Sunday, July 17, 2011

Conversion Fragment 4b: Justification Revisited

I've already blogged about the important role played by the Doctrine of Justification in my conversion, but after hearing Dr. Anders speaking on Catholic Answers, I feel compelled to fill in the picture just a little more.

You see, there are certain elements of the Protestant interpretation of the Passion of Christ that I don't get. In particular, I don't understand the ideas of (1) God literally punishing His sinless Son with the pains of hell in order to effect a (2) purely juridical and extrinsic salvation in which we remain guilty and worthy of punishment. I heard both of these things repeatedly while dwelling in Protestant circles.

I find this narrative confusing because it clashes with one of my most basic assumptions concerning the character of God: that He is just.

How can we maintain that God the Father is just while also saying that He punishes His sinless Son undeservedly? Furthermore, if we remain deserving of punishment even after 'getting saved', how can we maintain that God us just for withholding punishment from us?

Is this really, really, really hard to understand, or is it just an error? A error concerning the very heart of the Gospel?

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