Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Story of the Blood Issue (from my Perspective)

In 1983, Moody Press published John MacArthur's Hebrews commentary.  That summer I read it completely, all the way through.  I had never heard anyone explain "the blood issue," so MacArthur filled a bit of a void for me.  I had really no view and now I had read one.  By default, I took the MacArthur position without being introduced to any other position.  That's often how I rolled in those days, and maybe you can relate.  I was open to change my position, but I then had a position, the one MacArthur wrote in his Hebrews commentary.

In April of 1986, Bob Jones University published something in Faith for the Family that called MacArthur's view on the blood, "heresy."  You can see how in tune I was on this issue at the time.  I was in my second year of a M. Div. program at the time, and I would go into the periodical room of the library every week, as a habit, to look at the new periodicals.  Yes, I was freaky.  I read that Faith for the Family article and disagreed with it.  I thought they were slandering MacArthur, misrepresenting his position.  I was very defensive of him.  I had read his Hebrew commentary and I thought that Bob Jones was simply giving a cheap-shot to MacArthur because they didn't like him.  I had not heard or read the comments that he had made in sermons earlier (Al Gore had not invented the internet yet) that might have given me some concern (I don't know).  Later, the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship (the FBF) took some strong stands against MacArthur.  I read their criticisms too and very much disrespected their answers to him.  They were horrible.  I still think they were.  They would have the net effect of sending me toward the MacArthur position.

In 1987, I wrote my paper on the blood, that I mentioned in the first article in this now two part series.  Nobody had given me a blood position, but MacArthur.  My teacher criticized my paper, but he had not provided me with any kind of alternative to MacArthur's position or showed me that MacArthur's position was new.  That kind of work had not been done, that I knew of.  Maybe it had, but I had never read it.  I still don't know if anyone had written anything like that as an an answer to him.

I left to California in 1987 and then was in the work here and continue in California still.  When I established permanent residence, fairly quickly I sent for several periodicals.  I ordered BibSac, the former Calvary Theological Journal, Grace Journal, and more.  I read all those and others.  That year, the Calvary Baptist Theological Journal did a series on the blood of Christ.  They were "fundamentalists" who seemed to position themselves with MacArthur on the blood issue.  Others in the FBF did.  I remember Jim Singleton in Tempe, AZ taking the same position as MacArthur on the blood, which was a bit of a controversy.  Singleton always seemed to be a maverick in the FBF.

As I recall that time period, I remember that a major attack angle on MacArthur was that he was espousing the teachings of R. B. Thieme and that he denied the blood.  By denying the blood, I took that to mean that he didn't believe that Jesus bled very much.  MacArthur wasn't saying that Jesus didn't bleed.  He was saying that Jesus bled a whole lot.  I rejected that MacArthur denied the blood, understanding that "denying the blood" meant that you said that Jesus didn't bleed or barely bled.  Or "denying the blood" meant that Jesus didn't need to shed His blood, which MacArthur also rejected.  He taught that Jesus had to shed His blood for us to be saved.  He was just breaking down how everything occurred with Jesus' blood like no one else seemed to be doing at the time.

After a few years, "the blood issue" calmed down and I rarely heard about it anymore.  However, as I preached through books of the Bible and read more and more outside material, I didn't see that MacArthur position as tenable any longer.  I didn't think it accurately represented all the passages in the Bible about the blood of Christ.  I tweaked my position to something different.  And then upon further reading, I saw MacArthur's position as different than the historical position on the blood.  I didn't know of anyone who taught his position (and he represents his thinking in a youtube audio that I critiqued in part one and part two here).  What initially gave me trouble was Acts 20:28.  And that sent me to all the references on the blood and into history.

How is MacArthur changing the historic position?  MacArthur says that blood means death.  It's no more than a synonym or metonym for death.  The death is what saved us, and when the Bible references Jesus' "blood," it is simply saying "bloody death."  MacArthur says that he is swinging away from Roman Catholic teaching about the blood.  Fine.  But he's also swinging away from Baptist and Protestant teaching too.  He attacks an artificial boogeyman, who says that the blood has mystical or magical qualities to it.  MacArthur says that blood doesn't do anything itself.  His position on that comes from a logical leap for him.  Jesus took a human body ("flesh and blood"), so the passages that say His blood does do something have to be seen in the light of that.  That was new.

