Atonement Christ as God, not an angel or mere creature infinite vs finite sacrafice


#1

If someone knows how to develop this argument please do so,

Thanks
Daniel

Homilies on First Timothy (Chrysostom) > Homily 7

Ver. 5. “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men.”

He had before said, “to come to the knowledge of the truth,” implying that the world is not in the truth. Now he says, “that there is one God,” that is, not as some say, many, and that He has sent His Son as Mediator, thus giving proof that He will have all men to be saved. But is not the Son God? Most truly He is; why then does he say, “One God”? In contradistinction to the idols; not to the Son. For he is discoursing about truth and error. Now a mediator ought to have communion with both parties, between whom he is to mediate. For this is the property of a mediator, to be in close communion with each of those whose mediator he is. For he would be no longer a mediator, if he were connected with one but separated from the other. If therefore He partakes not of the nature of the Father, He is not a Mediator, but is separated. For as He is partaker of the nature of men, because He came to men, so is He partaker of the nature of God, because He came from God. Because He was to mediate between two natures, He must approximate to the two natures; for as the place situated between two others is joined to each place, so must that between natures be joined to either nature. As therefore He became Man, so was He also God. A man could not have become a mediator, because he must also plead with God. God could not have been mediator, since those could not receive Him, toward whom He should have mediated. And as elsewhere he says, “There is one God the Father,…and one Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. viii. 6.); so also here “One” God, and “One” Mediator; he does not say two; for he would not have that number wrested to Polytheism, of which he was speaking. So he wrote “One” and “One.” You see how accurate are the expressions of Scripture! For though one and one are two, we are not to say this, though reason suggests it. And here you say not one and one are two, and yet you say what reason does not suggest. “If He begat He also suffered.” “For there is one God,” he says, “and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”

newadvent.org/fathers/230607.htm

"Peculiar to Christ’s sacrifice are the infinite value of Victim, which give the sacrifice an infinite value of expiation and as merit. "
newadvent.org/cathen/10118a.htm

"Reply to Objection 3. The dignity of Christ’s flesh is not to be estimated solely from the nature of flesh, but also from the Person assuming it–namely, inasmuch as it was God’s flesh, the result of which was that it was of infinite worth. "
newadvent.org/summa/4048.htm

The above are limited readings into what I am thinking about.

The argument I want to develop is Christ as an angel or mere creature will be an incomplete, finite atonement. Such a sacrafice would be inadequate to cover all man’s sins for all time.

That an adequate atonement requires Christ to be fully man to represent mankind, but also fully God to have infinite value.

How would you go about developing this arguement?


#2

Hi Daniel,

The epistle to the Hebrews has already done the job for you. Read chapters 1 and 2. In fact all of Hebrews develops this theme.

Verbum


#3

St. Anselm would also be of help since in his theology he presented very much the same argument that only God is worthy to atone for the sins against Himself. This blog will be of interest on the subject:

matthewsdraft.wordpress.com/2006/11/17/anselms-satisfaction-theory-of-atonement/


#4

Ok, how would we present this to a bible alone person?


#5

Dear Daniel.

this article of mine should help you to understand why the atonement must be infinite:

**Darth Vader, Lust, and Hell
**

catholicmeditations.org/index.php?root=nav3&target=darth_vader

here is a quote:

The problem with the right position is that there is no room for mercy. But alas, without the Christian solution, we might just conclude it couldn’t be any other way. This is because what the right-positioned person is right about is that serious sin can never be atoned for by the one who has committed it, except by everlasting punishment. The person has an infinite debt. Take the following example.

Some time ago, I was reading an article about teenage girls who had lost their virginity and were regretting it. One of the girls told her story. She was at a party and was alone in one of the upstairs bedrooms, depressed that she was still a virgin. Well, in comes Paul, a guy she knows from school. He proceeds to get on top of her and have sex with her. The girl explains that she was so tired and depressed of being a virgin that she decided to just allow him to proceed. As the event unfolded, she began to hurt physically very bad from it and tried to tell him to stop, but he didn’t seem to care. He just continued, ignoring her. Once he had finished, he just got up and left.

Later, she learned that she was just one of several pit stops. Paul had been going from girl to girl that night, looking to shed the virginity of as many girls as he could. He was just out to “prove his manhood” and get some pleasure.

Now most people in this apostate culture in which we live think that it makes sense to go to Hell for things like killing or stealing, but they find it ridiculous to say that you could go to Hell for sexual sins. The reality of the situation is that this Paul had, most likely, incurred an infinite debt that night because he evidently regarded these priceless creatures as mere ends to prove his power and use for gratification. God creates every human person for the potential of everlasting love, to exist for all eternity in a state of total love, being loved by God and the saints and loving them back forever without end, and it is for this reason that every human person’s worth is immeasurable. And so if you decide to regard any such creature merely as some finite means to some selfish end, you commit an infinite insult and thereby acquire an infinite debt.

And so the person on the right correctly understands that the person guilty of serious sin has no way of paying the debt except by suffering without end. Therefore, even if God said, I’ll forgive you, who will pay the infinite debt? If the person must, then he has to go to Hell anyway, and the mercy is impractical.
However, the good news of the Gospel is that God’s love does not know any bounds, and hence His desire to have mercy knows no bounds. And the unbelievable news of the Gospel is that God has found a way to forgive serious sin and still balance the scales with justice: He pays the debt Himself! How? By becoming a man and suffering for us as a man. He creates a human body and soul and fully unites His Divine Essence with it, so that the tortures, both physical and psychological, done to Him on the cross are actually being done to Him, the infinite God, and hence have infinite worth. And so since Christ’s death on the cross has infinite merit, it atones for any number of serious sins (because infinity plus any number of infinities is still just infinity), and of course, it also atones for any number of minor sins (sins that only merit temporal punishment).


#6

I read something a long, long time ago. I no longer recall the author or if it was in a book, a magazine article, etc. But I’ll always remember what it said, and any time I think about, I marvel at the simplicity, and common sense.

It said that no one and nothing else but Christ could possibly have atoned for sin, since sin is an offense against God. And who could atone to a god, but a god? Since there is only One True God, He is the only One who could have made the atonement. Since He is pure spirit, He needed a body to effect that atonement, and so condescended to be born of Mary. As such, His sinless humanity atoned, God to God, for our sinful humanity.

What amazing grace!

“I wish that my heart could beat, that I could live and breathe only for Jesus, I wish that my tongue could utter no other name than that of Jesus; that my eye could see only Jesus; that my pen could write only about Jesus, and that my thoughts could soar to nothing but Jesus. I have often wondered where on earth there might be something on which I could center my love. But neither on earth nor in heaven do I find any such thing but only my beloved Jesus… I am the fruit of your passion, Jesus, born of your wounds. O Jesus, seek me in love; I no longer possess anything; you have stolen my heart…” - St. Gemma Galgani


#7

Isn’t it common ground to them that only an infinite atonement by an Infinite Atoner would be sufficient to atone perfectly for sin :confused: ?


#8

No, arians for example, who claim “bible alone” would deny an atonement based on an infinite subject. In fact, their view of the atonement must be very narrow as the result of denying that Jesus is God.

:thumbsup:


#9

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