JOHN W. LOFTUS SAID:
Pike, let's say I punch you in the mouth for being an idiot.
What would you demand from me in order to forgive me? Would you demand to hit me back before you could forgive me? If so, you're not forgiving me at all. You're punishing me. If not, then forgiveness can be offered without punishment.
Some victims will never forgive their assailants even after being punished, while other victims have forgiven their assailants even though they were never punished.
What exactly is the realationship between forgiveness and punishment?
I see none. None at all.
You see, were not talking about a fine, which anyone can pay for someone else. We're talking about why we should be physically tortured and killed in order God to forgive us.
It’s a pity that Loftus learned so little in seminary:
1.Forgiveness and punishment don’t take the same object. God isn’t forgiving and punishing the same person or set of persons. That’s’ why it’s call penal *substitution* or *vicarious* atonement, John.
There are three parties to this transaction: God the Father, God the Son Incarnate, and the elect. Jesus suffers on behalf of and in the stead of the elect.
(In systematic theology, the Holy Spirit is involved in the application of the atonement.)
Justice is exacted on Jesus for the sake of the elect so that forgiveness may be extended to the elect.
“We” are not physically tortured and killed in order for God to forgive us. Rather, the Redeemer endures the penalty of sin for the sake of the redeemed.
2.Because human beings are sinners, we often screw up. Because we often screw up, we often cut each other some slack and give each other a second chance. We forego justice because we would like the offender to do us the same favor the time around when he is the offended party and we are the offenders.
That is actually a miscarriage of justice, but it’s in our mutual, long-range self-interest much of the time. In a fallen world, we couldn’t survive if we were always punished for our sins.
3.God, by contrast, does not sacrifice one’s just deserts in the interests of forgiveness—for that would be unjust, and God is a just God. God upholds the principle of retributive justice while also forgiving sinners of his choosing through vicarious atonement or penal substitution.
That, in turn, lays the moral foundation for God to justly forgive sinners, as well as for sinners to forgive one another—consistent with the scope of special redemption.
Someone with all your seminary degrees should at least be able to accurately summarize the Biblical concept of redemption—whether or not you agree with it.