People have taken the MacArthur teaching even further to say that people who say there is some other quality to Jesus' blood than physical and human, are denying the humanity of Christ.  And now they are also Eutychians at least practically.  We've jumped all the way to this.  And since they are denying the humanity of Jesus, they're Gnostics.  What I've found is that you can find about any so-called early Christian heresy to call anyone who takes a different position than you do.  I can spin almost anyone to any form of Gnosticism that I want, if he takes a different position than I.  For instance, I could call the MacArthur position a neo-Nestorian position, because Nestorianism says Jesus had two separate natures while he was on earth.  I could see how Nestorianism could fit quite nicely for MacArthur.  And the argument would go like the following:  "You're Eutychian."  "Well, you're Nestorian."  "You're Eutychian!"  "You're Nestorian."  Then the pies start to fly.

If you're going to talk about who it is that has seemed to take some non-historical or unhistorical teachings about Jesus' nature and Person, you could point at MacArthur, because he for most of his life, until relatively recently, denied the eternal Sonship of Christ.  He believed that Jesus became the Son of God at the point of his incarnation.  He has recanted of that, but he fought for that position for years, in addition to his new teaching on Jesus' blood.

Where I know I have a problem with MacArthur's teaching now is that he denies that the blood itself does anything.  And this is where I hear the strawmen come from him and others.  They say that Jesus' corpuscles, molecules, or fluid can't save us.  Chuckle.  Chuckle.  Sounds weird.   The doctrine of the molecules.  It's a strawman, because who in fact is saying that?  I've never heard it and I don't even think Roman Catholics are saying things like that.  Maybe it was a reaction to M. R. DeHaan and his Chemistry of the Blood.  Maybe there.  I've never read any DeHaan material, so I can't relate to that.

So we're wanting to know whether the blood does anything.  MacArthur says "no," even though the Bible and historical theology say that it does.  That's new teaching.  But if you say now that you believe the old teaching, you're a Eutychian.  Does anyone see the facetiousness of that?  Everyone was a Eutychian until MacArthur and maybe Thieme.  That's a motive to change.  But it also means there was some kind of total apostasy on the blood of Christ until MacArthur came along.  Everyone was a Eutychian.  I am Spartacus.  No, I am Eutychus.

Jesus had flesh and blood "the same" as us, Hebrews 2:14.  Alright, so go ahead and have bright light coming from inside of you like Jesus did on the Mount of Transfiguration.  Oh, that was divine.  Fine.  But it was physical light.  And it came from His body.  His body could do things that ours can't do.  So "the same" doesn't mean identical.  It means that we are the same because Jesus had all the qualities of a human.  He had flesh and blood the same as us.  We both have flesh and blood.  He had more though.  He was still 100% human and yet still could do things humans can't do and with His body.  This is what people have believed throughout history.  Now you deny the humanity of Jesus if you believe that?  That's what my first post here was about.

I write this story, because it is the story of a change in the doctrine of the blood of Christ.  We want to be accurate about who changed it.  I'm not changing it.  I'm actually reporting what others have believed.  MacArthur changed it.  Maybe someone else did too, who he relied upon, but I don't think he got his teaching from Thieme or the Jehovah's Witnesses.  All the emphasis today on "human blood" is new.  I've shown that.  What's it in reaction too?  Is there some big, bad problem with people denying the humanity of Jesus?  If anything, the bigger problem is with the deity of Christ.  Jesus' deity has shrunk to people.  He's a more human Jesus than ever.  Just look at evangelicalism and now fundamentalism.  Everything is more human.  The Bible is more human.  Worship is more human.

I let MacArthur have his position for decades without complaint.  I defended that he didn't deny the blood, but now I get what bothers people.  MacArthur, to take his position, has to turn them into theological weirdos, as a defense.  Others are taking this even further.  I recognize that some, out of reaction to MacArthur, have said wacko things.  But they weren't saying them until MacArthur started with his position and then they moved out into the theological nether in reaction to him.

Now you may say that MacArthur was right to change it, because it has been wrong for centuries.  That would need a lot, a very lot of exegesis.  You can't just brush by Hebrews 2:14 and say you're done.  That's not going to do it.  You can't just quote the Chalcedonian creed and think that you've made some major point on the blood issue.  Read the Chalcedonian creed.  It doesn't say anything about the blood of Jesus.  I'm pretty sure that Owen, Flavel, and Charnock all believed the Chalcedonian creed.  So there's zero mileage on the Chalcedonian creed on this blood issue.

