David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Faith and Philosophy 26 (3):253-273 (2009)
The penal substitution account of the Atonement fails for conceptual reasons: punishment is expressive action, condemning the party punished, and so is not transferable from a guilty to an innocent party. But there is a relative to the penal substitution view, the vicarious punishment account, that is neither conceptually nor morally objectionable. On this view, the guilty person’s punishment consists in the suffering of an innocent to whom he or she bears a special relationship. Sinful humanity is punished through the inglorious death of Jesus Christ; ill-desert is thus requited, and an obstacle to unity with God is overcome
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