are righteous is not a part of what Paul is doing in his argument in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. Paul is emphasizing how we can be reconciled to God not how a righteous God is reconciled to us (5:18-20)23. The second reason for believing that dikaiosu,nh qeou/ is to be viewed as genitive of source is that verse 18 emphasizes that all things in salvation are from God. The contextual emphasis is on God as the source of our new creation and our salvation in Christ rather than on God being righteous in performing certain activities. In verse 19 this theme continues as Paul emphasizes that God was in Christ and that God is the one who does not imputed our sins against us. This strongly suggests that the context is in favor of a legally imputed status from God. A third reason for thinking that dikaiosu,nh qeou is used to indicate a forensic status from God is Paul’s used dikaiosu,nh in 2 Corinthians 3:9 which indicates n legal clearing of any charges which the new covenant brings that is contrasted with ministry of condemnation in the old covenant24. This makes it clear that the use of dikaiosu,nh in 2 Corinthians favors the legal view. These three contextual considerations show that there is stronger reason for thinking that dikaiosu,nh qeou is to viewed as a legally imputed status from God in 2 Corinthians 5:21.

The parallel in 2 Corinthians 5:21 provides an additional reason for thinking that we should take dikaiosu,nh qeou as a legal imputed status from God25. dikaiosu,nh qeou is paralleled with a`marti,an evpoi,hsen. Because I have argued in this paper that a`marti,an evpoi,hsen is to be taken as a legal imputation of our sins to Christ then dikaiosu,nh qeou must be taken in a similar fashion. In other words, a`marti,an evpoi,hsen is a legally imputed status from God so therefore, dikaiosu,nh qeou is to be taken as a legally imputed status from God26. Hence, I have provided sufficient reason for thinking that dikaiosu,nh qeou is to be taken as a genitive of source and taking into consideration the context this suggests that this is a legal status from God.


In this paper I have argued for the imputation of our sin to Christ so that God can impute us with righteousness and this is how Paul defends his apostolic ministry of reconciliation. The soteriology that Paul was defending for his ministry was the soteriology of the Reformation. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we read the glorious truth that while we are piles of dung God imputed us with the pure white snow of righteous because Jesus Christ was imputed the guilty filth of our sin in our place.


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Barrett, C.K. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians. BNTC Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1983.

Calvin, John. The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. eds. D. W and T. F. Torrance; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964.

Carson, D.A. Justification: What's at Stake in the Current Debates. Edited by Mark Husbands and Daniel J. Treier. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

Ernst Käsemann, " The Righteousness of God' in Paul", in New Testament Questions of Today (London: SCM, 1969) 168-182 (originally published ZTK 58 [1961] 367-378).

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Garland, David E. 2 Corinthians. Edited by E. Ray Clendenen, Kenneth A. Matthews, and David S. Dockery. The New American Commentary 29. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1999.

Grieb, A Katherine. 2006. "So that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor 5:21): some theological reflections on the church becoming justice. Ex Auditu. 22.

Harris, Murray J. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Edited by I. Howard Marshall and Donald A. Hagner. The New Internation Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005.

Hooker, Morna D. 2008. On becoming the righteousness of God: another look at 2 Cor 5:21. Novum Testamentum. 50 (4).

Johnson, Luke Timothy. The Writings of The New Testament: An Interpretation. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999.

Kistemaker, Simon J. Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1997.

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Martin, Ralph P. 2 Corinthians. Edited by David A. Hubbard, Glenn W. Barker, John D.W. Watts, and Ralph P. Martin. Word Biblical Commentary. Waco Tex.: Word Books,


Moo, Douglas J. The Epistle to the Romans. Edited by Ned B. Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce, and Gordon D. Fee. The New International Commentary on The New Testament. Mich. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996.

Piper, John. Counted Righteous in Christ: Should we Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness. Wheaton, Ill.: Good News Publishers, 2002.

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Turner, David L. “Paul and the ministry of reconciliation in 2 Cor 5:11-6:2.” 4. Fall 1989.

Vickers, Brian. Jesus' Blood and Righteousness: Paul's Theology of Imputation. Wheaton, Ill.: Good News Publishers, 2006.

Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1996.

Westerholm, Stephen. Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The Lutheran Paul and His Critics. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004.

Wright, N.T. What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity. Cincinnati, Ohio: Forward Movement Publications, 1997.

1 Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1996), 382- 387.

