Sproul on Penal Substitution

It seems that Penal Substitution is the new rage. If you want to know what I mean look, here, here, and here. The excerpt is on my book list now... along with Stott's "The Cross of Christ," Murray's "Redemption Accomplished and Applied," and of course "Pierced for our Transgressions."

In some instances, the prevailing indifference to the cross mutates into outright hostility. I once was asked to deliver a lecture explaining the relationship between the old and new covenants. In the course of delivering this lecture, I referred to Christ's death as a substitutionary, vicarious sacrifice for the sins of others. To my surprise, someone in the back of the room yelled out, "That's primitive and obscene." I was taken aback for a moment, so I asked, "What did you say?" He said it again with great hostility: "That's primitive and obscene." At that point, I had recovered from my surprise, and I told the man I actually liked his choice of adjectives. It is primitive for a blood sacrifice to be made to satisfy the justice of a transcendent and holy God, but sin is a primitive thing that is basic to our human existence, so God chose to communicate His love, mercy, and redemption to us through his primitive work. And the cross is an obscenity, because all of the corporate sin of God's people was laid on Christ. The cross was the ugliest, most obscene thing in the history of the world. So I thanked the man for his observation. (pp. 10-11)

[HT: Justin Taylor]