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Philip Hess. Why did Jesus die? You may be surprised to learn that the meaning of Jesus’ death, as taught by many Christians, is a fairly modern development in church history. Penal Substitution, the idea that Jesus died to take our punishment and receive the wrath of God in our place, has little support in Scripture and was not the understanding of the early church.

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Philip Hess. Why did Jesus die? You may be surprised to learn that the meaning of Jesus’ death, as taught by many Christians, is a fairly modern development in church history. Penal Substitution, the idea that Jesus died to take our punishment and receive the wrath of God in our place, has little support in Scripture and was not the understanding of the early church.

224 pp. Paperback.

Additional information

Weight14.6 oz
Dimensions6 × 9.125 × .62 in
Book author

Philip Hess

Format

Paperback

Pages

224

ISBN

978-1-7349941-1-7

3 reviews for Penal Substitution on Trial
Philip Hess

  1. Joshua VanderToorn

    This book has been what I have been waiting for regarding Penal Substitution. Philip does a great job explaining what Jesus actually accomplished on the cross and how the blood saves us. His book is very easy to read and understand, I will definately be reading it again. Thanks.

  2. Paul Garber

    This is one of the best books in my library. Every christian should read this book. The author’s theology is rock solid and addresses many issues in this book from faith to imputed righteousness. And he shows how the doctrine of penal substitution undermines sound christian teachings in all these other areas as well. Philip Hess writes in a very readable and understandable way. I couldn’t recommend this book more.

  3. Arthur Sippo

    This book surprised me. It is well written and not only uses Scripture but also Christian history and sound theological reasoning to show how “Penal Substitution” is an unbiblical and dangerous view of the Atonement. Certain defenders of “Penal Substitution” (e.g. William Lane Craig) try to justify their position by taking modern views of legal theory as verifying the views of the Protestant Deformers. This makes retribution the sole way of dealing with sin which is UNBIBLICAL. The Old Testament on the other hand emphasizes RESTORATIVE JUSTICE as the model for dealing with evil. If God is truly merciful, He has no wrath that needs to be satisfied before sin can be forgiven.

    My one quibble is that the complexity of St. Anselm’s theory of the Atonement and that of St.Thomas Aquinas is inappropriately equated with “Penal Substitution” when in reality, these giants of the Christian Faith were far more subtle in their theology and most certainly did not support the imputation and the “Great Exchange” invented at the Deformation.

    But the critique of Protestant soteriology in this book is spot on! Catholic apologists should read this book!

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