Please watch this with an open mind.
What is wrong with the EVANGELICAL GOSPEL? Penal substitutionary theory is at the heart of the evangelical gospel. BUT what if it is WRONG?
(Please not that this video is not necessarily meant to give a full-blown alternative theory to the atonement. Rather, it is meant to merely provoke questions, create dialogue, and point out the problems of penal substitution.)
Why does it matter? Our understanding of the Cross shapes our understanding of how we view God. And how we view God shapes the way we live.
Problems with penal substitution:
-Divides the Trinity
-Contradicts the life and teachings of Jesus Christ
-Never found in parabolic form
“Stricken by God?” by Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin
“The Jesus Driven Life” by Michael Hardin
“A New Kind of Christianity” by Brian McLaren
“Jesus and the Undoing of Adam” by C. Baxter Kruger
“Razing Hell” by Sharon Baker
Soundtrack: “Ambient Night” by Eugene Serov (SZ Music)
I have listened to the video message by Joshua Tongol. I think he has made some very good points. For example, he highlighted that Isaiah 53 says “We considered Him stricken and smitten by God…”, which shows that it is man who considers God punishing Jesus, when it is actually not the case because the verse doesn’t say “He was stricken and smitten by God”. So the verse speaks for itself, in that it even predicted that some 2,000 years later, there will still be people who consider God punishing Jesus, which is the penal substitution theory.
I also like his study on a Hebrew translation of Isaiah 53 that says:
“And the Lord desires to purify him of the plague; if you would give a sin offering, your soul will see long-lived posterity, and the Lord desires to take away.”
We see that this translation is different from the common English translation that says “It pleased the Lord to crush him”, so the verse is indeed not about punishment. So we see that God is not the one causing Jesus to suffer. Jesus’ suffering was because He was taking the place of the first Adam (natural man) who had a separation mindset (sin, as we know, simply means ignorance). Jesus’ cry at the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” echoes man’s cry when man thought he was separated from God (his highest self), but in fact God has never forsaken man – separation is only an illusion.
In addition, Joshua Tongol has a good point that forgiveness doesn’t need sacrifice. Forgiveness by its own definition is free. Forgiveness doesn’t require payment. Yes, to me, forgiveness is synonymous of unconditional love – no condition is required whatsoever.
I also agree that true justice is restorative (according to the Hebrew mindset), not retributive (according to the Western mindset). As Joshua shared, true justice goes hand in hand with mercy – just like Jesus restoring to people what they have lost. It is also like the father in the parable of the prodigal son welcoming the younger son home without any condition. It is pure grace.
I also admire Joshua’s humility as he said towards the end of the video that we are all learning and growing in our journey. And yes, one thing we know, that God is a lot nicer/better than we think. At the end of the day, we intuitively know that God is love, and love keeps no records of wrongs, and love never fails.