2 Wallace, Greek Grammar, 388.

3 Lewis, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, 46.

4 Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 1990. v2, 354

5 EDNT, v2, 354.

6 See Morna D. Hooker, 2008. On becoming the righteousness of God: another look at 2 Cor 5:21. Novum Testamentum. 50 (4): 358-375. Hooker seems to avoid the legal context of 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. In Hooker’s article she never even touches upon logi,zomai and it’s relation to sin.

7 Ralph P. Martin, 2 Corinthians (ed. David A. Hubbard et al.; WBC; Waco Tex.: Word Books, 1986), 157. Cf. Brian Vickers, Jesus' Blood and Righteousness: Paul's Theology of Imputation (Wheaton, Ill.: Good News Publishers, 2006), 159-190. Cf. Morna D. Hooker, 2008. On becoming the righteousness of God: another look at 2 Cor 5:21. Novum Testamentum. 50 (4):369. Hooker holds a view that seems to be a variation of the sin offering view when she writes: In Galatians 3, the context offered some sort of explanation as to why Paul might have employed the nouns, "curse" and "blessing", but there is no help of this kind here. The horror of the word serves to underline the need of the world for "reconciliation"; this is what we are without Christ—"sin"—alienated from God. Sin is for Paul an alien power that corrupts the world and leads to death, because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 6-7). The Old Testament provides an analogy of what it means to be identified with sin in the scapegoat, and Jesus' own experience of "being made sin", cut off from God, is graphically portrayed in the cry of dereliction (Mark 15:34//Matt. 27:46).”

8 Harris, 2 Corinthians, 451-52.

9 Harris, 2 Corinthians, 451. cf. David L. Turner, “Paul and the ministry of reconciliation in 2 Cor 5:11-6:2,” 4 (Fall 1989): 87.

10 David E. Garland, 2 Corinthians (ed. E. Ray Clendenen, Kenneth A. Matthews, and David S. Dockery; NAC 29; Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1999), 300.

11 Harris, 2 Corinthians, 453.

12 Harris, 2 Corinthians, 453. cf. Ernst Käsemann, " The Righteousness of God' in Paul", in New Testament Questions of Today (London: SCM, 1969) 168-182 (originally published ZTK 58 [1961] 367-378). Käsemann is one of the most influential defenders of the objective genitive. Cf. Katherine A. Grieb, 2006. "So that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor 5:21): some theological reflections on the church becoming justice. Ex Auditu. 22:58-80. cf. Morna D. Hooker, 2008. On becoming the righteousness of God: another look at 2 Cor 5:21. Novum Testamentum. 50 (4): 358-375. cf. N.T. Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity? (Cincinnati, Ohio: Forward Movement Publications, 1997), 104-105.

13 Harris, 2 Corinthians, 450.

14 Harris, 2 Corinthians, 450.

15 Harris, 2 Corinthians, 450.

16 Wright, Paul Really Said, 104-105.

17 Garland, 2 Corinthians, 301.

18 Wallace, Greek Grammar, 388.

19 Stephen Westerholm, Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The Lutheran Paul and His Critics (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004), 284-285.

20 This could have a reference to the fact that it is Christ’s righteousness that is being imputed to the believer, but this is more of a systematic conclusion that can be got at when one synthesizes Romans 5:19 with 2 Corinthians 5:21. This is something that cannot be exegetically derived from evn auvtw 2 Corinthians 5:21 alone so I do not make this a major chunk of my argument in this paper. Therefore, systematically the conclusion that our sins are imputed to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us is true, but cannot be comprehensively derived from 2 Corinthians 5:21. See John Piper, Counted Righteous in Christ: Should we Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness? (Wheaton, Ill.: Good News Publishers, 2002), 68-69 for the full traditional view in 2 Corinthians 5:21.

21 There are other possibilities besides the two I have mentioned: Simon J. Kistemaker points out that one can argue for the objective genitive here, but I agree with his assessment that such a conclusion is vastly improbable, for more on this see Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (NTC; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1997), 201-202.

22 Douglas Moo understands dikaiosu,nh qeou as both a subjective and objective genitive. While I agree that this that it is true that God activity is both righteous and he imputes us righteousness, in Romans the stress is on the latter rather than the former. For more on this see Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans (ed. Ned B. Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce, and Gordon D. Fee; NICNT; Mich. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996), 68-78.

23 D.A. Carson, Justification: What's at Stake in the Current Debates (ed. Mark Husbands and Daniel J. Treier; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 49.

24 Westerholm, Perspectives Old and New on Paul, 365.

25 See Hooker, Morna D. 2008. On becoming the righteousness of God: another look at 2 Cor 5:21. Novum Testamentum. 50 (4):358. Grants the parallel but comes to a different conclusion which agrees with the objective genitive.

26 Carson, Justification, 68.