Objection! "The Atonement is Unjust!"

In this week’s podcast Abdu takes on the meaty and important topic of substitutionary atonement. This is probably my favorite Defense Rests podcast so far! He makes the critical point of Jesus’s voluntary undertaking of liability that we may benefit and God’s standards may be met.

Transcript PDF is here:
Defense Rests Atonement.pdf (69.6 KB)

He says, “We need someone outside of ourselves to save us from us.” Amen!

How does Abdu’s brilliant presentation of how penal substitutionary atonement meets the character and holiness of God change the way you could witness to skeptics?


Thanks for the transcript, April! It helped immensely. I’ve tried making transcripts, but mine are laughable.

I appreciated Abdu’s analogy of a billionaire cosigning on a loan for someone who was almost certain to default. That’s exactly what Christ did for us. He agreed to pay the price before we were even created. I think of 1 Peter 1:18-20 (ESV):

Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you.

I’m still thinking about how to use this information in witnessing. A number of my friends are distrustful of the government and apt to say the legal system is corrupt. They might say it’s unjust to hold an employer liable for what his employee does. I’m quite certain they’d approve of cosigning on a loan, so I’m most inclined to use that analogy.

I might have to buy the books Abdu recommended because a friend of mine is uncomfortable with the idea of Christ’s substitutionary death, and I want to learn how to explain it better. Have you been able to discuss this with any of your skeptical friends? What seemed to help them the most?

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I haven’t gotten to complete a great conversation on this topic. I have family members who are vegetarian who believe the animal sacrifices are examples of God’s brutality. And then some of the most amazing Christians I know are also vegetarian, so we are a complicated bunch.

I think I would ask your friend what it is that bothers her about Jesus’ substitutionary death, and go from there. It’s hard to predict what bothers people. Keep asking questions, and have her flesh it out. Don’t put pressure on yourself to have all the answers, but trust the Holy Spirit and keep the dialog open.
It’s such a beautiful and rich topic.

The thing that really struck me about Abdu’s points on the employer and contract, etc. is that these things are done voluntarily and with knowledge. I would venture to extend that it is because the benefits outweigh the sacrifice.

…For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

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