You don't get to say or even think (which is where it is now) that people, who call Jesus' blood "divine blood" and believe that it is "incorruptible" and that there is some quality there that is superhuman, are stupid and heterodox.  You, my friend, are the one making the change.  I'm reporting what people have believed.  If you want to call it those things, fine.  It's your sandbox.  But that doesn't make it true, even if you put it in gold foil and have someone wearing a funny hat when he pronounces it.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kent,

It's fascinating, isn't it, that today some acknowledge there have always been those who've held to strong views of the blood that J-Mac now denounces as heretical, and yet we can't find any evidence they were ever rebuked as damnable heretics? Why is that? Could it be the strong view was mainline, and therefore to speak of Christ's blood as divine, incorruptible, and imperishable was perfectly fine? We can cite both Calvinists and Arminians who've held strong views of the blood (views that would now call down anathemas and shouts of "Stupid!" from our moderns), and yet where were they rebuked?

Again, while I don't embrace the divine-blood view, I've always found it puzzling why those who did embrace it were never publicly called out for preaching an aberrant theology. Richard Watson, one of the most famous theologians ever to arise among the Arminians, had this to say about the blood in a discussion over Acts 20:28 and its phrasing:

"The orthodox contend that the appellation 'the Lord' when applied to our Saviour, is his title as God, and the heterodox know, also, that the 'blood of the Lord' is a phrase with us entirely equivalent to 'the blood of God.' They know, too, that we neither believe that 'God' nor 'the Lord' could die; but in using the established phrase, the all-important doctrine of the existence of such a union between the two natures of our Lord as to make the blood which he shed more than the blood of a mere man, more than the blood of his mere humanity itself, is maintained and exhibited; and while we allow that God could not die, yet that there is a most important sense in which the blood of Christ was 'the blood of God.'
"We do not attempt to explain this mystery, but we find it on record; and, in point of fact, that careful appropriation of the properties of the two natures to each respectively, which Dr. Pye Smith recommends, is not very frequent in the New Testament, and for this obvious reason, that the question of our Lord's Divinity is more generally introduced as an undisputed principle, than argued upon."

What makes this quote interesting is that Watson regularly disputed with Calvinists over various points of doctrine. Yet, having read his institutes, I don't recall where Calvinists ever accused him of heresy concerning the blood. To be sure, they contended with him over his general (or universal) atonement view, but they never attacked him as a heretic, as Harding did his own brethren, over Christ's blood being "more than the blood of a mere man, more than the blood of his mere humanity itself."


TJP

Kent Brandenburg said...

TJP,

It's true. People weren't calling this view heterodox until it disagreed with the decades old view.

Anonymous said...

Kent,

Personally, I think before Bauder and Harding load up the FBFI Express for their Apology Tour, they better be cocksure J-Mac isn't preaching a novel view of the blood, one that contradicts this, for instance: [T]he blood was his as Man, yet so close is the union between the divine and human nature, that it is here called the blood of God, for it was the blood of him who is God, and his being so, put such dignity and worth into it as made it both a valuable ransom of us from all evil, and a valuable purchase for us of all good, nay a purchase of us to Christ, to be to him a peculiar people."

Or this:

"Hence it is said (Acts xx. 28) that 'God purchased the Church with his own blood.' What, with the blood of the Divine nature? No; that were a thing impossible. God hath neither parts nor passions, and cannot suffer. With the blood of a man, then, distinct from God? No; for then it could not be called God's own blood. Therefore it must be interpreted the blood of one who was God as well as man; who being God, and becoming man, and purchasing the Church with that blood which He assumed as an essential part of the human nature, may justly be said to have purchased the Church with his own blood. Hence to signify the two Natures in one Person, He is called 'Immanuel—God with us.' One name expresses both. ('As, therefore, the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ.')

"He who makes substitution for another must have somewhat of his own to offer, which belongs not to the other parties. The Incarnate Word, therefore, had his Deity for man, and his Humanity for God. The Divine nature possessed by Him was truly and absolutely God. The flesh and blood which He assumed were as truly the flesh and blood of the co-equal Son of God, as our flesh and blood is that of the sons of men. The blood wherewith the Church was purchased was the blood of the Son of God, and that by personal union. If the High Priest of our profession had offered any other sacrifice for us than Himself, or the manhood thus personally united to Him, his offering could not have been satisfactory. Why? Because in all other things the Father and the Holy Ghost had an equal right with the Son Himself. He could not have offered any thing to them, which did not as truly belong to them as to Himself. But the seed of Abraham— the fruit of the Virgin's womb, which the Son assumed into the Godhead, became his own by the incommunicable property of a personal union."


