By now I’m sure you’re aware of the controversy over the hymn: “In Christ Alone” which happens to contain the line “Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied.”
It’s a beautiful hymn and the line is biblically true, regardless of whether it is popular. The book of Romans (especially in chapter 5) is particularly clear on this point, as is Isaiah 53. Recently, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. rejected the hymn when they couldn’t get permission to modify that line.
I thought the topic had settled down and wasn’t going to write about it, but A few days ago I saw this tweet by Sam Rainer about this post on The Alabama Baptist website.
He was criticizing Dr. Bob Terry’s editorial about the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.’s decision. I read it and agreed and did some tweeting on the issue that night. Apparently, the original editorial and the sense that it downplayed penal substitutionary atonement generated quite the backlash. Dr. Terry has since clarified his remarks, although they haven’t satisfied everyone. You can find the original post with comments and the clarification at The Alabama Baptist.
On the same subject, Rev. Al Mohler has a post today called “The Wrath of God was Satisfied: Substitutionary Atonement and the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention.” It’s historically fascinating in addition to being an excellent defense of this doctrine. Apparently, the SBC has already had this fight and won, but in our current culture I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to fight it again.
UPDATE 1:18 p.m.: Denny Burk also has a piece on this that I hadn’t seen yet until just a moment ago. “The Wrath of God and the Heart of the Atonement.”
- PCUSA rejects Hymn “In Christ Alone” because it contains “The wrath of God” (atwistedcrownofthorns.com)
- PCUSA rejects popular hymn “In Christ Alone” (standupforthetruth.com)