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The Forgiveness of Sins and the Work of Christ: A Case for Substitutionary Atonement

Justyn Terry

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The doctrine of substitutionary atonement has been called into question by many, chief among them Immanuel Kant, who denies there can be justice in the innocent dying for the guilty. When Kant’s objection is examined, however, the shortcomings of the Enlightenment assumptions on which it stands are exposed. The forgiveness of sins is seen to have a substitutionary character, as does, therefore, the doctrine of justification by faith. So we see that the credal statement “one baptism for the forgiveness of sins” necessarily implies a substitutionary atonement, which invites a reconsideration of the way in which substitutionary atonement is generally treated.

 
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