Title

Faith and Philosophy

Publication Date

4-2004

Abstract

This paper is a philosophical defense of the doctrine of penal substitution. I begin with a delineation of Richard Swinburne’s satisfaction-type theory of the atonement, exposing a weakness of it which motivates a renewed look at the theory of penal substitution. In explicating a theory of penal substitution, I contend that: (i) the execution of retributive punishment is morally justified in certain cases of deliberate wrongdoing; (ii) deliberate human sin against God constitutes such a case; and (iii) the transfer of the retributive punishment due sinners to Christ is morally coherent. Whatever else might be said for and against such a conception of the doctrine of the atonement, the plausibility of the theory presented here should give us pause in the often hasty rejection of the doctrine of penal substitution.

Keywords

Jesus Christ--Crucifixion; Atonement

Publication Title

Faith and Philosophy

Volume

21

Issue

2

First Page

228

Last Page

241

DOI of Published Version

10.5840/faithphil20042126

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