TJP

KJB1611 said...

Just a few points of clarity.

"Nestorianism says Jesus had two separate natures while he was on earth[.]"

Nestorianism teaches that Christ is two separate Persons. Scripture, and Chalcedon, teach that Christ has two separate natures, both while He was on earth, and right now, and forever into the future.

Also, let's be sure that we are assaulting people fairly. I highly doubt, for example, that Bauder, and I doubt that MacArthur, would disagree with a quote such as that of Watson above. It is simply the communicatio idiomatum.

This statement will probably sound controversial, but think about it before you go after me for it and say I am a heretic. Christ's blood is only Divine in the sense that Mary is the mother of God. In the sense that she is not the mother of God, in that same sense His blood is not Divine. That is, Mary is the mother of one who is God, but she is the mother of the human nature only. Christ's blood is the blood of one who is God, but it pertains only to His human nature. That does not deny that His blood-shedding on the cross and death have infinite value because of the union of the two natures.

I used the "mother of God" example because we Baptists have a gut reaction to Divinizing everything in Christ in the phrase "blood of God," but have an equally strong gut reaction the other way in the phrase "mother of God"--and because that phrase is in Chalcedon.

Obviously I am totally against the worship of Mary and all such Papistical idolatry by the whore of Babylon.

KJB1611 said...

By the way, I don't call Mary "mother of God." While there is a technical sense in which the phrase is not heretical, I believe that its use today lends itself to Mariolatry, although originally it was a Christological term about the union of the two natures in Christ's Person rather than a term about worshipping Mary. The modern Catholic doctrine of Mary did not develop in its fulness until far after the end of the ancient church period.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Thomas,

Who were you talking to? I'm talking about "assault"---you used that term, like someone is being "assaulted." Who was assaulted?

My understanding of the correct view of the hypostatic union is the same as found in the London Baptist Confession of Faith, being that His "distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion; which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ."

Hence, when I said Nestorians believed in two separate natures, that in fact contradicts the LBC statement on the hypostatic union, which says they "were inseparably joined together," and later "without...composition." So you actually believe that the two natures are separate (complete independence of natures) in contradiction to the London Baptist Confession? I didn't know Scripture taught that his two natures were separate. Perhaps I'm missing something.

And I don't in fact believe MacArthur is Nestorian, but that these kinds of so-called heresies should not be thrown around, like they are by folks, like they have about us in addition to others.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Pastor Brandenburg,

I was actually thinking of the first commenter on this thread.

Since the LBC quotes from the Chalcedonian formula, it would be highly questionable to affirm that the two are affirming a different sort of Christology.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thomas,

I asked the question because you assert that I was contradicting the Chaledonian formula in my post when I said "two separate natures." I didn't say "two natures" purposefully. I said "two separate natures," which is a contradiction of the LBC. The LBC says "distinct natures were inseparably joined." Inseparably. Not separate. And you asserted that what I wrote was wrong, which agreed with the LBC, so I asked if you disagreed with the LBC, since you were disagreeing with me. You didn't answer that in your short comment. Until then, am I to assume that you disagree with the LBC on "distinct natures inseparably joined"? Because I'm stating only what the LBC states and you said it was wrong. I guess I thought you understood that, so that I wouldn't have to repeat it.

Kent Brandenburg said...

By the way, I just googled Nestorianism and "two separate natures" and got 30,500 and lots of interesting quotes. Read what Laurie Guy (who is a guy, a man) in his book here

Lance Ketchum said...

