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Justification and the active obedience of Christ : toward a biblical understanding of imputed righteousness

Author: Andrew V Snider
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 2002. ©2002
Dissertation: Th. M. The Master's Seminary, Sun Valley, California 2002
Series: Theological Research Exchange Network (Series), #059-0053.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Since the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, the emphasis on the redemptive work of Christ has been rightly laid on the concept of substitution. In the Reformed tradition, however, there arose an additional emphasis on the earthly obedience of Christ and its place in the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. According to this teaching, Christ not only died in the place of sinners to atone for their  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Microfiche version:
Snider, Andrew V.
Justification and the active obedience of Christ.
2002
(OCoLC)50223176
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Andrew V Snider
OCLC Number: 262479979
Notes: Abstract.
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. Portland, Oregon : Theological Research Exchange Network, 2014. (Theological Research Exchange Network ; #059-0053). Available via World Wide Web. System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader. User name and password may be required to download. Electronic text (PDF).
Description: 1 online resource (vi, 118 leaves)
Series Title: Theological Research Exchange Network (Series), #059-0053.
Responsibility: by Andrew V. Snider.

Abstract:

Since the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, the emphasis on the redemptive work of Christ has been rightly laid on the concept of substitution. In the Reformed tradition, however, there arose an additional emphasis on the earthly obedience of Christ and its place in the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. According to this teaching, Christ not only died in the place of sinners to atone for their sins, he also obeyed God's law in the place of sinners in order to earn a title to eternal life for them. This study examines this idea and calls it the doctrine of "vicarious active obedience." Three lines of investigation are pursued: historical, exegetical, and theological. A survey of the early church fathers reveals several dominating notions concerning the atonement. Primarily, the atonement was understood to be a victory over Satan or a substitutionary sacrifice. The idea of vicarious obedience to the law is not present in the writings of the early fathers. In the medieval period, Anselm of Canterbury wrote extensively on the atonement, but did not espouse the vicarious obedience idea in his satisfaction theory. During the Reformation, however, the idea of the vicarious obedience of Christ for his people was formulated in the early stages of the development of covenant theology amid a predominating emphasis on man as a violator of God's law. So, the vicarious active obedience teaching is seen to be a product of Reformation theologizing. A closer look at the primary passages used to defend the doctrine of vicarious active obedience reveals no compelling exegetical support for the idea. Romans 5:19, which speaks of "obedience" relative to Christ as the last Adam, specifies that the obedience in question is Christ's obedient act of submitting to death on the cross. Romans 8:1-4 contains a reference to Christ's death and how it fulfills the law's condemnatory function in those who believe, but says nothing about Christ's active obedience. Galatians 4:4-5, which declares that Christ fulfilled the law in order to redeem sinners, similarly says or implies nothing concerning the imputation of that obedience to sinners. Finally, a look at the doctrine of justification in Paul's epistles reveals that the idea of imputed obedience is foreign to Paul's thinking. Justification is a declaration that one is right with God, and no qualifying statements are made which indicate that Christ's earthly obedience comprises the righteousness imputed to the believer. Salvation, and specifically justification, are on the ground of Christ's death, never his life. It is concluded that the idea of vicarious obedience is exegetically and theologically unsound.

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