Mark Driscoll on PropitiationWednesday, July 05, 2006
Mark Driscoll on Propitiation
Happened to stop by Mars Hill Church's website earlier today and spotted weekly article highlighting propitiation. A wonderful, concise statement on the doctrine of propitiation with one exception. Driscoll says, "To both demonstrate His hatred of sin and love for sinners, Jesus averted the wrath of God by dying on the cross as a substitute for sinners." My only "beef" is with the word "averted."
The Greek word hilasmos has been traditionally understood as appeasing (see also hilaskomai) and not averting. The concept points to a conciliating or satisfying of wrath. God gives full vent to His anger and wrath until He is finish pouring it out. Jesus Christ and His death for us was not a shield that deflected God's wrath, as the word 'avert' denotes. He absorbed God's wrath, receiving it in totality, perhaps even becoming fully saturated with it until God's divine and eternal anger and wrath was exhausted. This is how propitiation has been traditionally and theologically defined.
I highly recommend Driscoll's article with this one small (but great) exception.
Also see my earlier posts on How God Satisfies His Wrath: A Deeper Look at Propitiation, Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.