Thoughtful, inductive, and solid arguments that do not add to God's Word or take from God's Word.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Pastor Brandenburg,

You are correct that the two natures of Christ are not separate in a Nestorian sense, a sense in which there are two Persons. In the sense in which you mean distinct, but not separate, you are correct. Thank you for the clarification. I apologize for thinking that you meant "separate" in a different sense, when you meant separate in the sense of two Persons. I rejoice that we both confess:

one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, known in two natures, without confusion, without conversion, without severance, and without division; the distinction of the natures being in no wise abolished by their union, but the peculiarity of each nature being maintained, and both concurring in one person and hupostasis. We confess not a Son divided and sundered into two persons, but one and the same Son, and Only-begotten, and God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, even as the prophets had before proclaimed concerning him, and he himself hath taught us.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Thomas. I appreciate the retraction and clarification. I do think there is more to think about and discuss even in the statements made. I'm preaching on Luke 19 tonight with Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and how He knew exactly where the donkey and its foal were, about the man, what he would say, how the disciples should answer. Jesus knew all that. Did He know it as man or as God? There was an inseparable union between the human and the Divine. It is called a hypostatic union. Jesus as God knew it, but did Jesus as man know it? Yes. The Son of Man, the man, will come in the clouds, in fulfillment of Daniel 7.

The Bible defines our view of Jesus, His two natures, their union. Creeds should reflect Scripture. When they do, they are correct, but creeds do not contain every nuance and elaboration of the distinct natures and their union, as God's Word does.

I'm glad to be corrected where I should be and glad not to be where I shouldn't. Thank you.

We read the children's book, Thomas the Train, to our children, when they were very young, and I remember the words, Beep, Beep Thomas. I say, Beep, Beep Thomas.

Bill Hardecker said...

I think interpreting the blood of Jesus as a figurative expression (metonymy or synecdoche) takes away from it as being an essential element in the atonement (a grammatical reduction). I think that the nature of Christ's blood is mysterious because it is a part of his theanthropic person, which itself is the great mystery of Godliness. Very interesting set of articles on the blood and on other "stupid" things.

d4v34x said...

A metonymy does not take away from [the blood] as being an essential element. A metonym is not like a metaphor in which an "other thing" represents the "actual thing". Rather a metonym is a "part of the whole thing" that represents the "whole thing". In this case, seeing the blood as metonymy actually affirms it is an essential element of the atonement. Just as a crown is so distinctive a part of a monarchy one frequently refers to the latter by the former, so the blood is a conspicuous part of the atoning death of Christ it should be proper to refer to it by that conspicuous part.

George Calvas said...

Kent,

After reading my bible from Genesis to Revelation over 75 times (been a born-again Christian since 1980), I have never changed my position that the BLOOD of Christ CLEANSETH us from ALL sin, therefore since the "blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin", and all of Jewish history is repleat with BLOOD spilt all over the place in the temple, where would any Christian get the idea that blood, especailly the blood of Christ did not signify something very important when it was SHED?? MacArthur's failure had to do with not BELIEVING that ole King James Bible, but rather instead followed "cunningly devised fables".

That was also the problem with the Jew and why he missed the whole point of the law (Romans 2-7 cf Galatians 3, etc) which created the necessity of the SACRIFICE and the shedding of BLOOD!

You will NEVER fail to understand "sound doctrine" if you just believe what is written in the Holy King James Bible (2 Peter 1:4-10).

Kent Brandenburg said...

George,

I'm glad you are reading here, and I think it will be helpful. I appreciate that you have read through your Bible 75 times. I hope that you are open to some change, because if you read the Bible and never change, then you are missing the point, wouldn't you say? With that being said, the doctrine of the blood of Christ precedes the King James Version of the Bible. There was a Bible for centuries before the KJV, so the doctrine is not in fact dependent on the KJV. The problem of John MacArthur on the blood is not caused by his not using the KJV. He knows the KJV. He often quotes the KJV. I'm pretty sure that he grew up with the KJV, so probably heard preaching from the KJV from his dad and grandfather. I do think the presentation of the blood of Christ is affected by modern versions, but not enough to cause someone to come to the wrong view. The only verse that comes to mind is Revelation 1:5, I believe, where the critical text says "loosed" and the TR says "washed." I'm not saying that isn't important, but I think the translation issue doesn't affect this one that much. And certainly before the KJV there were people who had the right view of the blood.

Kent Brandenburg said...

D4,

I'v thought a lot about metonym, and being a poet as you are, you've probably thought about it. The illustration I use is "reading Shakespeare." You don't in fact read William Shakespeare, but what he wrote, so "Shakespeare" is a metonym for "the writings of Shakespeare." I don't believe that "blood" is merely a metonym, because the blood does in fact do something that the death doesn't do. Both are needed separately. He couldn't just die and he couldn't just bleed. I know of nobody that says that if He merely bled, we would be saved, or as Bauder put it, injected us with some of His blood. That is a strawman, because no one on planet earth in the history of mankind believes that. On the other hand, MacArthur says the blood itself does nothing. That is not a strawman, because he says that. He says the death does everything and that "blood" means "violent death." Do you get that?

No one has been saying that in the history of Christian theology. Shouldn't that be suspect, D4, when no one else has said it, and then men have been saying something different too? The verses indicate the blood does do something.

I'm not sure what Thomas believes on this from his comments. I'm going to assume he agrees with me, but I'm not sure.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Billy,

Thanks.

Bill Hardecker said...

D4,
A metonymy is a word that stands in a close relation to something, but unlike a synecdoche it is not part of what it represents. Ex. a police officer's badge represents authority but is not an actual part of this authority. A synecdoche can be a word that is part of something that represents the whole entity for which it is a part. Ex. he bought a set of wheels. Wheels is a syn. for the car.
What MacArthur did by saying that the blood is a metonym for death is eliminate the blood as an essential element in the atonement. In essence, the blood isn't the main thing, rather it was his violent death that deserves the attention.
Frankly, if we leave the blood issue to any of the two figures of speech then the effect is elevating the symbol over the substance. For instance, a wedding ring may represent the marriage of the wearer, but the ring is of lesser value as the marriage it represents. One can say that the blood is symbolic of atonement, but is of lesser value as the atonement it represents - and that isn't so. I guess, in my mind, the blood isn't incidental, it isn't merely symbolical, it is essential.

Lance Ketchum said...

This text deserves some serious exegesis - "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29)? The words "counted the blood . . . an unholy thing" especially deserve some careful consideration.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Lance,

I agree with your assessment. MacArthur would have to say that the "blood of the covenant" is the "violent death of the covenant." I'm only asking right now, as are you, and I have been asking for awhile, what kind of damage does MacArthur's view do. Larry asked about it, and I said, I don't know, because it seems, with an agreement with what Billy is writing above, that it does actual damage. Hebrews 10:29 seems to be saying that the blood itself is a holy thing, a unique thing, that would make it different than human blood. The blood itself. The molecules? The fluid? Those are strawmen. The blood is what we're saying, because the Bible doesn't talk about molecules. Is that life that is in the blood, found merely in the pouring out of the blood, or is there life itself in the blood? And when we say "life," do we mean divine life, when it comes to Christ, like eternal life, a quality of life that is different than physical life. I would say "yes."

Is someone who calls the blood merely a metonym counting it as an unholy thing? I'm sure MacArthur would say he doesn't think that the blood is an unholy thing, but in his statements and actions he seems to be making it an unholy thing.

Billy,

Good breakdown. I'll be interested in hearing D4's answer to what you wrote. It reads very convincing.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Anyone,

There are people that are angry because we devote any criticism to MacArthur. He should just be accepted. He's conservative after all. He's written so many books. Why don't we devote more time to others that are worse? Why don't we find some liberal to go after? Because MacArthur has more influence on conservatives. That's why. I'm thankful for all the good MacArthur does, but these kind of views do get picked up. Where did Detroit get this view? They didn't get it from church history. It's not in there. It looks like they got it from MacArthur. They argue it differently and say less controversial statements, but where did Roland McCune, which seems like a very decent, conservative Christian man, get this view. Theological professors often put too much emphasis on historical theology, but in this, there is an absence of it.

For those who get angry, the big time MacArthur supporters. Take a step back. Think about it. Think on your own. Consider this. Don't defend at all costs.

d4v34x said...

Bill, thanks for the technical correction. But the close relation still prevents the rendering blood unnecessary. Else they would not use that related item to refer to it. It was a part of it.

Bill Hardecker said...

D4, MacArthur reads death where the Bible says blood. Do you not see a problem with that?

KJB1611 said...

I think I stated this elsewhere, but to be clear, I don't think MacArthur is right and I don't think blood-shedding is a mere metonym for death.

d4v34x said...

Bill,

Not really, if he sees a bloody death, which he has stated he does.

He doesn't think Jesus could have been strangled or had a heart attack for our sins.

Bill Hardecker said...

D4, I don't think so, not when he says that the blood is a metonym for death...as I believe he stated in his book "The Murder of Jesus." I don't have access to that book, but I distinctly remember hearing and reading about that. I would hope that he would retract his teaching and agree with the Bible.